I’m pretty swamped with work this summer but when I have time to spare to take a walk, I’m kind of obsessed with taking photos of flowers. It’s just that time of year, if I don’t do it while everything is blooming now, I’ll totally regret it come January! I’ve been trying to post about one photo a day on somewhere social media just because it makes me happy when I look at my own profile pages and see them. Yeah, dork, whatever.

Here’s a selection of purple images I’ve taken over the last couple of months, I hope they make you happy too. 🙂




Iris close up.

iris 2

Same iris.


Purple coneflower, also known as echinacea.



In case you’re wondering, these were all shot with my iPhone and edited in the Camera+ app.


blooming cactus

For all of the many years I’ve had a Christmas cactus, it’s never actually blossomed at Christmas. It’s bloomed in October, it’s bloomed in June, it’s bloomed twice in a year instead of once, some years it didn’t bud at all, but it never ever flowered in December. Well, this year it finally did when it was supposed to, and right when I needed it.

Merry Christmas peeps, I hope you all have a little something beautiful in your lives right now too.

xoxo Annette

pretty fuzzy

It’s vacation week here, except once again it’s not my vacation. I need pretty, fuzzy things to distract my from all of my friends’ facebook status updates from Disney World. Sigh. Do you need pretty, fuzzy things too? Here ya go!

The pretty.

The fuzzy.

More pretty.

More fuzzy.

And pretty again.

The last fuzzy thing would be my brain…but I don’t have a picture of it. 🙂

other people’s gardens

It’s a beautiful day today, the sun is shining and a light breeze is blowing. When we went down the road wait for the bus it was about 50 degrees. A perfect day for a long walk. As soon as I got Josh off to school I headed up the hill.

I took a slightly new route this time and I walked for just over an hour. My pedometer tells me I went 1.4 miles but Google maps says the route is 2.8 miles. Hmmm. I think I’ll believe Google this time thanks! I’m assuming since I was walking fast I was taking longer strides than what I set my pedometer for!

When I walk through neighborhoods I catch myself being a bit of a peeping tom. A typical nosy neighbor who can’t keep her eyes to herself. But it’s not people I’m looking at. (In fact the fewer people I see while I walk the happier I am.) It’s their plants, their trees, their landscape design that I’m checking out. Or lack thereof.

While I truck along I take it all in. Perfectly set rock gardens with phlox and alysum, mulched beds overflowing with gerberas and tulips, and shady spots filled with bleeding hearts and hostas. I love the big flowering trees, huge lilacs, and sweet weeping cherries. I wish I had space for all of them.

I have a soft spot for cute little japanese maples with delicate spidery red leaves. I had one at my old house and I loved it. I want one here but I haven’t figured out the perfect spot yet, and they’re expensive.

I glance a bit jealously at sunny yards, mine is so much shade. I envy the ease in which they can choose plants, everything is harder to grow on my lot and I have to carefully research what will survive here. But then I remember August and how my lawn will stay cool and green, if a bit mossy, while theirs will dry up in the heat. Maybe those people walk by my home and envy my towering pines and maples, even though they make my soil turn acid.

I keep going and I wonder at the houses with the neglected plants, weeds choking out the flowers, and overgrown bushes and dead limbs crowding my sight. Do the owners forget about it all out of hardship or just apathy? As I walk on by my brain can’t help but plan out their space. A rhododendron would be perfect here, a little trimming of the forsythia there, some grass seed to fill out the lawn.

Eventually I make it back to my own driveway. My critial eye takes in the stretch of land I work so hard on. I judge it harshly, but I remember how much worse looked when we first saw it a few years ago. I look at my thriving stonecrop and lilies and bee balm and I know I did that. I love the new butterfly bush and azaleas that I bought on mother’s day.

Other people’s gardens fascinate me, but I love my own little bit of earth.

the tulip

For some reason, I get lots of tulip greenery popping up in my garden each year, but only one ever blooms.

It’s always gorgeous.

I just wonder what’s wrong with the rest of them.

Are they intimidated?

what I did yesterday

I got my hands dirty!

And I loved every minute of it.


Ever since I’ve had a home of my own, I’ve bought myself flowers to plant on my birthday. When I lived in Virginia I could buy pretty much anything I wanted and put it in the ground right away, but up here in New Hampshire I have one choice – pansies. They’re the only flower that won’t die on me before mid-May.

As soon as the nursery down the road from me opens this morning I’ll be there buying as many purple pansies as I can. Happy Birthday to me!

(Last year’s pansies!)

Do you ever do anything special just for yourself on your birthday?

Please remember Maddie and Thalon in your prayers today.

trees blooming everywhere

Over the last two weeks most of my trees have come into bloom and I been taking a few pictures. Sundays are always a good day for gardening (or like today, just plain ole yard work) and of course that always make me want to talk about gardening!

The first picture is my little mystery. It’s a very pretty little tree on the edge of the woods that looks like a scrub tree for much of the year, but for about a week it looks like this. It blooms at the same time as my flowering cherry but I don’t think it is one because the leaves don’t have serrated edges. Does anyone know what it might be?

Next up is my very traditional hot pink rhododendron. It just love it.

Okay, now here is my (formerly) least favorite bush on my property. It’s so big it might as well be a tree. Last year it was in poor shape and I thought about whacking it back to ground level and seeing if it would regenerate. At the time, I really didn’t care if it did or not. Somehow white flowers seem a little pointless. I like pinks and purples and yellows, but white? Meh. Well, I’ve changed my mind and I’m really happy I didn’t mess with it, because, just look at this white azalea:

Imagine, it’s five feet tall, and five feet wide, and completely full of flowers. Gorgeous! It’s doing much better than my poor little pink azalea in the backyard that has neither flowered or leafed out. That one might be in for the whacking instead. And no I’m not going to show you a picture of the poor thing!

Now, what flowering tree post would be complete without a lilac? Certainly not this one!

I love lilacs. I’ve wanted lilacs at every place I’ve ever lived, but never had them until now. Can’t you just smell it??

Hope you’re all having a great Memorial weekend!!

sick of gardening posts? too bad!

I’ve finally taken a photo of my namesake. (Or am I its namesake? Or does it work both ways? I could Google it but I don’t really care.)

Anyway, The catnip is up and looking quite healthy and lovely:

George doesn’t get particularly excited about the catnip until it’s dried. He’s so weird.

Yeah, whatever George, you are too.

I also took new photo of my forsythia which is FINALLY blooming. (I will be sure to back up all of my images this time.)

Isn’t it pretty! It’s just so freaking cheerful!

I couldn’t decide which image I liked best so here’s another view:

Now click on it the image to make it bigger and then look in the upper left corner. Do you see something? That’s the boy’s tree house. (The tree house we have not yet let him go up into yet. I’m paranoid, what can I say, he’s only five, and it’s really high up.)

Back to the photo. I didn’t know when I snapped the picture that the tree house would be visible but now that I see I just like how it gives some secret dimension to it, like an I Spy book or a Bev Doolittle painting. Or am I just weird too? (Don’t answer that!!)

Okay. Here’s a gratuitous pansy shot:

I don’t usually spend much money on annuals, but I was seriously pining for some color in my front yard last week. Spring in New England is tough on a blogger – I look at all these other blogs from all over the country that have had Full! Blooming! Gardens! for weeks now. It’s not freaking fair! So my pansies made me happy. Look at it, don’t you just want to slurp that big refreshing drop of water right off it?! No? Really? hmm, nevermind….

Moving on. Now that we’ve had some nice rain over the last few days I also have a small leaf purple rhododendron in full bloom. I just love this bush tree. Someone knew what they were doing when they picked out this one. It’s about seven feet tall, I can see it out my front picture window, and it’s just gorgeous. The blossoms are so delicate and smell glorious. Thanks previous homeowners!

Before I moved here, I’d never seen a Rhododendron quite like it. It’s not a typical one, that has the larger leaves and big flowers, nor is it quite an azalea with the tiny leaves. It’s weird. Like me George.

more than a whiff of spring now

Overheard while the boy was playing legos yesterday: “I’m gonna make something totally freaking awesome!”

Yes, apparently I am raising him as if we’re still living in Maine. In the 80’s. heh. Right on.


Anyway, the snow has finally melted enough that I was able to go out in the yard today. I managed to get a bit of raking done, cleaned up the veggie garden area, and took a walk around the perimeter to see what’s popping up. It was fantastic to get out and breathe in some fresh air! Okay, it’s only 50, but I’ll take what I can get.

I was so very happy to see the day lilies are up about an inch, and are all over the place. I also have some tulip tops peeking out under the front picture window. I transplanted them from the backyard last spring but I was too late for them to bloom. Someone at one time had a flower garden smack dab in the middle of the lawn and that clump was the last of it. I have no idea what color they’ll be – I can’t wait to see! There are a few violets showing their leaves, but no flowers yet. I have thousands of violets that have spread across the entire lawn but they are the thickest right at the edge of the woods. Really they’ve become weeds, but they’re so pretty I don’t mind much! DH minds – they mess up the possibility of perfect grass 😉

The forsythia have just the bittiest of buds. For me, the forsythia blooming is the first sign of real spring. It’s always the first thing in my yard to have lots and lots of color and it covers up all the winter brownness of the woods. I had a great photo of them in full yellow happiness from last year – and of course that’s the image I wanted to get off my old laptop to post here. No such luck. I’ll just have to wait for new blooms and take the photos over!

No sign of the hostas yet, but they are are all in the spots where the snow hasn’t melted, in the shade of course. I hope we don’t have another storm, I have a plant swap coming up at the end of the month with some friends and I’d like to take some with me. The previous house owners never split any of the hostas so they are terribly overgrown. I did some splitting and moving and trading last spring, but there is sooo much more to do.

This week my goals are to do a bunch more raking and work on my rock wall – it’s sliding down a hill! I also need to dig up the lilies that somehow ended up behind the forsythia in the woods, (who does something like that??) I meant to last spring but never got to it. Anyone want to come over and do a little yard work?? There’s plenty to go around!

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