Can You PIck a Favorite Flower ?

July, hot sunshine, fertilizer, and water create flower blossoms filled with beauty, fragrance, and vivid color. People often ask me if I have a favorite flower. I usually then ask "In what garden?" , "What time of year?" , "Annual or perennial?", or " In my my garden or yours?" It is a very difficult question.

My favorite flower can change from hour to hour. I am not home today, but JEJ has informed me the bright orange trumpet vines are vivid in color and as beautiful as they have ever been. Today that would be my favorite flower. When I was at the writing retreat I fell in love with deep purple petunias. They were more fragrant and deeper in color than any at my house ever .

Taking a drive through Moscow, Idaho today I fell in love with day lilies. They are blooming everywhere and the creamy yellows and apricots are pleasing to the eye. At my mom's house last week-end it was the mixture of annual blooms in containers on her deck. It was the strong fragrance of a lily outside in the moonlight at my sister's house that was a favorite as it drifted into the dining room.

Tomorrow as a venture out with my camera I may find another favorite. Do you have the same problem as me in July? Can you pick a favorite flower?

Two New Members of the Family

It has been an exciting week in our extended family! We welcomed two new girls and I couldn't be more thrilled. My niece Molly Diedrich gave birth to Olivia Cathleen Diaz on Monday in Denton, Texas.

My niece Z2 fell in love with homeless Juliet at the vet office where she works. She was finally able to adopt her and bring her home on Tuesday.Juliet is adjusting well to her new home and gets along well with her sister Sadie ( in picture on right) and Peaches. I can't wait to meet both of them in person!
Olivia loves to pose for pictures and has already captured the hearts of those near and far.

(photos courtesy of my siblings' blogs and Facebook)

What Draws You To The Garden?

"Seek to understand what draws you to the garden. You may discover greater rewards than the blue ribbons awarded for the biggest pumpkin or the best preserves. You may find the garden becomes a teacher and crop "failures" become lessons learned. However big or small your garden is, if you allow nature to touch your spirit, gardening will bring returns of peace, satisfaction,and well-being for as long as you can continue to wander the garden path."
- Norman H. Hansen

This is what draws me to the garden.

Thanks JEJ for capturing these photos while I was away!

Lake Ellen: A Slice of Heaven in Northeastern Washington

I have posted pictures of Lake Ellen before, but I always marvel at the beauty of this small lake. We can leave the house and head up Lake Ellen Road and be to the lake in twenty minutes. The lake has two small campgrounds on either end and a swimming dock. No motorized boats are allowed, but the dirt road on the south end is usually peppered with rigs and people standing on the shore fishing.There is a small island that people swim to and often stay there to sun themselves on the warm rocks.Every time we visit Lake Ellen it is worth the trip. My favorite time to visit is when we have it to ourselves. That doesn't happen very often!

The Lily and Photo Images by JEJ

The Lily

Night after night
enters the face
of the lily
which, lightly,
closes its five walls
around itself,
and its purse
of honey,
and its fragrance,
and is content
to stand there
in the garden,
not quite sleeping,
and, maybe,
saying in lily language
some small words
we can’t hear
even when there is no wind
its lips
are so secret,
its tongue
is so hidden –
or, maybe,
it says nothing at all
but just stands there
with the patience
of vegetables
and saints
until the whole earth has turned around
and the silver moon
becomes the golden sun –
as the lily absolutely knew it would,
which is itself, isn’t it,
the perfect prayer?

-Mary Oliver

Thanks JEJ for the gorgeous photos of the lilies around the gardens.

A Writer's Space

Writers work hard to create a space for inspiration- that place the writer can imagine, remember, ponder, and draft. For some writers it is surrounding themselves with items of remembrance. Others want a room with a view, a window facing the morning sun, or a dark basement office. A certain chair, an old typewriter, an antique pen or a special desk in the house makes a difference for others. My space for inspiration is at the writing retreat on the shores of Coeur d'Alene, Lake. Who wouldn't be inspired?

Retreat Beauty

Take another tour with me and enjoy the beauty I am surrounded by while on retreat.

A Place Called Home

A Place Called Home

I’m from

A logging truck hauling along the rutted road

sun peaking over the eastern mountain.

I’m from baby starlings squawking for their first feeding.

I’m from

a glowing fireplace, icy cold Busch beer, BBQ, bluebirds

dark soil, dogs song singing, daylilies, dame’s rocket.

I’m from fresh garden peas, farm eggs, morning glory, fur,

water gurgling, clouds dividing, lilacs lingering, green beans sprouting.

I’m from

first spring crocus, frosty winter ice, fiery autumn leaves, fragrant summer roses.

I’m from

four dog memorials, cats that never came back, rabbits that grew old,

funerals for neighbors too soon and weddings in the yard.

I’m from reminders in the handwritten recipe,

vivid orange trumpet vine, a blooming dogwood.

I’m from

empty food dishes, a collar on a nail, and a photo of two black cats.

I’m from laughing at a joke, sharing a simple meal, saying a prayer,

early evening garden tours, and creating a place called home.

on location at the writing retreat