To everything there is a Season …

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Mosaic at Dublin City Universtiy

Mosaic at Dublin City Universtiy

I have truly missed blogging. It isn’t for lack of things to talk about that you haven’t heard from me. It also isn’t for lack of photographs to tell a story with, as I have so many that I haven’t even gone through them all on the computer.  There has been so much going on in my life. I’m really not one to simply go through the motions of any activity.  I like to give 100%.

Mosaic at Dublin City University

Mosaic at Dublin City University

That is where my problem is.  I have not been able to give 100% of myself to blogging.  Because blogging isn’t just about writing a post. It is about relationships with other bloggers, and visiting their sites, and commenting on their posts, too.  I do love visiting other blogs,  learning new things,  seeing gorgeous photographs, all of it! But that takes time, and well, having started a new job I don’t have the time I used to have.  So I do apologise if you haven’t heard from me.

Mosaic and garden at DCU

Mosaic and garden at DCU

The original reason I started blogging, though, was to let those at home, in the States,  know what I’ve been up to. So in that vein, I am carving out some time to do that.  I took time yesterday to go through photos from the past 6 weeks or so.  It was fun to do!  And I just thought that this mosaic at Dublin City University would be perfect for my blog post.

Dublin City University is where my husband and I first met 25 years ago.  It has grown and changed dramatically since then! Kinda funny to find both of us back there together now, all these years later!  I find the campus to be rather lovely.

I especially love this mosaic.

To everything there is a season...

To everything there is a season…

Life is not always smooth sailing.  This post is incredibly timely for me;  A gentle reminder which I needed.

a close-up

a close-up

Seasons change. People change. Circumstances change.  All with purpose.   It is not always easy, but it is a part of life.  I’m feeling grateful for the amazing people in my life.     …pause for moment of reflection … ;-)

I always have my camera in my purse.  Always.  Here are just a few pictures I’ve taken while walking around campus.  It was easier to get non-people pictures before the students came back a few weeks ago.  The campus is really bustling now that the semester has started.

Changing colours...

Changing colours…

I really like the arbor, even though it is made of steel beams.  You can just barely see the mosaic on the brick building, too!

A couple of weeks later.

A couple of weeks later.

I try to really see my surroundings and to be 100% present. I think that is why I want to capture everything with my camera.  There is beauty everywhere!

The other side of the arbor

The other side of the arbor

The Rose Bowl Garden

The Rose Bowl Garden

This beautiful sculpture commemorates the life of a Kenyan woman named Rose Atieno and all who have lost their lives to AIDS.

Rose Bowl sign

Rose Bowl explanation

Rose Bowl sculpture

Rose Bowl sculpture

 

beyond the sculpture

beyond the sculpture

Some modern art and some flowers.

DCU around campus in the fall

DCU around campus in the fall

The other side of the modern art and flowers!

Fuchsia lined sidewalks (foot paths)

Fuchsia lined sidewalks (foot paths)

I studied at Dublin City University just before the name change.  It was still called the National Institute of Higher Education when I was here.  Our graduating class were the first DCU graduates.   That is me on the right covered head to toe in jeans (and sneakers of course…).  I’m standing with my dear friend Amy, who also studied Business Administration with me.  We had a fun year at DCU!

 

Walk down memory lane... The National Institute for Higher Education - months before receiving university status.

Walk down memory lane… The National Institute for Higher Education – months before receiving university status.

DCU entrance today

DCU entrance today

Wow. What a difference 25 years makes.  I love the Giant’s Causeway look.

DCU entrance

DCU entrance

To everything there is a season and a purpose under the heavens.  Changes are all around us. But always, there is beauty. Beauty is everywhere.

I hope you can see the beauty around you too.
Dana

In a Vase on Monday: Roses & Ivy with a helping of Blackberries

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In a Vase on Monday; Roses & Ivy & other lovely stuff

In a Vase on Monday; Roses & Ivy & other lovely stuff

Honestly, I never would have thought I could produce so many varied arrangements from materials gathered in my own garden!  I am so glad to have been challenged to look at everything in the garden as potential “In a Vase on Monday” material.

Hydrangea just barely visible

A single pink Hydrangea flower is just barely visible in the centre

I do have to say that I make my arrangements on the weekend. My life is way too crazy to do it on a Monday (do you know that feeling???).   I’ve been lucky so far, always having some form of sun to photograph with.  Can I just say that I love the sun?  I’ve lived in some cities where the sun didn’t always come out as often as I would like.  Let’s just say that those cities aren’t known as sunny locations: Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Dublin, Zurich, even Poughkeepsie where I’m originally from.  All are great places to live and probably the reasons why I so appreciate seeing the sun when I do!

Ivy. Isn't it lovely?

Ivy. Isn’t it lovely?

I digress.  Back to flowers.  I had it in my head that I wanted to use my ivy.  This is the same ivy that I have spent countless hours removing from my hawthorne trees and ditch wall!  It is completely invasive!  I do remember that when I lived in Zurich I noted the greens used by florists were so lovely. It was indeed this very same type of ivy that was used to make the most amazing arrangements.  So I might just keep a little bit of it.  I’m sure the ivy itself will have more say about it staying than my actually doing something about it. :-)

Ivy, roses, snapdragon, schizostylis (or rather: Hesperantha), Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Ivy, roses, snapdragon, schizostylis (or rather: Hesperantha), Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

What to add to the greens?  The snapdragons have had a good run. Those in the arrangement are a lovely fuchsia colour, although they are very near the end of their lives.  I’m still a little shy of cutting fully beautiful flowers when they can be enjoyed outside. I feel less guilty if they are nearly done anyway.

Snapdragon  in the evening sunlight

Snapdragon in the late afternoon sunlight

an awkward view of the roses

an awkward view of the roses

The roses are my climbing roses. I don’t have the variety, since I was sent the wrong type when I originally ordererd them.  It was a dead giveaway since these guys have thorns and I ordered thornless…  Nevertheless, their blooms are lovely from June through until late fall.

Schizostylis (new name Hesperantha)

Schizostylis (new name Hesperantha) members of the Iris family

O.K., so I posted a picture of these guys, see pink flowers above and below,  on my Facebook page (have you clicked on my Facebook “LIKE” button yet? :-)  ) and someone commented that this plant has just had their name changed. What? Really? Seems there was some confusion about Hesperantha having corms versus Schizostylis having a short rhizome. Honestly, I read the article and I still think mine are Schizostylis.  I might just use both names to cover all of the bases.

Schizostylis (new name Hesperantha)

Schizostylis (new name Hesperantha)

It is a banner year for wild blackberries in our yard! They are everywhere. Those brambles live in the same area as the ivy, and I have also spent countless hours trying to get rid of them! They are unruly, have terrible thorns, and are invasive. Ah well, but while they are still here we at least get to enjoy their fruit. I do like having some fruit in the arrangement. Just something different.

blackberries galore..

blackberries galore..

What I really liked about this arrangement was all the different items, just a few of each, that worked together.  Well, they do in my eyes!  It is a rather messy, maybe I’ll say free flowing (?),  arrangement.

a little messy looking

a little messy looking

I’m sure I mentioned in an earlier post that my father-in-law grew my snapdragon from seed for me.  This one variety, which has a really nice multi-tone colour,  has variegated leaves.  It didn’t make the main vase, but is sitting nicely in its own Irish pottery vase.

snapdragon with variegated leaves

snapdragon with variegated leaves

Snapdragon

Snapdragon

One last view

One last view

Thank you, Cathy, of Rambling in the Garden, for hosting “In a Vase on Monday”!  You can visit her vase, and many links to others by visiting her page here: http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/in-a-vase-on-monday-stars-from-another-galaxy/   (that one isn’t working, so please try here: http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com)

Have you thought about making a vase yet? :-)
Dana

 

In Vase on Monday: Happy Birthday to me with Orange & Purple Fall fun-ness

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Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi) with purple (painted) eucalyptus

Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi) with purple (painted) eucalyptus

Well how about that, it is my birthday today!  As a little treat to myself I picked up a few things that I don’t currently grow in my garden (but I do hope to one day!).  I put them together for some fall colour in the house.  I thought I’d add it to my “In a Vase on Monday” collection, so here we go!

A little snippet of a view...

A little snippet of a view…

This past week while running errands I passed a florist shop that just looked so inviting.  It really doesn’t take much for me to want to go into a florist shop,  I even love the smell of them!  The purple painted eucalyptus really caught my eye.  The pictures don’t give it justice, it is beautiful!

 

Hydrangea from my father-in-law's garden along with gypsophila paniculata (baby's breath)

Hydrangea from my father-in-law’s garden along with gypsophila paniculata (baby’s breath)

So, I was standing in the shop with some of the lovely eucalyptus wondering what I was going to do with it!  I thought of a picture I posted the other day of my California poppies with cornflower and that sealed the colour combination I wanted;  Purple and Orange!

 

full view

full view

I came home and had fun putting it together.  I love doing that; fitting everything in its perfect place. Unfortunately,  it was really windy when I made it, so I couldn’t take it outside for pictures.  It is sitting in my front hall with so much natural light I thought for sure I could get a good picture…

I changed position to try and get more light from the window

I changed position to try and get more light from the window

not exactly…  But you more or less get the gist of the arrangement and colours :-)  The hydrangea are from my father-in-law’s garden. He gave them to me about a month ago and this time they dried really well. I liked how the lighter shade looked here.

I love those windows, but they stink for taking pictures!

I love those windows, but they stink for taking pictures!

I was told by another blogger that the Chinese Lantern plant will run wild in the garden, so my intention is to grow it in a pot.  That is on my “eventually will get to”  list. I planted some of the gypsophila paniculata (O.K., I just call this baby’s breath because it is MUCH faster to say!) this spring.  One tiny little sprig came up, but with no flowers.  I’m hoping next year will be better.

Our Stickley corner piece.  A perfect display place.

Our Stickley corner piece. A perfect display place.

The large window looks out to part of our front yard.  There is beautiful brightness in the afternoon.  I love the arrangement sitting right there.  And now the front hall smells like lovely eucalyptus!

I’m looking forward to seeing what Cathy at Rambling in the Garden has put together for her meme “In a Vase on Monday”.  You can visit her at: http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com and see other lovely arrangements too.

Have a good week!
Dana

 

In a Vase on Monday: A playful gathering of flowers

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Gathering flowers on a sunny day

At least once a week I now look forward to collecting flowers from the garden and bringing them inside for us to enjoy in our kitchen.  I rarely did this before, because really I love seeing them outside.  But being a part of the Rambling in the Garden’s meme “In a Vase on Monday” has brought about my new weekly activity (read: obsession)!

Japanese Anemone

Japanese Anemone

My ten year old daughter helped me this time.  It would have been quite a collection of colours if I’d picked all the flowers she wanted!  But she was happy enough, instead, to hold the flowers, in a hand held bouquet as we walked through the yard and cut the flowers which I picked out (with her approval, of course).

Potentilla (yellow flower)

Potentilla (yellow flower)

I wish I could say that I had it all planned out in my head beforehand. That was not the case, though. It all started with a large sedum flower with a broken stem.  It would be such a shame to leave that in the garden to die.  So pink became the main colour.

Potentilla with Japanese Anemone (some without their petals)

Potentilla with Japanese Anemone (some without their petals)

My potentilla plant has the sweetest yellow flowers.  I had to have that colour in the arrangement!  I also loved the strange shapes of the Japanese Anemone.  They are so interesting looking before they even bloom as well as well after they bloom!

Mallow in front

Mallow in front with some lady’s mantle to the right (underneath the Sedum)

My mallow plant grew quite tall this summer and was blown over and badly broken. I thought that was the end of it, at least for this season.  But we cut it down to a lower level and sure enough, it is full of all new flowers!  I have not been able to really capture the beautiful colour that it is.  The light, bright green of the lady’s mantle is one of my favourite colours! It is popping up in all sorts of places around the yard!  So I was happy to find some that was still young enough to use.

"wild white plant" in the garden

“wild white plant” in the garden

These lovely white flowers are in my “wild flower garden”.  I don’t know their name, but I’d really like to find out because they are so pretty.

Everything arranged and sitting pretty

Everything arranged and sitting pretty

It all came together fairly quickly and easily. You don’t usually have too much time when a child is involved, anyway! The original vase I was using just wasn’t working for me.  I had too many flowers for it.  So out came this rather large, glass ice container (or white wine cooler/champagne cooler).  I have the marbles on the bottom, as a lot of my stems were too short.

In a Vase on Monday: A Playful gathering of flowers

In a Vase on Monday: A Playful gathering of flowers

I really like starting my week like this!  I hope you do, too.  Stop on over to Rambling in the Garden if you’d like to see some other lovely “In a Vase on Monday” posts! http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com

Have a good week!
Dana

Wordless Wednesday: A Red Admiral & a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly on Helenium Waltraut

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a Red Admiral & Small tortoiseshell butterfly on a helenium Waltraut

a Red Admiral & Small tortoiseshell butterfly on a helenium Waltraut

Hello!  Welcome to wordless Wednesday!  I just had to share my picture of two varieties of butterflies on my one helenium flower.  Earlier this season I was complaining for lack of butterflies, not so much now!

Thank you for visiting!
Dana

 

In a Vase on Monday: A splash of orange to brighten your day!

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California poppies (and hidden cornflowers)

California poppies (and hidden cornflowers)

Oh wow do I love those colors!  I’m usually quite a pink kinda girl, but these California poppies are the most friendly and happy shade of orange ever!

cornflowers just peeking through

cornflowers just peeking through

I have one flower bed that is a bit of a wild garden (that might be an understatement).

on the wild side...

on the wild side…

This wouldn’t be something that I would typically like.  I try to keep things neat and tidy, pretending that I have some control.  But the wild flower seeds were planted last year when I wasn’t sure what to plant and thought I’d just try it for a season.  Ha! Wild flowers re-seed themselves :-)

California poppies and cornflowers in the wild garden

California poppies and cornflowers in the wild garden (poppies closed up in the evening)

So up everything came again this year.  I’m really not sure what is going to happen to this garden next year, as I’ve planted some things that might not go so well with the wild ones…

A yellow Potentilla with the poppies and cornflowers in the background

A yellow Potentilla with the poppies and cornflowers in the background

I’ve enjoyed the two colors of orange and blue together all summer.  Don’t they look pretty behind my potentilla?

Simply two colors together

A simple combination

So together they went into the vase.

Love.

Oh, and the vase?  Did you maybe guess?  It is from my mother.  She just finds the quirkiest things sometimes.  This is the first time I’ve used it.  Perfect fit.

In a Vase on Monday

In a Vase on Monday

In the evening the poppies close up (even when cut)

In the evening the poppies close up (even after being cut)

I thought it was interesting to learn that the poppy flowers would close up at night even after they were cut.  They sure give a different look to the arrangement!

Enjoying the flowers inside!

Enjoying the flowers inside

I am so enjoying putting together a vase of flowers for Cathy’s meme “In a Vase on Monday”.  You can enjoy other lovely arrangements through Cathy’s blog: http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/  If you are a blogger and would like to join in on the fun, just mention Cathy’s blog in your post and you can then put a link to your blog on her page.  It is a fun way to meet other bloggers, too.

cornflower up close

cornflower up close

Have a good week!

Dana

 

Wordless Wednesday: Evening Sunlight’s Magic

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marigolds

Marigolds

I think I’m getting the hang of this Wordless Wednesday thing.  Here are just a few pictures which I think have a magical look to them simply because of the evening sunlight.

Marigolds

Marigolds

The flowers are not spectacular, really, but I think they look spectacular in this light.

Japanese Anemone

Japanese Anemone

Silver Anniversary Hybrid Tea Rose

Silver Anniversary Hybrid Tea Rose

And then my favorite … I captured a picture of a Speckled Wood Butterfly on my Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan).  This was the picture that inspired me to post on my blog tonight.

Speckled Wood Butterfly

Speckled Wood Butterfly

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Dana

In a Vase on Monday: Lavender in September for a scented treat

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Snapdragon, Lavender, Erysimum bowles, Autumn Joy

Snapdragon, Lavender, Erysimum bowles (mauve), Autumn Joy

Lavender?!  In September?  I have a lot of lavender, and because I love it, I added more new plants last year.  Those new guys were the first that I harvested in July. I like to make lavender sachets, wands, bouquets. There are quite a few things you can do with lavender!  It seems that the plants  had lots of immature stems, which have continued to grow throughout the summer and were just ripe for the cutting for my arrangement!

Lavender in September!

Lavender in September!

Purples, white, and a bit of pink

Purples, white, and a bit of pink

It was such a treat working with the lavender.  I. Love. Lavender. :-)

Autumn Joy sedum

Autumn Joy sedum

I have one Autumn Joy plant at my front gates, which I wouldn’t normally like cutting from. But this one stem was broken and on the ground. I couldn’t just leave it there!

 

Autum Joy sedum, tortoise butterfly and bees

Autum Joy sedum, tortoise butterflies and bees

In a Vase on Monday: White & Purples & a wee bit of pink

In a Vase on Monday: White & Purples & a wee bit of pink

The snapdragons were planted from seed for me by my father-in-law.  He can grow anything from seed or cutting, unlike me!  I have some mixed colors and just picked out the white ones.

Snapdragon

Snapdragon

Pottery Vase from when we were first married

Pottery Vase from when we were first married

In a Vase on Monday...

In a Vase on Monday…

What fun it is to gather flowers from the garden!  Thank you Cathy from Rambling in the Garden!  You can see other arrangements linked to Cathy’s page at:  http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/

Have a good week!

Dana

In a Vase on Monday: The color Red! (Echinacea Salsa Red to be exact)

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In a Vase on Monday: The color Red

In a Vase on Monday: The color Red

Unbelievably, it is Monday again!  Where does the time go?  Ever notice that as we get older time seems to fly even faster??? My kids are now back at school and we are settling in to our old, and some new, routines.  The “feel” of summer is leaving us.  One thing that is not quite ready to leave, at least in my yard, are the flowers.  I won’t say they are going strong, but they are hanging in there!  This is rather helpful as I join http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/  for the meme In a Vase on Monday.  I joined for the first time last week and I really like it! This is where bloggers from all around the world join in to create arrangements in vases and we all link together.  What a beautiful way to to start our week!

Echinacea Salsa Red, Globe Artichoke, a

Echinacea Salsa Red, Cynara Cardunculus (Globe Artichoke), and Zantedeschi albomaculata (white spotted Calla lily)

My father-in-law, who is an incredible gardener, recently (as in a week ago!) gave me a new, quite beautiful, plant for my garden.  It is a white spotted Calla lily (Zantedeschia albomaculata).  I’m not exactly sure if this is cheating, but I used those gorgeous flowers in this arrangement.  I can’t wait for the plant to get all settled into its new bed and produce loads of flowers for me next year!

up close...

White Calla Lily up close…

As always, the sun was in and out while I was taking pictures.  The other factor that I have to (always) contend with is the wind; it is a given where we live!  So I might design something lovely and symmetrical inside the house and then by the time I get it outside and set up to photograph, it is completely topsy-turvy! That is my story and I am sticking to it :-)

Salsa Red Echinacea

Salsa Red Echinacea

My echinacea plant (Salsa Red) is one of my favorite purchases from last year.  It is really only now coming in to full bloom and boy is it showing off that bright red color!

Globe artichoke

Globe artichoke (Cynara Cardunculus)

I think the most photographed flower (vegetable?) in the garden is my globe artichoke (Cynara Cardunculus).  I love the purple color and the different texture of the bloom.  It is rather different which I think is what I really like about it.

Red, purple, white and green

The bee wanted a part of the action

Red, purple, white, and green; the colors just felt right to me.  The vase is from my mom, which always makes it special. I’ve used it before, but I have to say that I think this arrangement was simply made for this vase.

same arrangement while the sun is behind a cloud...

same arrangement while the sun is behind a cloud…

I get rather annoyed when the sun goes behind a cloud.  But as mentioned before, with all of that wind, the clouds usually move along.

Fun colors in a fun vase

Fun colors in a fun vase

Isn’t the difference in lighting amazing?

In a Vase on Monday...

In a Vase on Monday…

I hope you’ve enjoyed my arrangement.  You’ll find some wonderful arrangements linked to Rambling in the Garden, and of course Rambling in the Garden’s vase arrangement, too! So feel free to pop on over and check them out.  (here’s the link again: http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/ )

Happy Monday! Happy September 1st!  Happy back to School & Work!

Dana

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