........but the sun is shining and there is so much to be thankful for.
A busy day ahead once it warms up. Last night was the second night in a row with close to freezing temperatures - so unexpected this late in April and following that mini heatwave we experienced recently. I pulled the new pots of hydrangeas awaiting planting, the hanging Boston ferns etc. onto the front porch and covered all with sheets - couldn't do anything with the large growing shrubs so they were left to fend off the chill best they could.
A quick walk around this morning and all looks saved rather than frost-bitten thankfully. The garden is full of life with many squirrels, Chippy the chipmunk is stuffing his cheeks, Northern flicker showing his long tongue at the suet cake, a sparrow rests on the snowball bush, and an ever-sweet Mourning dove is enjoying a sunny morning drink. The Spanish bluebells are fading but still standing sturdy and proud. The new plants have been moved out into the sunshine..........tomorrow heavy rain is expected so no watering needed today. Most of my seeds are planted - lots of vining Moonflowers and Morning glories in pots, along with summertime cooking herbs. I may be moving them to the porch tonight so they won't be drowned tomorrow!
It's doubtful one of our favorite local bar/restaurants will return after closing due to COVID right after Christmas 2020. Although a chain, Mia Francesca Trattoria never had that feeling. We started eating there when it first opened in 2011 in a pleasing space on the lobby level of a brand new Renaissance Hotel. We knew many of the staff well. The location is just minutes from the house in the area called Midtown. Just a basic two level shopping mall named North Hills when we moved here in 1977, it has morphed into a small 'town' of its own, north of the downtown city. Not just high end retail shops, boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, hotels, gyms, movie theatre etc., but elegant multi-story apartment buildings, a posh senior living complex. . . . . and mini skyscraper office buildings - the newest of which will reach 35 floors! Around these buildings more land is being acquired so quickly we can't keep up with the landscape changes and ongoing construction.
Houses built here on prior farmland in the 1960's to 1980's (when IBM moved so many people from the north to work in their huge facility) are disappearing fast. Small ranches, split levels, and cottages of that era, are selling like hotcakes for high prices, then being razed and huge homes in the $1-3 million dollar range popping up almost overnight it seems. It's definitely a seller's market, with houses usually selling, some with bidding wars, as soon as a sign goes up. Our neighborhood is a 'hot spot' for real estate listings. Phone calls, cards stuck on the mailbox, letters in the mail, are daily happenings here, all stating a version of. . . . . . . . . .WE WANT TO BUY YOUR HOUSE!
We will not be enticed easily! We have a figure which seems somewhat obscene compared to what we purchased the property for new in 1986! If someone truly wants it and agrees to pay that amount we could perhaps be persuaded to sell. Where would we go? At this late stage in life it would be hard to make that decision. Right now it looks like we will stay. . . . . . certainly after doing all this gardening lately!!!
MIDTOWN - Raleigh, North Carolina - Spring 2021
'Home Sweet Home'
Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
John Howard Payne (1791-1852)
Here at the 'homestead' we planted all these marked trees
along with dozens of shrubs and perennials.
The tiny trees each started out in one gallon pots many years
ago - and I think we'd truly have a hard time moving
Yesterday was not a day of rest by any means. . . . . . we, and hired help,
worked together in the garden. In fact we worked outside the entire weekend,
and included a trip to buy landscape items including wall building stones,
netting to keep the dastardly squirrels off my newly sown seeds, potting
soil. . . . . . and of course I managed to sneak in some plants - two pots
of beautiful Shasta daisies for the now more elegant back bed along
No pool so no 'Pool Boy' required around here!!!
But here you can meet my 'Garden Boy', good 'ole Bob.
He gave up the business suits and polished shoes (other than when the
occasional wedding or funeral comes along) with retirement, many years
ago, and now pulls on those old faded jeans and worn out running shoes
and becomes a version of a Master Gardener!
Thank you Bob for digging holes, trimming branches, mowing grass,
blowing leaves and on occasion, like yesterday, clambering flat out under
the Japanese maple to pull out those pesky weeds such as pokeberry
and Boston ivy.
I have to add though that pokeberry is not all bad as despite the berries
being poisonous to humans, but loved by birds, the plant appears to
have a good side. . . . . .
Today, pokeberry is being researched as a possible treatment for cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, a chemical found in pokeberry juice has been used to successfully treat cancerous tumors in laboratory mice. The chemical is also being tested to determine if it can protect cells from HIV and AIDS.
Georgia Wildlife Resources
Here Bob is actually in our neighbor's yard as it's easier access under the tree
as we have a wall on our side.
Side yard of our house where, as you can see, these azaleas and
the acer have encroached over the split rail fence into our neighbor's
yard. . . . . . .thankfully he doesn't mind one bit.
Our handyman 'solutions' guy and his assistant are a great pair and
after doing such a super job on the deck restoration, we had them
back to build the low wall along the back bed. They dug out the old
fallen over scalloped edging and placed it in back, then built a simple
low wall. Once the daffodil greenery dies back and can be cut off, we
will add more soil and compost and replant with a couple more
climbing roses, perennials and hang new bird houses.
Hope your week is off to a good start.
Our temps have dropped quite a bit after the recent
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR is a fresh version of my former three year blog ACROSS THE POND which can still be accessed by clicking on the title above. I'm a transplanted Brit enjoying life in North Carolina.
Sixty years of journeying back and forth across the wide Atlantic Ocean have kept me busy…….and made my life very interesting! Although I've now visited all seven continents, I continue to travel and look forward to sharing new places around the world. I love taking photos! All images are my own unless noted otherwise. Please do not use my photos without a request. I enjoy sharing and will usually say OK!
…CLICK ON THE THUMBNAILS BELOW TO TRAVEL THE WORLD!
CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
ARIZONA - Wild West
SAN JUAN ISLANDS
MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
TORRES DEL PAINE, CHILE
MAGDALENA ISLAND & PENGUINS, CHILE
ARGENTINA - Buenos Aires
My Home Town
MASAAI MARA, KENYA - Animals
MASAAI MARA, KENYA - Birds
DINGLE PENINSULA, IRELAND
RING OF KERRY, IRELAND
Cliffs of Moher & Aran Islands, IRELAND
Castleisland, Co. Kerry
BRIXHAM, DEVON, UK
EUROPEAN RIVER CRUISE
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
CAPE KEKYRNYI, RUSSIA
Kamchatka - July 2013
JAPAN - 2013
...A Time of Whales
South Shetland Islands 2013
SOUTH GEORGIA ISLAND, Southern Ocean
St. Andrews Bay - 2013
South Georgia 2013
FALKLAND ISLANDS - 2013
On the way to Antarctica
ARGENTINA - 2013
VENICE - 2012
THE VENETIAN ISLANDS - 2012
Murano and Burano
Kimberley Region on M/V ORION
South Africa 2012
Mala Mala Game Reserve
Little Makalolo Camp
Dubai, UAE 2012
Cochin - Vaikom Village
Sri Lanka 2012
Hoi An 2011
Chiang Mai 2011
Australia Nov. 2011
Sydney Opera House
Expedition Cruising 2011
My African Safari...May 2010
Remembering Africa - 2010
Lassen National Park, California
Thanks so much for reading along this far……if you've enjoyed my tales and photos and would like to see more, click on the OLDER POSTS button, or the photo thumbnails to the right or below…....there are awesome countries and exciting adventures. If you love to decorate your personal space, dig and delve in your garden, and turn out tasty morsels from your kitchen..........you're at the right place!