Crafted Living

Living a crafted life!

Archive for the category “Garden”

Lilac Loveliness

It has been about two months since our lilac tree has bloomed.  Oh, do I miss it so. The fragrance gently wafts over you and the pretty flowers make me smile.  Our tree is right outside our back door so I get a glimpse of it every time I come and go from the garage or get something from our back porch.  Lilacs always signal the start of spring and have various meanings associated with the petal color.  The two week blooming period was far too short, but I look forward to seeing the profusion of blooms next spring.  Enjoy!

If heaven has a scent, it must smell like lilacs in bloom. -Victoria Doyle Heagy

*Tina

P.S. Scratch and sniff photography would be really handy right now.

Lemons and Lilacs

A delightful delicate scent perfumes the air.

A delightful, delicate scent perfumes the air.

According to the calendar, spring hasn’t started yet, but in my world it has.  Over the weekend, our lilac tree burst into bloom.  Maybe exploded is a better word to use to describe the event.  The tree was covered and it is a delight to see.  Since moving into our home almost five years ago, this explosion of blooms is the best so far.  On Sunday, my father dropped off a standard sized paper grocery bag filled with lemons.  The fatherly drop off has been a weekly occurrence for some time, but this bag had the largest crop including lemons the size of softballs.  Yesterday, I shared the lemons and lilacs with my colleagues and it brightened everyone’s day.  Thank you Mother Nature for sharing your bounty with us!

*Tina

Camellia Crush

Winter beauty

Winter beauty

For those of you that have followed my blog for some time, you know that I am in love with my camellia tree.  A very mature tree that anchors our front yard next to our driveway, it never fails to disappoint.  It usually starts blooming in profusion in January.  However, we were given a preview in November due to the warm fall weather.  Luckily, it took a short break and then got back on track for its usual blooming pattern.  It didn’t seem right to me to see these beautiful flowers in November as it is a welcome sight in January.  Enjoy!

*Tina

 

Daughter Lilac

Sweet as can be!

Sweet as can be!

Something amazing happened!  Our lilac tree produced an offspring and here she is.  My husband noticed this anomaly before I did.  As I have posted before, our weather in Southern California this year has been uncharacteristic to say the least.  Unseasonably warm for long stretches of time and rain in the summer and early fall.  Quite unusual.  To have a lilac tree in this warm climate, we have a specific variety and it only blooms in February or March.  That is it, nothing more.  Welcome, Daughter Lilac, we hope you stay awhile.

*Tina

Mystery Flower II

Another mystery plant taking up residence on our property.

Another mystery plant taking up residence on our property.

It wasn’t my intention to stay away so long, but life has been full.  This mystery plant appeared a few weeks ago and continues to bloom sporadically.  It is finicky in that it blooms in the early morning hours when it is coolest.  Nature had its hand in deciding where it should be planted.  We have done nothing for it in terms of care.  No watering either.  Yet, it continues to bloom because it must be happy here.  A few years ago, we had another mystery flower appear in our backyard for a very short time.  This time around we have a pair that might stay a bit longer.  A mystery indeed.

*Tina

Dahlia Delivery

Always gorgeous!

It is customary for me to share my mother’s excess bounty with my co-workers. Their color and beauty provide incredible joy for the workplace and I enjoy sharing it. As I have mentioned before, we have had an unseasonably warm spring followed by unusually wacky summer with humidity and rain.  I think the plants became very confused and didn’t know what to do.  As you can see, they are blooming, but they aren’t as plentiful as past years.  This year the dinner plates didn’t bloom at all and they always are the crowd favorites.  All in all, we must be amazed by nature and be an eternal optimist.  We are grateful for what bloomed this year and look forward to next year’s crop hoping it will be spectacular.  Thanks Mom!

*Tina

First Bloom

What a spectacular sight!

What a spectacular sight!

The first dahlia of the season has blossomed.  Definitely worth the wait!  With an unseasonably warm winter and unseasonably cool spring, the dahlias were confused and started to shoot up in mid-spring.  For those of you that have followed my blog for some time, this is a late blooming for my dahlias as they face west.  My crop is usually finished by the end of May and we are just getting started.  They get the afternoon sun and start to bloom much earlier than my mother’s crop.  My mother’s grouping isn’t far behind, but will last all summer long.  With this dahlia registering at 10″ in diameter from petal tip to petal tip, this is the largest dahlia I have ever grown.  Enjoy!

*Tina

Photography Monday: Lotusland Part III

A few more photos to share with you showcasing our visit to Lotusland.  Enjoy!

An eclectic mix of plants in this part of the garden.

An eclectic mix of plants in this part of the garden.

A plant that looks like a flower.  Such an interesting choice for the garden.

A plant that looks like a flower. Such an interesting choice.

The vivid color of the berries is uncommon at Lotusland.

The vivid color of the berries is uncommon at Lotusland.

Finding the unusual is part of the fun on the tour.

Finding the unusual is part of the fun on the tour.

This statue's irreverence is welcome in a garden that doesn't take itself too seriously.

This statue’s irreverence is welcome in a garden that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Our next visit needs to be in the Spring so we can experience the magic of the blooming lotuses, the namesake of the garden.  Until then, I hope you will visit this magnificent gem of a garden and be inspired to create your own Lotusland.

“I’m an enemy of the average” – Ganna Walska

*Tina

Photography Monday: Lotusland Part II

After Madame Walska’s death in 1984, Lotusland became a nonprofit botanical garden and opened to the public in 1993.  The garden, which is divided into separate sections highlighting roses, cactus, palm trees and of course, lotuses, requires nine full-time gardeners.  The Madame wasn’t a fan of traditional flowers that you could wear on your chest or use in beautiful floral arrangements.  She saw beauty in the unusual and rare plants of the world and was a collector of succulents decades before it was trendy.  Let’s take a tour of the cacti and euphorbias garden.

Among the first changes Madame Walska made after purchasing Lotusland in 1941 was to add cactus, succulent, and euphorbia plantings to beds in front of her new residence.

Among the first changes Madame Walska made after purchasing Lotusland in 1941 was to add cactus, succulent, and euphorbia plantings to beds in front of her new residence.

She was fascinated with desert plants.

She was fascinated with desert plants.

One side of the drive is planted with cacti, which are new world plants, and the other is planted in succulent euphorbias from the old world.

One side of the drive is planted with cacti, which are new world plants, and the other is planted in succulent euphorbias from the old world.

Masses of golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) and large weeping Euphorbia ingens flank the entrance to the house.

Masses of golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) and large weeping Euphorbia ingens flank the entrance to the house.

Cactus, succulent, and euphorbia plantings reflect her design style.

Cactus, succulent, and euphorbia plantings reflect her design style.

Succulents are low maintenance and easy to care for.

Succulents are low maintenance and easy to care for.

Next week, a few more photographic gems of Lotusland to share with you and I hope I inspired you to visit this magnificent garden.

My aunt was famous for many things. Famous for her jewelry, famous for her costumes, famous for her great beauty, famous for her husbands. And now famous for her garden. – Hania Tallmadge

*Tina

Photography Monday: Lotusland

Back in September, we took our second tour of Lotusland.  We learned about Lotusland from a Sunset magazine article many years ago.  It is a tour de force that reflects the eccentricities of its founder, Polish-born opera singer Madame Ganna Walska.  The socialite, who married and divorced six times, spent 43 years planning and planting her magnificent garden.  The 37-acre property is located on a quiet street in Montecito and is definitely worth a visit even if you aren’t an avid gardener.  Let’s start the tour.

Beautiful citrus arbor that provides welcome shade.

A beautiful citrus arbor provides welcome shade.

A nod to traditional Italian garden design.

A nod to traditional Italian garden design with an added twist.

From this porch, the Madame would give daily instructions to her gardeners.

From this porch, the Madame would give daily instructions to her gardeners.

A little whimsy is an added bonus in such an eclectic garden.

A little whimsy is an added bonus in such an eclectic garden.

Love the shape, texture and colors of these cast offs.

Love the shape, texture and colors of these cast offs.

A gorgeous arbor that greets you at the end of the tour.

A gorgeous arbor that greets you at the end of the tour.

Next week, I will share more photos of the succulent and cactus gardens which are quite astonishing and out of this world.  For more information, please visit www.lotusland.org.

Gardens are poems, where you stroll with your hands in your pockets. – Pierre Albert Birot

*Tina

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: