The Long and the Short of It

Do you ever look at photos on other blogs and think: “I wonder what’s around that corner’?  I catch myself doing it all the time.  What’s behind the house just outside of  view?  Where is the wheelbarrow in relation to the garden?  Is that what I think it is?!?

Of course it’s none of my business, but that doesn’t stop my curious mind from traveling along the path.  The solution is simple.  I’ll  buy a private jet so I can travel around the world, meeting all my fellow bloggers. I’ll  deliver in-person hugs, and then, when I finally let go, hours of tea-drinking and a Q & A will ensue. When I arrive home, I’ll know the long and short of it.

Sadly, no room in the budget for my private jet fantasy. It’s fun to dream though.

Today I took photos with both the long and the short view. Closeups are usually more interesting, but seeing the origins of that closeup can also be fun.

fringe flower

Burgundy Fringe Flower (Loropetalum)

This beauty grows along the back fence under the Pittosporum. It gives a lovely splash of color from a distance, and continues to delight up close. Those fringe-like flowers look like fairy garden pom poms in the making.

burgundy fringe flower

The closeup

I wrote about the intoxicating scent of the Daphne a few weeks ago. It’s still covered with tiny flowers, but the fragrance seems to be fading. I think it’s pretty both near and far.


Daphne in the garden

Daphne up close

Daphne up close

These low-growing plants hug the patio near the outdoor table. Purple and white look so pretty together and the Alyssum smells like honey. I love sitting out there in the summer.

bellflower and alyssum

Bell-flower and Alyssum



Mighty Mouse belongs to a neighbor, but he spends all of his ‘spare’ time at our place.

mouse closeup with grass

Tasty garden morsels

kitty with grass

Kitty nibbles on the grass

And that is the long and short of it.

How about you? Are you curious about life outside of the edges?

The Sensual Garden



Our singular Daphne is in bloom this time of year producing a sensuous, heady musk.  Daphne is my garden’s Sacred Feminine, the goddess of  sensuality. Her blooms intoxicate, drawing me to my knees to inhale her rich scent.

There are a number of pheromone-rich plants in my garden, and lucky for me, they all flower at different times.  After the Daphne fades, the Jasmine comes to life.  You’ll find me in the side yard making up things to do for the weeks it remains in bloom.  The lavender revives in late spring, attracting bees all summer long.  It lines our front deck, and grows a few feet from our seating area.

According to Skin Biology, perfumes arose from plant oils with smells similar to animal pheromones. Plant oils with the strongest similarity to human sexual pheromones come from jasmine, ylang ylang and patchouli.

The sensual garden is a gentle lover. Leaves stir smoothly on an afternoon breeze as buds unfold languidly when ready. Bees swoop in, spreading garden goodness from plant to plant.

Without a quenching rain, my earthly companions must reach for ground water.  So far they’re holding their own. The garden wouldn’t be the same without them.

Foreshadowing the Scented Garden

Flowering Daphne

Flowering Daphne

The lovely Daphne is in full bloom, her scent powerful enough to knock you sideways. No wonder the neighborhood squirrels like to hide their nuts nearby. Her waxy green leaves, edged in buttercup yellow, frame the bouquet of blooms. It would be easy to envy that effortless beauty, but I know she’s been working hard since the fall, storing energy for this fabulous display. Deep pink shadows give way to a blush of pinks and creams. Effervescence, defined.

Daphne Banner

Blooming Thursday: Daphne Odora

Daphne Daphne DaphneNo one told me Daphnes were finicky.  Just as well since I planted two over a decade ago. On at least three occasions landscapers and nurseryman applauded my success. What gardener doesn’t beam with pride at that? I sure do.

Then one died.  Just like that. Did I mention they’re finicky?

I’m keeping my eye on the other one. The surviving Daphne is in bloom this week, the darling of the winter garden. Daphne Odora shines brightly with glossy leaves and deep pink to white flowers. The plant will remain in bloom through spring, when lots of other color joins in. Yippee!!!

Happy Birthday Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin introduced soy beans and Kale to the US in his time.  He wasn’t so much a gardener as a man interested in seed trade. His legacy includes inventing bifocals and the Franklin Stove, not to mention his role as one of the Founding Fathers of America.  Happy birthday, Mr. Franklin .  One of my favorite quotes:

 “Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”

This is an area where I have lots of room to grow.  It’s also an interesting metaphor for the garden.  Ask any plant, and they’ll tell you the same thing: Keep in the sunlight.