Friday, July 22, 2016

Apricot Rose, Pink Veronica, Dahlia, Zinnia and Day Lilies for Floral Friday

Apricot rose flower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" I'm loving our new apricot (light orange) rose flowers. So are the Japanese beetles but I pick them off as I see them and enjoy the flowers despite the bites taken from them.
Pink veronica flowers: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Last year we planted bluish purple veronica in our main flower bed and it survived the winter so this year we put in some pink veronica and I think it's beautiful.
Mr. Optimist Dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
This Mr. Optimist dahlia was a great surprise because the tuber survived the winter in our raised bed. I don't think any other dahlias have ever survived the winter in my Maryland garden before. It was one of my favorites last year and I couldn't find any locally this year so it's extra nice.
First giant red zinnia of 2016: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
This is my first giant red zinnia flower of the year. I grow them from seed so they're extra special.
Yellow-orange day lilies: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The orange-yellow day lilies are blooming heavily. It's nice to have early, mid and late blooming day lilies to extend the day lily delights in our Maryland garden.

That's all for this week's mini garden tour. Thank you for visiting! May God bless you!

Related posts:
Flowers and funkiness: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/09/flowers-freeloaders-and-funkiness-for.html
Orange rose bud: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2016/05/big-yellow-irises-and-multicolored-roses.html
Fun flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/10/autumn-maryland-garden-flower-photos.html

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sunflowers and Bees at McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area

Big sunflower and tiny bees: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy wild Wednesday! I hope you enjoy my bee and sunflower photos from McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area. Today was my second ever visit but I hope to return again.
Big bee in sunflower field: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 I thought this bee in flight over the sunflower field was neat.
Bees on sunflowers at MBWMA: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 Some people bring ladders, chairs and stools but I just did the best I could with what God gave me.
Big bee on small sunflower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 It really is amazing to see so many sunflowers  with bees buzzing about happily.
Two bees enjoying sunflower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I feel blessed to have been able to enjoy such a beautiful experience. God is good!

Thank you for visiting! May God bless and keep you!

Related posts:
Battling bees and sunflowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/08/bees-fighting-over-sunflower-photo.html
Teddy bear sunflower: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/07/teddy-bear-sunflower-black-eyed-susan.html
Sunflower and more: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/06/sunflower-day-lilies-vinca-and-mystery.html

Friday, July 15, 2016

Lavender Wreath Making at Willow Oak Flower and Herb Farm

Sandy and her wreath: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy floral Friday! Last Saturday my friend Sandy and I enjoyed a lavender class at Willow Oak Flower and Herb Farm.  We had a great time and she kindly agreed to model with the wreath she made in our class (thank you, Sandy!).
Barb and her lavender wreath: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
We also made some new friends, including Barb, who kindly modeled the pre-made wreath form provided to us for making our lavender wreaths (thank you, Barb!). If I heard correctly, the wreath bases were made from organic thornless rose bushes grown on Willow Oak Flower and Herb Farm.
Lavender class instructor: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The instructor (whose name I didn't hear, but who was super nice) demonstrated each step.
Lavender wreath making materials: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
These are some of the materials used to make our wreaths. We harvested our own lavender flowers from Willow Oak's flower and herb gardens. We each cut 36 stems from their lavender plants, lined them up (using the bottom of the flower heads as the alignment point), trimmed the whole group of stems to about three inches each, then separated them into six piles of six stems each for making the wreaths. As you can imagine, the wreath making area smelled great.
My lavender wreath: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Willow Oak also provided previously dried statice and tiny white flowers as accents and a piece of lavender ribbon to finish off the wreath. The lavender class was a fun experience, made even nicer for having been shared with friends.

What is your favorite herb? If you have any wreath making tips, I'd love to hear them!

Thank you for visiting! May God bless my kindhearted models and may He bless you too!

Related posts:
My lavender: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2016/07/lavender-spirea-double-day-lily-mexican.html
My Spanish lavender: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2016/05/funky-lavender-thyme-allium-marigold.html
DIY sleep tea with lavender: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/08/diy-sleepy-time-tea-recipe.html

Note/disclaimer: I wasn't asked or paid to write this post. All opinions are my own.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Red Coreopsis, Purple Coneflowers, Yellow Day Lilies, Sunflowers and Fairy Marigolds

Deep red coreopsis flower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" The red coreopsis is still blooming heavily and is often visited by bees.
Hearty purple coneflowers: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The echinacea, also known as purple coneflower, is also blooming heavily. This old fashioned purple coneflower not only survived but made many volunteer babies which have now formed a mini echinacea field. I'm thrilled because Bermuda grass invaded that bed and echinacea is one of the few things strong enough to thrive with it tangled in its roots.
Bright yellow day lily: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Last week I featured our double orange day lily but this week the bright yellow is the day lily star.  My favorite thing about it is that it was a gift from some kind neighbors (they wish to remain anonymous) but I love the true yellow color too.
Free Sunflower Plant: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Last year we planted a few sunflowers but this year we didn't plant any. It was really exciting to see this volunteer sunflower develop from one of last year's mother plants. It's not in a convenient place (it's crammed in between a rose bush and some very robust oregano)  but I'm letting nature take its course and just enjoying it.
Bicolor (yellow/orange) fairy marigold: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Another volunteer is this teeny tiny marigold. I think of it as my fairy marigold, although I don't remember its actual name. The flowers are about the size of a dime and the foliage is feathery.

For me, one of the greatest delights in life is gardening. I love the happy surprises, watching things grow (especially from seed) and seeing nature take its course during the year. God certainly was creative and generous when He came up with so many amazing plants for our world.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless and keep you!

Related posts:
Butterflies on coneflowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/07/butterflies-and-bees-love-purple.html
Bees on pretty flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/08/busy-bees-on-beautiful-blooms-zinnia.html
Dew drops on flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/08/dew-drops-bees-and-pretty-flowers.html

Friday, July 1, 2016

Lavender, Spirea, Double Day Lily, Mexican Blanket Flower and Vinca for Floral Friday

Lavender garden: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy July, floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" The bees love our lavender. I have five hardy lavender plants in this bed and think of it as my mini lavender field.
Hot pink spirea: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Our spirea bush has been in a medium pot for years and the roots have grown through the drain holes into the soil so we decided to leave it in the pot.
Double orange day lily: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The double flowering orange day lilies started blooming this week and I think they might be our most vigorous day lilies, growing larger clumps and spreading more each year.
Red Mexican blanket flower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I thought our red Mexican blanket flower didn't make it through the winter but was pleasantly surprised to see its leaves appear a few weeks ago and its flowering start this week.
Deep rose and white vinca flower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The vinca is holding up nicely in the heat. It's a lovely time for a Maryland flower garden.

Thank you for visiting! That's all for this week's mini garden tour. May God bless you!

Related posts:
Funky lavender and more: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2016/05/funky-lavender-thyme-allium-marigold.html
Red, white and blue flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/09/red-white-and-blue-flowers-and-haiku.html
Bicolor day lily and more: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/07/morning-glory-bicolor-day-lily-magic.html

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Take Back Your Time Challenge - Unplugging in July

Image source: lauramusikanski on morguefile.com

Starting tomorrow (July 1, 2016), I'm joining Move Your Body Better's "Take Back Your Time" challenge. The idea is to quit social media for the month and make better use of your time. There are tips, instructions and information on prizes on the challenge's Facebook event page if you're interested in joining.

For me, this means that in July I will not use the following apps/websites:
What I'm hoping to accomplish with my extra time:
  • Finish a big research/writing project with a July 14 deadline
  • Read to at least page 100 of Franklin Graham's All for Jesus book
  • Read to at least page 100 of Gary Smalley's Change Your Heart, Change Your Life book
  • Finish reading Fay Wolfe's New Order clutter busting book
  • Add more movement to my life
  • Become more mindful about my internet usage
It will be hardest to stay off Facebook because I'm used to posting a Bible verse in a group each morning and wishing my friends happy birthday, catching up with people and playing games each evening. I only recently joined Instagram so that will be a little easier, although I really do enjoy the app. I can't even remember the last time I logged into Twitter and haven't used Periscope in over a month so the rest should be super easy. 

I consider Google Plus an extension of my email and spend less than 5 minutes a day there so I'm not including that in my social media ban. I'm also not including Pinterest, even though I rarely use it, and may not use it during the month of July, because when I do use it, it's for a practical project or visionary/planning session.

What are you doing to have positive time management skills this summer? May God bless you and your efforts to better your life!

Related posts:
Simplifying home challenge: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/07/my-simplifying-home-8-week-journey-week.html
Unplugged Sundays: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/04/unplugged-sundays.html
Sugar free September: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/09/sugar-free-september-day-1.html

Notes:
* = Really easy to stay off this site because I don't even have an account
** = Because I entered a tournament before I accepted the challenge, I'm making one quasi-exception and that is to allow myself to play Prolific (a Boggle-like word game, which I find very fun) by using a direct link (technically, it's on Facebook but by using the direct link I can quickly play my games and go and that's what I'm committing to do - no clicking any other links, checking Facebook messages or notifications; play and go). 

Disclaimer: 
I wasn't asked or paid to write this post and am not affiliated with Move Your Body Better or the Take Back Your Time Challenge except as a participant/fan. All opinions are my own 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cute Kittens Yawning and Cuddling

Braveheart the kitten- tongue out: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy wild Wednesday! Our cute feral born kittens continue to delight us. I took these photos two days after their spay/neuter surgeries. I love the first photo because it looks like Braveheart is sticking her tongue out at us but really she's just yawning.
Braveheart and the Sandman yawn: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Here both kittens give a hearty yawn.
Yin Yang cuddly kittens: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The Sandman quickly went back to sleep but Braveheart liked watching the camera.
The Sandman kitten snoozing: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 This is one relaxed kitten.
The Sandman kitten- cute paws up: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
He loves sleeping on his back, paws up. Both kittens do, but the Sandman does it more often. If you'd like to see more kitten photos, please comment below.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you!

Related posts:
Our new kittens: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2016/05/braveheart-and-sandman-our-new-kittens.html
Fishing cat kittens: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/09/fishing-cat-kitten-photos.html
Baby cheetahs: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/07/cute-cheetah-cubs-and-wild-wednesdays.html
Baby lions: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/06/cute-little-lion-cub-photos.html