November 12, 2017:


It's hard to believe, but winter has arrived early in my hometown. One week it was in the 70s and gorgeous outside, the next week it dropped down into the 40s and then boom, less than a week later, into the 30s. We've already had several hard freezes, the earliest that's happened since I moved here in 2014. Anyway, the trees had not even begun to turn color yet in the neighborhood - and now most of them are bare due to the many hard freezes and strong winds that blew most of the days last week. Wowsers! Today, however, the sun stayed out all day, there was no wind to speak of, and the temperatures felt positively balmy outside. I was very glad because I had to be out and about today.

So, the poor trees did not have a "fall" this year but we did get enough rain to ease my mind that my pines and shrubs will have enough moisture in the ground to survive the winter. The squirrels are SO fat and SO furry, I can't help but think they know we're in for a bad winter. Sigh. I'm way behind in everything including lots of garden clean-up that now I won't get to unless we get a few days of "Indian Summer," which doesn't seem likely this year. I did, however, get everything outdoors pretty much put away, except for the area rug (it needs to be "washed" with some soap and rinsed off) and the mosquito net curtains on my Shezebo. Now I'm already thinking about Christmas, and soon it will be here, before we know it! So, I figured it's about time I put up my "autumn" photographs from prior years as the seasonal header here at Maison Newton. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, that will be here soon and then it's into full-tilt Christmas decorating. Take care, everyone!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Spring Bouquet

It's been grey, overcast, foggy and cool here for the past four days.  Raining off and on, too.  Today, more rain - lots and lots of it!  It seems there is a cold front stalled over southeast Wisconsin fighting with warm moist air pushing up from the Gulf Coast.  It's 70 in Iowa and in the 40's-50's here, and wet wet wet! 

I should be happy, because that means I cannot be outside doing yard work and should be in this family room, instead, continuing the chore of stripping wallpaper bit by bit.  I actually did do some of that late Friday night.  Goddess!  Some of the walls underneath are in pretty sad shape.  Major repair work will have to take place before I can prime and re-paper, for sure.  Sigh. 

Yesterday blew by so quickly my head is still spinning, but I blogged (not at Maison Newton), caught up on my never-ending email correspondence, and got the grass in the front yard cut.  I pooped out around 7 p.m. and didn't do anything except veg out after that point, and was in bed by 10 p.m.

This morning has been productive.  Grocery shopping, laundry, grass trimming out front and sweep-up all done, and cleaned off the dinette table, too.  The reason I wanted to clear the table was to take some photos of a spring bouquet I cut yesterday. 

I don't remember where I read it, but it was within the last week or so, and it was from a blog that linked up at one of the blogs I visit regularly, for some party or other, but I don't remember which one or the name of the blog or anything.  Geez, Jan!  What I do remember is reading it and going hmmm, that's some good advice.  It was an informative post about how to build a bouquet using mostly "greenery."

That particular blog post stuck with me.  So, yesterday evening, I ran outside with a vase and a pair of scissors and started snipping away.  I wanted to see if I could follow the advice of that blog post and use mostly greens and then accent - highlight, really - with the few flowers I added.

Well, I think it worked. I stuffed the vase full with various greens and just a few flowers -- a few stems of pink bleeding-heart, a branch of white honeysuckle bush, a branch of pink honeysuckle bush, a few stalks of I have no idea what it is - it's a new volunteer that showed up this year in the "wild" area around the big tree below the retaining wall and has teeny little white flowers, and a few branches from a small tree that has take root underneath my kitchen window (really MUST move it before it gets too big) that has the prettiest white flowers on it that sort of remind me of lilacs but aren't lilacs, now mostly past their prime, and those flowers have an almost-overwhelmingly sweet scent.  It's a seedling from a parent tree in my next store neighbor's yard.

I was really struck with the variations in the different shades of green - ranging from reddish-green, to yellowish-green, to limey-green, and the delicacy of the structures of the various branches.  The flowers, few though they are, really stand out against this background of greens!

And so, whoever did that blog post, at whathever blog it was, a BIG SHOUT-OUT AND THANK YOU, because what you wrote really works!  I've got a huge bouquet that looks fabulous sitting in the middle of my dinette table, and the few flowers in it really stand out.

You gave me an entirely new way to look at "greenery."

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