Many of my blogging friends have beautiful gardens and show them with pride on their blogs. One of them, Friko of the blog Friko’s World, has a garden that is so lovely that visitors come to see it – it is an enchanting place. We do not have a “garden” as such. We have an acre + of land (4,050 square metres or 0.405 hectare +.) It is covered with Georgia pines on top of red clay and hard rocks; most of it is left “au naturel.” Several years ago we had 24 pine trees cut but it just made a dent in the landscape. In summer we live in a green oasis. Below is what I see from the window in front of my computer – the photo was taken through the window and screen so it is not too sharp.
Click on picture to enlarge and click again to enlarge it even moreOne of the sassafras trees has grown to our bedroom window (2nd floor.) We have many little sassafras trees growing all over the front and back yard.
The leaves of the sassafras tree are unusual in that they have three distinct patterns: an unlobed oval, bilobed (mitten shaped) and trilobed (three pronged) leaves. These three leaves have been placed on the back of my car for this picture.
I read that you can dry and ground the sassafras leaves to make filé powder which is used in cooking gumbo. I’ll have to try that someday. The U.S. Food Administration has sent warnings against the consumption of sassafras bark which is used in making sassafras tea (cancer link.) Here's an interesting historical tidbit – for a brief period in the 17th century sassafras was the second largest export from America (after tobacco.) Sir Walter Raleigh exported it the first time in 1602. We have many other native trees. Below are some pictures I took looking from one side of the yard to the other.
My husband has planted some annuals flowers in pots so we can gaze through our kitchen window and see a bit of color.
Some of the planters of annuals and herbs are placed on the back patio where the sun comes in the afternoons.
Here is a closer look at the flowers.
In the spring we have wild roses and, of course, all the blossoms on the wild blackberry bushes.
Our reliable pink McCartney roses try to grow in semi-shade.
Our house plants are pleased to be outside and give us some flowers, too, including the Christmas cactus.
So it is not a garden but mostly a wooden area or a mini-rain forest, with flower pots
and wild flowers
where critters are welcome, large – I tried to catch the squirrel drinking out of the bird bath and raiding our bird feeder, but he is quick
or tiny – can you see it?
and hopefully they are all friendly.
Do you know what type of snake this is? It was very long, more than 6 feet. I could not catch its head, it quickly moved under the house… But I could see the head of this little bird that had been caught inside the bird feeder.
It is a good thing we saw it because it was very warm, over 90 degrees (33 C.) My husband took it out of the birdfeeder – it was just a tiny baby bird – a black-capped chickadee (mésange à tête noire ?) Then it flew away hurriedly.
In front of the house my husband has been nurturing some lovely coleus (Solenostemon) and caladiums (family of Araceae.)
Our fig tree is heavily covered with fruits this year. As usual it gives us 3 or 4 extra large figs, the size of pears, in mid June, then all the rest of the figs will ripen a month or more later.
Birds love the tray I placed on the ground. It is the bottom tray for a large pot, about 13 inches in diameter. The birds love to take a drink or a bath in it. The pictures with the birds were taken through my window screen.
We drove to the Marietta Square to find more flowers. We parked near the railroad track as a train was approaching. I caught it as well as a flowering Crape myrtle tree.
We found some planters with colorful flowers as well as many flags for the upcoming 4th of July holiday.
It was 2:45 pm - we were thirsty and ready for lunch. Turning the corner we saw our favorite spot – the Australian Bakery.
Don't forget to click on collage to enlarge, then on each pictureThis is the 4th of July week-end. Tomorrow morning, in my cool den, I’ll watch on our television one of the main events of the year for Atlanta – the Peachtree Road Race. It is a festive celebration, early in the morning, with thousands of participants including international ones. It is a 6.2 mile race (9.98 kms) through Atlanta with fast and slow runners, young and old starting at 7:45 am. It also includes a wheelchair race which starts at 6:45 am. At the end of the race the 60,000 professional and amateur runners will receive the traditional Peachtree Road Race tee-shirt if they complete the race. Last year, 2010, the winner was Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia with a time of 27.56 minutes and the female winner was Lineth Chepkurui of Kenya with a time of 30.51 minutes. There is a purse for the finalists.
And as they say here “Y’all have a Happy 4th of July.”