Friday, July 31, 2020

Five on Friday: Last Day of July and Poppies

" Through the dancing poppies stole
A breeze, most softly lulling to my soul.

We have arrived on the last day of July, and what a beautiful week it has been. Lots of sunshine and even some hot days—even reaching, for us, a heady +30℃ (86℉)! We'd go out in the garden early in the mornings to tend to weeding, tying up loose vines and stems, as well as transplanting struggling annuals that needed a patch with more sunlight to properly flourish.

Sometimes when a person plants in the early spring, you just don't know exactly how tall a neighbouring plant will bloom or spread out, suddenly crowding or shading what had seemed the perfect spot for some sweet annual. And for some reason, I think because we're close to home this summer, I've been more aware of the needs of my little flowers. Some of them require more elbow room—a little social distancing of their own. And some really must have their day in the sunshine, although I don't have complete control over that, but I can give them room where, when the sun does shine, they'll be able to turn their faces upward and take it all in.

In the afternoons, we'd sit in the garden, reading, watching the squirrels (we see two now), listening to the birds vying for spots at the feeders. The season is already changing, the birds always give the cue. Their songs change, their busy nesting and feeding young shifts to training and teaching them to find their own food. We watched one young crow begging on the fence : But, Mom, it's so much easier if you just put it in my mouth. And, she says : the food is here in this tray, eat it!  At least, that's what we imagined was said.

Last evening, the crows were gathering in flocks to roost for the night. That creates a slight shiver if I let myself think about what that means. In not too many weeks, they'll be heading southward. BUT, before we let ourselves go there, let's stay put right here in the deep of summer—it is still July for a few more hours and summer for a few more weeks.

Because the weather has been so lovely, yesterday I took a short trip to visit my mom and sister. We had a delightful social distance visit sitting in Sis's beautiful garden, which included seeing this amazing patch of poppies in the middle of her hubby's vegetable garden. I was smitten. She said, "All this gorgeous beauty for the cost of a couple of packets of seeds. The best $2.49 I ever spent." Should you be interested, the name of these poppy seeds are Falling in Love, and you can order them HERE.

" Summer set lip to earth's bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there.
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one. "

" As for marigolds, poppies, hollyhocks, and valorous
sunflowers, we shall never have a garden without them,
both for their own sake, and for the sake of
old-fashioned folks, who used to love them. "

" When in these fresh mornings I go into my garden before
any one is awake, I go for the time being into perfect happiness.

In this hour divinely fresh and still, the fair face of every
flowers salutes me with a silent joy that fills me
with infinite content ; each gives me its color, its grace, its perfume,
and enriches me with the consummation of its beauty. 

All the cares, perplexities, and griefs of existence, all the burdens of life
slip from my shoulders and leave me with the heart of a little child
that asks nothing beyond its present moment of innocent bliss. "

American writer Celia Thaxter often mentions poppies in her charming classic An Island Garden. You may remember me writing about her book earlier in the spring - you'll find the post HERE. I think she especially loved the Poppy, sometimes even calling the white ones the Bride in the garden. Ms Thaxter often waxed eloquently about the flower's delicate beauty, mentioning how they require a certain soil and how they lift their heavy furry heads towards the sun when they are ready to open, how much care is needed in transplanting or when picking blossoms to bring indoors. 

Here, listen to a couple of passages:  
Then, with what fresh wealth of color and perfume the garden will meet the resplendent sunrise! Every moment it grows more and more beautiful. I think for wondrous variety, for certain picturesque qualities, for color and form and a subtle mystery of character, Poppies seem, on the whole, the most satisfactory flowers among the annuals. There is absolutely no limit to their variety of color. ...
On one low bookcase are Shirley Poppies in a roseate cloud. And here let me say that the secret of keeping Poppies in the house two whole days without fading is this : they must be gathered early, before the dew has dried, in the morning. I go forth between five and six o'clock to cut them while yet their gray-green leaves are hoary with dew, taking a tall slender pitcher or bottle of water with me into the garden, and as I cut each stem dropping the flower at once into it, so that the stem is covered nearly its whole length with water ; and so on till the pitcher is full. Gathered in this way, they have no opportunity to lose their freshness, indeed, the exquisite creatures hardly know they have been gathered at all.

* * *

(Contented sigh), what a lovely thing to read on this balmy last morning of July.

Now, I know it's odd to wrap up on a completely different note, but I had to share something else that is on my mind. We'll be attending my beautiful niece's wedding tomorrow, but rather than in person, due to Covid-19 protocols, we'll all be gathering via Zoom to witness the happy couple exchange their vows. We'll party together another time. Congratulations to you, Chiante and Dawson!💞🥂🎕We hope it will be a day filled with special moments for you both even though it's all upside down. We send our full heart of wishes for love and happiness today and always. The Lord bless you both. We love you so much! xoxox

Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places.
Happy weekend.

Heart Hugs,


  1. Love that quote by Celia Thaxter; 'moment of innocent bliss' describes those early morning garden visits perfectly. Poppies are definitely one of my all-time favorites and to be able to grow them in the garden is sheer delight! Thank you for the lovely photos. The name of the poppy is Falling In Love, so I think it will be entirely appropriate to enjoy a bouquet of them while we watch the wedding tomorrow :)

    1. The name of those poppies "Falling In Love" is perfect for enjoying on your desk while you watch the wedding tomorrow. I don't have poppies but the sweetpeas are in full bloom, so they'll create the wedding floral scent. Will you be wearing your pearls and fascinator? I shall be, in my imagination.

  2. Well, I have never thought to plant poppies before. But now I’m anxious to try it just for the experience of picking them “before the dew has dried” and bringing them into the house to last for two days. 🥰 The quotes are lovely. I will be coming back to savour them again.

    1. I know, I love the imagery of it, and yes, I want me a poppy patch now. I've always loved poppies. I had one last year, but it didn't survive the winter. Seeds probably.

  3. Those are gorgeous poppies! I love the ones that spring up in my garden, but I believe I need more of them for next year. Aren't we gardeners greedy? Your excerpt from Celia Thaxter had me checking to see if the library has the book- but alas they don't. I believe you quoted her some time ago and I looked for the book online but it was prohibitively expensive. However, I just went on to a local used bookstore and struck gold! Soon it will join other beloved books on my bookshelf.

    Enjoy this last day of July and the beautiful summer. I wish your niece and her beloved much joy on their wedding day.

    1. I'm so glad you struck gold and found a copy of An Island Garden. You'll enjoy for sure! The watercolour illustrations in it by Childe Hassam are so exquisite.

      Thank you for your good wishes for my niece and her beloved, I shall pass them along to her. Happy Weekend, Lorrie.

  4. Lovely poppies! What a smart idea for the wedding! Staying safe and well while watching the happy couple exchange vows! There will be time for a grand celebration later!

    1. Yes, that is the plan, to celebrate at a later date. Much safer. Lovely to hear from you today, Nellie.

  5. I am definitely one of those 'old fashioned people' who loves poppies. Those in your sister's garden are so very beautiful.
    Enjoy the wedding. what is the 'dress code'for Zoom weddings? Do you wear best hat??

  6. The poppies are so pretty. I have always loved their delicate petals.

  7. "Falling in Love" are just the sort of poppies I have always coveted for my garden. SO lovely! I've tried planting similar ones a few times, with no success. I can't complain, as I have the California poppies that grow like weeds, and sometimes AS weeds! ;-) Thank you for sharing this pretty patch.

  8. Beautiful post, Bren. I love the poppies and Celia Thaxter. She has always been a favorite.
    Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

  9. The colors of these Poppies are so beautiful! I once saw a field of Poppies. Ever since then, I have admired them.
    You'll see them in my garden next year for sure!

    Enjoy the wedding!


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo