"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Saturday, June 30, 2012

I wish I could have known Gertrude...........

or at least have a chance to know someone like her..............

This is Gertrude Jekyll...........and yes, the family name was borrowed from their friend...........
Her brother, Walter, was a friend of the author, Robert Louis Stevenson; who wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
But the reason I would have loved to have known her is because..........

Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932), created over 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and America; her influence on garden design has been pervasive to this day. She spent most of her life in Surrey, England, latterly at Munstead Wood, Godalming. She ran a garden centre there and bred many new plants. Some of her gardens have been faithfully restored, wholly or partly, and can be visited. Godalming Museum has many of her notebooks and copies of all her garden drawings, (compiled and sorted by members of the Surrey Gardens Trust); the original drawings are in the University of California.
Her own books about gardening are widely read in modern editions; much has been written about her by others. She contributed over 1,000 articles to Country Life, The Garden and other magazines.
Jekyll was an artist, craftswoman, writer and gardener. As a girl, Gertrude Jekyll lived at Bramley House, near Guildford. Her own house was built nearby, at Munstead Wood. Edwin Lutyens was the architect. Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens later worked together on other gardens and had perhaps the most famous partnership in English garden history. Many commentators state that Lutyens designed the garden and Jekyll designed the planting. Given their respective ages, and Jekyll's natural authority, it seems more likely that Gertrude Jekyll conceived the garden design and her young assistant worked up the details
She was much influenced by Arts & Crafts principles.
Munstead Wood Garden
To historians, this is one of the most famous gardens in England. It belonged to Gertrude Jekyll and she employed Edwin Lutyens to design the house. Construction began in 1895. The house is in excellent condition and the garden, though greatly changed is being restored. One of the problems is that for her 'small garden' of 15 acres, Jekyll employed 14 gardeners

I live on 13 acres..............if I could get 14 people to help me..............I would do it!!

Hestercombe Gardens

Just look at her all dressed up........
You do not want to see what I look like out in my garden................
I promise!!

Upton Grey Garden

Heywood Gardens
Look at this pond she designed.................
and I thought I was so clever to get my husband to make my pond out of an old satelite dish..........
what would she have thought???

Any lady that loves cats in her garden is a kindered spirit for me!!

Upton Grey
The Manor House, Upton Grey
The 15th century Manor House was altered by Ernest Newton in 1903-1905 for Charles Holme, founder of the leading Arts and Crafts magazine The Studio. The garden was designed and planted in 1908 and 1909 by Gertrude Jekyll. This is the most accurately and fully restored of her gardens. The garden consists of a Wild garden where grass paths run amongst rambling roses, shrubs and trees to a planted pond. The Formal garden holds herbaceous borders with colours running from cool colours at either end to hot in the centre, a rose lawn, planted drystone walls, bowing and tennis lawns. This is surrounded by a nuttery, kitchen garden, and orchard with pergolas and arbours

If Gertrude were here, I would lead her through all of this prickly and thorny woods, pointing out the crooked mesquite trees with their rough bark, the red berries on the juniper bush, and the wild , weird creatures that inhabit this land...........all of the things that you, dear readers, have seen............do you think she would throw up her hands and run away as quick as she could jump the barbed wire fence??
What would she think of this dry, parched and prickly piece of earth, that I think is heaven??
I can tell you now, she would not make it in that long, heavy dress, out in this hot Texas heat..........
it was 110 here the other day.

No, I think if Gertrude were here, she and I would be sitting here in the shade.............
dreaming about the garden I could create.................once it cooled down enough..........
How about you?
Have you heard of Gertrude?
Or maybe you are inspired by another great gardener.............
perhaps someone in your own family?
I would love to hear.
The country's birthday is almost here........
If you are looking for a wonderful festive, rich and creamy desset for your guests this holiday,
visit my cooking blog for the recipe!
Just click onto this link........
Have a safe and happy celebration!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Among the large green leaves and vibrant yellow blossoms,

small  yellow balls...............baby pumpkins........are developing.

These large leaves and colorful blossoms are what made me fall in love with growing pumpkins a few years ago. The whole garden space is beautiful with these vines sprawled out and all over.

And then comes the excitement of seeing the small balls and longing for fall time to see that they have all grown into large pumpkins.

I love the twirling and curling that goes along with it.

The pomegranates are getting larger as well. I am so glad that I purchased this tree last year.
It has bloomed beautifully and is now developing beautiful fruit.

To add a little whimsy.............along with some frustration to the garden, are these creatures.
They are chomping on my flowers and plants and are causing much devastation.
Yet, I still think they are amazing to look at. 

As most of you know, I love and am intrigued by the insect world. It is a world full of color and design. I think this creature would be perfect for a design in the next book I am writing.............

I think it would look lovely on one of the leaves in my embroidery..............
what do you think?
How about you?
What garden goodness is springing up around you?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

If a rooster could ever feel like he has won the " chicken lottery"............it would be Red.

Red is one of the roosters that live here on the grounds with the other members of the barnyard.

Although he is just as large as the rest, and he also fights to take care of his hens...............
Red has always been the most quiet of the bunch. Although I have quite a few hens..................
more than one rooster is always too many.  However, I have not wanted to give my roosters to just anyone because I want to make sure they continue having a good life. At my husband's workplace, a coworker has just stepped into the new life of "raising chickens" and has been in search of a rooster for his handful of hens.  After hearing about how much he enjoys taking care of his new flock,  I decided that Red would be a deserving and perfect rooster to join his group.

So into the carrier and off to town we all went. When the man took his first look at his new rooster, it was just like watching a kid with a new first bike. He was so excited and so happy to see what a handsome rooster Red was. He then started to tell me about he new home and of the new life that Red would be living.............out in the country...........in a yard of green grass, shaded by two large trees..............with a flock of hens for only him to watch over.
I know that Red was scared and confused at first, but I am sure today, that he is probably crowing and showing off his tail feathers for his new lady friends.
He no longer has to fight for his food or for his title............he is the ruler of his roost.
I feel good to know that he will be well loved and taken care of.
How about you?
Have you ever decided to let a pet go to someone else?
Did you worry?...............
or did you feel glad with your choice ?
I would love to hear.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Years ago, I named this farm..........Pleasant Prairie Farm............

Because of the wind that blows across the prairie, filled with wildflowers that fills the air with a pleasant fragrance, and for the peacefulness that settles upon us.
At this time of year however, the landscape can look anything but pleasant................
the west Texas temperatures have been reaching up to 106 and the rain that we do get is immediately drank in by the dry parched ground.

yet.............if one will  take time to look beyond the dry packed earth,
they will be amazed and amused by the life that thrives in what can be somewhat harsh conditions.

The hot, high winds, and the gnarled trees do not prevent the many different species of birds from making their nests and raising their families.

The scary looking, but harmless, tarantula ambles along in search for his day's meal.

Out in the prairie, the sunflowers grow wild and they are visited by various bugs and buzzing bees.

The purple Prairie Aster is in full bloom and attracts butterflies of every shape and color.

Every thing seems to grow a little larger here........including the jumbo grasshoppers.

All in all,  Pleasant Prairie is ............pleasant..........
on any given day............it just takes a little extra effort to see it.
How about you?
What kinds of blooms and bugs are visiting in your back yard?
I would love to hear!