To flowers

Many of our neighbors have stunning hydrangeas this year

Many of our neighbors have stunning hydrangeas this year. June 2013

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”Claude Monet

It’s easy to believe that flowers inspired Monet to capture beauty on canvas, creating some of my favorite masterpieces.  Add one more amazing gift to the lengthy list of the ways flowers have enhanced our lives.

The flowers seem even more beautiful than usual this year.  I don’t know whether it’s something in the weather that has made them more vivid, or whether my soul is so thirsty for the joy they bring to an otherwise difficult season for us.  I haven’t had much time for gardening in recent months, but my neighbors have filled the gap, tending glorious blooms that brighten my walks and lift my spirits.

What flowers have you seen today, or this week? I hope you’re finding as many to love as I am!


  1. merry

    Good morning, Julia. Beautiful flowers. I enjoy finding flowers in usual places. I notice the tiny flowers of what we call weeds. I saw a red peace lily yesterday at Home Depot. Beautiful…my first time to see a red peace lily.

    • Wow, I’ve never seen a red peace lily either. We have a huge peace lily at home that keeps out-growing its very large container. The last one we had eventually got too big to survive in the small space we have for it. They bloom profusely and we’ve enjoyed them. I do think many of the wildflowers are gorgeous. In California, ice plant, bougainvillea and oleander all grow wild in many places, with colorful blooms that really light up the highways and byways.

  2. Ann

    Julia, The mimosas and magnolias are in full bloom here in South Carolina. Since you are from Georgia, I bet if you close your eyes you can feel their scents and picture their blossoms. Try it sometime!

    • YES I can! Both those trees were a huge part of my childhood. In the first home I can remember well, there was an enormous mimosa tree by the next-door neighbors’ home and it was easy to climb. I used to love the pink blooms and still think they are beautiful. The home I spent most of my childhood in had two large magnolias in the front yard. One was stupendously big, taller than the house and as wide as a room, with foliage all the way to the ground. I used to like climbing underneath the foliage where it was like being inside a tent. Some years after my parents sold the home, the tree was removed; no doubt because it became too large. I can picture the blooms of both trees as if I had just seen them today! Thanks for the memory.

  3. I love all flowers, but those hydrangeas are spectacular! ♥

    • Yes, they have been amazing this year. I’ve taken several photos at different people’s homes and all agreed that the blooms are unusually fabulous, even for hydrangeas! Thanks for being here!

  4. What pleasing shades of pink and blue! Let them bring you the joy you long for.
    Hope you are fine. Have been reading most of your posts. Assessments going on. And getting ready to fly home. 🙂

    • Thanks Bindu, it’s nice to hear from you. Hope all the assessments go well and you will enjoy your trip home! We are doing OK. Some days better than others, but we are hoping that things will get a bit easier from here. I appreciate your taking the time to visit here!

  5. Carolyn

    Your picture is beautiful. My blue hydrangeas are the best they been in years. My plant came from a cutting that I got from my grandmothers plant. that makes it w\very special to me. I got it and planted it at the first house we had here and I had pine trees, so it was always big and beautiful. She would be proud of me for not letting it die, her thumb was green. I hope that Jeff is feeling good and you just take care of yourself. How is Matt? I just need an up date on the family. I had blood work up yesterday and will see my dr. next week.. You all have agood day and hugs and love to all.

    • Hi Carolyn, let us know what your doctor says next week. Jeff appears to be doing better but I am way behind on everything, including sending updates on our situation. We should know something more definite by next week, so perhaps I’ll wait until then. Meanwhile I’ve got to figure out a way to shorten it or I’ll never get it written! So much has gone on, but the bottom line is that we hope Jeff will be healed soon and can get back to his chemo and radiation; we are praying the cancer won’t spread during this long delay in treatment. Thanks for checking in – love to you and Terry!

  6. MaryAnn

    In our front yard, the lantana that has struggled for years, is now showing off. The Veronica Lake is huge this year. The plum bago is very big & beautiful. My carnations in the back yard are beautiful. The newly planted (last year) peonies did not bloom this year.When I walk or ride my bike, I enjoy the myriad rosebushes along the way.
    Your gift to me is much appreciated, as I am reminded about our Creator’s Hand in our daily lives!
    Prayers continue for my Dentons!

    • MaryAnn

      P.S. Those gorgeous hydrangeas bring to mind how prolific mine were in Suisun City for many years….

      • I never grew hydrangeas in CA although I have some here. I remember seeing them all up and down Lombard Street in San Francisco; what a sight!!

    • Mary Ann, we used to see lots of wonderful lantana in Texas where it loved the dry climate; I’m surprised it didn’t do well in CA, but it seems as if I might have tried some there (my memory is kind of foggy) and didn’t get good results there. I will have to look up what a Veronica Lake is! Plumbago too! I have peonies here in Virginia but mine did not bloom last year; they are crowded out by the azaleas. My niece has some that are fabulous and she used them to decorate for Drew and Megan’s rehearsal dinner at the Hermitage (near Nashville) in 2010. I remember seeing roses everywhere, year round, when we lived in CA. Thanks for giving us a taste of the west coast! Thanks for the prayers and please keep them coming!

  7. Megan

    Hydrangeas are my favorites!! I LOVE when I see them driving through Atlanta. I can practically smell them, just looking at this photo.

    • I don’t remember seeing many in Atlanta, but I wasn’t too aware of plants until I had a home of my own. I can imagine they would grow in profusion beneath the pine trees there. Which probably means they are mostly blue, unless the soil is treated to make it less acidic; I think acidic soil (as under pine trees) produces blue hydrangeas. All those pine trees make for gorgeous azaleas and rhododendron too! If you haven’t yet been to Callaway Gardens, be sure to go sometime in the spring when they are at peak bloom.

  8. Sherrie Cannon

    And lovely neighbors that you have.

    • Yes, I love our neighbors! As I always tell Jeff, good neighbors cannot be bought for any price. We are really blessed to live near so many who enjoy working outside. Looking at everyone’s gardens is the highlight of my walk each day.

  9. Ginny

    My hydrangeas have been beautiful this year with huge blooms! You and Jeff have been on my mind and stay on my prayer list! Would love a recent update when you have time love to you both-

    • Thanks Ginny, I owe EVERYONE a huge update – I’ll try to include you whenever I have time to get it written! Thanks so much for your prayers and for your visits here, and comments. This must be the year of the hydrangea, they are amazing everywhere, according to what I’ve heard!

  10. Sheila

    Julia, it seems that everyone is in agreement about the beauty of the blooms. I also have hydrangeas that are making such a statement this year, and a surprising one at that! They have a story, as they were birthday gifts from Bill’s mom and dad to my mom. We had them transplanted from her condo garden to our yard after she passed away. You must think I have a “story” about everything! I just love sharing our worlds. Is Matt at home now? Enjoy your evening, Sheila

    • Sheila, I love hearing people’s stories, including yours! I have heard of people transplanting shrubs and flowers from a loved one after they died, and then having the plant grow and thrive. That’s such a happy kind of thing to hear about. I wonder if hydrangeas in particular like something about the strange climate that most of us had this winter and spring? In any case, I’m glad they are “making a statement” as you say – it’s one I enjoy hearing again and again! Yes, Matt is home with his right arm in a full cast, and sees the surgeon on Friday. Hard to believe it was two weeks ago tomorrow that he had the surgery! Thanks for being here and sharing with us!

  11. WOW!! Look at those gorgeous blooms!!! Wonder if mine will ever do that? HA HA. Oh well, it does have some blooms coming on which I will photograph and send you when they are open or here’s hoping you can come and see them. Praying all is well with you my friend.

    • Hi Amy, it’s nice to hear from you here! Everything is OK although we had quite a scare with Pasha tonight. He seems OK now but at his age, it’s always frightening when he seems to be having trouble breathing or anything like that. Tonight while we were out walking he just collapsed on the ground. That’s never happened before. He appeared unconscious and his tongue was turning blue and he didn’t seem to be breathing. I carried him home and on the way I started pushing on his chest and telling him to breathe and he eventually started breathing again, and then about 20 minutes later I brought him one of his favorite treats and he actually sat up and I knew he was going to be OK, at least for the present. Later I held him on my lap while we watched a movie. I know he will probably not be around much longer but of course we are never ready to say goodbye. Right now I’m feeling thankful he is still with us! I will have to really be careful about taking him on walks, though. We had only gone about half a mile and it was cool and perfect for walking so he just must be getting too old for it. I do hope I get to see your hydrangeas while they are blooming! Thanks for the prayers, keep them coming and I hope we can see you soon.

      • Oh my dear, I know how very much all of you have loved that doggie. I pray that his time will be peaceful. I am sorry to hear he is not well. Take care of you. Keeping all of you (Pasha too) in my prayers.

        • Thanks Amy, Pasha has been subdued today, but has not yet lost his interest in food! I’m hoping we will have him a bit longer. Thanks for the prayers.

  12. It’s true, it’s hard not to smile when greeted by well tended flower bed or beautiful blooming hedge. Monet is one of my favourites too. I’ve just enjoyed the Lilac season in the north. They’re one of the few fragrant blooming shrubs that do really well here. They’re in most yards, public parks and our own condo oasis. I’ve been snitching them daily from here and there to enjoy a sprig or two on the mantle. Fills the room with sweetness.

    • Lucky you, to have lilacs blooming nearby! They are so beautiful, as well as fragrant. Isn’t Monet wonderful? I dream of going to Giverny one day; I’ve heard it’s a great place to visit and tour.

      • Oh absolutely otherworldly. Sadly we didn’t have the opportunity to visit when we were in France but all the more reason to return. 😀

        • My thoughts exactly! Everywhere I go, I seem to leave saying “I’ll see that next time I come…”

  13. Just reading your account of the scare with Pasha! That had to be terrible. You know I love Pasha! Our KitKat is getting old too…at least 13. She worried me the other night because she seemed so lethargic. I am coming to realize, as you have been, that we won’t necessarily have her much longer. Although we had our first KitKat nearly 18 years!
    BTW, we have been adopted by a Boston terrier. We named her Happy, because she seems SO very happy!

    • Carla, so sorry to hear that KitKat has not been doing well. She’s such a sweet kitty. Maybe this is just a low point; I’m hoping that’s the case with Pasha. Boston terriers are so lovable! Our York neighbors have a Boston terrier named Hayley, which I think is a perfect name for that breed, but Happy is even better! They appear to be smiling all the time and are so gregarious (at least the ones I’ve known). If your terrier is looking for a home, I hope she’s found one!

      • KitKat seems to be okay. Probably just the “DOG days” of summer. And of course she’s use to ruling the roost and along comes Happy! 🙂

        • Perhaps she is registering a feline protest of sorts, or maybe just keeping a low profile. I hope she and Happy will become buddies!


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