Dear Journal

Dear Journal,

It’s been a while since I’ve written.  I’m not sure why I’ve not written because things have happened.  I have been busy.  My life is busy.   I haven’t had a chance to put anything in words.  Allen and I are always talking about this and how our attempts to slow down never happen.  We don’t want to miss anything!

Speaking of which, we’ve taken two trips since last we talked and they were amazing.   I hope to tell you about them very soon.  One was out west on the motorcycle and the other to California to visit with family.  I have kept the grandkids quite a bit and this makes me very, very happy.  I realize how blessed I am when they are with me. I never knew this could make me so happy.  They are getting so big!

hallie and luke october 2015 amsonia hubrectii

As I write this, baby Luke (although he is almost 3) is taking a nap beside me.  I can tell he doesn’t feel good because he hasn’t wanted to go outside today and usually I can’t keep him inside.  He calls me Nana and when I suggest we do something, he tells me that’s a great idea.  Hallie started kindergarten this fall and I can’t believe how much she is changing.  She told her other grandmother she was training me to work on her farm.  Ha!  Little does she know she’s been training me since she was born.

I have worked outside when I can.  It’s been unusually warm and we have yet to have a freeze.  Dad and I harvested more honey in September before we left on our first trip.  45 more pounds!   That makes a grand total of 90 pounds this year.  Amazing creatures those bees.

bees and honey honey

Since we had so much, we decided to sell some so I told people on Facebook and within 6 hours we sold out.  Crazy.

The fall color at the house was a little late this year

october 2015

and the color at the lake house has been stunning.


lake house nov. 2015

Since we’ve not had a freeze yet, my flowers are still blooming.  The celosia is usually covered by bees

IMG_0011 and even though I’m ready to clean up the garden, I can’t bring myself to take away their food source.  It is scarce this time of year.   So, instead,  I’ve been collecting seed for next year

celosia and seed

celosia flowers and seed

rue seed

Rue seed

One unusual plant I have blooming now is the Toad Lily (Tricyrtis hirta)

toad lilyIt is in the shade for the most part and I always forget about until it blooms.  What an ugly name for a pretty flower.  I would’ve named it Star Lily but no one bothered to ask me.

coleus and begonia october

Coleus and begonia

It is so strange to see my coleus and begonias blooming this late.  I took cuttings of the coleus and then pulled them up.  Once these plants freeze, they turn into mush and I can hardly stand to touch them even with gloves on.

The garden has been cleaned up, garlic has been planted and mulched and the winter wheat is coming up nicely.


And lastly, when I saw this lone leaf one foggy morning,

lone leaf in fall

I couldn’t help but wonder.   Am I more like the leaf clinging to the tree?   Fighting nature, pushing the limits?  Or more like the winds that push the leaves to the ground?

Sometimes I wonder, journal.

Talk to you soon,





About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
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16 Responses to Dear Journal

  1. Nikki G says:

    So good to hear from you again! I live in NW Arkansas also and I’m like you, want to clean up the garden area while the weather has been so nice, but the bees have been so busy. We do not have a hive though. Would love to get started in bee keeping. I am intimidated by it! Wonder where all the bees in my garden are living? We are in a valley, so it looks like tonight might be our first frost? Sad to see everything go, but looking forward to warm cozy nights by the fire and hopefully getting some craft projects done. Have a warm and cozy winter and enjoy those precious grands!


    • They are having free beekeeping classes at NTI in Springdale the end of Jan. and first of Feb. Just go to the NWA Beekeepers website for more info. The classes are free and very informative. I was intimidated at first too but have enjoyed it so much! I will probably get a frost tonight as well. My grandson and I picked some very small tomatoes this afternoon. I don’t think I’ve ever picked tomatoes in November. I hear you about craft projects. I’ve got so many things I need to catch up on inside I don’t even know where to start.


  2. Becky Yoder says:

    I’ve missed your posts. : ) This one is lovely and inspiring, as always.
    I’ve been meaning to ask you if you’ve seen the beehives where you drain the honey via a spigot at the bottom. I wonder how well they actually work.


    • Thanks, Becky! I can’t believe it has been so long.
      I don’t know how that beehive would work. They say you can uncap the frame from the inside but I don’t know how you would know which one is ready. Also, the bottles on the outside that collect the honey are open in the pictures and if that was in my bee yard, the bees would be all over it and in it. I haven’t looked into the details very much though.


  3. Dawn says:

    So happy to hear from you, Brenda! You have been missed! It’s always fun to peek at your garden, the bees, and all of your projects. Hallie and Luke are really growing up quickly! The time that you share together is so precious! My Midwest garden has been put to bed for the winter already. So, it’s fun to see your blossoms.Looking forward to hearing about your recent travels.


  4. bittster says:

    Good to see you back. It’s just another thing on top of everything else, this blogging thing. Sometimes you just want to go and play lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hallie training YOU to work HER farm — sheesh! Loved that pic of fall color with all the pinks. It’s been in the 90’s here this week but it could turn cold overnight so I’ve already put my faves in the greenhouse. I think I’ve heard we are having a mild winter.


  6. Hey, Brenda! Great to hear from you! Your grandbabies look so sweet! Is that an amsonia behind them? If so, I am jealous. Cannot find one anywhere! I was offered to dig up part of a friend’s but they do not transplant well, I’ve heard…:(
    So glad you’re back. ❤


    • Thank you, Katherine! Yes, it is Amsonia hubrectii. I got mine from Pine Ridge Garden in London, AR (MaryAnn King) but I’ve seen them here at Westwood Gardens and White River Nursery. I have shoots come up from mine that I have transplanted and they have done great. Hope you are doing well.


  7. Glad to see you posting again, and it’s reassuring you are receiving training from your grandchild so you can grow up to be useful! Looks like your honey making effort has been a big success! I bet those jars of honey would make great Christmas gifts. You have some beautiful fall color out your way.


    • Thanks, Jason. I can tell you this, I would rather be trained by her any day of the week! They are so funny and entertaining and I treasure my days with them. Dad and I were really surprised we were able to get another harvest of honey (usually once a year is normal) He doesn’t like to crank the extractor,though so he and Allen are going to motorize it this winter. Between the two of them, there is no telling what I’ll get!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. oh my goodness, your grandchildren are beautiful! It must be wonderful to spend time with them. That is a lot of honey! Looking forward to posts about your trips soon.


  9. Peter/Outlaw says:

    A wonderful post about your full and happy life! Beautiful grandchildren and foliage!


  10. Pingback: Spring Has Sprung | The Blonde Gardener

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