Friday’s flower No. 1


My Darling Husband, CutieDog, and I explored the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum for the first time. It is a private garden that began life as a retail plant nursery. It is open to the public; entrance is free. They are supported by donations and rentals of the space for private events. It is maintained by the Knoxville Garden Club. The members are slowly restoring the whole garden.






a nodding, yellow host


Last autumn, a group of local volunteers planted 60,000 daffodil bulbs in the medians around three exits along one of the interstates just north of downtown Knoxville. I went to see one of the displays. The sight is very pretty to behold–crepe myrtles to follow–and should be spectacular in years to come after the daffodils have multiplied.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
I wandered lonely as a cloud                                                                                                                                
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,                                                                                                                  
A host, of golden daffodils;                                                                                                                               
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,                                                                                                           
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.                                                                                                
Continuous as the stars that shine                                                                                                                       
And twinkle on the milky way,                                                                                                                          
They stretched in never-ending line                                                                                                              
Along the margin of a bay:                                                                                                                                    
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,                                                                                                                    
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.                                                                                                            
The waves beside them danced; but they                                                                                                         
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:                                                                                                                     
A poet could not but be gay,                                                                                                                                     
In such a jocund company;                                                                                                                                          
I gaze--and gazed--but little thought                                                                                                          
What wealth the show to me had brought:                                                                                                     
For oft, when on my couch I lie                                                                                                                                 
In vacant or in pensive mood,                                                                                                                            
They flash upon that inward eye                                                                                                                     
Which is the bliss of solitude;                                                                                                                               
And then my heart with pleasure fills,                                                                                                              
And dances with the daffodils.                                                                                                                                
-- William Wordsworth

designed in Kansas, made in Tennessee


Back in December I received an email notification that was going to feature a monthly quilt-a-long in 2016. Some of the designs are traditional quilt blocks and others are new, modern designs. It looked like the final product would be a fun quilt, so I joined

Each month’s online class is led by a different fabric designer. My blocks pictured above are, from left to right, the blocks for January, February, and March. Quilters will recognize January’s block as an Ohio Star. February’s block is a design by Anna Maria Horner, and the March block is from Carolyn Friedlander.

The fabric I am using is from my stash. This fabric is the Sweet Pea collection designed by a fellow Kansan, Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles Quilters. I won it in one of her giveaways a year or two ago. I have to piece scraps together to make larger pieces big enough for some pattern sections, but I don’t mind. That will be less noticeable when the quilt is finished. I will be adding a border to each block, using a solid khaki fabric that also is already in my stash.

plans B & C, because of the D

Today was a lovely spring day in east Tennessee, and My Darling Husband had the sudden urge to go hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So away we went, up to the entrance road to Clingman’s Dome. Alas, the dome is closed until March 31, so we went across the road to the Newfound Gap trailhead.20160315_17362420160315_17364120160315_174029

Alas, no dogs allowed! We then read that pets on a leash are allowed on only two of the trails in this national park. That is highly disappointing, because we had planned to take CutieDog on most of our hiking excursions here and we want to work our way along all of the trails in this park.
We loaded the dog and ourselves into the car and headed back down the twisty mountain road to this path that we spied on the way up. This path is called the Quiet Walkway and there were not any No Dogs Allowed signs to be seen.


Along the Quiet Walkway is this cemetery from the 1800s. The tall headstone on the right is a newer replacement stone for one of the old graves.20160315_182049

We then came to this river, which I think is the West Prong Little Pigeon River. You can see the native rhododendrons in this shot. Our mountain goat of a dog rambled and jumped from rock to rock right along with us. We sat on a rock here for a bit.20160315_18382020160315_184535

We had met two exiting hikers at the head of the Quiet Walkway, but no others. Not being able to hike with the crowds on the first two trails was rewarded by having the Quiet Walkway and this spot on the river to ourselves, the birds, and the sound of rushing water. Bliss.

surprise #3


While cutting down some old bushes along our front porch today, I spotted a canna lily that I did not plant. My mother-in-law informed me that cannas grow as perennials here in Tennessee. A previous owner of the house planted it. That, or an animal dropped a canna lily seed. Hmmm…I am so curious to see what color the flowers will be. The leaf color is exotic and will add some good contrast to the green-leaved flora that I plant. I transplanted it to a pot temporarily, until I have a spot ready for it in the sunnier flower bed between the house and driveway.

In the brown pot are a couple of hydrangea cuttings that my mother-in-law let me take from her bush. I am attempting to root them. One has a couple of living leaves on it, so it may have some roots, but I want to wait longer to pull it out and check.



This daffodil is the first flower we have here at our new house. It is currently the only flower. Previous owners of this house landscaped nicely, but not all of it has survived. The flower beds are in place, edged with rocks. I have lots of weeds to pull and I do mean lots. There are two living rose bushes and a few boxwoods. I definitely will be utilizing those and the tulips that are coming up. With time, lots of elbow grease, and education about some other plants we inherited (new region = new plants) our yard will become as pretty as this daffodil.

good to the last one

Today I took CutieDog for a walk in this park 20140815_201735

where I took a gorgeous photograph of him 20140815_201636 but he could care less about portrait photography, so we walked

20140815_201707 and gathered the lone ripe berry in the whole park20140815_205744

I do believe that the 2014 berry season has drawn to a close unless the mulberry trees around the corner from our house are still bearing. They have born for a longer period this summer than last year. I’ll check their status this week.

the fruits of my labor

Over the past few weeks I have been picking mulberries and raspberries. Both kinds of fruit grow wild in this region, along with there being u-pick orchards that sell raspberries. I have a few plastic containerfuls from the wild fruits that I picked. I was going to make some jam with them and the small amount of strawberries that I picked at a farm last month. Said fruit has been in the freezer. The jam has yet to be made. My Darling Husband was in dire need want of something sweet today, so I used some of the mulberries and raspberries to make a cobbler. 20140722_195331  I used this heirloom recipe from one branch of My Darling Husband’s family. 20140722_195455In place of margarine (oleo), I used butter and a little vegetable shortening; I approximated 1/2 cup. For the flour, I used 3/4 cup all-purpose and 1/4 cup wheat.  Then I ended up stirring in a bit more wheat flour because I used too much butter/shortening! I used unsweetened fruit, except for the sugar that was already in the cherry pie filling that I mixed with the mulberries and raspberries.20140722_221117 It turned out good: the right balance of fruit and cake. Deeelicious! It would be even better with real whipped cream.