Cheerful Colors

Hello and Happy May! I hope you are well. I’m still editing images from the Southern US trip so have to delay sharing South Carolina for a bit longer. Meanwhile, here are photos from recent shoots and a bit of what’s blooming in the garden right now. Lady Spring has been slow to grace us in the Pacific Northwest this year, but happily, I can with certainty say she has arrived.

(I love this basket! 99 cents at the thrift store.)

A spring nosegay picked straight from our sweet woodland garden including Hellebore (Helleborus x hybridus), Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa), Periwinkle (Vinca minor), Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum), Bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica) and Nemesia (Nemesia ‘Sunsatia Mango’).

More from the garden with the addition of Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’ and ‘Sweetness’, Rhododendron ‘Cheer’, Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles) , Azalea and Evergreen Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens). Kwanzan cherry blossoms from Mom’s enormous tree. I might add that this basket is very fragrant! I wait all year for these heavenly smells.

Thank you, each of you, for visiting. Welcome to new followers and may we all become old friends before long!
xo – g

Surprises and Serendipity

I’ve been away.

Hello, dear friends! Yes, I’ve been away again, not only from my blog here and your wonderful spaces but away from home, on two wonderful journeys in less than a week. From a celebration in an historic English castle to beach towns, sun and sea breezes, inspiring encounters with remarkable women and a giddy jaunt through fields of impossibly brilliant color.

So, if you don’t mind, I’m taking a brief detour from the Georgia and South Carolina trip to share some recent images with you. They seemed to fit this day of pageantry and celebration.

I mentioned some surprise plans for D’s birthday (he sends many thanks for your thoughtful wishes) which I’m pleased turned out beautifully and were indeed (thankfully) a surprise to him. On Saturday, I drove him out of town, having sent him an invitation a few days earlier with instructions to pack an overnight bag. And this is where I took him:

Thornewood Castle is an authentic, Tudor-era English manor that was purchased in the early 1900s by Chester Thorne, one of the founders of the Port of Tacoma, Washington. He had the house dismantled, brick by brick, and brought from England to America on three ships which sailed around the Horn. The house was rebuilt as a gift for his wife, Anna.

Stained glass fragments, a grand staircase of 500 year old oak and original panelling are among the astounding features of the house.

Luckily for us, it is now a classy bed and breakfast. And only 45 minutes from our house. I couldn’t resist it as a birthday surprise.

Looking out the windows of our room.

Then early, early, early Wednesday morning (perhaps too early for me anymore), I flew to San Diego and drove north up the California coast for two appointments with very remarkable and inspiring women who I was thrilled to finally meet in person. I am so grateful for this amazing community where meeting our online friends feels so much like a homecoming and connections click into place in an instant. Much more on these meetings in a future post.

In the evening, I drove south again, hugging the coast as the sparkling surf rolled in, and stayed in a town on the sea. The morning found me up early, invigorated by the sun and knee-deep in 50 acres of these:

Yes, a hillside farm covered with ranunculus, and me on my own with my camera gear. So eager to be there that I left the hotel without so much as brushing my hair. After all, I had the day ahead of me, all alone, and no one but D knew I would be there.

But it was my turn to be surprised when, after some hours among the flowers, I heard a voice say “Are you Georgianna?” Umm, excuse me? I was alone, on a breezy hillside, in a town I’d never visited before, confident and comfortable in my anonymity. I looked around, suddenly conscious of my disheveled appearance. A lovely lady standing in front of me said “I’m Lauren.” Lauren! Blogging friend, fellow passionate traveler and avid photographer. I stared, incredulous. So did she. Both of us amazed she recognized me and dared to ask. We laughed, we hugged, we had lunch and rambled through the blooms. She had, somewhat on a whim, driven down from LA to photograph the fields.
Who would ever have thought. I’m still stunned. And, once again, these incredible connections, meant to be, I’m convinced.
I arrived home late last night, too tired to stay up for the live coverage of the Royal Wedding but I did indulge in watching it this morning over coffee. And so, another week ahead of catching up but oh, well, well worth it!
I hope your weekend is filled with lovely surprises. I truly do.
love and hugs,
xo – g

Savannah Stroll

Let’s take a stroll and admire the visual wonders of Savannah, Georgia, shall we?

Corner gardens, benches, stone decor and lamp posts are all rendered even more beautiful by the soft, dappled light that floats gracefully over the city’s historic squares.

Ironwork, stone and time-worn nostalgic colors captivate the senses on every street. Much of the delight in exploring Savannah lies in discovering hidden details, many of them hundreds of years old.

A profusion of pink and white azaleas, creeping vines, gates and railings and lamp posts and newel posts add to the air of languid gentility, of gently faded elegance.

The soothing murmur of fountains is never far away.

Below is the famous Pink House, an historic building, now a restaurant. (Since you liked the pink house in Madison, I thought you’d like this. Yes, there are lots of pink houses in the South!) The Spanish Moss adds such a romantic quality, it’s hard to imagine Savannah without it.

Outside the Pink House are two benches, forever immortalized now. When I met up with Flickr friends Tina and Kelly on my last day in Savannah, it happened to be Kelly’s birthday. We had an outdoor pub lunch, shopped and ooo’d and ahhh’d at Paris Market and then took this photo (happy I lugged my tripod from Seattle). More on my adventures with these incredible ladies in the next post.

A few miles from downtown is Bonaventure Cemetery – possibly the subject of its own post one day – an astonishingly atmospheric location. This avenue of live oaks, Spanish Moss and azaleas is quintessential Savannah. I’d hoped to get such a photograph and feel very fortunate that the timing of our visit enabled me to.

But perhaps the scenes that speak most to me of Savannah are ones such as this, timeless, mysterious, slightly haunted, saturated with memories and the reason Savannah intrigued me, called to me and ultimately rewarded me with images and imaginings like no where else I’ve ever been.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope this has given you a taste of this fascinating city. Next stop, the very beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina, Tina’s home and a charming coastal village. And I’ll reveal what part Tina and Kelly played in fueling my passion for visiting the South.

On this bright April day, I hope you discover beauty in your surroundings and can take a moment to share it with others and brighten their day, too. :)
As always, your visits and comments mean so much and are greatly appreciated.
xo – g

p. s. D’s birthday this weekend! Big plans but I can’t share them yet as he will be reading this. :)
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