Tag Archives: spring

Happy Pansy Faces

The Earth laughs in flowers.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

grandmother’s pansies

pansy-diascia-2

She walks with slow, deliberateness down the curved flagstone steps toward the sweeping gardens in the back of the house. Pausing with nearly every step, she stoops over, laughs and admires the face of each pansy planted around the emerging fern or at the base of the white paper birch. “Did you see this one? It’s face is so sweet with the purple and white colors!”

pansy-purple-and-white

pansy-purple-single1

 

grandmother’s pensée

Joy radiates from her face. She moves down the next step. Excitedly she points to the each pansy with her delicately carved walnut cane. She then turns, smiles and gently asks, “there is a saying that pansies mean thoughts–pensée. See how their faces bend forward like they are really thinking about something? What are you thinking about this morning, my dear one?” 

My little girl voice says, “Nothing really…I guess.”

Grandmother replies, “you know, my dear, it is important to always remember to be thoughtful in all that you say and do.”

She is quiet for a moment, and then softly continues, “my sweet child…come bend down here a little bit closer…look carefully. Do you notice the soft ruffled edges? Now, look at the all the different colors on just one flower. Isn’t it amazing?”

I nod while giving the flower a closer look.

“Look at the shape of the petals. The petals are almost like hearts. Do you know what this little flower is a reminder of?”

I look up at Grandmother’s face.

“With their happy faces and heart-shaped petals, pansies remind you that you are loved, and that I am so happy that you are here!” She gives me a gentle tickle.

I take Grandmother’s hand and laugh, “me, too!”

pansy-dark-purple-striated

 

pansy-dark-pink-striated

“Oh, my Sweet Pea…look how this one looks like it has been hand-painted with watercolors! Can you image anything more beautifully created?” Grandmother lingers a bit longer at these amazing pansies. Then, she sighs deeply, and we look at another and another…still walking hand-in-hand…and laughing as we go down each garden step.

Nearly reaching the last step, Grandmother pauses and smiles, “now…my little darling, I have a special surprise for you! I have saved the best for last. Tucked away over here by corner of the patio are the most beautiful pansies! These are for you to plant anywhere in the garden that you would like! Come! Let me show them to you…”

pansy-coral-ruffled-antique-shades

 

pansy-pink-antique3

 

pansy-pink-yellow

 

grandmother’s legacy

Such a sweet memory of my beloved grandmother. I am thinking of her with deep fondness as the window boxes and planters are potted at Rose Cottage. The window boxes begin overflowing with these happy, cool-weather flowers in antique shades of pinks, mauves, yellows and lavenders. Oh, how cheery! Maybe, our visitors to Rose Cottage will know that we are happy they are here, too!

pansy-pink-yellow-and-viola2

 

pansy-pink-ruffled-antique-shades

The overlapping petals of the sweet pansies are nearly heart-shaped. They remind me of the deep love of my grandmother, and how she so beautifully conveyed her fondness of gardening and flowers to me. Now, I hope that I am passing on this gift of happiness and love to My Most Awesome Boy and My Darling Girl (and her sweet hubby) as they start to plant and cultivate their own gardens.

pansy-daff-viola

 

 Do you think “the earth laughs in flowers?”

 

emerging-daff

 

We are so glad you are here with us at Rose Cottage to laugh and admire the sweet, happy pansy faces! Will you stay for a cup of tea and refresh yourself on the porch? We have your favorite tea cup in the cupboard. . . I will get it for you! Then, you can tell us all about your day…

Oh, weren’t the antique shades of the pansies just gorgeous? The breath-taking pansies are from the fabulous growers and owners of Little Foot Farm and Greenhouse just down the road from Rose Cottage. Karen and Sally are superb growers of garden plants! Wait until you see their tomato plants!

 

pansy-daffs-urn-wicker-21

On this beautiful Earth day, we hope you have time to travel around to other gardens or outside photos at the Southern Daydreamer, too. Maybe, you will even think about planting some sweet pansies or give someone else some sweet pansies to let them know you are thinking of them!

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The Flight of the Snowbirds {the birds fly north again

Every year has its winter, and year has its rain–

But the day is always coming when the birds fly north again.

Its the sweetest thing to remember if courage is on the wane,

When the cold, dark days are over–the birds will fly north again.

                                                                                    ~Ella Higginson (c.1900)

Join the fun on April 15th! 

 

april 15th – how time flies!

The days are quite warm now, and the sun is brighter each day. It is so lovely to visit Emma and Harold, the sweet TarJaay cousins in the south! Every day they have so much fun, and enjoy many fabulous feasts together set out on the dining room table.

Between Naps on the Back Porch, Beauregard (Beau for short) checks the date on the calendar and loudly tweets to Bella,”I can’t believe it…it is April 15th! It is The Most Amazing Boy’s birthday! Bella finds the revelation incredible. She carefully double checks to makes sure Beau is not playing another one of his April Fool’s jokes. “Beau, how can it be? Did a year really pass so quickly?” Beau chirps back, “Wasn’t he just 21 the other day?”

fifteen

Bella doesn’t hear a single peep. She is too busy twittering about, and packing and fluffing her steamer trunk…the day is here for the sweet little love birds to fly North again!

bird-and-steamer-trunt

Beau knows when Bella flutters with an important idea, there is no use in persuading her differently. Why get her feathers ruffled on such a lovely spring day? Beau quickly studies the maps for the fastest route North. “Oh, Beau! Don’t you know you are reading the Italian map! We will never get home in time for The Most Amazing Boy’s birthday following the Italian route — even though it is our favorite!”

Mapping out the Trip North

Mapping out the Trip North

still love birds

The TarJaays say goodbye and give each other a quick peck, and promise to twitter along the way. “Bella, it’s time to go now–the early bird catches the worm, you know.” Bella is looking so lovely in her new spring hat with Mi’s vintage millinery — perfect for the snowbirds flight back to the North. Beau steals a quick minute to turn a shy, sideways glance at his beloved of over 30 years. His heart still flutters when he sees his darling Bella. Bella blushes, and knows in her heart that all her dreams have come true.

birds-and-car

The trunk is securely in place on Beau and Bella’s shiney little pink coup. Beau is sometimes embarrassed to motor around in a bubble gum pink car with the name “Polly” (named after Bella’s very favorite Auntie Polly Parrot) inscribed on the license plates. Though, he quickly forgets about all of his embarassement when he feels the energizing spring winds ruffle his feathers as they fly North again.

sing you a love song

Beau and Bella throughly enjoy traveling together beneath a tangerine sky in their little shiney pink coupe. As they travel through countryside and cities, they sing all sorts of songs–some silly, some old-fashioned and some which they can never quite remember all of the words. Bella thinks Beau sounds like Michael Buble as he sings her sweet songs through Georgia, Kentucky, Tennesse and Illinois. “Oh, don’t stop singing, Beau!” 

Singing a Love Song in Harmony

home is where the heart is

Bella gets inspired as they pass all sorts of creative cottages on their travels North. Bella likes to take drive-by photos of her favorites. “Oh, Beau, look at that sweet thatched cottage! Isn’t it perfectly nestled between the trees in the glen?”

birds-and-thatched-cottage

Travelling through the bustling city, Beau and Bella admire the gleaming white conde nests! “Just think…we wouldn’t have so much to take care of living here!”

birds-and-conde-nest1

So many homes of all different styles…so many ideas! Bella gets more and more creative with each passing fancy nest. Sometimes, Bella gets too many creative ideas for one chick! Beua gets a bit nervous when Bella says, “I’ve been thinking…!” It usually means another post-it note skeetch for a honey-do project!

birds-and-heart

 

home, sweet home {rose cottage

Soon, the cities slowly fade and the colorful farmland patchwork turns a bit more rugged. The petal pink coupe speeds along over hills and through river valleys that are turning the most amazing shades of vibrant spring green. Then, along the sleepy little river town road, just around the next sharp bend, Beau and Bella catch a glimpse of Rose Cottage –just a bit up the hill next to the old maples and oaks. “Oh, our little Rose Cottage…we are home, sweet home,” exclaim Beau and Bella in unison. “And, in time for The Most Amazing Boy’s birthday,” sings Beau.

birds-and-rose-cottage-4

 

If you have a song to sing, sing it now.

Let the tone of gladness ring clear as song of birds in the spring.

Let every day some music bring: Sing it now.

                                                                    ~Unknown, Book of Good Cheer, 1913

Now…if you listen carefully, you will hear Beau and Bella’s cheerful refrains of “Happy Birthday to our Most Amazing Boy” floating down from the limbs high up in the old maple tree… just outside the birthday boy’s old farmhouse bedroom window! Maybe, you are singing softly along with their song, too? 

davids-bday-cake

 Happy Birthday to the Most Awesome Boy!

What is the sweet song in your heart today? How will you share it with someone else?

It was such a joy to have our daughter and her sweet hubby home from Seattle to help create some more beautiful memories that we will always treasure. One such special memory-making momemt was laughing hysterically as we did the “photo shoot” for Beau and Bella’s adventures! We hope you enjoyed sharing in our special moment, too. Visit Melissa at The Inspired Room for more about creating special moments.

We are so delighted you stopped by for a little chat and a piece of made-from-scratch angel food cake at Rose Cottage! We will have your tea cup in cupboard waiting for your next visit, too. Won’t you let us know you came to hear all about the adventures of Beau and Bella as part of the meme–Target Birds on Holiday– and how we created a story for the birthday boy in the comments below?

Visit Southern Daydreamer for more Outdoor Wednesday photos.

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Gifts of Spring

Sweet April showers
Do spring May flowers.
~Thomas Tusser, A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry (1557)

colorful packages

One of the most amazaing floral designers that I know, Cindie from Camrose Hill, asks “what is inspiring about spring for you?” As I think about her question, I start considering all the “gifts of spring” that I receive. So many gifts…each is brightly wrapped in the most amazing and creative ways! Thinking on these things create beauty in my life.

Daffodils and a Tulip in Dawn's Early Light

Daffodils and a Tulip in Dawn's Early Light

 

a few word pictures

Here are a few of perfectly wrapped gifts of spring that I receive and am sharing little word pictures with you:

1. Timmy and Jenny Wren’s good morning songs jubilantly sung from the “old-soul” maple tree limb outside the bedroom window
 
2. small forsythia blossoms, like delicate flutterbys, cheerfully welcome the morning sun
 
3. Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird’s soft, deep-throated love calls as they laborously build their cozy nest in the ole’ English dovecote (and wondering if, once again, Mr. Bluedbird will gently perch on my shoulder to whisper another sweet little secret in my ear?)
 
4. fresh, green sprigs of grass–each blade a banquet feast for the araconas, who start their amazing production of turquoise jewels
 
5. lush velvet carpets of woodland moss with random blooms of miniscule soft, white flowers roll-out before travelers’ afternoon walks

Carpets of Flowering Moss

Carpets of Flowering Moss

 
6. envigorating fragrances from the earth’s awakening following her long winter’s slumber
 
7. long. slender necks of gaily-colored tulips singing out their songs of joy, while sunshine-colored daffs triumphantly proclaiming that spring is here

Triumphet Daffodils

Triumphant Daffodils

 
8. a pair of old loves lingering a bit longer into the evening on the weathered tree swing… the kindred hearts still holding hands after all these years
 
These are but a few of the love gifts of hope, inspiration and joy that each spring brings to our little Rose Cottage– “the house that love built” –as our cottage was sweetly called by my true love’s beloved Swedish grandmother. 

What are your gifts of spring?
 

Daffodils and Rembrant Tulips

Daffodils and Rembrant Tulips

Visit Melissa at The Inspired Room for more ideas about the beautiful life.

Best wishes for a lovely and inspiring spring filled with many gifts!

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Awake! It’s spring…time to get organized!

Awake, thou wintry earth –
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn

tip 1: a place for everything

Do you sometimes feel “weighted down” or dreary during March even though the signs of spring are emerging everywhere?

Signs of Spring: Roses and Peony

Signs of Spring: Roses and Peony

Signs of Spring: Bird's Nest

Signs of Spring: Bird's Nest

Do you look around your home and wonder “where did all this stuff come from?” I do–tell me I am not alone!

For me, spring is a perfect time to help renew and refresh my spirit by organizing a closet, corner or a room. When organized, I am free of the burden of wondering, “where did I put…” and am not spending countless moments looking for something! I remember one of Grandmother Ione’s sayings, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Spring is a great time to be reminded of not giving clutter a chance to form.

Time for a Little Spring Tea

Time for Spring Tea Joined by Grandmother Ione's Mother (Myrtle Maderson)

tip 2: quality over quantity

At Rose Cottage, there is a closet under the stairs that is a catch all–it is Fibber McGee’s closet! Get a quick peak at the closet by watching the video. Time to tackle that closet–even though the mere thought is colossal! With my Very Best Boy’s help–yes, the same one as the cinnamon roll baker on the “Home Alone” post! We take EVERYTHING out of McGee’s closet. Soon there is only a path through the living room and the dining room!

Please tell me that someone else has a Fibber McGee’s closet!

tip 3: don’t put it down {put it away, give it away or throw it away

Living in a small 1880’s cottage with very limited storage for nearly thirty years, requires on-going organization. Asking, “how will I use…this year?” can help reduce the quantity of “stuff” that gathers over the winter months. Next, it is time to make decisions about what to do with the stuff!

tip 4: pile, don’t file!

…that is, pile so that “stuff” can find new homes! Soon piles grow destined for recycling, tossing or giving away. My Very Best Boy decides there is some “stuff” he can use at his house away at college! I decide in order to have a more beautiful and inspired life this year, I need to simplify and have less quantity. There is a lot of accumulation over the winter!

Do you have a proliferation of “stuff “over the winter, too?

tip 5: spring forward!

Time at last for all the piles to move out the door. Bags, bags and even more bags (too many to count!) are dropped off at the Good Will. Going off to the GW is not without risk of bringing stuff home. I come home with just a just a few vintage treasures for spring nest fluffing from some favorite shops!

Sweet Velvet Bunnies Making Spring Deliveries

Sweet Velvet Bunnies Making Spring Deliveries (from Rose Mille)

Vintage Moss Rose Finds, Millinery and Bird Frame

Vintage Moss Rose Finds, Millinery and Bird Frame

For more about getting organized, Melissa over at The Inspired Room has some stylish ideas and tips to help you getting started on fluffing your nest.

Fluffing the Nest at Rose Cottage

Fluffing the Nest at Rose Cottage

Won’t you leave a comment and tell me how you are fluffing your nest this spring?

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A Perpetual Astonishment: Spring (Ellis Peters)

greeting spring in the garden

Even though it is still wintery at Rose Cottage, the signs of spring are starting to slowly emerge! Yesterday, I received the best “spring is just around the corner” gift–the sweetest little herb garden for the kitchen window!

Hint of Spring - A Little Kitchen Herb Garden

Hint of Spring - A Little Kitchen Herb Garden

The fragrance of the rosemary, oregano and thyme just made my fingers itch for the rich, dark soil of the kitchen garden-even though there is over a foot of snow on the beds! Ruth Stout captured my sentiments when she wrote, “I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.”  Where do you like to greet spring?

little signs of spring

The signs of spring have been hinting everywhere the past few days. Have you noticed the sun is a bit higher, the sky more blue and colorful bundles of tulips are blooming at the local markets? When I start seeing these signs of spring, the winter blues slowly melt away and I have renewed energy!

Alpine Flower - Lance-Leaved Springbeauty

Alpine Flower - Lance-Leaved Springbeauty

Melissa from The Inspired Room has posted 20 Little Things to Look Forward to In Spring. Besides hearing  the sweet song of Jenny Wren and the soft, deep-throated call of the bluebirds each morning, feeling invigorated again is one aspect of spring I anticipate most. 

more…20 more things to look forward to in spring

1. hanging linens on the clothes line (smell of fresh sheets-the best!)

2. watching bluebirds nesting in the dovecote

3. filling window boxes with all sorts of pink flowers

4. laying on carpets of soft green moss in the woods

5. wearing sandals

6. leaving the windows open at night and watching the curtains sway in the breeze

7. cutting fresh garlic chives from the kitchen garden

8. sitting on the porch swing with my VBS

9. grilling freshly-picked aspargus

10. watching the daffodil bulbs emerge from their slumber

11. listening to Jenny Wren sing a “good morning to you” song

12. collecting more turquoise and brown eggs from “the girls”

13. weeding

14. picking violets–especially “freckles”

15. listening for the hot air balloons overhead

16. planting early peas

17. smelling all the “earthy smells” as the ground comes out of hibernation

18. going to the farmer’s market on Saturday

19. tasting fresh maple syrup from the sugar bush

20. hearing the laughter of children

Alpine Spring Flower - Yellow Cinquifoil

Alpine Spring Flower - Yellow Cinquifoil

What would you add to YOUR list about “little things to look forward to in spring?”

Spring Flowering Moss

Spring Flowering Moss

And Spring arose on the garden fair,

Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;

And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast

rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

Awaiting the Arrival of Spring

Awaiting the Arrival of Spring

(Photos taken at Hurricane Ridge in Washington.)

How are you awaiting the arrival of spring around your home?

Happy Spring!

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