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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

life in la la land

There are many ways to enhance a garden. Adding a picket fence is certainly one way to go. Earlier this year, I found ready assembled sections of picket fences at Lowes.
White Picket Fence
With the help of a good carpernter, and and a few buckets of white paint, my front yard was transformed into a cozy cottage garden.
'Just living is not enough,' said the butterfly. 'One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.' ~ Hans Christian Andersen
Welcome to my little slice of paradise.
“One may live without bread, not without roses” ~ Jean Ricepin

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view. ~H. Fred Ale

Meet some of my latest rose blooms. After adding a picket fence to my front yard, it was quickly followed with the addition of some pretty pink roses.

My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view.  ~H. Fred Ale

I'll share photos with the fence soon too.

Friday, May 22, 2009

“The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.” ~ Jacques Benigne Bossuel

Happy Pink Saturday!
Thank you Beverly at "How Sweet the Sound" for hosting.

Welcome to my flower blog. This week I'm taking you on a garden tour. First stop; my rose garden! The more I garden, the more I realize roses are my favorite flowers.

“The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.” ~ Jacques Benigne Bossuel, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Earlier this year, I added new bareroot roses, and this is the first "pink" bloom on the new bushes.

Next stop... the area women's club hosts a yearly garden tour... and this home had a beautiful waterlily coy pond that ran right underneath the driveway.

The tour had five gardens, and the perfect mix of garden styles for the tour.
Scenes from a garden tour

The cottage garden had this mullein verbascum album. It was quite frankly, the first time I had ever seen this flower. Thank you to my gardening friend Kate for the flower id. If you get a chance, visit her blog, it's packed full of gardening knowledge and beautiful flowers.
Purple Vintage Mod

Finally, the last stop on our garden tour today, was taken at the flower fields in Carlsbad. There were so many ranunculas there, to focus on one seemed odd, but I thought it was fitting for our tour.
“I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them.” ~ Phyllis Diller

I hope you enjoyed your pink garden tour. Stop back soon, and you'll get the rest of the garden tour, and I'll surprise you with giant honeysuckles climbing the walls of a Spanish Villa. Until then, have a lovely Memorial Day weekend.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cottage Garden Curb Appeal

Nothing is more relaxing to me than walking my dog through my neighborhood, and studying my neighbors "cottage gardens."
A White Picket Fence

My home is a small 1950's ranch house, and as my rose and front yard wildflower garden grows and flourishes, it finally occured to me that I want a picket fence, and a coastal cottage curb appeal. Luckily, my neighborhood is filled with this cottage gardening style.
Beach Cottage (Gray)

As my ideas for the the landscape design become solidified, I'll post before, during and after photos of my garden updates. I'm currently studying fencing, arches, and cottage garden accessories.
Descanso Gardens

Meanwhile, enjoy the stroll through my neighborhood!
Spring Flowers

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wildflower Garden Experiment Update

My wildflowers are in full bloom. This is a macro photo of one of the pretty blooms.

Picnik collage
This is the box of seed, and the flower's baby photos. :-) The box was $6 and yielded an entire wildfower bed beside my driveway, and around my rose garden.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Good Day

Need to be uplifted today? Then click the title above... you'll be taken to an inspiring video that I just love.

"Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy -- because we will always want to have something else or something more." Brother David Steindl-Rast.
How can there be shades of yellow, without shades of pink too?

Monday, April 13, 2009

"As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death." ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

"As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death." ~ Leonardo Da Vinci
Originally uploaded by Abby Lanes

The dogwood tree brings back the Spring in my childhood memories. I found this tree in my parent's front yard in NC, while we were visiting family for Spring Break. I have long associated dogwoods with Easter. The four petals represent the cross, the marks on the petals, represent the nails into Christ's body. It's a wonderful reminder of the true meaning of Easter, and a gorgeous floral Spring tree.

This is a gorgeous old Southern home in my parents town. I thought the pink dogwood trees framed the home so beautifully!
Spring in North Carolina

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Flower Fields ~ Carlsbad, California

If you're anywhere near Southern California this time of year, and you're wild about flowers, the Flower Fields, in Carlsbad, are a must see! I must mention, if you like to shop, they're located right behind the Carlsbad Premium Outlet Mall, so you might want to stay a day or two.

As for the flower fields, I'll let the flower photos speak for themselves. Here's the website, address, and phone number. If you do visit, let me if you enjoyed yourself. I'm sure you will.

5704 Paseo Del Norte
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 431-0352

flower cart

The Flower Fields ~ Carlsbad, CA 4

The Flower Fields ~ Carlsbad, CA

The Flower Fields ~ Carlsbad, CA

The Flower Fields ~ Carlsbad, CA

field of flowers like a rainbow

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go."

~Christopher Morley, John Mistletoe

I'm dedicating this entry to my blogging friend Sylvia. When she talks about flowers that she loves, it seems that hydrangeas rank the highest.

Please check out her blog,"Sylvia Cook Photography" for some of the most gorgeous floral images you will ever see. If you click the title, you will taken directly to her blog, or you can cut and paste this blog address.

These photos were taken at Roger's Garden, in Orange County, California. This store is a gardener's dream. and it feels like Disneyland for gardeners. They have displays like no one else. Their spring arrangements were stunning, as they included gorgeous birds nests with colorful eggs.

And of course, their fuchsia hanging baskets were simply irresistible.

Enjoy springtime. Everything is certainly blooming in Southern California now.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

African Daisies

Happy Sunshine Sunday, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

These African Daisies had such pretty morning light. My hope is they'll brighten your day! Cheers!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Angel Face Rose

Angel Face Rose, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

This is the first rose to bloom in my garden this Spring. In California, we cut our roses back in January and don't fertilize them for that month. They get a nice rest, and fertilizer in February. Our weather has been good "rose weather." The right amount of rain, sunshine, and cloudy days. All of my roses are about to explode! I'm sure more photos will come soon.

Meanwhile, I ripped out some old roses back in January, and replaced them with bareroot roses. The first time I saw Angel Face, I nearly fainted! This is my favorite rose... a) for it's beauty, and b) for it's fragrance. I planted 5 of these beauties!

I also found a "Sterling Silver Hybrid Tea." It was the last one in the store, and had gimpy roots. I talk to it everyday. It's having a hard time, but I keep sending it positive vibrations. If that one survives, you will definitely see it too!

Friday, March 20, 2009

“Memory is the greatest of artists, and effaces from your mind what is

~ Maruice Barning

Happy First Day of Spring! I took my camera and headed down to the beach, where there were lovely blooming wildflowers. Theses lovely yellow flowers are likely in the Asteraceae family. It was rather foggy, but it was perfectly peaceful.

A Postcard from the Edge (in color)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Peace and Serenity

shabby vanilla glaze with texture

How do you meditate? I personally walk, garden, and spend time outside. I found this beautiful rose while walking along a peaceful horse trail.

I wish you a relaxing weekend, and a lucky Friday the 13th!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

“Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul,

I gave this flower eyes, so he kind of looks like a blue bat or a blue fox. He's actually an edible flower.

Here's a link to someone's page on flickr, that shows you what the plant looks like with a wider angle lens.

This is a wide angle of the type of flower that it is:

Monday, March 9, 2009

false dandelion ~ hawkbeard

false dandelion ~ hawkbeard, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Hawkbeard flower heads and ripe seeds are sometimes confused with Dandelions.
Dandelions are so similar to catsears (Hypochaeris) that catsears are also known as "false dandelions." Both plants carry similar flowers which form into windborne seeds. However, dandelion flowers are borne singly on unbranched, hairless and leafless, hollow stems, while catsear flowering stems are branched, solid and carry bracts. Both plants have a basal rosette of leaves and a central taproot. However, the leaves of dandelions are smooth or glabrous, whereas those of catsears are coarsely hairy.

Other plants with superficially similar flowers include hawkweeds (Hieracium) and hawksbeards (Crepis). These are both readily distinguished by their branched flowering stems which are usually hairy and bear leaves.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I've had quite the conversation back and forth on email with a gardening friend about dandelions. I learned a few facts about them that I didn't know. There are fake dandelions, that are endangered in California thanks to the weed killer "Round-up."

Then, the dandelions pictured here, have a flower counterpart. Remember that yellow flower we all know and love, and think of as a weed in our yard? In reality they are technically flowers and in the family Asteraceae. There are tons of them in my yard at the moment, and I'll shoot them and post them pics in my next blog entry.

Here's the link to the Wikipedia article that goes into great detail. If you click the title above, it should take you right there.

I'm using a macro lens for the first go round in the Spring season, thanks to Santa Claus. Enjoy your dandelions when they pop out in your yard, and careful with that Round-Up!

Balancing Act

Monday, March 2, 2009

"My colors are blush and bashful!" ~Shelby (Steel Magnolias)

I'm not exactly sure how magnolias got associated with the South, but it probably had something to do with the movie "Steel Magnolias." It seems that magnolias really enjoy the California sunshine, and all over my neighborhood, they're blooming. The flowers are quite delicate and beautiful. The magnolia pictured, goes by two names, known as a "Japanese Magnolia," or a "Saucer Magnolia." It adds so much beauty to a spring landscape, and is a sure favorite with many gardeners adoring flowering trees.
Just Dance

Saturday, February 28, 2009

“It's spring fever.... You don't quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~ Mark Twain

The trees are in bloom in my neighborhood. Beauty is all around, and Spring is just around the corner. Get our your gardening equipment though, I've seen some lively weeds too!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

“There are fairies at the bottom of our garden.” ~ Rose Fyleman

Gardens are meant to soothe the soul, and inspire the weary mind. Part of the fun of gardening, is inviting the magical idea of fairies, sprites, and their feathery bird friends. Adding simple touches, like bird baths, and a fairy door at the bottom of a tree, evokes the magic that you and your plants need. When you have time to rest a spell in your magical garden, sit back, close your eyes, and open your imagination.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Seeds of Change

Most of the women in my garden club lived through the Great Depression. They seem to have such a better handle on saving things, being conservative with their money, and recycling goods. I also noticed they share plants from their gardens with each other, and they start many of their prettiest plants from seeds.

This year, thanks to our own roller coaster economy, I decided to try an experiment. I planted a seed garden. As these flowers bloom and grow, I'll share the excitement with you. I planted a patch next to my driveway, and a border around my roses. Then I covered them with fresh potting soil. This is photo number one, in a hopefully successful series known as "Seeds of Change." Wildflowers for a wildflower child.

Picnik collage

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Take time to smell the roses

"You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love." ~ Henry Drummond
My husband gave me roses... so I'm back to practicing my macros!
As the symbol of love and romance, the red rose is certainly a beautiful flower for the recent holiday. Roses say "I love you," along with hearts and boxes of chocolate. I hope you enjoyed your Valentine's weekend. Tomorrow is "President's Day." I'm so happy that we have holidays nearly every month. Life is more fun when it's being celebrated.
“Take time to smell the roses”