Thursday, October 17, 2019

Seasons Through My Garden's Gate

                                                                                
How quickly the seasons of the year, and our lives pass!  

The days of summer came and went far more quickly than even a blink of an eye!  My garden produced bounteous amounts of vegetables, herbs, and berries.  

The enjoyment of days spent outside in the sunshine are remembered with sweet fondness now as Fall and Winter have both arrived simultaneously.  

I am now in the process of putting the garden to sleep for the winter, as Summer has passed.  In this post, I'll share with you the bounteous joys the summer season brought to us, enjoyed immensely to the fullest, and now just a sweet memory in our hearts with the arrival of the next seasons at hand... 
                                                                    
I spent a lot of time in my garden sitting area praying, it was just the most peaceful place to visit with the Lord.  I also held weekly prayer gatherings here, and what a joy it was to bask in the sweet presence of the Lord while sunshine and warmth graced the world around us. 

Many summer evenings, my husband and I rode the quad down to the river and went for an evening swim.
It was a perfect way to cool off during those few precious days of hot weather! 

My garden fairly shone with the abundance of blooms I had planted, all of them were started in the dead of winter and babied in my greenhouse until I planted them in early June. 

I continued making glass plates this summer, and found a few local stores who have sold many of them for me.
It is a fun way to showcase beautiful china that otherwise sits dusty on a shelf! 

A glimpse of my garden in mid-summer. You may notice the absence of trees behind my little shed and garden area.  An opportunity to have our place logged this summer meant that I was able to finally get full sunshine now in my garden! It really made an incredible difference! 
Having all the sunshine they needed made such a difference for my plants,
and I saw the greatest harvest I've ever had this year because of that. 
One more thing I changed up this year was the amount of compost/peat moss/straw that I put out over the entire garden. All of it together combined with the extra sunshine allowed my garden to produce an outstanding harvest gifting! 
I tried a few different designs with all the plates in my garden, and this little teapot lamp is one of my favorites. I used a large ashtray, turned a vase upside down, and glued a teapot on top, and threaded fairy lights into the vase, turning it into a lamp.  This little lamp lights up the kitchen at night when it is bedtime, and it is comforting to see it glow in the darkness. You can see one of my gorgeous roses from my garden sitting in a handcrafted vase gifted to me by my friend Dianne, and a bouquet of lavender that I dried from my garden as well.  
During harvest season I would pick my tomatoes as they began to ripen, placing them in trays in my greenhouse to hurry the process along.  It has been an incredible year of tomato harvesting! 
At the peak of late summer season, these gorgeous marigolds, black-eyed susans, zinnias and cosmos bloomed until it made my heart almost burst with joy to see it. 
As tomatoes ripened, I used my Instant Pot to can them. Processing using the Instant Pot is so easy! I wash the tomatoes, take off any bad spots, add 1/2 cup water, process 30 minutes on manual, then do natural release and drain the water.  Using my immersion blender, I blend in the pot until tomatoes are smooth.  Pour into prepared quart or pint jars. I add lemon juice and salt per the Ball recipe.  Process by a water bath and cool.  My Instant Pot full of fresh tomatoes makes 2 quart and 1 pint jar of canned tomatoes.  This has become the easiest way to deal with my tomatoes as they ripen each day.  

Since tomatoes don't ripen here all at once, this has become the easiest process for me to can the tomatoes as they ripen. 
Garden delights!

Let the salsa making commence!
Sadly, all lovely and wonderful things must come to an end, and Winter decided to steal Fall's thunder and arrive on September 28.  I had taken the weather forecast to heart, and gathered all my vegetables still in the ground and stored them in my greenhouse. I picked as many bouquets from the abundant flowers growing as I could, and brought them inside.
Early that morning Jack Frost visited and left his icy mark, while Winter showed up later that afternoon. 


In their last glorious moments of blooming delight,
the frost crowned them with icy delights. 


Then Winter arrived, and the blanket of snow quieted the earth with its abundance on September 28th. 

Trees were damaged with the snow that this early on trees who are not prepared for the weight of snow on their leaves cannot support that weight. Our Blazing Red Maple lost two lower limbs because of the weight of the snow. 
One of my glass plates coated in snow's icy embrace.

Under the burden of the snow, still the colors of my garden did their best to shine.
Seeing snow on the ground on September 28th broke records even for our area.  According to local reports, the last snowfall to come in September was back in the 1920s, so it had been a while! I wrote a poem about this event that I will share with you now :) 

Seasons Through My Garden’s Gate

During the long months of Winter
planning ensues with great anticipation
for days filled with Summer's grandeur.

Garden bed designs, blooms envisioned
Bulbs, seeds and plant starts
As my garden journal bulges.

Then Spring arrives in dizzying moments of perfume
Waltzing along those busy days of awakening soil and budding blooms
Always a splendid hurrying in anticipation of Summer’s rays.

Soon Summer arrives in warm waves of breathless splendor
Weaving itself gracefully onto each sunlit day
as pearls that slip by on a golden strand.

Until one day - in a blink of an eye -  Summer has vanished
and Fall and Winter, hand-in-hand
stand before the garden's gate.

Fall's colorful adorning beckons adoringly
while Winter in his icy attire swaggers through the gate
Their arrival together a bittersweet surprise.

I bid them both entrance,
for what can one do when they both arrive together
Sharing a welcome meant only for one?

I shall whisper kindly to Winter
It's not nice to steal Fall's thunder,
Do return at your given time.

Soon Fall's fallen splendor will need you, Winter,
with your glorious bridal showers
of white to grace the fallen leaves upon the earth.

There will be barren limbs swinging in the breeze
Frozen ground dried and brown
Desiring of adornment in your sparkling white attire.

But Winter with a snooty glance
barrels through the garden gate
covering the earth in his icy breaths of white.

Fall, bewildered, mournfully waits
Until Winter's wrath subsides
And then gently smiles as sunshine melts the white.

Winter leaves with nary a backward glance
Muttering under his frigid breath,
I will be back…. I will be back…. I will be back.

Fall smiles as Winter rushes away
And gently beckons my eyes to see
Her golden delights spread so willingly.

I wander the garden and mourn its loss
As Winter has left and Fall has brought frost
Yet sunlight shares its golden powers

And once more I rest in complete assurance
That while the delights of Spring and Summer have passed on by
Fall's golden and Winter's white will now suffice.

Thankfully the snow melted within a few days and Fall has been able to linger a bit longer. 



In my next post, I'll share some of the beauty of Fall days here in Idaho, even as the weatherman forecasts for snow this week, and it seems that Winter is rather anxious this year to arrive.  

One can fuss and complain about the weather, but that won't change it.  
What we can do is to accept whatever comes, and make the best of it.  

And so each day that comes 
I am grateful beyond measure 
for each and every blessing
that is abundantly bestowed upon me! 

 Giving thanks 
always 
for all things 
unto God and the Father 
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Ephesians 5:20




64 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this visit to your yard and garden. I love all the flowers and the stunning beauty, even of ripening vegetables. We had an early snow as well, but after doing a lot of damage, it is now melting.

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    1. I'm glad your snow has melted! Ours has melted as well, and we've been able to enjoy a beautiful Fall season here, thankfully :) Appreciate your visit Ruth, and trust all is well with you!

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  2. What an explosion of colour in your garden, both flowers and vegetables. You have had a wonderful harvest!

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    1. It was a marvelous year Barbara, I'm so thankful for it! Too quickly the seasons pass! Trust all is well with you! Blessings :)

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  3. Marilyn this is such a lovely post. Your garden is certainly a thing of beauty and abundance. I got a little thrill when you said that the two of you ride the quad to the river for an evening swim . . . those are the romantic moments that make treasured memories. Now as Steve and I are battling with his cancer and the thought of me being alone for a time, until the Lord calls me home too . . .well, it has been a time of reflection for us. Memories like that are the ones that mean the most. Simple pleasures shared together.
    God bless you both.

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    1. Oh Connie, I know it is so true, it is the moments in our lives that we remember most, and thank you for reminding me once again never to take those treasured moments for granted! I appreciate your grace and faith in the midst of the deep trial you are in, and the difficulty in taking stock of your life, and what it may mean to someday walk alone, a fear we all share. One never knows how a phone call or doctor's visit can change our lives forever. So thankful though that we walk with the Lord and He is our faithful constant provider through whatever changes come into our lives. You are an inspiration, my friend! Many blessings, hugs and prayers!

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  4. Winter arrived so early. Hope it is milder now. You harvest was wonderful!

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    1. Winter and Fall have a tenuous relationship here, and I've learned to accept it, as I love the brilliance of the colors and the season. So blessed in every way! Thank you as always for your faithful visits Marie!

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  5. I so enjoyed reading this post tonight Marilyn. Winter DID decided to visit us early this year didn't it? We've been clearing the damage by that snow for over a week now. I think we finally have all the branches cleared and have things ready for winter. The leaves are turning and it's gorgeous right now.
    Your garden was lovely this summer and I appreciate you sharing your Intant Pot method of processing tomatoes.
    Such a beautiful poem and very apt for our part of the world. I'm trying to be more accepting of the seasons, but I have a difficult time with winter. It seems to arrive so early and stay way too long. :-) Have a wonderful Friday my friend.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. I agree Betsy, Winter is quite a bully, stealing time from both Fall and Spring! I however have learned its best to try to just be thankful for whatever weather the season brings us, its no use fighting against it! And then I find beauty in it all, and that always transforms my mind! I trust you are doing well, so good to visit with you today on your blog, and thankful for your friendship! Much love, hugs and blessings to you!

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  6. It's SO nice to see a post from you and such Splendid glory from your beautiful summer, the growth of your flowers, the harvest of your garden, the early signs of frost and then the blanket of snow... all so very beautiful Marilyn.
    Sounds like another beautiful season or seasons for you on your lovely piece of property.

    We had snow a week ago yesterday and the weather man is predicting more this weekend.
    We woke up to the sound of rain on our roof top this morning, how I love that sound.
    I have to say that after our snow a week ago, we had the most gorgeous warm weather, those Indian Summer's that we long for up here in the mountains.
    It's the last hurrah before winter makes it's beautiful appearance. :-)

    Have a beautiful day~

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    1. It's been an unusual season here for us, we've broke several records here for cold and snow this early. It was 7 degrees here this morning, a frigid blizzard blew in yesterday, and so yes, it seems Fall didn't get much of a chance here this year, although there were beautiful colorful days, which I am so thankful for! Glad to hear that you are also enjoying lovely Fall days there, we take whatever weather comes, and find ways to enjoy and be thankful for it! Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  7. Hi Marilyn, This is Mildred from Georgia.....I once followed you but lost touch when I started a new blog. Saw your comment on Pamela's blog today and wanted to say hi. Your photos are beautiful. So happy you had such bounty in your garden this summer. You have been busy! I love your poem. Wishing you a delightful weekend.

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    1. Hello Mildred! I'm so thankful you stopped by for a visit! It is a blessing to reconnect with you again :) It was a wonderful season in the garden, although Winter is here now, quite early it seems! Thank you again for your visit, and I hope to continue to keep in touch, blessings to you!

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  8. Your photos are gorgeous! Our flowers were zapped, too. Oh well. Take care and enjoy that big big sky!

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    1. Yes, tis the season, isn't it! We enjoy them fully while they are with us :) Blessings to you!

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  9. This post is wonderful, Marilyn! It's full of seasonal delights! Your summer gardens were amazing this year. What a harvest you reaped. I still remember the days when you first moved onto your property. It was like "little house on the prairie". And now look at your homestead! You and your husband have accomplished so much through the years....your love of what the Lord has blessed you with always shines through. Great poem. Have a great weekend, my friend. Debbie xo

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    1. It is amazing when I think of it, how much we've accomplished in four years... we have so much more to do, but then I guess that will always be the case, there are always projects on the horizon! I pray the Lord has blessed you with some beautiful Fall days! I appreciate your friendship so much, and am so very thankful for the blogging world that has joined our hearts together in Him! Blessings and hugs!!

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  10. Oh dear, I was scrolling along, enjoying all the beautiful garden pictures ...then there was snow. Rats. There goes the lovely flowers and wonderful produce from your gardens. Hope winter isn't staying . Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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    1. Winter has lingered in the shadows, and has made an appearance once again this week, with frigid temperatures. But we've learned to enjoy the beauty while we have it, and I am grateful for the bounty of summer's season :) Thankful for your friendship!

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  11. Your poem is excellent, Marilyn! Such gorgeous pictures you painted with your words. And of course, the photos you shared are beautiful, too.
    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you Martha, the poem just seemed to write itself! Always appreciate your visits, and friendship! May the sweet blessings of the Lord be with you :)

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  12. You are quite the poet, my friend. Lovely. Well, you're a woman of many talents gifted by God. It's good to see your beautiful place and read about your very special life in the mountains of Idaho. I love that you open your home to ministry, sharing from the abundance God has given you. Enjoyed this post so much. Love and hugs, Nancy

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    1. So glad to see you visit Nancy, I've wondered about you, and so thankful to know that you are doing well! It has been a lot of work to our little 10 acres, but we love it so. So much more to do, but 'tis always the case, I think :) It got very cold here yesterday, a blizzard blew in, and it was 7 degrees this morning, brr! I think Fall has been officially pushed aside, sadly. I do so love the Fall season, but Winter is rather determined this year. Such are the seasons of life :)

      Thank you again for your visit, blessings and hugs!

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  13. What lovely words! "Summer has vanished and fall and winter, hand-in-hand, stand before the garden gate... We never quite seem ready for these sudden changes, but the garden really is lovely in all the seasons.

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    1. It is true, we are never ready for season changes especially when it means Winter, lol! We had a blizzard blow in yesterday, and frigid cold, it was 7 degrees out this morning. I am enjoying watching the birds though, and they don't seem to mind the cold a bit, maybe even love it. :) Appreciate your visit and kind words! Many blessings to you!

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  14. splendid post dear Marilyn

    yes memories help us to survive in long run of life :)
    you spent your summers so beautifully and your winters are so rich and serene with all the lovely times you spent with your husband ,in your garden doing such sublime harvest and setting table :)
    these fruits are result of your love and devotion and looks so appealing :)
    many more blessings to you and family my friend!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet visits Baili! It is always so good to have you visit, and share your thoughts! It was a beautiful summer, but certainly winter has arrived here, quite early, and breaking all sorts of records, apparently. But the blessings and memories of summer are wonderful! Blessings and hugs to you sweet friend!

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  15. What a lovely, idyllic post! Thank you for the sweet glimpse into your picturesque seasons! And...I don't know why...but I've never thought to use my Instant Pot for canning tomatoes! Brilliant! :)

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    1. So lovely to see you stop by for a visit Denise! Yes, I do love my Instant Pot, it has been a huge blessing in my kitchen! Blessings to you :)

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  16. Such beauty all in one post! Even the frost and snow pictures are so pretty and inviting. No snow here in Upstate NY yet, but it is time to put the garden to sleep for the winter too.

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    1. Our time for winter has come! It came quite quickly this year, although we did get some lovely Fall days, for which I am so thankful! Blessings to you, thank you for your visit!

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  17. I loved this post -from the beauty of your homeplace to the poem at the end. It has been a crazy year here weatherwise, too. I love visiting you and envy the grounds you call home. xo Diana

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    1. It was a wonderful season of summer here Diana, but winter seems to have decided to come early, even breaking records to do so! It was 7 degrees here this morning, frigid! Felt like October got pushed out of the way for February! But, the sun is shining, so I'm thrilled about that :) Blessings to you!

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  18. What a beautiful post! I enjoyed every bit of it! Your garden, the vegetables and the flowers were amazing. At the end of your post after seeing all the pretty flowers and then everything covered in snow, made me feel like crying. Your writing is beautiful and perfectly describes the seasons.

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    1. I'll admit, I did feel pretty sad when the snow came, so unexpectedly and ended all the garden beauty so abruptly. However, it always happens every year, just a bit earlier this year. We've now gotten our third snow of the season, and it's only October. Looks like a long winter ahead of us. I may need to read Laura Ingall's book again... :D Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  19. I think we missed Autumn 🍂 !!

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    1. Poor shy, quiet little Autumn... Winter sure has been a bully this year! We've now gotten our third snow of the season, and it's only October. Looks like a long winter ahead of us. I may need to read Laura Ingall's book again... :D Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  20. Such a lovely post, I enjoyed your photographs (even the snowy ones!) and your poem was great to read. Hope you get to enjoy a few more Autumn days before more snow and winter arrives!!!

    Take Care

    All the best Jan

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    1. Always enjoy your visits and thoughts Jan! We did enjoy some beautiful Fall days, however, we've now gotten our third snow of the season, and it's only October. Looks like a long winter ahead of us. I may need to read Laura Ingall's book again... :D Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  21. Snow. Dare I say I miss it, just a little, now that I live in Florida? I miss its beauty. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    The story of trees logged away so the sun can reach your garden better -- what a wonderful picture of how the light of our Lord changes our lives.

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    1. It's so true Barbara! My garden has never done so well as it has this year, with all the sunlight. Truly His light makes all the difference in our lives, just as the sunlight did for my garden! Yes, we have had an early arrival of winter, sadly. We've now gotten our third snow of the season, and it's only October. Looks like a long winter ahead of us. I may need to read Laura Ingall's book again... :D Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  22. Aw, bless your hearts, that surely must feel so strange to see winter rush in like that and rob so much of your autumn! I'm glad the snow did subside, and you can enjoy fall at least a little bit. Oh, your garden was SO gorgeous! I can only imagine those sweet times with Jesus sitting there in such a peaceful, beautiful place. Your poem was so wonderful and touching! It was so nice to see a post from you and get to come here and visit with you tonight, sweet friend. May the Lord bless you! Sending much love to you. :)

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  23. What a lovely post about your garden and all the delight it gave you, as well as an abundant harvest. Sitting in a garden spending time with the Lord is a wonderful way to pass some time. I hope that autumn will be golden for you for a little while longer and the snow will stay away for awhile.

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  24. Oh the seasons morph so very quickly, one into the other. Maybe even more so as we get older ...

    Your lens has captured their glories so beautifully, Marilyn.

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  25. What a bounty your garden produced. Your hard work paid off. Having those trees cleared really makes a sunny difference on that patch of land for sure. That September snow was a surprise for all of us for sure. I'm hoping for some days of sunshine before October is done and also for snow to hold off...Blessings!

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  26. Hello,
    Oh my, it was so good to read your post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, garden photos and love.
    Enjoy the harvest,
    Carla

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  27. Marilyn, what a lovely, full, colorful and creative summer you had. Thank you for sharing so much of it with us. It seems that you really know how to enjoy life and how to make the most of your days no matter the weather. It's an example we could all learn from, especially those of living a rather hurried and harried life...um, hello. 😉 Your posts are always inspiring and a joy to read. Enjoy your charming home and surroundings this fall. Blessing to you, Kim

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  28. Hi Marilyn,

    So I am late. I was pretty sick. I remember seeing a few snaps on Instagram. It had to be difficult for winter to show itself when there were so many pretty blooms. Eventhough the frost was not good for the garden your plants looked beautiful coated in frost. You also had a great harvest.

    Cindy

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  29. Oh my, such a lovely visit to and through your garden! Your tomato sauce looks so thick and rich and I bet it's delicious! It's hard to believe you have had snow already...the leaves are just now turning here in TN. It has been a very hot and dry summer and I'm afraid most of our color has just dried up and blew away. Thank you for this beautiful post and a tour through your garden gate, HUGS & BLESSINGS!

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  30. Marilyn, I somehow missed this post and it is just wonderful! Hard to imagine that the snow arrived in September! Amazing but nature never does stop surprising us doesn't it? I remember when we moved to La Pine, Oregon 7 years ago from western Washington... and the snows came on Oct. 6th which I had NEVER seen before! It was so strange to see snow sitting on top of the blazing colored leaves that still remained on the trees. I'll never forget that. You've painted such a wonderful picture of it all.. and your poem is so touching. I miss the big trees behind your garden.. it looks so bare! but I can see how having all that sunshine in your garden is such a boost for it... was so nice to see your entire garden and how huge it is! And all those flowers... wonderful to see. I love marigolds in the summer.... they brighten up everything. I don't keep up with IG so dont' know how it's been there so far since this post. We're enjoying a lovely Indian Summer here... hot days and very cold nights and I love it! I'm going to try to send you my hubby's book tomorrow (Oct. 25th). Life has been so busy lately! Hugs... Marilyn J

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  31. I love the brave garland that could and the pretty teacup. It is always fun to visit you.
    Amalia
    xo

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  32. No snow here as of yet here in western NY...I am sure it will be here before we know it. The nights are darn right cold and the days so so...I really enjoyed this post, thank you for sharing. Smiles

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  33. A beautiful post Marilyn, your tomatoes are amazing, loved seeing snow but feel for you in it all glad autumn lingered a little longer for you 😊
    Thanks for Sharing, God bless, hugs Shaz in Oz.x

    {Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

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  34. Dear Marilyn this is my first visit to your blog...what a wonderful place to come. You live in a breathtaking spot. Your love of flowers mirrors my own. Your artistry with the plates is just beautiful. I will be back again soon. Have a great day. Sorry to see your snow so soon ):! Your poem was just perfect for the weather change.

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  35. Oh my, Marilyn! What a bounty of beauty you enjoyed this past summer! God truly blessed your garden with much love and abundance. And then old man winter showed up early...wow...I love your poem! Perfect for the story of the two seasons coming at once. So glad winter backed off for a spell so you can enjoy some lovely autumn days. Praying you will have time to get better prepared for the true winter's blast. God bless you! Stay warm, and enjoy the beauty of all that God has given you!!

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  36. Just look at all your bounteous blooms smiling with their faces to the sun. The sight of all those gorgeous flowers has made this flower lady's heart smile. Then there are your gorgeous plate creations.....just amazing! That Jack Frost, he is a cranky fellow, isn't he. So, so happy he has deserted our shores. How fabulous to swim in 'your' river on those hot afternoons. A glorious post, Marilyn, shouting the beauty of God. Your poem, too, just magical!

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  37. That poem is just beautiful. Such talent!
    Summer lasted so long this year and last that I was completely over it. November is our fall here in north Florida and I am looking forward to it. Your garden is just beautiful. I love how you put up the tomatoes with the Insta-pot. Such a great idea. And those plates...so pretty.

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  38. Oh how I've loved 'visiting' your garden during the summer months. And here I thought WE had winter arrive early (we got about 2" today!). I really dread the winter months so maybe I need to take to heart your poem and spend the winter planning for the warmer days!

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  39. Oh yah! Snow! Did you have time to put the garden to bed? What an abundance of tomatoes and really pretty flowers! 🌹🌷🌼🌻

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  40. Your garden was a thing of beauty and will be again. Even now, I know that it provides such joy. Are you able to leave your plate flowers outside in all seasons? (I leave my plates out on the fence without troubles.) You did a fine job accepting winter’s miserable and untimely intrusion. Love the poetry! I remember being very insulted by it on your behalf and I still believe seasons should wait their turn as anything else is out of the natural order of things. I was pleased that you were able to enjoy some autumn days and I hope that you may be enjoying more even now. Oh the light for the garden proves what I have been wondering about for some time. My little garden is being choked with shade and there’s nothing that I can do about that as the trees are my neighbors. Glad that your garden has flourished and thrived in the light.

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  41. A very big, happy hello to you, dearest friend. Oh, how I enjoyed my visit with you this evening. First of all, how are you, sweet Marilyn? I think of you often and I truly miss you and your posts. Your pictures were a feast for the eyes. We, too, had a storm come through and now it looks and feels like winter here. Just the other day it was -7. Brrr!!!

    Take care, dear one. Sending love your way!

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  42. Oh Marilyn, first of all, thank you for visiting my post on my grandson, and for leaving such a sweet comment.
    What a busy summer and into Fall you've had. I love the idea of your weekly prayer sessions in your garden. You have so much beauty there to enjoy. Your glass plates are so pretty and add such a touch of loveliness and whimsy to your garden. That teapot lamp is just darling!! Using your IP for all those tomatoes made for easy work. Thank you for sharing that. I also loved the thought of you and your hubby taking a riding your four wheeler and taking a swim in the heat of summertime. Love and blessings....

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Your comments are blessings to me, and I appreciate each and every one, they are precious to me! I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog... this is what makes blogging worthwhile! Have a blessed day!