Tag Archives: Flowers of summer

Flower Talk

11 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Cool mountain mornings have lured me to spend time on the porch each morning. My husband built a small water feature near the porch and it sets a calming beginning of my day. Usually, tendrils of cool air tinkle the wind chimes he also made. It’s easy to spend time in prayer and meditation there.

Except this morning. The tendrils of cool air tinkling wind chimes were replaced with sticky stillness and a buzzing insect. If the benefits of porch time outweighs my fear of buzzing insects, I will suck it up and not give up my space. Today, I gave it up.

We haven’t figured out how to grow vegetables in clay soil, so I have resorted to having two small raised beds. I am growing three tomato plants, basil and an okra plant. They are doing well so far. Hopefully the tomato worms won’t climb up to them. I do not like those worms!

Last summer I had a pot filled with coleus and tall grass. When we returned to Florida for the winter, we took it with us. If the Florida winter is mild, we have had success with extending the life of our summer plants. One flowering basket is on its third summer.

I can’t remember the name of this plant. Do you know?

The coleus survived but had become quite “leggy.’ My husband repotted it, cut off the leggy stems and put them into the new pot with the original plant. To my surprise, the coleus has flourished while the grasses have taken all summer to rebound.

Last fall, my friend Sharon shared some pansies with me. They were kind of puny when we left for the winter. To my surprise and joy, they survived winter and are thriving now. I love them!

Repurosed stepping stones and cement column. I love repurposing!

When have been blessed this summer with visits from family and friends and I like to have a cheerful greeting at the door. This summer I chose coleus mixed with what I call, Polka Dot plant. In Florida, I could only grow the spotted plants on a window sill, due to the heat and they never grew tall. It seems they love the North Carolina mountain temperatures. They are getting out of hand!

I had no idea what I was going to write as I started this post. I knew that I wanted to share the photo of the coleus, but that was it. I had fun sharing about the plants. I wonder if that is because my ancestor roots are firmly attached to the soil?

This week I began researching my family tree I knew my parents came from farming families (well except my dad’s time as a moonshiner), but I had no idea how many generations farmed in the same county. As in back to the 1700s. I am in a love\hate relationship with the research. It is addicting. Have you explored your ancestors? Suggestions appreciated.

The Good Things

28 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


“The more you look for good things in your life, the clearer your vision becomes..” This morning as I read these words in Jesus Always by Sarah Young, I pondered on how true this is in my life. My friend and fellow blogger, Janet Perez Eckles shared this on Facebook.


Just think, every single hurt or aggravation is the past, even if it is only seconds old. I confess to needing to inhale a lot more of Jesus daily.


Focusing on good things


Earlier in the week, I snapped pictures of the blooms in our yard as well as the progress of our tomato plants. The Dahlia is the first we have managed to bring to bloom. When our daughter comes to visit, I hope she can get a better picture with her camera. The plant has more blooms waiting to open!





We have had abundant rain, bordering on excessive and our tomato plants are doing well. So far, the Tomato worms have not climbed the table to eat them. I wonder if I scatter Diatomaceous Earth around the base of the table, if it will deter them. The basil we planted in one of the boxes on the advice of our daughter, is doing well too and I look forward to some tomato, basil and mozzarella Caprese salads!



From my kitchen window, I have been noticing a bright splash of yellow. As I walked the yard, I was thrilled to see that it was blooms on  my newly planted yellow Knock Out Rose. Since it wasn’t planted until recently, I didn’t expect the blooms yet!



In the same area a couple of Day Lillies are blooming and down below the Hydrangea are showing off their blue beauty.



When we built our house in North Carolina, our friend Bill, who owned a summer home here, was a master gardener and gave us many cuttings to add to our landscape. Our Rose of Sharon plant is one of them and its blooms herald the beginning of summer. Also from Bill, our Butterfly Bush is making a decent comeback after a hard freeze two years ago.


Update on my computer refusing to give up its data to my new one:

The new computer is now the owner of the old computer’s data and I am enjoying the speed of the new one.  My husband was right, this is the oe I should have purchased.

I’m sure you have heard the saying “Good things come in small packages.”  But good things aren’t limited to a package are they? They are everywhere. What good things are you focusing on this week? 






I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

As Summer Settles In

7 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis



We are settling into our home in the mountains of North Carolina where we look forward to spending the summer and fall.  We decided to stay in Florida until after Mother’s Day to spend it with our daughter.

Peonies are my favorite flowers and I have sweet memories of rocking on the porch of my friend, Karen’s home in North Carolina, and enjoying them. They don’t grow in Florida and Karen’s peonies were the first I had seen. Before she passed away, I asked if I could take a piece of one of her plants, so that I could savor the memory of those summer days in the coming years. Since we were late arriving in North Carolina, the flowers were past their prime, but I did cut some and bring them in. The white ones are from Karen’s stock.

Our daughter gave me two raised bed planters for Mother’s Day. They come complete with a watering system. My husband set me up with tomato plants and built a perfect height table to place them on. I am thrilled with the table. It will save my back and hopefully discourage the nasty tomato worms.

It’s good to be back in the mountains. The mornings are soft and I enjoy watching the mists float across the peaks and down through the valleys. The hydrangea are starting to bloom and will last all summer, along with the roses.


Life is good in the mountains!

%d bloggers like this: