Who can resist that face?

Not me.

Happy Saturday.

~ Susanne and Benji

Spring Comes Early to the NW Flower and Garden Show

We interrupt this winter to bring you the Northwest Flower and Garden Show!  Yes, it’s February – time again to head to the Convention Center where spring is alive and its fragrance fills the air!  I did that yesterday and filled my senses with the brilliant reds and yellows in my favorite display gardens.

I loved the Pacific Fire Vine Maple with its beautiful red bark,

next to the yellow twig dogwood which pairs nicely with it.

I was also happy to rest my eyes on this calming white garden, one I might actually pull off myself.

Not that I try to replicate what I see at the Show; the gardens are always too lavish for mere mortals to imitate.  But I do get inspired and always come home with a few tips or names of new plants to try.   I also go to shop.  There are hundreds of vendors selling their wares – plants and seeds and garden tools,  art,  jewelry, antiques, and books – I can’t say I wasn’t tempted by these.

My best purchase was a new hummingbird feeder which is already out and ready to feed those flying jewels.

So there you have it: another year of the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, one of the largest in the country and still going strong after almost 30 years.  Another year of inspiration and a reminder that spring is near: it’s time to return to the garden. So I’ve started my to do list, mundane though it may be:  thin out the herbs, transplant the roses, prepare the vegetable bed, and tend to my apple trees in hopes of getting more than the one I got last year. (Yes, you heard that right.)

Still, wasn’t it a beauty?  There’s always hope when spring is here.

~ Susanne

Weekly Photo Challenge: Seattle!

For this week’s photo challenge, I will be your tour guide to Seattle, my hometown and one of America’s most beautiful cities.  We’ll start with a picture I took from the deck of our cruise ship last fall, as we were about to depart for Alaska. I like the picture for the prominence given to the Space Needle, which in reality no longer dominates our city’s skyline but will always be its symbol to me.  Even less prominent is the 1914 Smith Tower seen on the far right, once the tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi, now barely a footnote in the city.

You’ll find equally beautiful views from Alki Beach, the birthplace of Seattle,

Including the Olympic Mountains to the west, floating above Puget Sound.  A ferry will take you there.

And if you’re here long enough, you’ll likely catch a glimpse of that other local symbol that will only leave you wanting more.

So go ahead.  Travel the distance south to Mt. Rainier and get up close and personal.

You’ll be glad you did.

Tour Guide

~ Susanne

Synchronized Sleeping Cats

– Tiger and Benji

Good Morning from Benji

~ Susanne

The Rain the Park and Umbrellas

If you’re going to live in the Great Northwest and enjoy life at all during the long and rainy winter months, you’re going to want to invest in a good umbrella.  You will likely have the small travel versions stashed here and there about the house or stuck in the trunk of your car for emergencies.  You know the ones, with the short stems and uncomfortable handles that will pop up and over unbidden in a windstorm, but I am not talking about those. No,  I’m talking about those versions with the nice handles and wide circumferences that you are proud to carry.

Recently my husband brought two new umbrellas home and allowed me to choose first.  He knows me well and I happily chose the blue one with the polka dots while he went with the red plaid. We tested them out this morning on a long walk around Gene Coulon Park in Renton. Here Bob is modeling his red plaid umbrella at my request.

I’m sporting mine next to the cold and stony people.  They could use one themselves.

The umbrellas had to stay up most of the time though occasionally the rain did stop. Either way, we enjoyed all the usual shapes and colors of Coulon.

~ Susanne

Winter Skies

After a soggy January, the rain finally stopped today and I was happy to go for a walk outside with partially blue skies peeking through the clouds.

While it still remained dry, I ventured out again at sunset to see my favorite winter tree.

Rain is forecasted to return tomorrow and continue on through the weekend.  It’s winter in the Northwest after all.

~ Susanne

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