Lens-Artists Challenge # 115: INSPIRATION

There’s a beautiful gallery of inspiring photos on Travels and Trifles.

What gives self inspiration? Flowers. And books.

These blue flowers are so pretty. Every year, they come back, and this year the blooms have been especially profuse. They wind through the branches of the cherry trees and drape the sidewalk. No one seems to mind.

Front yard, September 2020

Self is a writer. As a writer, she finds inspiration in books. These are a few books she recently checked out from her local library:

Finally, a very special place, one that self would spend every moment of every day in, if she could: the London Review Bookshop in Bloomsbury. When she sees the orange couch, she knows she’s home.

London Review Bookshop, November 2019

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 113: A Labor of Love

Inspired by viveka, whose adventures on my guilty pleasures self has been following for years! Though forced to spend 2020 sheltering at home, viveka’s posts make self incredibly thirsty!

Here’s the reason behind the week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge:

  • People all over the world honor their workers in a variety of ways. In the U.S., we honor those who labor by setting aside the first Monday of September as Labor Day. But world-wide, people pour themselves into their work ā€” paid or unpaid ā€” with commitment, ingenuity, and a sincere desire to make a difference. For them, work has become more than just work. It has become a labor of love.

Here are a few of self’s own Labors of Love.

Self grew tomatoes, and planted more flowers.

The California fires are still blazing.

Take care of yourselves, fire fighters! Hope you have big pitchers of ice-cold beer waiting at the end of your shifts!

Stay safe.

Sunday Read: American Rose (Magazine of the American Rose Society)

Self decided to join the American Rose Society this year, and was so happy to receive their magazine.

The July/August issue has a very interesting article about Memorable Rose Gardens by Mike and Angelina Chute.

“All great gardens are dynamic, constantly changing over time . . . “

She’s never heard of any of the gardens. There’s one called Roseraie de L’Hay, “in the municipality of Val-de-Marne, five miles south of Paris, and only 30 minutes by train.” From the train station, it’s “a short bus ride to the little rose garden.”

There’s one in Rome, Il Roseto, “located on the slopes of the Aventine Hill, a short walk from the Colosseum. Il Roseto is built on a site once home to a Jewish cemetery. In memory of the cemetery and those that had been buried there, the garden’s paths are laid out in the shape of a menorah.”

There’s Queen Mary’s Rose Garden in Regent’s Park in northwest London (also home of the London Zoo) and there are “approximately 12,000 roses on display.”

And there is Austin Roses in Shropshire, “an agricultural area in England’s West Midlands.”

Next time she’s in Europe, she’ll make it a point to see some of these fabulous rose gardens.

In the meantime, there’s a pretty fabulous rose garden in Filoli, less than 10 minutes’ drive away. And here are a few pictures self took of her own roses:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #112: Self’s Word is ‘Growing’

The prompt from Ann-Christine:

Choose one (1) word or more ā€“ choose all of them if you like! The words available are the following:

  • Comfortable
  • Growing
  • Tangled
  • Crowded
  • Exuberant

The word self picked, which was easiest for her since she’s been gardening a lot, is GROWING. Here are a few pictures she took yesterday.

This is one of self’s newest additions to the front garden:

This plant just popped up on one side of her driveway. It seems to be a different kind of ivy from the others. Self finds it so pretty:

Finally, here are some geraniums growing in a huge pot that she bought years ago from Chinatown. Geraniums are very, very easy to grow, and she loves their bright, cheerful colors:

Thank you for the prompt, Ann-Christine!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Just For Fun, 10 Latest Bookmarks

Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge # 109: UNDER THE SUN

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is UNDER THE SUN.

Read to the very end of the post about the theme. The quote from E. M. Forster.

It is still summer. Can you believe it? Summer came. And stayed the usual length of time, despite pandemic and politics.

At the end of July, self visited Filoli Gardens, in Woodside. It had been decades since she’d last been.

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Filoli Gardens, Woodside, July 2020

Here’s another picture of the gardens. Visitors wore masks and maintained social distancing. Lines to get in are long, because soooo many people want to get in, and those in line must stand six feet apart.

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In contrast, here’s self’s own garden (sad, dry as the foothills). She took this picture just a few minutes ago:

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The Backyard Today

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge # 108: SANCTUARY

Your sanctuary is your ideal place of relaxation, tranquillity and safety and you can create it exactly as you want to. — Shakti Gawain

This week’s Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge is SANCTUARY.

Self is soooo lucky that, less than 10-minutes drive from her home, is the sanctuary of Filoli Gardens.

This huge estate is managed by a trust, and is among the most magical set of gardens she has ever seen (and she’s seen a lot of gardens).

She happened to visit last Sunday, with a friend. Below are a few pictures she took during that visit. The place is so beautiful, and peaceful. A true sanctuary.

Close to the house are large trees providing plenty of shade:

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Further away from the house are rectangular flowerbeds, planted by theme. Interspersed among the flowerbeds is an art installation by Kristine Mays featuring life-size wire sculptures in human shape.

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There’s only one word for the Filoli rose garden: spectacular. The bushes are so fat and laden with what must be (at this time of year) their second round of blooms. Jealous.

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There is a $25 entrance fee, which must be paid in advance. To avoid crowds, especially on weekends, mornings are best. They usually offer guided tours and classes, but these activities have been suspended during the pandemic. It’s wonderful just to walk, though. And self bought two wee basil plants in the Garden Shop.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 105: SPRING

It’s summer, but the Lens-Artists Challenge this week is Spring.

So, nostalgia?

In spring, it’s all about the flowers. Her roses were blooming! Everything was blooming!

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New Planter Basket, from Whole Foods

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Front Yard: mid-May

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Backyard: mid-May

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: ONE SINGLE FLOWER

Love Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week. Self loves flowers!

Self took her camera to her garden to try and capture “one single flower.” These are the roses growing in her front yard.

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Barbra Streisand Rose

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Frida Kahlo Rose

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Rabble Rouser Rose

More flowers:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #98: Delicate Colors

As many countries are opening up a bit from lock-down, and I was inspired by the soft glory of spring nature in my part of the world, I thought we would indulge in some Delicate Colours! They are everywhere in nature, but also to be found anywhere you look, in for example fashion, art and architecture.Leya

Self is always happy to participate in a Photo Challenge. Anything to distract from Shelter-in-Place, entering the third month here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

First: HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!

To everyone who has a loved one in this fight, or has lost a loved one, blessings.

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Hydrangeas on Front Porch: May 2020

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Iceberg Roses in Front Yard, May 2020

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Looking at the Garden from the Kitchen Window, 24 May 2020. The curtains were from World Market, which has since closed.

Look at these beautiful galleries:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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