Sunday, November 10

MEADOW LAKE ENTRANCE plants at guardhouse

Earlier in the year our Meadow Lake Neighborhood went through a transformation after a car accident damaged our guardhouse.
Since then with the help of many wonderfully talented neighbors
our guardhouse and entrance smiles again.
Many interested neighbors and passersby have enquired about the individual plants.
So here are a few answers for them...
Hopefully the design above will help you locate the plants in question.
Close-up photos follow.
hydrangea 'limelight

laurel 'otto luyken'
English boxwood

Monday, January 16

Brentwood TN January Garden Chores

I know it's January and it is getting cold outside,

 but there are still some things left to do in the garden.

Like raking out garden beds and clearing leaves off to the compost pile.

Mulch can be spread to protect your plants.

And Royal Soil will add nourishment to tired garden beds.

Be sure to water your plants if it hasn't rained for a long period of time. Dry roots kill.

After all that, sit back and dream about what will come in Spring. Hah!

(Photo by Barbara Beach)


Friday, December 30

Brentwood TN Last day of 2011

We've had a few, nice, warm, sunny days to end the year 2011 here in Brentwood TN.

The neighborhood is quiet.

Except for the occasional sawing from a house nearby being renovated.

It is nice to stop and have a cup of tea and piece of Victoria Sponge for a special treat.

The recipe is our Auntie Leslie's in Saltash, England

and it is THE BEST and OF COURSE... you cover it with clotted cream!

 Here are a few clips from her garden.

This is a warm sunny spot on even the coldest days.

Now you know where I fell in love with the look of geraniums in a sunny window.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE small spaces! Look how much is going on here!
It looks and feels great!

Izzy gives the garden character. Yes Izzy, we know, you are moving soon. Don't worry, you will love your new home.

Izzy has raised several children, is a devoted friend and a comforting presence in the garden. He is important. Make sure that you have an Izzy in YOUR garden!

Nice little retaining walls make use of tiny spaces.

This one creates a pathway...and it is a pretty view from the conservatory.

Well Done!

Right then, enough dawdling . . . Back to work!

I hope you and yours have a Happy New Year.

Auntie Leslie's recipe for

Victoria Sponge

6 oz. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
6 oz. butter (3/4 cup)
6 oz. sugar (3/4 cup)
3 eggs
raspberry jam for filling
icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) for top
clotted cream ( sometimes Harris Teeter or Fresh Market has it.)

Sieve flour and baking powder.
Cream butter & sugar until fluffy.
Beat eggs.
Add 1/4 of beaten eggs to the creamed butter, beat.
Add flour gradually, beat and repeat. A little egg, a little flour until all is well beaten.
Pour mixture into 2 greased and floured 7" sandwich tins.
(I had to go all the way to England to get 7" sandwich tins. What a hardship!)

Bake side by side on middle shelf of a 375 degree oven for 20-25 mins.
Cool on a wire tray and sandwich together with jam or butter icing.
Sprinkle icing sugar on top.
Serve with clotted cream.

Sunday, December 18

Peaceful Christmas from Meadow Lake

It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,

From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:

"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
with peaceful wings unfurled,
and still their heavenly music floats
o'er all the weary world;

Above its sad and lowly plains,
they bend on hovering wing,
and ever o'er its Babel sounds
the blessed angels sing.

And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow,
look now, for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
and hear the angels sing!

For lo, the days are hastening on,
by prophets seen of old,
when with the ever-circling years
shall come the time foretold

When peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splenfors fling,

and the whole world send back the song
which now the angels sing.

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.
Edmund H Sears, 1810-1876


Saturday, December 17


Twas the Night before Christmas
by Clement Clarks Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Clement Clarke Moore (1779 - 1863) wrote the poem Twas the night before Christmas also called “A Visit from St. Nicholas" in 1822. It is now the tradition in many American families to read the poem every Christmas Eve. The poem 'Twas the night before Christmas' has redefined our image of Christmas and Santa Claus. Prior to the creation of the story of 'Twas the night before Christmas' St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, had never been associated with a sleigh or reindeers!

Thanks to all who worked on the Christmas lights and John Logue, thanks for new landscaping!