Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Autumn Beauties for Flower Wednesday

Hello, Dear Friends, thank you for joining me
as we wind down the beautiful month of September together. 

The gardens have been gradually preparing for 
their long winter's nap, but there are still some 
lovely faces to greet me as I take my daily stroll. 

Here dahlia peeks over the lily-pad leaves of 
trailing nasturtium, while canary bird vine flutters overhead. 

Canary bird vine (Tropaeolum peregrinum)
 is easily grown from seed in areas with cooler summers. 

This nasturtium relative grows 8 to 12 feet, winding around a trellis or 
a taller plant, like here, where it is twining up a climbing rose. 

It gets its name from the flowers that look like canaries in flight. 

You can find the seeds in spring here: humeseeds.com  

I still have roses, too! This beauty loves the cooler 
temperatures. I have lost the name of this rose, 
but even without a name, it is lovely as can be 
with its purple leaves and apricot blush. 

The blooms are very large and fragrant. 

Autumn Joy sedum is also another star of the 
autumn garden. These beautiful plants 
are very old.....maybe 20 years old! 

I have three large clumps that are aptly named,
as they do bring such joy! 

As the season progresses, the color 
changes, becoming deeper and deeper. 

Here they are in August as the flowers start to open. 

Bees love them! 
They do require full sun and a well-drained site. 
Even in rainy Washington State, they thrive
because they are planted on a south-facing hillside. 

I rarely have to water or fertilize them and only 
cut them back in early spring. Cutting them back 
earlier in our rainy climate leads to rot as water 
can get into their hollow stems, so I leave them
 be all winter and cut them once I see new growth in spring. 

Rosy begonia are still blooming, too! 

I added some pretty chrysanthemums
to the rail above. 

I bought this flat of begonias in May and 
 just placed the whole flat into my galvanized tray planter
and they have been blooming ever since! 
I simply added weak fertilizer with every watering. 

Calibrachoa still blooms sporadically, too. 

These look like mini petunias, but have no scent. 

The hummingbirds love them, though. 

Believe it or not, we have year-round hummingbirds
here. Annas Hummingbirds are year-round, while
Rufous migrate south. 

I actually have a heated hummingbird feeder! 

Double begonia bloom with boxwood in a planter box. 

Begonia can take some sun, but prefer filtered sunlight
or bright shade. 

These have also bloomed all summer and look like miniature roses. 

Impatiens love the cooler weather and are at their peak
right now. I had these inside on my step-ladder for a while, 
but they were unhappy, so I put them on the window ledge
where it is nice and shady and they are very happy now. 

Soon Ramblin' Man will take the canopy down
for the winter, but for now, Maggie enjoys 
taking naps in the late afternoon sunbeams. 

A pot of white impatiens brightens her sleep. 

She is my elderly pet - 18 years now. 

We left the canopy up for the winter the first year
only to have it carried off by the wind, 
slamming into the glass doors and flipping
over the rail onto the ground. 

The door wasn't broken, but the frame has a permanent dent
and the framework of the canopy suffered some injury
that Ramblin' man was able to repair. 

We wisely put it away for winter now! 
We sometimes have powerful storms in winter. 

All of my petunias are gone now, 
but alyssum, bacopa and the fairy garden remain. 

The large, leafy plant is pineapple sage, 
which will soon have lipstick colored blooms. 
The leaves taste and smell just like pineapple! 
So good on a fruit salad! 

I planted these from 2 tiny pots in May. 

The fairies have been busy all summer 
collecting their orbs and tending to their garden :)  

Soon they will go into 'hibernation' :) 

Tiny alpine geraniums and star creeper 
have been well tended to all summer. 

But once the last of these blooms fade, so will the fairies.....

Of course, fall means pansies, too. 

These little charmers self-seeded among the wildflowers. 
(Herb Robert)

More self-seeders - 'whisker face' pansies. 

I will be planting winter pansies and bulbs 
next, and I will share those with you soon. 

I hope that you enjoyed visiting my flowers
and I hope that you are enjoying some 
lovely fall blooms where you are, too! 


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Monday, September 26, 2016

Game Day Birthday Party and Slow-Cooker Chili

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! 

Thank-you for stopping by! 

I'm sure many of you are football fans
and here in Seattle our '12th man' fans
are legendary. 

The fans inside our football stadium
are so loud that they
actually register on seismographs 
used to monitor earthquakes in the region! 

My two sons always get season tickets
to our local football team, 
The Seattle Seahawks. 

For the season opener game, (which was 'away')
 my Daughter-in-law, Jen hosted a special birthday party for 
my youngest son, Dustin.

She did a wonderful job! Aren't these brownies so cute?

Hard to believe my youngest is now 34! 
He's still a big kid at heart, though!  

Here he is in his official 'man cave' upstairs,
where he shows his true loyalty as a fan. 

All things 'Seahawks' rule here!

Lucky enjoys hanging out with 'the boys'. 

His nickname is 'Big Chief'. 

This cat has personality plus, and 
nobody messes with him :) 

Helmet and football for impromptu 
touch football games. 

 Some favorite fan photos with family and friends .....
Dustin and Jen are in the middle photo :)

Skittles are a fan favorite. 

Of course, you must have a Seahawks cooler, too! 

A life-size wall decal of Russell Wilson, 
a 'bobble-head' doll and dollar bill! 

The game begins! 

I head back to neutral territory downstairs........

Dustin and Jen are newlyweds who have been 
working very hard to remodel their 1980's style home. 

They just installed beautiful new floors, painted the walls, 
and are having new trim and windows installed 
before remodeling their outdated kitchen. 

Big Chief looks out the new French doors
(minus trim) at the neighbor pup standing
on the bench with his head inside a bucket of
water :)

It's those little moments in life that 
truly make you smile. 

Dustin holds Big Chief while Jen looks on. 

He is showing me the new brick walkway that he 
just installed himself.......

And the woodshed he just built. 

Good job, Dustin! 

It's so gratifying to see your children
grow up to value home and family. 

I'll tell you, when they are teenagers
you sometimes have doubts. 
You just have to have faith........
and plenty of love :)

Jen made a delicious crock-pot chili 
for half-time. 
Her secret ingredients were green peppers
and mild chicken sausage. Yum!

I made some tiny cornbread muffins to go with. 

Here's a link for some Slow-Cooker Chili Favorites

The cake.....

Make a wish! 

Wishing you a wonderful year, my son! 

Opening gifts. 

Daughter-in-law, Erica takes sweet grandson, Ethan
for a stroll in his Russell Wilson jersey. 

I can't get enough of those chubby cheeks <3

Father and son, Gabe and Ethan, 
enjoy the game together. 

Both of my sons live in the same neighborhood
and are in the same profession - computers. 

Gabe is with Microsoft and Dustin runs his own business. 

I am glad that they are so close. 
When they were boys they fought
like cats and dogs :) 

Typical brothers.....

Son-in-law, and soon to be new Dad, Eric watches the game. 

The siblings...

Jennie, Gabe, Heather (soon to be new Mom) and Dustin. 
They are very close, not only in age, (5 years 
between eldest and youngest) but also in spirit. 

We are truly blessed. 


"Siblings: Children of the same parents, each of whom
is perfectly normal until they get together."
- Sam Levenson - 

"What can you do to promote world peace?
Go home and love your family."
- Mother Teresa -

"The strength of a nation derives
from the integrity of the home."
- Confucius -


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