Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Welcoming the return of the winter season to our garden

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
~ Luther Burbank

Calla lily / A welcome sight to our garden each winter.

It's only the second full week of the New Year, but there's a characteristic pattern that's become noticeable each winter day here. Our Bay Area mornings are chilly, and the afternoons are crisp but sunny. The days are mostly dry. It's a welcoming time.

The past couple of Saturday mornings following breakfast have been reserved for spending time in our garden, battling the sprouting oxalis that have been overtaking our iris beds inch by inch as well as the grassy area that surrounds our house and our rose beds, too. Fighting the colorful oxalis happens every year after it's been raining -- and the month between our recent Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays here in Oakland was a very wet one, indeed.

While most of our rose bushes have been dormant -- we usually trim back the branches near the end of the year -- a few have already become active, such as our All That Jazz and our Pristine rose bushes. 

One thing I've enjoyed about winter gardening is welcoming the return of our calla lilies. Right now, there are about six of them in various stages of blooming. By spring, that number should multiply to about two dozen, bringing much joy to the usually quiet east side of our house.

As the beauty of the sun glistens over our backyard garden, it's a delight -- more than ever -- to photograph our winter flowers.

Photograph by Michael Dickens © 2014.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year 2015 -- Every day we write the book

Our backyard garden was filled with many lovely roses last year,
none more beautiful than this rainbow-colored one.

This is one of my favorite photographs I took in 2014.

We are almost a week into 2015.

Tomorrow is the seventh blank page of a 365-page,

year-long book that each of us will author.

All of us began the New Year last Thursday with a clean slate, 

which is a good thing.

Hopefully, each of us will take the time to write a thoughtful book, 

be it a memoir or a best-selling novel,

day by day, page by page.

As we look back on 2014, we bid it a fond farewell. 

No regrets.

 With 2015 coming into clear view, we welcome its challenges.

Remember, the words of Ecclesiastes, who said:

"The race is not to the swift,

nor the battle to the strong."

Life is to be enjoyed day by day,

 one day at a time.

Take time for reading, listen to good music,

master a hobby,

talk to good friends -- and listen to them, too.

Here's wishing you and your loved ones a Happy New Year.

May each of you enjoy cheers, love and peace on Earth

in the New Year ahead.

Photograph by Michael Dickens © 2014.