" 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:
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.
FROM THE GARDEN THIS WEEK
" A late summer garden has a tranquility found
no other time of the year. "
WILLIAM F. LONGGOOD
'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.
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.
OTHER AUGUST GIFTS
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. "
MEHMET MURAT ILDAN
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.