Tag Archives: Gardening

Lens-Artists Challenge #115 – Inspiration

This week for Lens-Artists Challenge, Tina invited us to explore the theme of Inspiration. I could name many aspects around are my inspiration. I finally decided on three for this post.

Gardening is my hobby and my joy. My life is enriched by the inspiration from gardening. There are several basic things for a healthy garden. 1) Good soil. I started a butterfly garden and vegetable garden this year. Several sections have heavy clay soil. I dug at least one foot, soaked the soil and drained, mixed in several inches of organic soil. Use the correct amount of fertilizer periodically. 2) Watering. Test the daily watering to ensure the soil is moist, not just wet on the surface. 3) Proper planting space. The full-grown milkweed will be several feet in diameter in the butterfly garden, whereas the Zinnias are several feet tall but several inches wide. 4) Trimming the withered limbs according to different plants by season or regularly.

Learning from gardening, I need to continuously cleanse, nourish, and make changes to my mind, my heart, and my action to be a healthy person.

Traveling gave me the opportunity to see the wonderful nature near and far. We were at awe with the vast Denali wildness in Alaska, over 10,000 hydrothermal features such as geysers, hot springs, mud pots, travertine terraces, and fumaroles in Yellowstone, and four active volcanos in Hawaii, to name just a few.

Nature comes in all shapes and forms, all kinds of temperature, and different colors as reflected in our human life.

The maternal instinct in the animal kingdom was my inspiration and touches my heart at the deep spot. Humpback whales migrate farther than any other mammal on earth. They can travel around 3,000 miles between their breeding and feeding grounds regularly. During the migration with the newborn, the female Humpback would lift the calf above the water for it to breathe. The female and the calf are caressing each other constantly for affection.

A nest in my front porch was a cradle for four births of baby Mourning doves. The dove eggs are smaller than chicken eggs. I observed the female doves lay two eggs at a time. It takes about 35 days after hatching for the baby doves to fly. Last year, one baby was ready to fly and left the nest. The female dove left for a while but came back in the evening to stay with the second baby, kept him warm until he was ready to fly. The bigger baby also came to keep the little brother company. Then they flew away together.

Even though I was not able to be a stay-home mom when my daughter was a baby, I’m now a big fan of stay-home moms for them to treasure and enjoy those precious moments.

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LENS-ARTISTS CHALLENGE #115 – INSPIRATION

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #101 – One Single Flower

Thank you, Cee, for hosting the Lens-Artists Challenge #101 this week.

The topic for this week is one single flower.  Cee’s favorite quotes is “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.  Buddha.  Flowers have changed her world. I must say flowers brighten my days and helped me to survive the toughest moments.

I take photos of flowers in my garden year-round to see the changes throughout the seasons. I also like to use the natural sunlight at different hours.

“In joy and in sadness, flowers are our constant friends.”– Unknown

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Late summer early in the morning as the sun just rose up.

 

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”– Zen Shin

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A winter morning when the sun was soft.

 

“Open the bloom of your heart and become a gift of beauty to the world.”– Bryant McGill

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The same winter in the afternoon as the sun started to descend.

 

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”– Audrey Hepburn

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A late spring morning when the sun was gentle.

 

“A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are in their own way, and that’s like women too.”– Miranda Kerr

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Early summer morning when sunflowers were in full bloom.

 

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”– Henri Matisse

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Late spring at night using flash for this photo.

 

Please join us for fun and check out the stunning photos at Cee’s One Single Flower.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #101 – One Single Flower

 

 

Sunday Stills: #Plant Life in My Garden

This week’s photo challenge by Terri Webster Schrandt is about plant life. Many folks are still limited to where they can go, but we can all walk in our backyards and gardens and enjoy plant life.

Garden is a sanctuary where my soul rests, my mind cleared, my strength renewed, and my heart rejoices. It is a place where I go every morning to listen, listen to the voices of the plants and the small creatures, and listen to the voice within. The garden nourishes my being more than the time I put in it to nourish the plants.

One Daylily plant I have is Wineberry Candy. They are low-maintenance perennial and have showy colors of flowers all summer. The bulbs multiply and I dig up the fresh growth to transplant in various spots.

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Both Lily of the Nile Blue (Agapanthis africanus) and Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violace) multiply continuously. For years, I transplanted the fresh growth to landscape my garden. It turns out the hummingbirds love to suck the nectar of both plants.

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The Society Garlic is below the Lily of the Nile Blue

This Salvia started out with two-2.5 Qt. plant and has grown into a lush bush. It is the most favorite of the hummingbirds. It is also where the bees congregate. I bought several more pots and planted two pots by another hummingbird feeder in the backyard, and two pots by the plum trees.

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The always cheerful hibiscus regardless the attention I paid to it yet greets me with the gorgeous bloom every morning.

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Have a peaceful Sunday and a wonderful week ahead!

 

Sunday Stills: #Plant Life in My Garden

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #94: At Home

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Amy said, “Due to the lock down, we are spending more time at home. But, hopefully this isn’t limiting our interest in photographing. This week, we invite you to share photos taken at home.”

“When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home.” – Thorton Wilder

This is the seventh week staying home for me. Like most of the people, I go out only when it is absolutely necessary. I face each day with the hope to stay healthy to enjoy my grandchildren when the pandemic is over. There are enough things at home to keep my life interesting such as gardening, checking my daughter’s Tinybeans account where she posts the photos of my grandchildren, reading or re-reading paperback books, exercising, and even cooking a couple times a week (my hubby took over the full time cooking when he was retired in 2016. Lucky me!).

Spring is in the air. The buds are all over my 30 rose bushes. I started with 12 pink rose bushes. Eventually I added 10 white iceberg rose bushes, and some orange and yellow roses. Now it’s not so boring looking at the roses.

Most of the plants in my garden are low maintenance. I do have several patches  for annual flowers and this is the time to plant new flowers.

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Nothing gives me greater joy to see the photos of my granddaughters every day.

When weather permits, I go on a walk in the neighborhood. On some other days, I can do yoga at home.

Piles of book for reading and re-reading.

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My new cooking is this Sausage and Vegetable Casserole. One 9″ x 13″ dish last for three alternate days for lunch. On the other four days, hubby cooks his regular lunch.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #94: At Home

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #91: Simplicity

Patti Moed invited us to focus on the theme Simplicity this week as the Coronavirus pandemic spreads and intensifies, many of us around the world are spending a lot of time at home, following governmental regulations to shelter in place.

As of April 6, 2020, California has 15,221 cases reported and 351 deaths, according to a New York Times database. The government issued the rules of wearing masks outdoor and when shopping.

 

We have tried our best to stay home and keep things simple. We set up a home gym with workout bench, dumbbells, and treadmill. Hubby has a manikin to practice boxing. He runs in a nearby park. I walk around a nearby lake or in the neighborhood.

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We eat simple food with eggs, avocados, tomatoes, and fruits for breakfast, vegetables and alternate chicken and salmon for dinner. The shopping list is simple, so Hubby only goes once a week for a quick run. I rarely go to the stores.

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To increase physical activity, I do more gardening when weather is clear. I planted some seeds for gladiolus several years ago. They multiplied, and some flowers grew under a grapevine last year, not getting enough space and sunlight to grow. I dug them up last week and transplanted to another area to grow better.

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My daughter has a Tinybeans.com account where she posts photos of her kids and family activities. I checked the account every day to look at the photos and videos. They give me much joy and I look forward to them every day. The daycare is closed, so Autumn stays home. She plays in the backyard, rides her balance bike or skateboard in the nearby park or on the street.

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Stay safe and please share with me in the comment how you maintain simplicity yet keep your life interesting.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #91: Simplicity

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #53: Flowers

This is one year anniversary of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I want to thank Patti, Ann-Christine, Amy, Tina and their team effort to make the photo Challenge fun. To celebrate the anniversary, the theme for #53 can be individual’s choice or one of their suggestions. I chose to show some flowers.

Welcome to My Garden!

There are many kinds of flowers in my garden. Some are perennial and some annual. To make gardening manageable, I have mostly perennial flowers because they come back year after year. I just keep some spots for annual flowers to have fun planting new every year.

Our front yard and backyard were remodeled fifteen years ago, twelve rose bushes were planted. The original tags were gone and I don’t remember the names of most of the roses. I tried to keep the tags of twelve rose bushes planted after that. Since these twenty-four rose bushes are in different colors, I decided to have ten white iceberg roses on one side of the driveway.

There are about a dozen kinds of annual flowers not included in this post. Yes, I like flowers.

 

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Double Delight

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln

 

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Hybrid Tea

“We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie

 

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Grateful Heart

“The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart.” – Author Unknown

 

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Orange Hibicus

“Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.” – John Lennon

 

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Pink Hibicus

 “Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities in the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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Daylily

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” – Lady Bird Johnson

 

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Clover flowers and their visitor

“Flowers are the music of the ground. From earth’s lips spoken without sound.” – Edwin Curran

 

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Sunflowers and their visitor

“A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that’s like women too.” – Miranda Kerr

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #53 – Flowers

 

 

RDP Wednesday – Growing Sunflowers

 The prompt for Ragtag Daily Prompt Wednesday, February 20, 2019 is Sprout.

“Share your interpretation of the day’s prompt with us. What does ‘sprout’ mean to you? Use words or pictures to compose a post with the word of the day.” – Ragtag Community

 

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Growing Sunflowers 

This will be the fourth year I grow sunflowers from seeds. It’s been raining off and on for seven weeks. I’m waiting for the rain to stop for a couple days before getting out to the garden. Read more

SoCS August 25, 2018

The prompt for the Stream of Conscious Saturday, August 25, 2018 is “Notice.”

My husband and I divide up the jobs of gardening. He mows the lawn once a week. I do everything else. I take care of twenty-four rose bushes, sixteen Date palms, three hibiscus trees, two plum trees, one apple tree, and all the smaller plants and annual flowers. The Date palms are getting taller than me. It takes a lot of energy to trim them. I let them grow for almost nine months without doing anything.

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When we came back from our Portland trip before summer, I trimmed two or three palm trees a week. At least I could finish in five weeks. When I came to one palm, I trimmed the leaves from the lower ring and moved up. Out of a sudden, I NOTICE a bird nest. It horrified me. When female birds are incubating, they don’t like noises or movements. Trimming the palm leaves exposed the nest means the female bird wouldn’t come back to the nest.

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I grabbed a bunch of leaves and arranged them to surround the nest. After that, I observed for the whole afternoon, peeking out the window. There were no birds nearby. I got a step stool and got up high enough to take a few photos of the nest. There was one small egg in it. I went on the website to search for similar eggs.  The search showed the robin eggs look like the egg I found in the nest.

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After observing the nest with the egg in it for many days, I decided that it was an abandoned egg. My research showed that some female bird senses something wrong in the eggs and abandon them. I wouldn’t find out the truth because we were not home when the birds built the nest and the female bird laid the egg.

I kept the egg!

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Linda G Hill: SoCS August 25, 2018 – Notice

 

Share Your World – March 26, 2018

Cee’s Share Your World posts these questions and Here are my responses:

What is your favorite color of hair? You can name your hair color or a color that you just like.IMG_3258b (2)

 

I like my original black hair. More and more grey hair takes over, but I decided to go natural without dyeing my hair.

List at least 5 things that you are good at. These are the things I am good at, but always welcome improvement.

  • I’m accepting, not judgmental. I respect other people’s differences.
  • I’m a good listener. When people share with me, they would feel that they are my only attention.
  • I’m good at using PC. I used PowerPoint, Access, Excel, Word, and Publisher for my work before I retired. I conducted a Publisher for beginners training.
  • I have good organizational skills. That was a given to do my job as a school district administrator.
  • I have a green thumb, even though not everything grows in my garden due to lack of or too much sunlight.IMG_0698

 

What is your favorite animal or type of animal? (pets, dolphins, stuffed, wild cats, etc.)

My favorite animal is Humpback whale. I’m impressed with Humpback Whale songs, their intelligence, and the way the mother whale cares for the calf during the migration from Mexico to Alaska. I did a post on Humpback Whale.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I had a scary experience last week. I had a fever of 103.8 last Monday night when I was in Portland, Oregon. It started with flu-like symptoms of Shriver and fever, was quickly followed by heat rash. My daughter Mercy took care of me until 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday. My fever came down and I got some sleep. The next day I flew back to California. On Wednesday the doctor gave me oral antibiotics, but my conditions didn’t improve.

By Friday afternoon, I got the feeling that I needed IV antibiotics. First, I secured a follow-up appointment for Monday (today). Then I checked in to the Emergency Room. I had a steroid shot, blood drawn, and ultrasound was done. I was admitted to the hospital a few hours later. There was more testing, lab work, steroid, IV antibiotics to find out why I had such severity of symptoms. I stayed in the hospital until Sunday afternoon.

Anyway, there was no conclusion yet. I was discharged because the fever and rash were under control. I will have an appointment with an allergy doctor, hopefully, to identify the cause.

The experience was scary and got my husband and daughter worried. Yet here I am, recovering with 10 days of medications. I feel like nothing had happened. I’m thankful for the medical professionals and technology to get me back on my feet.

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Cee’s Share Your World – March 26, 2018

 

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