Tag Archives: Spring flowers

It’s Spring, It’s Winter, No Wait, It’s Spring Again.

23 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


Our daughter has been visiting with us this past week. Although the weather wasn’t the best, we had enough fun to keep me from having time to pick up where I left off on our road trip.

Before Rebekah arrived, I noticed a sign advertising a u-pick farm located on the outskirts of town that grows tulips, hyacinth and daffodils. When I mentioned it to Rebekah, she was keen to go.  We ventured out on Monday, before the rains began only to discover the farm was closed on Mondays. We were determined, though and  Tuesday morning dawned sunny. Rebekah loves tulips so she was in her element.



Wednesday we awoke early and the temperature had plunged.  The rain began shortly after our weekly breakfast with friends. On our drive home we saw a few snow flurries, but the ground was too warm for any accumulation. By lunch time the snow was beginning to fall steadily and we decided to drive highway 441 up towards Cherokee to see if the snow was “sticking” there. This was the first time I had experienced fairly heavy snowfall that melted upon hitting the ground.  I found it to be kind of weird.

In Cherokee, the temperature was colder and while the roads were clear, snow covered the tress and buildings. It was beautiful.



Snow covered solar panels at the Visitor center.


Highway 441 which travels through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park was closed 4 miles north of the Oconaluftee visitor center. We were good with that. Being raised in Florida, icy roads terrify me. Rebekah wanted to take pictures of the pioneer village in the snow, so I bundled up and joined her, while hubby stayed in the car. He has a lot more common sense than I do!



I love the homestead picture. The wood was damp enough to allow the color of the wood to pop. In the Summer sun, it is not as obvious.

On our way back through Cherokee we stopped to get a picture of this painted bear. He is beautiful. I wish the camera on my phone had been able to capture the art.



Thursday, it was as if all the snow and cold temps never happened. The sun was bright in a beautiful blue sky. We decided to take a drive to our favorite waterfall in the area, Cullasaja falls. We love it in every season.



We seem to be physically incapable of visiting Cullasaja without continuing on up the road to Dry Falls. I went with Rebekah to the overlook, but it was cold and I decided to pass on walking down to the falls!




Rebekah will be returning to her home soon and we will be settling back into our life in the mountains. I will need to readjust to the slower pace-no more power walking in the grocery store!  I will need to remember to meet the eyes of the people I see in the shops and to SMILE. Don’t get me wrong, Florida people are friendly. Growing up in the 50s, everyone smiled and said hello but we have lost the art of saying howdy.




Spring Unfurling

9 Apr

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

  We left Florida earlier than usual this year and arrived in North Carolina before spring. Our daffodils greeted us with their beautiful faces and the Bradford Pear trees were spectacular but everything else was brown. Temperatures continued to drop into the upper twenties and lower thirties and it seemed spring might forget to arrive.IMG_2476   Each day we searched for signs our plants were waking up. The first to awaken were the forsythia. We seldomsee them in their bright yellow coat and they are a treat to our eyes. Don’t you think it is cool the way God staggers the arrival of spring so each plant gets it own time to shine? IMG_2486   The weather warmed this week and it seems the rest of nature is anxious to share its beauty. While the forsythia is shedding its yellow coat and daffodils are beginning to fade the blueberries and apple buds are swelling. Plants that had lain hidden all winter are sending out new shoots.   I am especially thrilled with one of our peony plants. You see, it came from the yard of a precious friend who passed away. One day, as I sat with her I asked if I might have a root from one of her beautiful plants and she said yes. We had spent many hours rocking on her porch and admiring them and I wanted something special to keep those memories close. Sadly, at the end of the summer it seemed to die. Imagine my joy this morning when my husband told me the plant was coming back to life! IMG_2490   So far, we have late daffodils, one tulip, bleeding heart and a fat bee on a dandelion!

On Wednesay we drove down to Clayton, Georgia to see the cherry blossoms. We had gone the week before and they were bare sticks but this week they were glorious.

The weather today is warm bordering on hot so I know spring will be fully unfurled in a few more days. My husband decided today was a good time to erect a handrail for the stairs down to his workshop. I sneeked a picutre thorugh the screeon of him and our porch dog gus. Mike and gus copy 3   I’m not sure why, but I kind of like the texture the screen adds to the picture.

Keukenhof Gardens, Holland

29 Mar


Judy Wills   





I hope you are enjoying my postings about flowers as much as I am enjoying writing about them. Although my “green thumb” is as purple as can be, i.e. I can’t grow ANYTHING – I thoroughly enjoy flowers. We’ve been to many “gardens” in our lifetime, but I think the most magnificent is the Keukenhof Gardens by Lisse in Holland (pronounced koy’-ken-hōf). We’ve been fortunate to have been stationed in Germany for a total of six years, and have made the Holland trip quite a few times.


One of the first times we visited Keukenhof was in April of 1968. Spring had not yet fully arrived in Holland, and we were treated to winds and bare trees. However, the landscaping of the gardens was still beautiful.



And when we returned later, when Spring was in full swing, we were amazed to see how the landscape had just exploded with flowers.



There were blankets of flowers.



And when we climbed up into one of the many windmills there, we could look out and see fields and fields of tulips. Beautiful!



Even though there weren’t many flowers outside around the grounds, there were tulips in abundance in the hothouses. We’ve been told there are about 700 different varieties of tulips there.



I was fascinated to see some that were absolutely black – named “Black Beauty.”



Another time we visited, we saw more black tulips called “The Ace of Spades.”



We were amazed to see all the different colors and styles of tulips – lots of hybrid work going on there. Although tulips are the main flower, there are many others there, as well. There were blankets of hyacinths. I saw my first Amaryllis, and was amazed at the size of it.



The next year, 1969, we visited again, but in May, when my Mother came to visit us. Not only were the gardens in full swing, the flowers were just everywhere




Not only in the ground, but in planters, as well.



Just about everywhere flowers could be – they were there. You can see the difference in the trees and the tulips and other flowers from the early Spring of our 1968 visit. We thoroughly enjoyed both visits.



We visited again in March of 1981, with our two daughters, during their Spring Break. The weather was rather chilly, windy, and brisk. We were in jackets at the time. Once again, Spring had yet to arrive, and nature was still rather bleak. We had been wandering around the area and thought we would freeze if we went to the gardens, but really had no choice – it was then or never. Much to our surprise – inside the garden, with all the trees, the wind didn’t reach us very much, and we were quite comfortable.




~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~




22 Mar


Judy Wills







Last time, I wrote about the beautiful Texas Bluebonnets. Today I want to write about Forsythia. Never heard of it? It’s a lovely Springtime-flowering bush. It can be a bit “straggly” (like a “bad hair day”) or it can be thick like a hedge – depends on how it is planted and cared-for. From what I gleaned from some Google sites, many prefer the casual look, rather than manicured. It’s a personal taste.


There was this lovely unkempt bush that grew under the window of my parent’s bedroom in Albuquerque. It was always a favorite of mine to see it popping out in Spring. Here are a few shots of it in full growth. Not quite as straggly as I remember, but still not a severely shaped shrub, either.

Also from some of the Google sites, I learned that it is a member of the olive family. I never would have guessed that!   I also learned that it is named after English horticulturist William Forsythe. I don’t know whether or not he actually did the hybrid work, but it bears his name, in any case.

While we lived in Virginia, in Springtime, when all the flowers and wild flowers were just beginning to bud, there was a hedge along a county road that was just a riot of those beautiful golden yellow forsythia blossoms. We took some pictures of it, and as you can see, even though the rest of nature is still caught in the clutches of winter and bleak, God’s promise of Spring bursts forth with the forsythia just over-flowing with color. We loved to see it every Springtime, and looked for it.



I was so amused, some years ago, to see a joke in a Reader’s Digest. Seems this gentleman was on an elevator, on his way to his office one fine Spring day, when a young lady stepped onto the elevator with some sprigs of forsythia in her hand. Trying to be polite, and make conversation, he asked her, “Are those forsythia?” Her surprised reply was, “No they are for Cynthia!”

Here are a few more pictures we took, as well as what I gleaned from some websites. Such a beautiful bush. As you can see, they can be rather large, if left to grow uninhibited. But the shrubs are beautiful, no matter what.


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