Friday, August 21, 2020

The Garden In August And Our Giveaway Winners

" It isn't the big pleasures that count the most;
it's making a big deal out of the little ones. "
JEAN WEBSTER, 1876-1916

We have been taking Jean Webster's advice to heart, and we have been making a big deal out of creating little posies from the garden. Sprigs of sweet peas in tiny vases are scattered around the house, for instance, and this cool container with its three pink blooms sits on our outdoor table. I do love the pink against the lime green. The container reminds me of my newly-married niece, Chiante. You see, it really belongs to her; she had to leave it behind last Christmas as she couldn't stuff one more thing into her carry on bag when she flew home after the holiday. Posting a picture of it here, she'll see that I'm taking good care of it. 

August has been just so beautiful this summer. We have enjoyed warm, sunny days with a sprinkling of cloudy, rainy ones. In my particular neck of the woods, we have not experienced any of the horrid weather some places have had, including those dog days of summer with that insane heat and dragging humidity.

Dog days are rare for us in our northerly climate, but this week we had what we call hot weather—yikes, it even climbed one day as high as 32°C, that's 89°F for you dear American friends. To us, that's hot, and I can't even imagine when people say they are experiencing 100°F and beyond. Fortunately for us, it rarely lasts more than a few days, and you can bet we sigh with relief when it drops back to our more comfortable mid-20° Celsius normal range (70° Fahrenheit). 

The garden continues to surprise us with fragrance and showy blossoms. And we are taking especial delight in our late bloomers, like the Echinacea, Rudbeckia, and Joe Pye Weed—I certainly would have given this spectacular plant a better name. These perennials first come into their own in mid-August around here, and they'll sweep us into the autumn season, blooming till freeze up, which we hope is a long way off.

I have pictures, but first, let's announce our three Giveaway Winners....


Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter our giveaway for three $20 Amazon online gift cards, celebrating It's A Beautiful Life's 12th blogging anniversary. Your kind and lovely comments here and on Facebook were a real treat to read—gifts to my heart—and I thank you for each one. And now, without further ado, I'm delighted to announce our winners:

FlowerLady Lorraine

Madame La-Bas

Diane at Lavender Dreamer

Congratulations, Ladies! Please contact me (my email link is in the blog sidebar) within the next 24 hours with your email, so that I can send along your e-gift card to you. Thank you for celebrating with me.


" A late summer garden has a tranquility found
no other time of the year. "

Hansa Rose


Peace Rose 

'Bella Anna' Hydrangea

" Everything on earth has its own time and its own season. "

We love to sit in this cozy nook in front of the bay window. The tall yellow Rudbeckia is one of my favourite late blooming perennials. Late bloomers in the garden have a special place in my heart, and you can read why in a guest post I wrote last September HERE.

Yarrow and Echinacea
I do like our little patch of Echinacea, especially those variegated ones. The bees are loving the pin cushion centres.

Pink Echinacea

Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye Weed by the garage

The Joe Pye Weed perennial, after being buried in a mile of snow over winter, grows every spring from the ground up. Taking all season to mature, it then bursts into pink blooms in August. I'm amazed every single year when it gets 'as high as an elephant's eye' and grazes the overhang on the garage. It obviously likes where it lives. 

Sweet Peas make people happy

As you know, giving gifts from one's garden creates a special connection between friends and neighbours. We don't grow vegetables (well, we have a tomato plant), but we love to share roses and peonies and sweet peas with our neighbours and friends. The other day, there were enough sweet peas on the vines to cut two large jars of blossoms to give away. Our neighbour across the street was thrilled when I rang the doorbell, leaving the jar at the door. He said the scent reminded him of his childhood, when his dad used to grow sweet peas along the side of their house. 

Purple Monkshood


A knock on the door and in walks my girlfriend, Jean, holding a huge bundle of pink and white roses. To celebrate your 12th blogging anniversary, she says. Awwww - my heart is tickled. There are roses everywhere. Like in the movies. WHAT A RED LETTER DAY! Or maybe it's a PINK AND WHITE letter day.

" A rose is a rose is a rose. "

" When the sun is setting, leave whatever
you are doing and watch it. "

I almost missed this spectacular sunset the other evening. The sun was drawing its curtain on the day, and I was on the deck reading. A glance upward told me something was going on. I had the presence of mind to walk to the end of the deck to peek around our mountain ash, past the neighbour's roof. It was as if the sky was on fire. Oh my! Moments later, only dark clouds remained. Sunsets wait for no one—be in tune with its timing, or miss it altogether.

" Don’t forget: Beautiful sunsets need cloudy skies…"

* * *

Enough for one day. On that note, I'm wishing you a beautiful weekend.
Keep safe, dear friends.

Heart Hugs,


  1. Lovely photos, Brenda! Love the roses.

    Congratulations to the winners!

  2. this post! you had me with the title. are there words strung together quite as delightful as The Garden in August?! then all the way through, the perfect blend of ecstatic sighs and delighted chuckles!

    thank-you for keeping on reminding us in spite of all its's a beautiful life!!

    Have a beautiful weekend!

  3. Congratulations to the winners. I love seeing your lovely flowers. Even though I can't smell them, I can enjoy their beauty.

  4. Thank you, Brenda. Your flowers are beautiful. Your friends and neighbours are very lucky to receive such lovely gifts.

  5. Thank you SO much! I've had quite a day and it just keeps getting better! LOVE the pink and white roses from a friend and the garden flowers. Hydrangeas are my favorite flower but I don't think I've ever seen one this color. Of course I love sky photos too! Enjoy your day! And thanks for making mine so special. Hugs!

  6. So lovely Brenda, such a beautiful selection of flowers in your garden, especially your roses. I agree, it isnt fair on poor old Joe to be called a weed!

  7. Congratulations on 12 years of blogging! You were two years ahead of me, in fact I didn't even know blogs existed until 2011 when I stumbled across one. How they have changed our lives and made the world smaller.

    I love tiny little flower bouquets too! When I was about 14 I started making little ones for our home. I've written down your Purple Monkshood on my wish list for next spring; yours is gorgeous! All of your flowers are and I so envy you your climate and average mild temperatures. Your sunset picture is magnificent and it's wonderful that you did look up when you did and grab your camera. Just a few minutes does make a difference in light, doesn't it? Once in a while a beautiful sunset will reflect on the pond next to us but we've only managed to get a picture of it a couple of times. Everything affects it, I guess, the time of year probably.

    Have a lovely and safe weekend,

  8. Your garden is absolutely gorgeous. What a lovely, tranquil place to curl up with a book! Our August has been hot...and smoky. Actually, August is one of my least favorite months, as the heat and smoke are usually at their peak. The air quality is bad, which gives me headaches. Still, though, I like to get outside to enjoy the flowers.

    Love your quotes!!

  9. Congrats to your winners! I know two out of three...what fun! That sunset looks like fire in the sky...full, rolling flames. Your garden is splendid. How kind of you to share your bouquets with friends and neighbors. I see that you were well rewarded with the lovely roses. 🌹

  10. What gorgeous flowers! Congratulating the winners! Beautiful blog post!

  11. lovely blooms, it just hot and dry here 108 degrees-but hopefully it will end sometime soon!

  12. So beautiful I read it twice, and I want to comment on everything! But I’ll keep them to a minimum if I can.
    That Joe Pyle Weed, though. I can’t believe it grows from the ground up every year - grows like a weed I guess. 😄 “Beautiful sunsets need cloudy skies” - I’ll be hugging that quote to myself for a few days. Congratulations to the winners, and what a dear friend to bring 12 roses for 12 years. I love Jean.

  13. What a sweet surprise to see I am one of your winners! Thank you. ~ This was a delightful post filled with wonderful quotes and beautiful photos of the beauty you see around you. Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

  14. Brenda your garden is stunning and the sunset was unbelievable. I had to smile when I read that you had been reading on your deck and looked up to check out the sunset...I find myself this summer doing the same. They have been just beautiful this season. Enjoy your roses and have a blessed weekend. Hugs!

  15. Your garden has really outdone itself this year--a brilliant reward for the investment of much time and labour! I think of Keats, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever", that certainly describes your garden! (I also think of the amendment to that quote, a garden is a thing of beauty and a job forever, hehe.) Congratulations to your giveaway winners.

    1. Haha, a thing of beauty and a job forever. Indeed! Thanks, Kathy.

  16. Brenda, your garden is breathtaking. It is still so beautiful and ours looks as though she is ready for a long nap. It is hard to imagine sweet peas in bloom in August. They are finished here in April. Enjoy these remaining days in your piece of paradise. Your hard work shows.

    1. Sandra, Your spring is so early compared to ours. In April around here snow could still be on the ground; tulips might, might be poking noses through, but definitely no sweet peas. So then we watch your blog for glimpses of your spring. I think that's one thing I like about blogging -- with friends in different places, we can virtually extend our seasons as we share photos of our outdoor world with each other.

  17. A month for the garden to show its glory! I love your echinacea so much -- but the monkshood is something so exotic to me, and breathtaking!

    I almost forgot to mention the glory of the sky... not sure one month is enough to hold all this beauty. <3

  18. Your garden is beautiful, and beautifully tended. Mine is a bit of a mess just now. Congratulations on your 12 years of blogging, and to the winners of your giveaway. I'm catching up on posts after being away for the week.

  19. I'm a bit late to the party and have only now arrived to wish you a happy blog anniversary! What an amazing space you've created here, wise and wonderful, I always enjoy my visits and your beautiful writing. Sweet peas rule!


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