05 December 2009

PNW Farm Tour: Plants, Trees, Decorations & More

Continuing on with the PNW farm tour we come to another farm which is actually more a nursery/store but is an awesome place!! We were in search of the legendary ice apples which magically appear there early in November each year and disappear within a few weeks. Since we had been blessed to have some of them last year we arrived early in their 'season'-eager to again enjoy their magical deliciousness Can I say we were not disappointed?

While we were there we had to have a look see at the magical world the Purple People had created there...it definitely got me in the Christmas mood but being the good little Pilgrim child that I am, I waited till now to post the photos:) It wasn't easy!

Confession here! I have such a weakness for gingerbread men. They are just SO cute and irresistable! Maybe it was a result of reading the Gingerbread Boy when I was younger or perhaps it is just they are SO yummy and delicious, but I am hoping that Farmer Boy will soon be done with the kitchen cabinets and hooking up the new range:)

Another tree I liked was this one (although there were many beautifully decorated Christmas trees there). I also need to confess I have a weakness for reindeer, moose, elk and deer. One time when I was a bit younger then I am now a group of us visited a historic house that was hosting a special event. They had a Christmas tree in -- or at least it seemed this way--almost every room of the house! It actually was pretty neat and with all the ornaments I have collected plus ones that are easily made (or gathered from the garden or kitchen) I might be able to do that someday...maybe next year when the chaos from the BIG project has cleared:)

In addition to my aforementioned weakness for Gingerbread Men, reindeer and Bambi types, I need to confess my love for just a few other things--one being St Nicholas and the other two are penguins (love their tuxedos) and polar bears, especially little polar bear cubs. Hence the photos here (sorry no penguin pics this year)

Besides the wonderful ice apples and 'animals' on trees, Al's has such a large variety of poinsettias that I was truly amazed--they were everywhere! They had them in white, mauve, red, pink and a new one called Cinnamon Star that I fell for.

Another plant I fell for was this one--a shooting star hyacinth.


Beautiful aren't they? The white poinsettias were amazing too!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE crèches--this one is very nice with the angels on the tree. I always think it's neat when I see one at businesses or in public places.
Hope you enjoyed our little trip in the PNW--
here is a link to this 'farm's' website.
Advent Blessings,
A big thank you to Al's for giving me permission to post these photos here on my blog and a thank you to their helpful staff there (and as per usual -- I am not associated with them or any of the farms I have featured) Just think they are ALL great places to visit in the PNW:)

Walks in His Gardens: Late Autumn's Garden

While changes continue to take place in our home, changes are also taking place in the garden which now looks much more like the late autumn garden it is (well mostly). Near the berm in the Japanese-style garden, the camellia has been blooming since before Thanksgiving -- beautiful rosy pink blossoms set amidst glossy evergreen leaves. Quite a dramatic sight at this time of the year when so many plants have gone dormant and where bare branches seem to rule the land.
In another part of the garden brown fuzzy kiwi still hang from bare branches, now clearly seen without any leaf cover.
Update: As of this afternoon--late, late this afternoon--I can happily report they were all picked except for a few too high (and too hazardous to reach given the deepening shadows of the late, late, late hour). And yes, the lingonberries were picked this afternoon too--can I say 'finally'?!
Back in the Japanese-style garden, a temporarily semi-frozen pond holding captive the aquatic plants which once floated on its surface not so very long ago.
Although so many of the once colorful autumn leaves now lay on the ground--dry and brown--a few plants haven't lost all their leaves yet and on some plants (caneberries here) the leaves still glow red in the late fall sunlight.
A few mushrooms too add unexpected color to the garden---these will NOT be harvested. Aimee DOES NOT like poisonous fungi--ick--and she is constantly hunting them down and discouraging their growth in her garden (once she takes their pictures of course). Actually to be totally honest, Aimee does appreciate their unique beauty but removes them because she doesn't want her precious puppies nibbling on one of them :)
Another unexpected bit of color! A few rose blossoms remain (along with some other surprises)-- call it a result of our wonderful microclimates here; or perhaps a very strange weather year, but whatever the reason their beauty-especially at this time of the year-is greatly appreciated!

04 December 2009

Art of the Father

The other day a ray of light shone through our window making a plant's blossoms glow in it,
turning these fragile flowers into red and white works of art;
the living origami of a heavenly Father.
And in those few moments, as I paused to admire their delicate beauty-
their graceful shape-
and the beautiful colors
the Artist had combined together (so perfect),
I realized that I had just seen a miracle-
the miracle of life.


29 November 2009

Advent 2009

Freezing temperatures, snow-capped mountains, bare tree branches and frozen ponds.
Evergreen wreaths, garlands of cedar and beautiful ornaments.
Gingerbread, fudge, fruitcake, baking (well not until the range is connected), gift lists, cards to be sent.
Candlelight, Nativity plays, carols, special meals and Christmas bazaars.
All a part of the Advent and Christmas season here in the PNW--
but it is so very much more.
To read about the significance of Advent, a season of preparation, and to check out some links with online Advent calendars and related info see my post from Advent 2008 (links updated for 2009):
Note: Sorry this is late; I am backdating it to the first day of Advent 09 which was this past Sunday, November 29th.
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