Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Free Gratitude Journal from In Touch Ministries!

Morguefile.com image by Jade
For a limited time (I'm not sure when the offer ends), In Touch Ministries is offering a cute little 90 day gratitude journal titled In All Things Give Thanks: 90 Days of Gratitude. I received mine and liked it so much that I thought I'd share it with you too. This helpful Christian resource was truly free; no shipping or handling or anything. Although this is a ministry that I donate to on occasion (I love their free In Touch Magazine too) I didn't at the time I ordered. Each page has a gratitude prompt and related Bible verse and it's a great way to increase your thankfulness.

I am grateful for you! May God bless you and keep you!

Full Links:
Gratitude Journal: https://store.intouch.org/p-5771-in-all-things-give-thanks-90-days-of-gratitude-journal.aspx
Magazine: http://intouch.org/read/magazine

Disclaimer: Other than as a donor, I am unaffiliated with In Touch Ministries. This is an unsolicited, unpaid post just meant to share a blessing with those who'd like it. I am also currently unaffiliated with Morguefile.com other than as a grateful user.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Year of Daily Intentions

Bluebird of happiness image by AcrylicArtist
A quick life coach tip for you: set a daily intention each morning. Make it something positive to set the tone for your day. If you meditate, you can also use it as a mantra.

This morning I realized I'd been purposefully setting a "daily intention" each morning for over a year. Today, my focus is a farewell for a dear friend who's moving away, so my intention is "friendship."

I think I started this habit to set a good example for a small group I coach. When I first started I picked any word that came to mind and didn't have any rules. As time went on I realized that sometimes I'd have the same word for days on end so I decided to repeat intentions no more than once a week (not a hard and fast rule, but a general guideline to keep myself open minded each day).

This only takes me a few seconds a day and I usually do it after my morning prayer and Bible study. I think the time is well spent because it helps me stay more focused and positive.

I edited a few entries (taking out, for example, the name of the guy who crashed into our bushes last January) but most are exactly as I set them. I'm sharing in hopes that it will help or inspire you in some way so if it does, please let me know.

10.29.15 Friendship
10.28.15 Project Management
10.27.15 Discernment
10.26.15 Relative rest
10.25.15 Worship God
10.24.15 Love
10.23.15 Rest and recovery
10.22.15 Gratitude
10.21.15 Kindness
10.20.15 Friendship
10.19.15 Hydration
10.18.15 Worship God
10.17.15 Love
10.16.15 Kindness
10.15.15 Rest and recovery
10.14.15 Relative rest
10.13.15 Mindful productivity
10.12.15 Patience
10.11.15 Worship God
10.10.15 Love
10.9.15 Hydration
10.8.15 Adaptability
10.7.16 Mindful Productivity
10.6.15 Friendship
10.5.15 Loving kindness
10.4.15 Worship God
10.3.15 Health
10.2.15 Rest and recovery
10.1.15 Compassion
9.30.15 Mindfulness
9.29.15 Rest and recovery
9.28.15 Kindness
9.27.15 Worship God
9.26.15 Love
9.25.15 Creativity
9.24.15 Mindfulness
9.23.15 Joy
9.22.15 Rest and recovery
9.21.15 Loving kindness
9.20.15 Worship God
9.19.15 Love
9.18.15 Rest and recovery
9.17.15 Friendliness
9.16.15 Rest and recovery
9.15.15 Compassion
9.14.15 Patience
9.13.15 Worship God
9.12.15 Love
9.11.15 Gratitude
9.10.15 Mindful productivity
9.9.15 Compassion
9.8.15 Mindfulness
9.7.15 Relaxation (it's Labor Day!)
9.6.15 Worship God
9.5.15 Love
9.4.15 Peacefulness
9.3.15 Compassion
9.2.15 Loving kindness
9.1.15 Mindfulness
8.31.15 Kindness
8.30.15 Worship God
8.29.15 Love
8.28.15 Compassion
8.27.15 Mindfulness
8.26.15 Alignment
8.25.15 Rest & recovery
8.24.15 Understanding
8.23.15 Worship God
8.22.15 Love
8.21.15 Love
8.20.15 Gratitude
8.19.15 Rest & recovery
8.19.15 Rest & recovery
8.18.15 Kindness
8.17.15 Respect
8.16.15 Worship God
8.15.15 Love
8.14.15 Patience
8.13.15 Healing
8.12.15 Compassion
8.11.15 Kindness
8.10.15 Mindful productivity
8.9.15 Worship God
8.8.15 Love
8.7.15 Respect
8.6.15 Compassion
8.5.15 Mindful productivity
8.4.15 Kindness
8.3.15 Awareness
8.2.15 Worship God
8.1.15 Loving kindness
7.31.15 Courage
7.30.15 Goodness
7.29.15 Mindfulness
7.28.15 Joy
7.27.15 Kindness
7.26.15 Worship God
7.25.15 Obedience
7.24.15 Perceptiveness
7.23.15 Mindfulness
7.22.15 Kindness
7.21.15 Peace
7.20.15 Mindful productivity
7.19.15 Worship God
7.18.15 Love
7.17.15 Calmness
7.16.15 Mindfulness
7.15.15 Loving kindness
7.14.15 Godliness
7.13.15 Healing
7.12.15 Worship God
7.11.15 Love
7.10.15 Alignment
7.9.15 Healing
7.8.15 Relative rest
7.7.15 Wellness
7.6.15 Compassion
7.5.15 Worship God
7.4.15 Patriotism
7.3.15 Loving kindness
7.2.15 Kindness
7.1.15 Alignment
6.30.15 Mindful productivity
6.29.15 Healing
6.28.15 Worship God
6.27.15 Love
6.26.15 Loving kindness
6/25/15 Kindness
6.24.15 Wellness
6.23.15 Healing
6.22.15 Mindful productivity
6.21.15 Worship God
6.20.15 Love
6.19.15 Alignment
6.18.15 Healing
6.17.16 Wellness
6.16.15 Mindful productivity
6.15.15 Kindness
6.14.15 Worship God
6.13.15 Love
6.12.15 Kindness
6.11.15 Peace
6.10.15 Wellness
6.9.15 Wellness
6.8.15 Healing
6.8.15 Healing
6.7.15 Worship God
6.6.15 Loving kindness
6.5.15 Healing
6.4.15 Compassion
6.3.15 Healing
6.2.15 Alert kindness
6.1.15 Healthy choices
5.31.15 Worship God
5.30.15 Love
5.29.15 Healing
5.28.15 Healing
5.27.15 Healing
5.26.15 Wellness
5.25.15 Healing
5.24.15 Love
5.23.15 Worship God
5.22.15 Love
5.21.15 Kindness
5.20.15 Healing
5.19.15 Intentionality
5.19.15 Home blessing
5.18.15 Healing
5.17.15 Worship God
5.16.15 Love
5.15.15 Prioritizing
5.14.15 Gentleness
5.13.15 Kindness
5/12/15 Healing
5.11.15 Trusting God
5.10.15 Worship God
5.9.15 Love
5.8.15 Kindness and Wellness
5.7.15 Healing and joy
5.6.15 Healing
5.5.15 Healing and alignment
5.4.15 Healing and mindfulness
5.3.15 Worship God and rest
5.2.15 Loving kindness
5.1.15 Peace
4.30.15 Healing
4.29.15 Healing and compassion
4.28.15 Rest and recovery
4.27.15 Healing and fellowship
4/26/15 Worship God and rest
4.25.15 Healing and kindness
4.24.15 Healing
4.23.15 Survival
4.22.15 Healing and openness
4.21.15 Healing and mindfulness
4.20.15 Healing & mindful productivity
4.19.15 Worship God
4.18.15 Healing and love
4.17.15 Healing 
4.16.15 Healing and mindfulness
4.15.15 Healing
4.14.15 Healing
4.13.15 Healing and kindness
4.12.15 Worship God
4.11.15 Healing and love
4.10.15 Healing & loving kindness
4.9.15 Healing
4.8.15 Healing & compassion
4.7.15 Healing
4.6.15 Wellness
4.5.15 Celebrate Easter!
4.4.15 Healing & kindness
4.3.15 Healing
4.2.15 Healing & love
4.1.15 Healing & kindness
3.31.15 Healing
3/30/15 Healing & mindfulness
3.29.15 Worship God
3.28.15 Love
3.27.15 Healing & loving kindness
3.26.15 Healing and mindfulness
3.25.15 Healing & compassion
3.24.15 Healing
3.23.15 Healing & mindful productivity
3.22.15 Worship God
3.21.15 Healing & love
3.20.15 Healing & rest
3.19.15 Healing & mindfulness
3.18.15 Healing & mindfulness
3.17.15 Healing & hydration
3.16.15 Healing & kindness
3.15.15 Worship God & rest
3.14.15 Healing & relaxation
3.13.15 Healing & compassion
3.12.15 Healing
3.11.15 Healing & mindful productivity
3.10.15 Healing & mindfulness
3.9.15 Healing & mindfulness
3.8.15 Worship God & rest
3.7.15 Healing & loving kindness
3.6.15 Healing & compassion
3.5.15 Healing & love
3.4.15 Healing & courage
3.3.15 Healing & peacefulness
3.2.15 Healing & mindfulness
3.1.15 Worship God & rest
2.28.15 Healing & loving kindness
2.27.15 Healing
2.26.15 Healing & Va claim
2.25.15 Healing & kindness
2.24.15 Healing & mindfulness
2.23.15 Healing
2.22.15 Worship God & rest
2.21.15 Healing & love
2.20.15 Healing & mindful movement
2.19.15 Healing & kindness
2.18.15 Healing & calmness
2.17.15 Healing & kindness
2.16.15 Healing & mindful movement
2.15.15 Worship God & rest
2.14.15 Healing & love
2.13.15 Healing & kindness
2.12.15 Healing
2.11.15 Healing & mindfulness
2.10.15 Healing & compassion
2.9.15 Healing & love
2.8.15 Worship God & rest
2.7.15 Healing & compassion
2.6.15 Healing
2.5.15 Healing
2.4.15 Healing
2.3.15 Healing
2.2.15 Healing & rest
2.1.15 Worship God & rest
1.31.15 Healing & rest
1.30.15 Healing
1.29.15 Healing
1.28.15 Healing
1.27.15 Healing
1.26.15 Rest & recovery
1.25.15 Worship God & rest
1.24.15 Healing
1.23.15 Healing
1.22.15 Wellness
1.21.15 Healing
1.20.15 Wellness
1.19.15 Healing
1.18.15 Worship God & rest
1.17.15 Healing and relaxation
1.16.15 Healing
1.15.15 Healing
1.14.15 Home blessing
1.13.15 Celebrate!
1.12.15 Healing
1.11.15 Worship God & rest
1.10.15 Loving kindness
1.9.15 Mindful productivity
1.8.15 Mindfulness
1.7.15 Christian love
1.6.15 Crisis management
1.5.15 Mindful productivity
1.4.15 Worship God & rest
1.3.15 Kindness & mindful productivity
1.2.15 Loving kindness
1.1.15 Joy
12.31.14 Healing
12.30.14 Gratitude
12.29.14 Wellness
12.28.14 Worship God & rest
12.27.14 Loving Kindness
12.26.14 Gratitude
12.25.14 Love
12.24.14 Joy
12.23.14 Hydration
12.22.14 Healing
12.21.14 Worship God & rest
12.20.14 Loving kindness
12.15-19.14 Healing
12.14.14 Worship God & rest
12.9-13.14 Healing
12.8.14 Mindful productivity
12.7.14 Worship God & rest
12.6.14 Rest & recovery
12.5.14 Healing
12.4.14 Healing
12.3.14 Healing
12.2.14 Mindfulness 
12.1.14 Mindful productivity
11.30.14 Worship God
11.29.14 Friendship
11.28.14 Wisdom
11.27.14 Thanksgiving
11.26.14 Kindness
11.25.14 Healing
11.24.14 Love
11.23.14 Worship God
11.22.14 Loving kindness
11.21.14 Kindness
11.20.14 Healing
11.19.14 Loving Kindness
11.18.14 Rest & recovery
11.17.14 Healing
11.16.14 Worship God
11.15.14 Gentleness
11.14.14 Healing
11.13.14 Rest & recovery
11.12.14 Healing
11.11.14 Love
11.10.14 Rest & Recovery
11.9.14 Worship God
11.8.14 Loving Kindness
11.7.14 Rest & Recovery
11.6.14 Healing
11.6.14 Rest & Recovery
11.5.14 Healing
11.4.14 Mindful productivity
11.3.14 Mindful home blessing
11.2.14 Worship God & Rest
11.1.14 Gratitude
10.31.14 Nurturing relationships
10.30.14 Healing
10.29.14 Rest & Rejuvenation
10.28.14 Wellness
10.27.14 Mindful productivity
10.26.14 Worship God
10.25.14 Loving kindness

May God bless and keep you!

Related posts:
Simplifying home journey: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/07/my-simplifying-home-8-week-journey-week.html
Sugar free September: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/09/sugar-free-september-day-1.html
New Year blessings: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/01/happy-new-year-blessings-butterflies.html

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Easy Way to Honor A Veteran this Veteran's Day: Send a Card!

A National Guard Heritage Painting by Keith Rocco, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990. The painting is part of a spread from Purple Heart magazine designed by my friend Jackie Peeler and appears on her portfolio website DesignExcellence.me, coming mid-November. The detail is used with her permission.
Hearty thanks to every veteran who has served or is serving our country!

I just learned that we can thank a World War Two Veteran by sending a card to:
4901 Silo Road
Alexandria, VA 22310

I'm sure all cards for veterans are welcome but handmade cards would be most appreciated. And cards by kids are always extra special. Be sure to send it so it arrives before November 4th so it can be presented by Veteran's Day. I plan on making some this evening. The card(s) can be fancy or just say "Thank You" - it's totally up to you!

Here are more details from the original source, the Honor Flight Capitol Region's Facebook page: "Write or draw a card to a WWII veteran, and put it in the mail to us. We'll handle the distribution.

We need to receive your card(s) by Nov 4, 2015. Mail them to

4901 Silo Road
Alexandria, VA 22310

This is an activity everyone can do -- it's not limited to folks in the DC area!

From our Honor Flight Capital Region trips, we can say the MAIL CALL (when the veterans receive letters and cards from friends and strangers alike) is truly one of the day's highlights.

Questions? Please email Danielle@HonorFlightCR.org. And a big THANK YOU for helping us to spread the word!"

Image source
Thank you for visiting! May God bless America, our veterans and you!

Related posts:
Veteran's Day blessing: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/11/veterans-day-blessing.html
Memorial Day poem: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/05/memorial-day-poem.html
Patriotic cat photos: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/07/patriotic-moose-cat-photos-fourth-of.html

Friday, October 23, 2015

Autumn Bonsai Flowers and Chrysanthemum Stone

Fall bonsai, flowers and viewing stone: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy floral Friday! Today my dear husband and I enjoyed a trip to the National Arboretum for the opening day of their new Fall Bonsai Exhibit, located in their National Bonsai and Penjing Museum area. I am planning another post featuring my five favorite bonsai trees from this special event so come back soon if you'd like to see them.
Fall bonsai floral arrangement: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
I love this little (it was about 8" high and wide) autumn bonsai floral arrangement.
Fall ikebana flower arrangement: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
This seems more like an Ikebana floral arrangement than a bonsai to me. I appreciate that they incorporated autum flowers and foliage.
Fall mini floral bonsai: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
This tiny bonsai looked even prettier in person with autumnal orange petals and bright green centers.
Chrysanthemum viewing stone: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
They included a few viewing stones in the display too and I thought this chrysanthemum stone was perfect for our floral Friday theme.

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall season. May God bless you now and always!

Related posts:
2013 autumn bonsai trees: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/11/autumn-bonsai-exhibit-at-us-national.html
Arboretum fall foliage: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/11/fall-foliage-at-us-national-arboretum.html
Azalea bonsai: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/06/azaleas-of-old-japan-satsuki-bonsai.html

Friday, October 16, 2015

October Flowers and Fall Foliage

Fall floral arrangement macro: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy floral Friday! Looks like we're going to have our first frost of the season tonight so I spent some time in our Maryland garden potting up tender herbs, cutting flowers and gathering tomatoes. The best looking thing in our yard right now is an artificial flower arrangement. But I do have some actual living things photographed below for you.
Autumn flower arrangement: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Here's an overview shot of our autumn flower arrangement. It's hanging beside the door we use the most often. Even though it's outside it has a protective overhang so should survive the season.
Daisy like chrysanthemum: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
This unusual chrysanthemum is usually the last of our plants to bloom for the year. So that means the end of this year's "this week in my Maryland garden" posts. But, God willing, I hope to be back next spring with more garden photos to share. 
Super tiny orange marigolds: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The miniature marigolds that took so long to start blooming are now looking their best. I hope they survive the frost.
Fall foliage in my Maryland garden: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Our nandina is starting to turn a beautiful red color, at least in the sunniest parts. The rest of the bush should start turning soon. We used to have two of these but one was victim of the backhoe.

This isn't the prettiest time for a flower garden but there are still blooms, the birds are singing, the foliage is lovely. Autumn is an enjoyable season for us.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you this fall and always!

Related posts:
Autumn flowers in MD: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/10/autumn-maryland-garden-flower-photos.html
Unusual chrysanthemum plantings: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/11/chrysanthemum-kaleidoscope-photos.html
Raindrops on autumn flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/10/raindrop-drenched-dahlia-chrysanthemum.html

Friday, October 9, 2015

Early Autumn Flowers & Foliage

Dramatic dahlia square: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!"
Pretty bicolor dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
 I'm really thankful to have a few more giant dahlias to enjoy before frost hits.
Fall foliage: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The dahlias are making a nice comeback but other than that not much new is happening in our garden, flower wise. Rather than just share two photos this week, photos three through five in this post were taken at the US National Arboretum to give you some variety. 
Dramatic hydrangea: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
 I love this unusual hydrangea and expect that it will remain pretty as it dries for winter.
Purple sheen flower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
One of the more unusual late summer/early autumn flowers is the purple sheen, which is usually covered in bees. Other names for it (from the tag at the Arboretum) include: "Erygium leaveworthii," "Leavensworth's eryngo," and "apiaceae."

We have one more chrysanthemum that hasn't bloomed yet but after that "this week in my Maryland garden" will likely be on hiatus until spring. Unless something exciting and unexpected happens. You never know!

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you this autumn and always!

Related posts:
Fancy dahlia with bee: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/10/neat-flowers-bees-and-sun-effects.html
Fall foliage and capitol columns: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/11/fall-foliage-and-capitol-columns-photos.html
Tree foliage: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/11/fall-foliage-at-us-national-arboretum.html

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bees and Butterflies on Butterfly Bushes

Big bee on little yellow flowers: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy wild Wednesday! Butterfly bushes really do attract butterflies (and bees too). 
Pretty butterfly on purple flowers: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The butterflies and bees don't seem to be picky about the flower color.
Bee on blue butterfly bush: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Or whether the flowers are in sun or shade.
White butterfly on bicolor butterfly bush: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
But they do seem to have a preference for the newer blooms.
Fuzzy bee on yellow flowers Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Maybe the nectar is sweeter on the younger flowers? I don't know. But I love seeing the bushes filled with bees and butterflies. There was also a monarch butterfly on the bushes but it was too fast and skittish for me to capture with my camera.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you and our dwindling bee and butterfly populations!

Related posts:
Cute critters on flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/06/cute-critters-on-flowers.html
Brookside butterflies: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/08/brookside-gardens-wings-of-fancy.html
Butterfly blessings: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/01/happy-new-year-blessings-butterflies.html

Friday, October 2, 2015

Rain Drenched Chrysanthemum, Marigold, Echinacea and Zinnia Flowers

Glistening Chrysanthemums: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy October, happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" The golden chrysanthemums look nicer this week and seem to glisten in the rain and glow in the sun.
Bicolor French Marigold with raindrop: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The French marigolds grown from seed seem to be doing the best of all the marigolds we planted this year. I especially love the bicolor ones.
Wet white zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The white zinnias seem to be wrapping up so I was glad to get one last fresh photo for you.
Late blooming purple coneflower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
And I was pleasantly surprised to see a late blooming echinacea (aka purple coneflower). Most of the larger plants have already set seed. I like to leave the seeds up for the birds for winter feeding.
Cheery yellow zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The yellow zinnias are still going strong and I hope to see more fresh flowers through frost.

Thank you for joining me on this week's mini Maryland garden tour.  May the all powerful God who created us and every beautiful flower bless you, comfort all those who grieve, heal all who are sick, and encourage all who need it.

Related posts:
Cute critters and flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/06/cute-critters-on-flowers.html
Bees on blooms: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/08/busy-bees-on-beautiful-blooms-zinnia.html
Butterflies and coneflowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/07/butterflies-and-bees-love-purple.html

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sugar Free September: Days 18-30

Great orange tip butterfly: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy autumn and farewell to September! I chose the butterfly photo for this article as a salute to wild Wednesday and also because the whitish parts look kind of sugary in person. This reminds me that there are plenty of sweet things in life that are sugar free.

This month had a lot going on but the primary new habit I've been building is a low sugar lifestyle. With a few exceptions, I've stuck to my original plan. It wasn't always easy but the better I was about sticking to the plan, the fewer cravings I experienced and the easier it got. 

I had expected to lose some weight but that didn't turn out to be significant (I did lose a little but then went on a new medicine that caused me to gain some. Now I've lost most of that and am about back at where I started). However, there have been other benefits: a bit more energy, fewer cravings, the good feeling that comes from knowing I'm doing something good for my body and a little bit of money saved from not buying "treats". So I'm going to continue this lifestyle change indefinitely in hopes that I'll have even more energy increases (or at least maintain what I have now), better health and hopefully weight loss (once I get the rest of the suspect medicine out of my system).

Did you join me in this challenge? How did you do? What was hardest for you? How did you deal with that? What benefits did you see? I'd love to hear from you!

Related posts:
Sugar free post 1: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/09/sugar-free-september-day-1.html
Sugar free post 2: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/09/sugar-free-september-days-2-8.html
Sugar free post 3: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/09/sugar-free-september-days-9-17.html

Friday, September 25, 2015

Chrysanthemum, Zinnia, Tiny Marigold, Verbena and Flower Arrangement Photos

Golden Chrysanthemums: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" Fall has arrived and the chrysanthemums are starting to bloom. It's a beautiful season. Autumn blessings to you and yours!
Little floral arrangement: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Last week's post featured some of the flowers I entered in my local county fair.  I made this arrangement out of some of the survivors (they'd been cut for the fair over a week before I got them back so it's a blessing that any survived at all). I believe the little cup/vase contains: yellow, orange and pink zinnias; yellow chrysanthemums, Mexican bush sage and a caladium leaf.
Sun soaked zinnias: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The zinnias have been the star of our garden this year. Last year it was dahlias. Will be interesting to see what happens next year.
Teeny tiny orange marigold: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
These are the smallest marigolds I've ever grown. Most are under 1/2" in diameter. They didn't bloom until late in the summer but I'm glad they finally did. 
Violet verbena: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
I found this pretty bicolor verbena struggling under the giant red zinnias. I'm sharing the photo to remind myself to mark it so I don't plant zinnias all around it next year.

The garden is winding down but we still have one kind of chrysanthemum that hasn't bloomed yet so you'll get at least one more floral Friday/Maryland garden post this year. Then I hope to sprinkle in photos taken in other gardens this summer to brighten some of our winter Fridays.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you!

Related posts:
Autumn flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/10/autumn-maryland-garden-flower-photos.html
Multicolored chrysanthemums: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/11/chrysanthemum-kaleidoscope-photos.html
Yellow chrysanthemums & more: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/08/chrysanthemum-obedient-plant-tithonia.html

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Monarch Butterflies from Brookside Gardens

Monarch on pretty foliage: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy wild Wednesday! This week I'm featuring beautiful monarch butterflies from Brookside Gardens' Wings of Fancy butterfly exhibit. They have a nice butterfly garden in the exhibit with both local and exotic butterflies as well as gorgeous outside butterfly gardens with wild local butterflies.
Monarch butterfly on agastache: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
It's always a blessing to be able to visit a butterfly garden but I think this is my favorite.
Monarch butterfly on pink zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The monarchs seemed most active on this visit and it was neat to catch them on so many different kinds of flowers and plants.
Monarch with shadow: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
 I believe this monarch butterfly is resting on a giant elephant's ear leaf.
Monarch butterfly on lantana: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
They clearly loved the lantanta flowers. The exhibit is staffed with many kind hearted volunteers so if you visit and want the name of a butterfly or plant, just ask and one of the volunteers probably knows or will find out for you.

Thank you for stopping by! May God bless you and all of His creatures!

Related posts:
Exotic butterflies: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/08/brookside-gardens-wings-of-fancy.html
Monarch butterflies on chrysanthemums: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/10/monarch-butterfly-on-pretty.html
Monarchs on tithonia: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/10/monarch-butterflies-on-tithonia.html
Cute critters on flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/search?q=monarch

Note: I wasn't asked or paid to write this post and all opinions are my own. I just like butterflies and Brookside Gardens. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Blue Ribbon Flowers for Floral Friday

Little orange zinnia flower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy Floral Friday! This is a special edition of "this week in my Maryland garden" as all the flowers were grown in my garden but the photos were taken on location at the fair (several days after they'd been cut then judged and displayed). The flowers looked nicer the day I cut them but I wasn't able to get photos at that time.

I am amazed, honored and excited to have been awarded at least 21 blue ribbons in the flower department (I entered in 49 categories)! A large number of my entries were in the zinnia categories, such as the pretty little orange zinnia in the photo above.
Medium white zinnia flower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Until I'd entered in the fair for the first time I thought you could only enter one type of flower for the fair (for example, one rose, one zinnia, one marigold) but it turns out that my fair has many categories, mostly based on color and diameter/size (and they even get out their rulers when you submit to make sure you're entering in the right size category). I think I was able to enter three different white zinnias, in the "under 1 inch", "1-2 inch" and "2-4 inch" categories, and two, including the one above, won blue ribbons. Pretty neat! Especially since I grew these white zinnias from seed.
Giant red zinnia winner: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler
I was especially excited that my giant red zinnia, also grown from seed, won a blue ribbon. I thought I'd have giant orange, pink and purple to enter too but while they were close, none of the pretty ones were over the 4" in diameter required for the "large" zinnia category. Only the red had large enough blooms. Although, when I bought the seeds, they were all supposed to be red anyway. The giants of other colors were a surprise blessing.
Miniature bicolor dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
My dahlias have mostly petered out  but I was able to enter two in the miniature category and they both won blue ribbons. The bicolor one, pictured above and a burgundy one.
Red hybrid tea rose: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The roses are also producing fewer blooms now that autumn is approaching but this divine smelling red rose won a blue ribbon. My pink one won a lesser ribbon but the person who earned first place definitely deserved it.

Hearty thanks to my kind hearted husband who carried all my vases in for me and waited patiently while I entered everything! And for all the times he watered my flowers for me too! And congratulations to him on his photography ribbon!

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you!

If you'd like a vote in selecting this week's most popular flower photo, please let me know which photo you like best from today's post. Also, if you enter in your own county fair, I'd love to hear about it! And feel free to share any tips on entering fairs too. 

Related posts: 
2013 county fair flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/09/county-fair-photos-haikus-and-results.html
2012 county fair flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/09/fair-flower-photos-for-floral-friday.html
County fair flower art: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/08/flower-paintings-for-floral-friday.html