Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed. ~ Walt Whitman
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~ Cicero
The Monarch may be the most recognized butterfly in North America, and maybe in the world!
Three years ago we began to plant milkweed, the host plant for the adult female Monarch to lay eggs and for the caterpillar to feed on the leaves.
This year our nationally registered Monarch Waystation 17014 was the home to many eggs, caterpillars and nectaring Monarchs.
The slideshow presents a few of the Monarchs we released with a “Godspeed” as we watched them catch a high wind on their migratory journey to Mexico.
We enjoyed involving our gardening friends, a teen neighbor girl, and classrooms of third graders, helping them to learn more about Monarchs and establishing their own habitats to protect them.
Did you know only about 2% of all Monarch caterpillars survive in the “wild” to become a butterfly? The entire process takes only about one month. Predators are wasps, lizards, praying mantises, birds, and more.
Monarchs matter! To learn more, please visit http://www.monarchwatch.org
Our butterfly garden has been abuzz lately with the hot temperatures and high humidity this Spring. These Black Swallowtails spent some time nectaring on the Butterfly Weed before they flew to their next snack stop. These are common in the Midwest and the Swallowtail caterpillars are usually found on plants in the parsley family (fennel and parsley are favorite host plants). The butterflies look for nectar-providing flowers.
The 2018 Orchid Mania display of hundreds of species of orchids is spectacular each year at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I always enjoy leisurely browsing and finding new surprises as I visit and take photos of unusual orchids! The display ends March 25 this year, so go soon if you can! The colors and the natural light are good medicine for the soul and body on a dark winter day!
This gallery contains 2 photos.
The Candy Floss amaryllis bloomed its heart out with multiple flowers on two different stems, and amazingly these lasted for our enjoyment for 10 days! They were spectacular!
“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder, Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder: On Wisdom and Virtues
Walk in a favorite place. Soak in the sunshine. Bask in God’s goodness and love. Pray in adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. Delight in all His blessings to you and yours. Breathe deeply and feel grateful. Go and serve others. Catch the sun. Share the Son.
Fritillaries visited our butterfly garden en masse this summer, perhaps due to the southerly winds from Hurricane Harvey.
The bumblebees have found my purple coneflowers! I’m still waiting patiently for the Monarchs to arrive. I’ve spotted one Tiger Swallowtail so far.
The “blanket flowers” and butterfly weed and many more plants that attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and yellow finches are just waiting for visitors! I think our cool, wet Spring has affected the pollinators and butterflies so far. So I’ll keep watching!
Flowers make me happy, especially in the bleak winter days when the sun doesn’t shine for weeks on end!
Alstromerias can be found in a variety of colors in our local florists’ shops and gardening stores. These are a bright spot on a January day!
This is the last Monarch to visit our butterfly garden in 2016. We enjoyed each and every one that we saw, and thank God for His creation and their beauty! The monarchs enjoyed our butterfly weed, milkweed plants, and butterfly bushes (this one is named “Ruby”) as well as the zinnias and impatiens blooming here.
Read more about Monarchs and their migration here and on other sites that you find when searching Google for “monarchs” and “migration.”
Remember to save your flower seeds and plant in the early spring to help make your environment more butterfly friendly!
Rain has been abundant this spring and summer. The fauna and flora in our area are all very happy. The best watering comes from heavenly watering, a wise gardener once told me. Better than any spigot and garden hose.
Hosta blooms captured with my macro lens right after an early morning rain:
When J and K asked me to capture their family’s lifestyle photos on their farm, I was excited to meet them. A day of thunderstorms almost thwarted our efforts. But late in the evening, a rainbow appeared over the soy bean fields, and the sky cleared for us to meet on their farm. I said a thank-You prayer. What a beautiful location!
I was in photographer’s heaven on earth to see all the colorful sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias, gladiolas, marigolds, and sweet peas K had planted in addition to his corn and bean crops. I gasped when I saw the beautiful old barn wood, pallets, stone piles, and tractors to include in backgrounds. What fun we had moving from one spot to the next!
But most important, what a loving, caring family I was blessed to meet and get to know for a couple hours. How many parents have teens and pre-teens who beg to have their photos taken with their parents and never tire of the directions and suggestions? In fact, they had their own awesome suggestions for me to include in their photos.
This evening was above awesome! Take a look and see!
A natural “frame” for dad and mom! And how about that girl power?
Kudos to these parents! Their kiddos showed so much love and respect.
They definitely mimic what they see and hear.
Awww! One of my many favorites. Dear Daughter’s expression makes me giggle.
A hardworking TEAM B!
I didn’t bring tool props. They are REAL and we didn’t look far for them.
The wildflower garden by their country home.
The brick walkway and arbor that K built, leading to their home’s front door.
These kids don’t just love each other. They LIKE each other too.
The B Family and kitty Eenie. They told me an eagle nests in the woods behind them.
We didn’t see it on this evening though.
This father’s love for his daughter is amazing to see. So protective.
The guys enjoy their hobbies!
Eenie gets a lot of love from her sweet and spunky friend! Oh does she have beautiful eyes too. Eenie’s friend, I mean!
Aren’t those denims drying on the clothesline the best?!
And the textures on this farm just made me over the top happy.
Dear Daughter — I love how her initials had been painted on the barn by the previous farm owners.
Had to gobble up that opportunity for a perfect background for her!
Now you see how much FUN I had with the B Family!
It was a blessing to be with you all. Let’s do it again sometime!
Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
This past year we’ve added a butterfly garden at our home and we enjoy seeing it from our kitchen window. The butterflies, bees, and birds have found this special place! God’s creation is so beautiful and intricate!
Here are some of this summer’s blooms:
In the bleak mid-winter Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter Long ago.
I enjoy photographing nature and little details of God’s creation even on a cold winter day. On this day we had accumulated 9 inches of new snow, and some of our drifts were higher than two feet tall. My boots weren’t tall enough to keep the cold, icy, snow out, but it was well worth the effort in our garden areas to capture these dried flowers still on their stalks, topped with a dollop of snow. The images, plus a mug of hot chocolate, were sweet rewards.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk, And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel Which adore.
Angels and archangels May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim Thronged the air –
But only His mother In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved With a kiss.
What can I give Him, Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give Him – Give my heart.
When I found this heart-shaped leaf lying in the snow next to our sidewalk, it reminded me of the stanza, “What can I give Him — Give my heart.”
“In the Bleak Midwinter” is a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti written before 1872 in response to a request from the magazine Scribner’s Monthly for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in Rossetti’s Poetic Works in 1904.
The poem became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Gustav Holst.
This potted bougainvillea has bloomed its heart out this summer, and is still giving us a great show of color off our patio area. I love the tiny white blossoms inside the coral leaf-petals. They’re so intricate and lace-like!
A mother’s brooch on a bride’s bouquet
Azaleas and Wave Petunias — Spring is my favorite season, hands down!
Left: SOOC shot of Columbine in bloom in our garden.
Right: Keiki and Kupukupu textures (35% and 20%) from Love That Shot; texture overlays on the original photo.
Columbine=one of my favorite spring flowers! It attracts the hummingbirds!
Daffodils in our yard — every time I look at these bright, cheerful “faces” I think of Easter trumpets playing “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today, Alleluia!”
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
“The Orchid Show–Madagascar 2013” is in full bloom through March 31 at the St Louis Botanical Garden. It’s a colorful and fragrant place to visit during the dullness of the winter!
The Garden has about 7,000 individual orchid plants representing approximately 280 genera and more than 2,500 unique orchid taxa.
Volunteers spend weeks designing and arranging the orchid show each year. This year’s theme highlights the Garden’s long-standing research and conservation work in Madagascar.
See more about the Missouri Botanical Garden by visiting http://www.mobot.org or by liking their facebook page: Missouri Botanical Garden.
These bloomers are in my June garden, and it’s keeping me very busy to keep them watered during this very dry season. Please, heavenly Father, send rain for our gardens, yards, trees, and bushes, AND for all the farmers who grow food for us all!
Irises bloom prolifically in my garden, thanks to Mom who has gifted so many of hers to me and also gives me birthday cash to get new varieties and hybrids each year! This is one of my favorite blooms. It’s a ruffled edge and bearded variety named “Blast.”
The Columbine plant in my garden is blooming its heart out, and these deep purple flowers have lasted nearly three weeks now! How I love spring’s blooms!
Blooms in my Spring 2012 garden are constant joys and surprises from God! The deep purple bloom shapes remind me of majestic trumpets, sounding triumphant praises throughout creation.
One of my favorite Easter Day hymn texts is this one by John of Damascus, c. 754:
The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad, the passover of gladness, the passover of God.
From death to life eternal, from sin’s dominion free, our Christ has brought us over with hymns of victory.
Now let the heav’ns be joyful, let earth its song begin, let all the world keep triumph and all that is therin.
Let all things, seen and unseen, their notes of gladness blend; for Christ the Lord has risen, our joy that has no end.
Joy in our risen Lord Jesus!
Earth laughs in flowers. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Hamatreya”
My best friend/dear husband and I strolled through the Missouri Botanical Gardens yesterday with camera ready.
These are just a few of the hundreds of luscious blooms and new leaves in God’s gorgeous world. Red maples. Crabapples. Red buds. Daffodils. Tulips. Pansies. Viburnum. Johnny Jump Ups. I just want to live there!
Some of my favorite quotes about flowers:
‘Tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes!
~William Wordsworth, “Lines Written in Early Spring,” Lyrical Ballads, 1798
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
~William Wordsworth, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” 1804
I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Afternoon on a Hill”
Look at us, said the violets blooming at her feet, all last winter we slept in the seeming death but at the right time God awakened us, and here we are to comfort you. ~Edward Payson Rod
Happy awakening! Happy Spring!
Three feet high. Full sun. Summer blooms. Low maintenance.
What an awesome greeting at the back door each morning!