Friday, May 12, 2017

Find the Colours of Summer in These Beautiful iPHOTOS.com Flower Photos for This Floral Friday

Photo of a Summer Garden with a Climbing Rose at a White Arbor
With Mother's Day this weekend, and landscapes beginning to bring us the colours of summer, these days there's been a lot of chatter around our office and in social conversations about flowers. 

It seems then, that since this blog is often dedicated to the sourcing of quality images collected around a particular theme, I will give you a heads up that you will be seeing some very pretty flower pictures courtesy of iPHOTOS.com.

Before then, however, I'd like to do some personal mental meandering through the gardens of my life.

Photo of a Deep Purple Gladiolus
When I think about flowers and the people who can make lovely outdoor spaces with them, my grandmothers are always the first to come to mind. While my dad's mother was a farmwife, with land, lots of land, on which to create beauty in various spots on her designated plot of property around the house,  my maternal grandmother transformed a spacious backyard into an oasis that served both an aesthetic and a practical purpose.  It was this one then that most inspires my strongest memories.

For my cousin and me, it was a magical playground.  Surrounded by a white picket fence, the heady fragrance of peonies greeted us as we passed through the gate.  The perimeter was a riot of colour and texture, where towering gladioli held court with posh roses. Dahlias in every hue shouted their bold statement while varied irises put on a show of their own. 

There were other more modest, but no less beguiling blooms, all quietly bringing their special beauty to the mix. Within their glory, we discovered the wonder of flora and fauna, searched for worms, snails and toads, studied bugs, bees and birds.

Photo of a Monarch Butterfly on a Coneflower
This delightful border enclosed an extensive vegetable and herb garden, where raspberry and strawberry bushes provided the best of summer treats. We ate peas right from the pod, carrots with mother earth still clinging to them.

Oddly, my mother inherited none of her mother's horticultural abilities. Mom's love of pretty things did not extend even to small flowerbeds which at our home were minimal in number and minimalist in the extreme when it came to content and level of required care.

As I grew older then, I discovered a little of each of these women's gardening gene had taken root inside of me. Like my grandmother I want flowers around my home, though my thumb is sadly not nearly as green as hers was.  Then on the flip side, is the hope that whatever my landscape design becomes it will require little maintenance or upkeep.

Photo of a Woman Planting Flowers in a GardenMy knowledge has increased over the years. I have more understanding of the challenges of my property with its plethora of stately maples,  and more information on the types of plants that will thrive in spite of this.  Conversations and advice from friends have been absorbed and saved.  And my flowerbeds are beginning to, if not compare to my grandmother's, at least would not embarrass her if she was around today.

All of these, however, had been existing beds from when we purchased the home and to which I've had to adapt to the changing shade conditions. Now, with a new summer getaway, I'm looking forward to starting with a clean slate. After  brainstorming with a friend, plus some advice from an expert at the nursery I'm hoping I can do my grandmothers proud on this project.

Besides the understanding of plants and their requirements to thrive, photos can go a long way in helping you determine what you'd like to see in your gardens. Enjoy this sampling from iPHOTOS.com

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Isn't it Romantic? Find Love and Passion in These 2 Amazing Clipart Collections

Clipart Image of a Bride and Groom
May 10, 1980 dawned early for me. After a night spent sleeping on the floor  (my parents' house was full and as the baby of the family the cheap seats or the most uncomfortable space typically went to me),  my lids flickered open to a bright ray of sunshine streaming through the living room window.  Though not a morning person, on this particular day I woke with a smile and an eagerness to get on with my life.

Or at least the next chapter. Having met an awesome fellow at a house party three and a half years before,  I had became a fiancée the previous fall and on this day was to become a wife.

I'd heard about cold feet, that peculiar phenomenon that occurs in some people prior to the wedding, an uncertainty or nervousness about the big step they're taking. For me, however, the sensation couldn't have been more different.  I had never felt more sure of anything in my life and knew without question that I was moving in exactly the right direction, with the right person, at the right time. I was keen for the journey to begin.

That was 37 years ago (in case you don't want to be bothered with the math).  Of course, the journey might have been a bit more rugged than my youthful naivete had envisioned back then. As many idealistic newlyweds I believed in the storybook charm of a model husband, of perfect children, a lovely home and a white picket fence. 

The unrealistic part of that was that nowhere in this storybook tale was there ever any talk of mortgages,  job woes,  or changing interests. There are a lot of outside forces that insinuate themselves into a marriage. But when you're facing them with your best friend, your partner, your love, you soon realize that they only win if you let them. Marriage has its peaks and valleys; it's up to each half of a couple to decide whether they'll take the bad with the good as a united front and traverse them together or give up.

Clipart Image of a Senior Couple Kissing
What I have learned in 37 years is that the good far outweighs the bad and I was right to be so excited for the beginning on that shining May 10 day.  Certainly this hasn't been storybook perfect. But, I found a person who has made me laugh every day since I've met him. He's the extrovert to my introvert, yin to my yang. He's a devoted family man, a loyal husband and friend.  He has worked hard to ensure that we've never done without. 

Bottom line, he's about as perfect as reality offers. Or at least perfect to me. And together we have invested ourselves 100% into this life of ours.

So on May 10 we will celebrate. Nothing major;  there have been some big renovations and purchases which we have decided are treat enough. But in tacit agreement we both knew after that reaching that conclusion, that our day would not go unacknowledged.

We've heard people say about their anniversary that it's just another day.  Which makes me rather sad.  Life has a way of intruding upon the idealistic notions of romance and passion.  Couples owe it to themselves and to their marriage to celebrate the love that brought them, and held them, together.

Today then, in my search for images, I feel like celebrating all of that good stuff.  Not just because of my impending anniversary, but for all of the newlyweds, as well as the old married folks,  and the soon-to-be-marrieds. Here then are two fantastic clipart collections that have something for every romantic project imaginable, from wedding invitations to a personal pronouncement of undying devotion:

Clipart Image of a Woman Kissing a Man on the Cheek


Clipart Image of a Pair of Lovebirds