Monthly Archives: July 2016

Rainy Sunday Morning

Oh, it’s been months since we’ve had a good thunderstorm!  When I woke this morning the sky was gray and I could see the approaching dark grey clouds moving in from the west.  I checked the radar on Intellicast and saw the band of rain approaching.  Yay!  We need rain so badly!  When you haven’t had rain for sooo long it is a novelty, so I grabbed my camera and went outside.  My favorite time is right before the storm starts.

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Look at how dry our yard is!  We really need a good soaking.

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It looks cozy and warm in our kitchen . . . and in my studio.  Do you see Gina all dressed up in “Calico Cutie”?  My dolls usually get a day or so to wear the things that I make.  Then they are naked again, and waiting for the next one.

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As I’m writing this post I’m listening to the cozy sounds of rumbling in the sky and watching raindrops hitting the pool.  (My studio overlooks the pool and deck.)

Here are some other things that are going on around here.  My husband is in the process of power washing the deck.  On the recommendation of our tree trimmer we got a heavy duty power washer to clean our VERY dirty deck.  Look at the difference!

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Our pool is extremely old, so we don’t want to put a lot of work into the deck, but the power washing helped make the deck feel like new, well almost.  My husband got quite a lot cleaned yesterday.  I love it!  My view from my studio is greatly improved.

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Yesterday morning I spotted this chipmunk right outside my studio window.  In the 8 years we have lived here this is the first chipmunk that I have ever seen on our property.  I assumed that they stayed away because of all of feral cats roaming around.  Isn’t he/she cute!

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Sorry, for the poor photo quality.  I took these through the window and  cropped them.  The chipmunk was pretty close to the house though; I had the wrong lens on my camera.  Can you tell I love the little critters?!

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On Friday I was working on a crocheted beret for the Little Darlings.  It looks cute on Alice, but I think it is a little small.  I will use it for either Millie or Ann Estelle/Patsy.  Another day I will crochet another one for the Little Darlings, but make it a little larger.

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I ended up knitting Alice a beret in the same yarn that I used for the sweater; I like it much better.  I hope to have that outfit to show you soon.

The sky is already brightening, and I see a bit of blue out west.  Hope you have (having) a beautiful Sunday!

Bye for now!

Chicago Botanic Gardens, Last Day

This is the last installment of photos from our visit to the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  Unfortunately my photos only take our visit up to approximately the halfway point, sorry.  My camera battery was starting to lose its charge (I need a second battery) and I wasn’t sure I was getting decent shots, so I put my camera down and just experienced the gardens in real time.

After we left the English Walled Garden we passed by a hillside planted with zinnias, black eyed Susan, and those lavender fluffy annuals you see at all of the garden centers in the spring.  Sorry, I don’t know what they are, never paid attention to them.  Maybe you know?  This hillside is covered with daffodils and tulips in the spring!

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I love zinnias and black eyed Susan and have grown them before, have you?  The zinnias  growing on the hillside were all the red variety.  The photo above shows another variety of lavender flower growing amongst the two stars.  I cannot recall the name of this one either.

black eyed susan 023At the end of this hillside garden, my daughter spotted a squirrel in a tree.  The little guy drew us both over to it.  We were careful as he didn’t seem too afraid of us.  When I lifted my arm he thought I had a treat and started to come over to me, but he was still cautious.  I didn’t let him get too close, and luckily had nothing to feed him.

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At first, he seemed to be hiding behind a branch, but quickly came out to see if we had any treats.

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We worked our way towards the Japanese Garden which is on three tiny islands with only the first two open to the public.  An arched bridge carries you over to the first and largest island.  This garden is flowerless and a place I never appreciated until a few years ago.  It is very orderly and is supposed to be peaceful.  I’ll bet that on a weekday you can get the full effect of this garden, but on the weekends with little ones running around, nope, didn’t happen.

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One of the highlights of this garden are the two structures that are connected by a neatly raked sand garden and well placed rocks.  At one end is a hut with built in table/chairs.   At the other end is a little look out structure.  In the spring this space is filled with cherry blossoms!

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I thought this bark was interesting in the Japanese Gardens.  Sorry, I didn’t get it’s name.

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Well, that’s all from our midsummer visit to the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

Everyone have a great day!  Bye for now!

Today It’s the English Walled Garden

I was going to wrap up my posts from the Chicago Botanic Gardens today, but I have too many photos yet to show you.  So,… here is day three, and there will be a day four.

Today, I am going to show you photos from the English Walled Garden.  This is perhaps my favorite garden of all; I could easily spend the day here with my knitting basket.  It’s a cozy space made up of six rooms, with peaceful nooks for sitting and listening to water sounds, brick walls and walkways, shady apple trees, climbing vines,  and pots of scented geraniums.  You can even reserve this space for receptions.  Here is another link for more information about the English Walled Garden.

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These lilies were in full bloom underneath an apple tree.  They caught my eye as they were quite striking being a pearly white with burgundy outlines on the center petals.

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english walled garden 955If you looked closely you could find sweet peas growing amongst other plants.

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Violas were blooming underneath another tree.  A few blue morning glories and clematis were climbing up a trellis.

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Out in the bright sunshine was a plethora of red cosmos as well as happy daisies.

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Pots of scented geraniums lined each side of the many sets of steps.  I rubbed the leaves between my fingers and tried to distinguish the different scents.  Luckily, the pots had tags as I got many wrong.

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I am used to see cut Gerbera daisies with straws on their stems to keep them upright.  These Gerbera daisies had no problems standing up straight at all.  They were a vibrant red orange color.

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One of my favorite flowers, tiny lobelia, was growing in pots.

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These delphiniums appeared to be iridescent.  They are beautiful, but seem to be so delicate.  As I was standing by the flower bed taking these photos, a stem snapped in two.

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I spied quite a few different varieties of apple trees in the English Walled Garden.

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As we were leaving the English Walled Garden we noticed these grapes climbing on the brick walls.

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One thing I realized while visiting this garden is that at one time or another I have grown many of these flowers in my own simple flower gardens.

I hope you enjoyed visiting the English Walled Garden at the Chicago Botanic Gardens with me.

Bye for now!