What I know:  picking raspberries with my husband,
popping a few choice morsels in my mouth,
competing for the bigger take,
talking as the light fades,
 is my idea of a romantic evening.

What I’ve learned:  raspberries respond well to water. 
The key to big berries is much, consistent water. 
Thank you, son!

100 Species:
1.  Clematis
2.  Garlic
3.  Delphinium
4.  Daylily
5.  Dianthus
6.  Daisy
7.  Lobelia
8.  Verbena
9.  Cosmos
10. Salvia
11.  Diachondra
12.  Raspberry


Didn’t Need to Be Beautiful

Chives are already fragrant.
They are a succulent savory addition to salads.

Famous as toppers, especially on baked potatoes.
Chives are hardy (translation: I can’t kill them).

They didn’t have to be beautiful, too.

But they are.

A Small but Indispensable Service

(last summer’s flowers)

A garden…teems with life.  It glows with colour and smells like heaven and puts forward at every hour of a summer day beauties which man could never have created and could not even, on his own resources, have imagined…

Without life springing from the earth,
without rain, light and heat descending from the sky,
he could do nothing.

When he has done all,
he has merely encouraged here and discouraged there,
powers and beauties that have a different source.
But his share, though small, is indispensable and laborious.

When God planted a garden He set a man over it and set the man under Himself.
When He planted the garden of our nature
and caused the flowering, fruiting loves to grow there,
He set our will to “dress” them.
Compared with them it is dry and cold.

And unless grace comes down, like the rain and sunshine,
we shall use this tool to little purpose.
But its laborious–and largely negative–services are indispensable.

          ~ C. S. Lewis in The Four Loves

Lulus and A Travel Quote

My favorite annual is the Lulu Marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia)
When petunias are leggy (or eaten by the deer),
pansies are wilted (or eaten by the deer),
these Lulus carry on.

They have the smell of a marigold,
but the look of lace and ferns.
They are the last bit of color in the fall,
surviving light frosts.

»     »     »

I’m 76 pages into John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley.  I’ve filled four journal pages with quotes.  His observations on traveling, people-watching, and pondering resonate with me.  I grab my task-oriented husband by the shirt and make him listen to a paragraph.  “How does he do that – write so compellingly?” the busy man wonders.  While I suspect that Steinbeck is coming from the point of view of determinism, I can agree with the next paragraph in light of God’s providence. 

Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over.  A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all journeys.  It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. 

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.  And all plans, safeguards, policing and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.  Tour masters, schedules, reservation, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. 

Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it.  Only then do the frustrations fall away.  In this a journey is like a marriage.  The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.  (p. 4)

Simple Pleasures on a Saturday in August

~  The colors in my garden

I love the deep purple of eggplant.  Aubergine.  What a delicious word.

The Railway Children DVD, based on E. Nesbit’s book.
Superb viewing for the whole family. 
Edwardian England, Bobbie, Phil and Peter, and the Sussex countryside.
I loved the book and it follows it quite faithfully.
C.S. Lewis read and was influenced by Nesbit. 
She was quite unorthodox in her personal life,
but she wrote warm books rich in family life. 
The Treasure Seekers and The Wouldbegoods are my two favorites.

~  The absence of back to school shopping. 
Y’all enjoy the malls and box stores. 
I’m home in the garden with my music and books.

~  A clear phone and DSL connection.
After months of calls to DSL technical support,
a friend suggested we call the regular phone company.
They came out and the phone line had been
almost in two by squirrels
.  Rodents!

~  Sunrise over the mountains.  It’s opening day of archery season
and I woke up to say goodbye to my hunters.
I’m remembering a sunrise we experienced 23 years ago today.
I watched that sunrise holding this bundle of a boy in my arms.

Happy Birthday Carson!

What simple pleasures are you enjoying this day?