Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Road Trip!

Have you ever been to Paris? Paris, Arkansas that is. That is where we went on our recent road trip-to Mount Magazine State Park. This is the lodge where we stayed. It is on top of Mount Magazine, which is the highest peak in Arkansas.
It is pretty, rustic, and very scenic.
All of the rooms off of hallways like this face the beautiful Petite Jean Valley.

The lobby is made with huge logs, and has high ceilings and rustic lights.

There is also a massive stone fireplace, which we enjoyed each evening.

We saw beautiful sunsets..

..and a bright, colorful sun rise.
Our hikes took us down shady paths through the woods,
into bright clearings with blue skies.

The panoramic views were spectacular..

..and although not yet peaked, the fall colors were sure pretty to this Texas couple!

There were lots of patios. Off of this one I found a very special garden..
As you can see, it was created by Master Gardeners.
The Pineapple Sage was sooo pretty! (wish mine looked this good!)

I loved the way they marked each plant..with rocks! And believe me-there are enough rocks up there to mark plants for a very long time!

I would have never know what this grass was without that plant marker. It was so unusual!
The night before we left there was a big storm. We woke up to FOG! The usual gorgeous view from our balcony looked like pea soup!
The fog did however make for a really pretty drive down the mountain side.
This deer didn't seem to mind our stopping to take a picture. I would go back to this area anytime. The fall colors (even though the area was seeing some drought conditions) were really pretty. The spring wildflowers are suppose to be amazing. The temperature is always 10 degrees cooler, so summer wouldn't be a bad time to go. And the pictures of winter are simply beautiful. (not sure how one gets up those windy roads in winter though!). I put this area on my "return to" list!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's true!!!

Frogs really do sit on lily pads!

Hi Freddie! (or is it Freda?)

Monday, October 10, 2011


What a cloudy, wet, foggy day---it is just beautiful! A day I have been waiting for...anticipating...for a long time. We had a nice, soaking rain this weekend--Thank you Lord, very much! The summer was long...record breaking days over 100, and no rain. But, you are not going to hear this "flower gardener" complaining. I was just tired of watering and not getting to spend a lot of time outdoors. However, there are farmers losing crops, and ranchers having to sell their cattle because they couldn't grow enough feed. Stories are heart-breaking. And the forecasters are anticipating next summer to be the same. Actually, we were told last summer to expect the hot, dry weather--but I for one did not listen. I am listening now.

My flowers have been ok. Many are still blooming. Thank goodness last spring I started to buy more perennials..going with lots of natives that can take the heat. Glad I did. This bed of lantana mixed with re-seeding cosmos, blue salvia and turks cap has been pretty all summer.
So needing to clean out the bed on the opposite side of the yard anyway, I planted 3 little lantanas trying to get a jump start on next year. I also scattered lots of wildflower seeds. I get excited anticipating seeing wildflowers in spring, then lantana spilling over the bricks in summer.
The zinnias around the Pistache tree were amazing this summer. All but a couple along the edge (that were still blooming) are now gone and the bed awaits bluebonnet seeds. I scattered a few red poppy seeds last week thinking the red and blue would be pretty--but I will admit this may be my last year for wildflowers around this bed as the weeds become more and more of an issue. I know I have always used way too many containers, but with such a small backyard I am always looking for more opportunities to plant flowers. But of course, it's the containers that take all my time in summer. I really like all my old buckets and pretty glazed pots filled with color, so not sure if I can let them go. I will most likely continue to plant twice a year; pansies for late fall and winter, then a bright annual for late spring into summer. It seems like as a gardener I am always thinking of the next growing season..anticipation. Guess that is just part of the passion of growing things, but for today this gardener is feeling very blessed with what is growing today, and enjoying this perfect, cloudy, dreary--beautiful autumn day.

"There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been! " ~Percy Bysshe Shelley