Honestly, if I took some wide shots of my front and back yards and posted them here, you'd wonder why I even bothered with a garden blog. Currently, the "big picture" view emphasizes all the negatives: the drought, the pests, the heat, the suboptimal vegetable production. But if you looked closely, maybe you would see what I see -- the little victories. I go looking for these little vignettes, nearly every morning and afternoon. It's what keeps me going.
For example, take a peek at this little skipper. Never mind he's the only one of his species I saw the day I took this picture, or that there's all of 10 blossoms on this lantana bush, which would normally take over this bed. In this singular moment, all I see is one fortunate skipper enjoying a bounteous feast. (And if you looked even closer, catty-corner to the skipper, you'd see an ant feasting on nectar. Boy, but is that one lucky ant!)
Or, take the Turk's Cap. Some would ask, "Why is this plant half the size it was last year?" or, "Where are the hummingbirds that normally visit?" But all I see is this luscious, ruby-red oasis waiting for one lucky winged creature.
Are these ruined tomatoes, or the remains from a Feast of the Cardinals?
Here's how optimistic I am -- I found this Elfin Thyme at Dromgoole's, and bought it to plant in the dry, parched crevices of my uneven stone walkway. Never mind that the Wooly Thyme I bought the same day has died already -- look how fresh this thyme looks!
Never mind that my yellow lantana is just a scrawny little stick in the ground -- look at this blossom! Just wait til next year, after a winter of El Niño's refreshing rains. Why, I bet I'll have to hack it back to the ground with a scythe just to get in the front door.
My husband, Jack, sees it too, and by "it", I mean the positives. The happy stuff. The "that's kinda neat" things. For instance, one day he was watching a honey bee making its way, blossom by blossom, through the bed of pink and yellow lantana, and noticed the bee was only drinking from the yellow flowers - not from the pink. And the next morning, I noticed that the lantana blossoms were largely pink in color (with no bees around), but by afternoon, many of the pink blossoms had turned yellow, and the bees had come to visit.
By the way, Jack really does not like bees. Intellectually, he understands their place in the food chain, but psychologically, he's been stung once too many times. Literally.
And now, a picture of Blue Daze, just because I think the color is so fabulous. This plant is doing really well right now.
To end today's "accentuate the positive" post, I give you this picture of my tomato-red dwarf canna lily that was so spectacular-looking back in May.
Today, its spent blossoms look like kraft paper. But aren't its seed pods interesting? And if you look closely, you can see a fresh new blossom starting to form.
Never mind I accidentally broke off the new blossom about 30 seconds after taking this picture...sigh.