Thursday, June 18, 2015

Finally, Peonies!

I've been dreaming of peonies - for more than 30 years,
 since they don't do well in the Med's frontiers, where
  heady jasmine and honeysuckle bloom profusely.

'Sunny side up' Krinkled Whites, looking deliciously sweet.

Their fluffy, silky petals, and squiggly, sunny centres

Blaze Peony

shine brilliantly, even on dark,
 North American rainy days.

Pink Firelight Peonies

And that fragrance...Few scents are as sweet
and refreshingly uplifting, wouldn't you agree?

Over 300 varieties of peonies were on display at the
 11th Annual Peony Festival, in Oshawa Ontario.

Thus, when the city of Oshawa hosts its annual
Peony Festival, people come from far and wide,

travel over land and sea, (like yours truly, 
appropriately clutching a pink cardie, in
 honour of my beloved, bold, pink peony, the
 magnetic and magnificent, Myrtle Gentry!).

Others, living in the near vicinity,
waddle and waltz right in, and being
 very neighbourly, make themselves at home.

For, there is a lot to see, like the many
rows of lovelies in the peony pageantry!

Other pretties will stay forever young,
painted in portraits very complimentary,

while buckets of beauties, soaking their stems,
will be picked for their signature scent, in the end.

Each festival peony was a pure delight for me,
whose perfume still lingers in my memory,

but only one, in particular remains close to my heart,
which was neither a contestant, nor a model for art,

for it arrived in the mail,
 gracing the front of a card,
whose words of friendship and love,
 I hold in the very highest regard.

Thank you, Dewena. And yes, these giant, but
delicate lovelies are, indeed, Festiva Maxima;
 you know your peonies well!

From my brother-in-law's garden, Festiva Maxima peonies perfume the late spring breeze.

Happy weekend, my friends,
 and thanks for visiting!


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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Decor to Explore on Lake Ontario's Shores

Meet the talented Michael Penney:
decorator, retailer, husband and father.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Michael,
 when we visited his beautiful shop in the
 pretty town of Whitby, Ontario, last week.

My mom, my sister, my daughter, and I spent some
time studying the charming rooms,  at Penney & Co.,
 114 Dundas St. West, in the heart of downtown Whitby.

The entire space is furnished and accessorized by 
items that Michael has hand picked himself. 

Before heading back home, we made a stop near the city's marina. Being a Pisces, I am naturally drawn to water. Thus, whether it's the saltwater of the deep blue Aegean, or the cold freshwater of Lake Ontario, waves on hydro runways, seagulls floating in the misty air, and the muffled echo of voices in the distance, always demand barefoot march along rugged coastlines, 

or simply a leisurely stroll near the sandy shore.

Thanks for visiting!

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Birds, Bees, Lilacs and Peonies

'Canadian' colours welcome me to Unionville, Ontario, where my sister
   and her family have been living for the past 16 years, and Liberty for 3!

Hello, my friends,
I've missed you!

On Main Street, black shutters frame white windows,
 allowing for peeks into a reno taking place, 'inside'.

I arrived in Canada on May 7th, and have been enjoying
 the sights and sounds of my favourite season.

A perfect pale purple, luscious lilacs scent their
 surroundings, providing a sweet surprise for passersby.

On my walks around the neighbourhood, I am greeted
  by frilly, fragrant lilacs, which instantly transport me
 back to the pretty gardens of my childhood.

Another ebony and ivory beauty, this one complete with French windows
and doors, facing a pretty pathway, leading back to a welcoming front porch.

The grass is green, the sky is blue, the birds
 are singing, and everything's 'brand new'!

An empty swing sways in the cool, morning breeze, as eager, early
 bird shoppers, (yours truly, included), hunt for charming treasures
inside this beautiful, barn red house holding a contents sale. 

Don't you just love it when serendipity sneaks up on you,
 smack -!- in the middle of your prepared plans, and 
suddenly plants happy  smile on your elated face,
 because you just 'happened' to run into an old friend, or,
 oh, I don't know...stumble upon a brilliant estate sale?!

I do!

On her way home from work, Liberty stopped to
smell the peonies, after snapping them for her mama.

But when it strikes TWICE, (coming across pure pink
peonies in full bloom!), it's cause for celebration, and
 that's exactly what we did, as we celebrated Liberty's
 26th birthday, and Poppy View's  3rd, on May 18th.

A lemon cream cake, baked with lots of love, for my very sweet Liberty.

Thanks for visiting! As you know, I've been busy with my
 sister's move, buying new furniture, and packing up the old, 
with little breaks in between, seeing friends and relatives.
 I hope to catch up with youtoo, all this week, since
 we are expecting 5 (!) days of non-stop rain. 

On the bright side, I was honoured to be featured
   at Junk Chic Cottage's wonderful series,
'Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger'.
Please come by and say hello to our charming
 hostess, Kris, and me; we'd love to see you!

Finally! Peonies - in person, after 30 years of  adoring them from a far!

Wishing you all a very sunny Sunday, and
a happy Memorial Day to my American friends!


Friday, May 1, 2015

A May Day Petal Parade

Daisies dot the Cretan countryside, their sunny faces
 open to new beginnings, while blues of sea and sky
blend to form infinite shades of hope and wonder.

Little by little, leafy patches sprouting carrot toned
 petals fill the cracks on white washed, stony walls.

The vines have arrived! Like an army of soldiers,
 they stand at attention, awaiting their cue to
 renew those juicy bursts of summer jewels.

 Contrasting hues make you retrace your steps, to 
gaze at gardens growing effortlessly on their own,

 as are tiny blossoms blooming on vacant, bare
 branched trees, despite their short term stay.

 Dear Friends,
I hope you've enjoyed all these sweeties!
I will be leaving them in a few days, as I 
depart for my beloved Canada, to spend 
time with Liberty, my family and friends.
My sister, Cindy, has asked me to decorate
her new home, and I can't wait! Of course,
I will be sharing this project with you, as
well as my visits to flower festivals, where 
I will finally get to see my precious peonies 
and other sentimental charmers up close!

Happy Update:
Today, Saturday, May 23rd,
 I am being featured at sweet Kris'
'Saturday Spotlight:
Life Behind the Blogger' series.
Hope you come by and say 'hi'!

Until next time, wishing you all a 
very happy month of May!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Cuties, Pretties, Poppies, and Lovelies

On my way to visit my sweet friend, here in the
village, I couldn't resist snapping these hot  
hued cuties, on this perfectly warm spring day.

Pathways covered in purple pretties and buttery
toned beauties led to views of the valley below.


 Poppies, gently swayed in the cool breeze,
gracefully bowing their heads, to acknowledge
the wind's presence, if only for a few seconds.

Whenever I pass this house, with its simple, square shape, blue and white   contrasts, and original terracotta tiled roof, I pause to appreciate its signature provincial style, shaded in dabs of green.

Look at that chalky blue sky! I wondered if the sea, just
 below, had mirrored its multi toned, amethyst allure.

Behind the curtained window, freshly brewed coffee, home baked cookies, and cozy conversation awaited me. It was the perfect pick-me-up, after spending siesta photographing local lovelies, in the balmy afternoon heat.

Wishing you all a wonderfully
warm and sunny, spring weekend!


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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Playful April Petals

The Venetian Walls, built in the 15th century, surround the city of Heraklion, and are the largest fortified structure in the Mediterranean. I have strolled their flowery paths many times, pausing to enjoy the panoramic views. On this particular afternoon, while waiting for my bus back to the village, I studied and admired their own beauty,
 which is equally impressive, from ground level.

Entering the village, crowds of Cretan hollyhocks, 
daisies and buttercups charmingly line the main road, 
greeting visitors with their sweet hospitality upon arrival. 


The tiny, white church, nestled among olive trees and 
evergreens, is a picture of bucolic calm, and beckons
one to sift through the thick vegetation, to come and
sit quietly amid this lush, hilly haven above the sea.

Here it is again, as seen from our property, now bordered
by bouquets of laurel, and aromatic, flowering herbs. 


Steps away from our own veggie patch, a mature
 olive tree floats in a bath of fresh, new greenery,

while in the grove immediately behind our walls,
young trees stand in line for a spring pruning.

 April, I am grateful for your gentle breeze,
 bringing songbirds, butterflies and bees, to
   play with spring blossoms and flowering trees,
in a game most magnificent and joyful. 

Thanks for visiting,
 and happy weekend!

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