Travels in Taos

A welcome invitation from son and his wife arrived before the hottest days of the sultry Savannah summer. Our bags were packed and we were ready to go. We left our house and garden in good hands and set out for the three day trek.

Caring for their vegetable garden was a tiring but invigorating chore. The wildflower garden looks out over pastures with horses and cows grazing in the distance.

The artists studio is slowly being brought back to life, and maybe when it is complete, they will bring back the garden and clear the gravel areas and seating areas. A work in progress. A few years ago, my mother and I weeded it to perfection but it has gone back to a really wild garden, and so I let it be this year’s visit. The raised circular brick edged bed at the front of the driveway had filled in with native “weeds”, some attractive and some not so. After everything was pulled out, hollyhock, hyssop and echinacea was added. Hollyhock seems to grow all over, even in the center of town.

The afternoon heat and sun, sent us off in the car for errands or indoors for reading. The errands are most enjoyable…you can’t beat the beautiful scenery all along the way.

It is such a different style of life from where our son was raised. But there are signs of the East coast and his family. Arriving back at their hacienda in the evening, the first thing you see when you open the front door is the quilt made for them by his Aunt, with the colors of Taos. Wherever you call home, it is nice to bring signs of love and things from your past.

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in Photosand

Several years ago, when I launched this blog, attracting viewers was part of my goal. It took time and effort, but I met some wonderful readers and fellow bloggers. Like friendship, you need to put your best face forward to keep the relationship going. I think I am not alone among my many blogger friends…..I have fallen down on the job! My posts are fewer and fewer and my views are less and less. It’s my own fault.

Here is the thing…real life is more interesting than the solitary hours spent at the computer or on the device! I see this happening to other bloggers as well. I will contemplate what this means for the future of Jayne on Weed Street.

I recently entered a photo contest, and sent a favorite picture of my girls (not this one)to The Enchanted Home. I’ve read this blog for a long time. I enjoyed it more before she became very commercial; she uses the blog to sell decorative items for her “store.” I still surf the site, especially for something as fun as this photo contest. My pups got some votes, but a puppy of the same breed won! If you’re going to lose, it is not too bad to lose to another Cavalier King Charles spaniel! this is how they were presented in the contest…

So I will be spending the summer deciding If I will abandon this platform…..pretty sure I will be alone in missing it. Do I need to become more commercial? Have photo contest s? Give away prizes? Hmmmm. But for my few followers, hello! And here are some photos of what is keeping me from the grind of making new posts for you and WordPress! The crepe myrtles are blooming, and my neighborhood keeps drawing me out of my study….

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Really Raining

After several weeks of dry weather, we finally have rain. Now the garden will get growing again,

The tomatoes were suffering, but now they should ripen. We have a critter who has been taking the green tomatoes, eating half and leaving the remains. My solution is to ripen on the windowsill. Fried green tomatoes are popular in the South, but I prefer a raw red tomato, thank you.

my neighbor’s tomato looked like this when I sent her a photograph but by the

afternoon when she came to pick, it was half eaten. Sob!

On a happier note, the agapanthus began to bloom in one of the squares in downtown Savannah. They grow well in our area, grown as a perennial. However I have nursed one along for 5 years and nary a bloom! How long would you keep an agapanthus that never blooms?

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Monet to Matisse

Three years ago Telfair Museum brought a wonderful exhibit of American Impressionism to Savannah, “Monet and American Impressionism.” It was hugely popular which may be why another exhibit of Impressionist art has been brought to the Telfair’s Jepsen Center, “Monet to Matisse.”

Claude Monet

Originating from the Dixson Gallery & Garden, it is a small show (spoken by someone who cut her art teeth at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MOMA) but includes artists you may not get to see too often.

For my garden friends who are acquainted with Fantin-Latour’s botanicals which were very successful, if commercial, works in his time, this painting may not be what you expect. Most Impressionist artists enjoyed working en plein air, but Fantin-Latour was not known to set up the easel outdoors. His study of flowers did not include a curiosity of how they grew or moved in the garden, perhaps?

Henri Fantin-Latour

Marc Chagall is another favorite. I spent more time with this painting than I did on my previous two visits. It is curious how one day a painting may not reach out to you, and on another day, it speaks loudly.

The Jepsen Museum is a setting unlike other Museums I have visited. Each time I visit, the architecture shows me something new. Today’s view from inside toward the old Trinity Methodist Church with the Savannah Bridge beyond stopped me in my tracks.

View from Jepsen Museum


Still time to see this exhibit if you are in the Savannah/Hilton Head area!

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Bonaventure Beckons

We have been experiencing some very gray, drab days in Savannah. Better than snow, but I am longing for some color. Since it is camellia season, I had the idea to go look at camellias! I recalled that when looking at azaleas in Bonaventure Cemetary in Spring, I saw camellias and wondered what they would look like in season.

Bonaventure Cemetary

I was disappointed. It seems that there has been a lot replacement, with many young camellias newly planted and few older specimens to view. I have been recovering from a respiratory virus so I did not care to spend long hours walking the paths, to find the old specimens, so I took my favorite route.

Gracie at Bonaventure Cemetary

Of course I had to visit Gracie, who is one of the popular sites to visit for a tourist. So much so, that they have placed a trash receptacle for those morons who dont know better than to throw their garbage on the ground in a graveyard. Heathons! If you don’t know her story, it is simply told on an adjacent stone.

Gracie at Bonaventure

The mature live oaks are so striking, even on a cloudy day. The sun shone through a few times, and I captured a few photos of the pretty camellia blossoms. I have planted mostly red, white and deep rose in my garden, but if I still had a big property, I would find a place for pink.

When I suggest a visit to Bonaventure Cemetary with my guests, I usually get the raised eyebrow! Not surprising, but there is a haunting beauty to be found here, and maybe in years ahead, even more beautiful Camellias in Winter!

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Cavaliers Greet the New Year!

Our darling Cavaliers are a ray of sunshine on a gray and gloomy morning in Savannah. There is much to recommend living in Coastal Georgia, unless you have a string of cold and gloomy days. But my little spaniels remind me that there is much joy to be found indoors on such days.

“May we sit here?”

You may want to get caught up on laundry, but they beg to play ball. So you stop and toss the ball and revel in the simple joy of watching the satisfaction of a job retrieving well done.

I just wrote a new article for my gardening column in a local publication, recommending looking for color in your Winter garden. I explored our Island on a gray chill day, and I did find a few colorful spots. I would like to see more. Especially during the camellia season!

Snapdragons in January

Camellia hedge


Even downtown on some of the pretty streets in Savannah, there are spots of color that brighten a gloomy day.

Jones Street



While I write this post, I am looking out my study window to a hanging basket of bright yellow pansies with a background of spikey foxtail ferns. Just the sight to brighten a day! Here is wishing for many sunny days in 2019, and happiness even on the gray days!

Fetching is so tiring, let’s take a nap!
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Bridges to New Places

I can’t resist taking pictures crossing a bridge. Smart phones make that so easy.  I usually feel contemplative about the crossing.  Crossing from one place to another by rising higher and higher and further until the descent to the new place becomes inevitable.  The ups and downs in life, getting from one place to another.  

 This year as I reflect on a loss and honor a memory of one whose life’s tale is now over, by chance I found this meaningful Robert Louis Stevenson verse:

“I read, dear friend, in your dear face

Your life’s tale told with perfect grace;

The river of your life, I trace

Up the sun-chequered, devious bed

To the far-distant fountain-head.

Not one quick beat of your warm heart,

Nor thought that came to you apart,

Pleasure nor pity, love not pain

Nor sorrow, has gone by in vain;

But as some lone, wood-wandering child

Brings home with him at evening mild

The thorns and flowers of all the wild,

From your whole life, O fair and true

Your flowers and thorns you bring with you!

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Giving Thanks for Time

Giving thanks for time is a play with words that suits me this year.  This month I gave thanks for the time I have been able to spend with my Mother.  She turned 90 this month and that momentous occasion gave me pause.  I reviewed old photos and scanned them to make her a Photo Book.  Ageless beauty was the theme.  I could have spent a year planning and executing this book, but as it goes with me, it was last minute and came together as TIME would allow.

Mom and sister with first born son

For once I put aside garden topics, and yet, gardens and my Mother are intertwined.  Both of my grandfathers were great gardeners, as was my father, but as far as I know, my Mother was the first to make gardening her passion on the women’s side of our families.  Her knowledge and style have fueled much of my own passion.

Mom with her grandson

This month I wrote my garden column on tea olives.  Osmanthus fragrans is a versatile shrub or tree and has much to recommend it.  While it is a simple plant, it’s scent is powerful.  It’s hardiness in my Southern zone is stalwart.  A freeze of a few nights will not take it down.  You can prune it and try to shape it to your desire, but it will send out lovely reddish leaves just the way it likes.  It is mighty and green all year round, and when it sends forth its small flowers you cannot escape its presence.  A lot like Mom.  I Love you Mother, and always will!  Happy birthday!

Osmanthus fragrans or sweet tea olive
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Time for Tarragon

 

In the heat of a Savannah morning, we pushed ourselves to put the farm plot to bed.  The first plot is nicely covered in black plastic, save for some herbs at the end of the bed.   We finished covering the second bed…..almost, but for half with some cosmos, marigold and dahlias which were hosting various bees this morning.    I came home with bunches of herbs and thoughts of chicken with tarragon for dinner.

Mexican Tarragon

I looked through cook books but found nothing that appealed.  On-line the NYT had a Thomas Keller recipe but even though it was something he would cook at home, it was still too many steps for my Sunday dinner.  But I loved the idea of rubbing the chicken with sweet paprika and Madras curry powder, so I combined two recipes.

Starting with the rub first, letting it sit in the refrigerator for an hour.  Pour a combination of butter, Dijon mustard, white wine, lemon juice and THE TARRAGON, freshly picked, over the chicken breasts.Then place the chicken, covered, in a baking pan at 350. Bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake until cooked through and no longer pink at the thickest part.  Voila!  A great day in the farm and fun cooking.

I must write this down in the garden journal…..pick the tarragon when the ginger lilies begin to bloom!

 

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Atlantic in the Starlight District

Hello and happy summer days!  I recently took time away from the garden, and most especially the dahlias (greedy plants), to have a hair cut downtown.  Because of a nasty thunderstorm that cropped up, as they do along the coast of Georgia in the heat of the summer, I asked dear husband to drive me downtown.  I am terrible at navigating, and knowing that flooding occurs during some of these flash flood storms, I decided I would let strong and handsome partner lead the way.   Sweet hairdresser overbooked herself, and after an hour and a half of waiting I angrily said, “BYE BYE”. Or in Southern, BUYEEEEE.

If your partner was kept waiting in the car that long, when you promised a half hour wait, would you have a quick plan to diffuse the situation?  Mine involved food.  Opening the car door, I chirped, “let’s go have an early dinner at Atlantic, my treat!”

This is such a fun restaurant!  I thought it was named Atlantic as it huddles mere miles from the Atlantic Ocean.  Not so.  It takes its name from the Atlantic Service Station, a former 1930s incarnation!   It is known as a neighborhood eatery!

Approaching from the parking lot, we were immediately cheered despite the clouds, by the sight of Chef cooking to order outdoors.  Known for their wine tastings, we immediately said YES to a Spanish sparkling wine.

The menu lends itself to sharing, though I didn’t ask dear husband to share his lobster roll. Because of the rain threatening, we did not sit outside,

but I am looking forward to a return visit to try it out.  We loved the friendly atmosphere; everyone was having a good time!  This was just the ticket to take my fuming away, relax, and enjoy the sultry summer night in Savannah.

Now on to those greedy dahlias.

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