Saturday, July 14, 2018

weekend visit

A beautiful garden, unlike a beautiful interior of a home, can never become wallpaper. You never take it for granted. There's a reason for that: a garden does not stand still. It changes daily: a rain may refresh some plants and knock down others. If you grow day lilies, like I do, every lily bloom is a new one (they only last one day). And so the magic is there, each and every day. So long as flowers bloom and birds chirp, your senses reel at the sheer beauty of it all.

Our night of storms did bring back some mosquitoes, but I am not discouraged.  We know now that we can control their population. We'll wait and see what happens. if things get worse, we'll reach for that garlic-peppermint combo again, but for now, I can work in the flower beds and chase away offending bugs. (I remember yesterday when I told Snowdrop I was happy that the mosquitoes were mostly gone, she said -- but grandma, it's okay if they are here and bite. It doesn't really hurt. The girl is so drawn to cup-half-full thinking! As am I. We make a good team!)

As I pluck spent flowers, I deliberate: what's more beautiful? A single bloom, or a field of flowers?

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The big cheepers and the little cheeps are usually nearby. I'm impressed how solid the connection is between the three younger girls. They always move everywhere together.

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Ah, lilies, lilies everywhere!

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The stately lilium has longer lasting blooms and often an intense fragrance.

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The hemerocallis flower (daylily), of course, folds up and loses its steam overnight. But there is such beauty in that brief bloom that honestly, I remember it forever.

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In my morning gardening hour (it takes that long to clean all the beds), I finally find a couple of these guys on the milkweed leaves:

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We will have given a home and feeding station to a new generation of monarch butterflies!

(Pepper is only mildly impressed.)

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Breakfast, in the quiet of the weekend morning, on the porch.

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A Van Gogh moment!

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And one last look out at the gardens, as seen from our perch on the porch:

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After, Ed and I ride over to the corn stand up the road. These guys are five miles from where we live, but it's a pretty ride and the corn they grow is just exquisite. (The closer corn farm is only two miles up the road, but their season doesn't start until next week.)

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And now the flower beds are snipped and lovely, the farmhouse is freshly dusted and polished, the fridge is full of good summer foods. And that's a good thing, because today, my sweet, sweet friend (Diane) is arriving for a visit. I haven't seen her since I said goodbye to her last fall in Montpellier in the south of France. We are in need of each other's company for sure!

It's Bastille Day and we pay our respects by cutting into at least two cheeses from the country that so loves its smelly diary product, but our evening drink commemorates our travels together through Italy. An Aperol Spritz is summery, light and fizzy as can be. Perfect for a day that is indeed summery, light and effervescent!

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Dinner is on the porch. Here, the French elements kick in. A play on Julia Child's sole meuniere, with a rosé wine. But of course, the meal could not be complete without -- you guessed it! -- fantastic, picked this morning Wisconsin corn!

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The afternoon and evening pass too quickly. It's always like that. You jump from one theme to the next, one story follows another and suddenly you realize that even the fireflies have retired for the night.

And so should we.