A Garden Is A Marshmallow World

PROVEN WINNERS © 'Magic Hibisbus Cranberry Crush'
1. The fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect. 

“The juxtaposition of country & tropical creates a marshmallow garden world.”

PROVEN WINNERS © 'Magic Hibisbus Cranberry Crush'
PROVEN WINNERS © ‘Magic Hibisbus Cranberry Crush’ 

Shown above is a Proven Winner genus of plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae known for large showy flowers simply known as hibiscus, less widely known as ‘rose mallow. The magical quality of the hibiscus enchants me to sing out loud, “A Marshmallow World.”


Most of the mallows from the hibiscus (also known as ‘rose mallow’) have been used as food recorded throughout history by early classic writers. A dish of ‘marsh mallow’ considered an edible vegetable during Roman times was considered a delicacy. According to Wikipedia Prosper Alpinus stated in 1592 that a plant of the rose mallow kind was eaten by the Egyptians. Many of the poorer inhabitants of the world have subsisted for weeks on herbs, of which marsh mallow is one of the most common.

Hibiscus Summerific® 'Berrylicious'
Hibiscus Summerific® ‘Berrylicious’

The juxtaposed look of country; the little red barn & tropical the; the ‘Rose Mallows’ give the garden a Marshmallow World effect. You too can have a Marshmallow World. I love these Proven Winners Summerific ‘Rose Mallow’ plants, don’t you?

Hibiscus Summerific® 'Berrylicious'
Hibiscus Summerific® ‘Berrylicious’
PROVEN WINNERS © 'Magic Hibisbus Cranberry Crush'
PROVEN WINNERS © ‘Magic Hibisbus Cranberry Crush’

Proven Winners ‘Meteor Showers’ next to my conifer,  and the ‘Rose Mallow’ Hibiscus.

PROVEN WINNERS © 'Meteor Showers'
PROVEN WINNERS © ‘Meteor Showers’ | ‘Cranberry Crush’ Hibuscus
PROVEN WINNERS © 'Meteor Showers' Pollinator Attractant
PROVEN WINNERS © ‘Meteor Showers’ Pollinator Attractants

The smartest, most beautiful woman I know, my daughter-in-law said to me,

on mixing tropicals in a country rose garden landscape: “Its the juxtaposition that I love.”

Family Relationships Grow
My beautiful Daughter-In Law| The Best Mom I Know | Loves A Little Bit Of Country and A Whole Lot of Tropical  ‘Rose Mallow” This is us planting the ‘Kids Garden’ in Virginia

*Please visit Instagram where I can give some credit to my dear sister-in-law, Martha Proctor who I first saw ‘Cranberry Crush’ blooming in Wisconsin and was enchanted by it.

So I say mix ’em up Roses & Tropicals!

Proven Winners 'Summerific' Hibiscus
‘Summerific’ Hibiscus | I have a ‘Crush on ‘Cranberry Crush’ & Roses in the Rock Rose Garden with ‘Earth Song’



The Best Things In Life | Coffee, Pets & Roses

Cat Hat? or Butt Head?

Beautiful Izzy Cat Hat Juxtoposed to Butt Head!?

Pets like routines. Don’t you think they need their routines as much as their human companions? If we don’t go to bed when Izzy thinks its bed time she starts running around acting like a sheep herder, corralling one or the other of us toward the bedroom. People wouldn’t believe the antics Izzy goes through to control her misbehaving wards in this house. The first thing I do each AM is feed the kitties before I get coffee and go to the rose garden or Izzy throws a tantrum. Then Izzabelle and I have coffee. She gets in my lap facing outward. I better pet her just so. If I don’t she runs around and bangs on ‘Big Daddy’s’ door until he gets up. If I start working on the computer or change the routine in any way she gets on my shoulders and starts by licking my left eyebrow then she gently bites my chin and then positions her self comfortable on my head. Usually she sits facing forward, with her back paws on my shoulders. Yesterday for the first time, she sat on my head backwards with her tail wrapped around my head. I tried to get my camera to send the pic to the kids because I’m sure no one would believe what it looks like! Does this make me a butt head? Or is this a Cat Hat? Let me know and be nice. And what do you think about this amazing border collie I saw on the ‘Blacktop to Fillmore’ driving home from the airport after the American Rose Society 2015 Fall Convention. Animals really do some of the most amazing things. #WordlessWednesday. Then we pet the workshop kitties, let them outside to share the beauty of the rose garden with you by taking pictures and having coffee in the garden together.  By the way when I wrote this I didn’t October 29th is National Cat Day. #WordlessWednesday.

Izzy Like Potpourri

The new Aromatique Potpourris Passes Izzy’s Sniff Test

RedOct_W15‘Redemption’ at Sunrise in the rose Garden

Izzabelle and Me in our Reading Position

Izzabelle and Me Reading

Fall_W15‘Europeana’ & ‘Doris Day’ for #WordlessWednesday #Fall

Squeaks Enjoying The Rose Garden

Squeaks Enjoying The Rose Garden


Izzy on a Puppy

Nadia pondering her Halloween Costume 'Avenger' 'Digital Dress' ? It 'wears' her out! #AdoptBlackCats

Nadia pondering her Halloween Costume ‘Avenger’ ‘Digital Dress’ ? It ‘wears’ her out! #AdoptBlackCats

Izzy on a Puppy

'He Answers To A Higher Power'

‘He Answers To A Higher Power’ | The Fillmore Blacktop



Rainbow Colors of Love

Erik my beautiful boy with Downs Syndrome and 'Europeana' in the garden
Star Roses Apricot Drift Chosen by The Girls for Their Mother
Star Roses Apricot Drift Chosen by The Girls for Their Mother

“I love you more than rainbow colors,” Ella said to me with her arms around my neck. Her sweet precious breath whispered softly in my ear. What could possibly evoke love that brings about a heart melting statement that dreams are made of. I’ve thought about it a lot. Or one day while I was bent over a computer key board someone began to gently rub my neck. I felt a current pass through me so real that I thought to my self who could possibly love me this much? My son had brought my eldest granddaughter to work and I had not heard her soft approach.

Kids at the 'Zoo'
Kids at the ‘Zoo’

Upon careful reflection I believe a child’s love is magical. It grows from the little tiny precious nuggets of time spent together. How easy it is to make little children happy.

Planting A Basket for Mom | The Little Ones Adore Big Sister
Planting A Basket for Mom | The Little Ones Adore Big Sister

We were going to see the babies. I said “Ella make your list of things you would like to do when Pa and I get there to see you.” She said to her Mama and Daddy, “do you think Pa and Gaga would ever take me back to that pet store that Gabi calls the Kitty cat store?”

Babies and Puppies
Babies and Puppies

Here’s Ella Claire’s 4-year-old Baby Bucket List:

  • Go to the pet shop
  • Ride the carousel at the mall
  • Play at the McDonald’s Play Play place
  • Go Shoe shopping
Erik my beautiful boy with Downs Syndrome and 'Europeana' in the garden
Erik my beautiful boy with Downs Syndrome and ‘Europeana’ in the garden

On our visit we fulfilled her bucket list and that of the other kids. We were headed back to the house with all three of the kids. We asked everyone what was his or her favorite part of our day. Gabi said “the carousel,” Ella said “the carousel.” Erik our beautiful grandson who has Down’s Syndrome said, “going to get ice cream.” We hadn’t gone to get ice cream yet. 😉 You guessed it. We then went to get ice cream.

Fox Girls | "Gaga, you can fly on a bird to do the laundry," Ella Claire
Fox Girls | “Gaga, you can fly on a bird to do the laundry,” Ella Claire

More than riches more than gold here are the blessings that melt my heart into “ice cream puddles.”

You too can have your heart melted. Its easy. During the holidays choose an angel from the angel tree at the mall. Ask at your local churches or your town hall about families that may need a little extra help and could use some toys for Christmas. In the community where we live the churches assist seniors with Christmas lights and adopt families to get presents for the children.

For fulfilling the dreams of a four old here are her original quotes, we’ve been told that she loves us more than:

[listly id=”U3D” layout=”full” per_page=”25″]

Listly is an Interactive List. Please vote and/Or add your own

Happiness = Managing Expectations

Star Roses 'RadRazz' A KnockOut Kissed with Ice Crystals
Star_W14This is a glimpse at the simplicity of managing life’s expectations. The family was all sitting around visiting. I said “I’m writing a Thanksgiving post about what I’m thankful for.” Out-of-the-blue, Big Daddy announces, “I’m thankful I haven’t had my first heart attack.” You can imagine he’s a pretty happy guy most of the time. Motivational Speaker to presidents, Firewalker Tony Robbins says essentially if you aren’t happy everyday maybe the expectations you’ve set for yourself and others may be unrealistic.  It makes sense.  I guess “Big Daddy” has a fairly manageable level of expectations. Tony says “every day that he learns something new is a good day.” Since I learn something new every day and I am glad Big Daddy has not had his first and especially his last heart attack I am on track to have a Tony Robbins kind of life without having to pay a bazillion dollars to walk on hot coals with Tony and Oprah, who also happens to be a big fan of Tony’s. Another fan of Tony’s is marketing guru Chris Brogan. Knowing these simple truths could save me a trip to the hospital like some of  the “fire-walkers,” that have attended Tony’s seminars and perhaps didn’t have the right mind-set to walk on hot coals, or cool shoes. Pardon the double entendre, yes I meant for ‘cool shoes’ to have two meanings ;).  Another seminar attendee declared that his philosophy is “everyday above ground is a good day.” You see, its all a matter of prospective.
The Carousel at Stonebriar Mall, Frisco, Texas
Riding the Carousel
Riding the Carousel
I’m Thankful for Moms, and Grandmothers and Dads and Grandfathers
Mother | Grandmother Chisholm | Suzy
Mother | Grandmother Chisholm | Suzy as a Baby


Here’s why. My mom taught me the most wonderful things about the holidays, like starting early and cooking every kind of pie and filling the house with the most wonderful cooking smells imaginable. She taught me how to make corn bread in a cast iron skillet like her mother taught her and that the way to a man’s heart really is through his stomach. This is probably why Big Daddy is concerned about having is first heart attack. Mom also taught me you can solve almost every kind of problem by getting in the kitchen and cooking something wonderful.
Home Made Apple Pie
Home Made Apple Pie

Apple pie is simply the most wonderful feel good food on the planet. I can resist almost any desert except warm apple pie. My sister-in-law actually traveled from Wisconsin to Texas just to have my homemade apple pie that’s just like my mother used to make. The wine shown in the picture, The Show, is a Cabernet Sauvignon that the wine steward at Whole Foods Plano, said was one of their best selling Cabs. Looking at the cowboy on the label reminds me that this is not my first #ThanksgivingFeast rodeo. 🙂

Erik & Europeana
Erik My Grandson #DownSyndromeAwareness

Babies, children and their laughter

Children bring joy to our lives. This little guy, my grandson has Down Syndrome. He has taught me more about love than I ever thought was possible. He never sits still and is a cross between “Dennis the Menace and an Angel.” When his sister was three his daddy said it was like living with a couple of racoons, that’s how much mischief these two could get into!  When I asked him to just come to the garden for his picture I never thought he would sit still for his picture. He truly must be watching his sisters because I did not pose him this way! When he struck this pose I nearly fainted, lol!  That’s what makes this picture in the rose garden next to ‘Europeana’ all the more special. He is my heart. Anyone that sees a child and a puppy together know what joy is.
Fox Girls | "Gaga, you can fly on a bird to do the laundry," Ella Claire
Fox Girls | “Gaga, you can fly on a bird to do the laundry,” Ella Claire


“Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it & let it be without imposing a word of mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.” ~ Eckhart Tolle


Star Roses 'RadRazz' Knock Out on a Rainy Day
Star Roses ‘RadRazz’ Knock Out on a Rainy Day

As Nick Kellet, Founder of Listly says “statistics prove people love lists.” I’ve started an interactive list for you to add what you are thankful for including a link to a picture on the Web if available. You can also vote up and down those items listed by clicking arrows on the left up or down votes.

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Happy Thanksgiving from my neighbor’s pet turkeys George Washington and his brother Harry. I bet George and Harry are glad they are pet turkeys. 🙂

Pet Turkeys George Washington and his Brother Harry on my Neighbor's rescue farm
Pet Turkeys, George Washington and his Brother Harry on my neighbor’s goat, alpaca and animal rescue farm
 *This is an updated repost from 2013 add what you are thankful for or vote on the Listly List

What A Cool Spring!

Geese Family Welcomes Spring

Geese Family Welcomes Spring

What a cool spring! Weather now fascinates me. Did you ever see the Saturday Night Live skit She Turned Into Her Mother? Summary: In a horror movie spoof, a man (Tom Hanks) watches idly as his wife (Julia Sweeney) makes the full transformation into her mother. That’s now me. Here’s how it happened. I used to travel all the time, my mother would watch the weather channel alerting me to weather perils and appropriate garb to pack. And yes, she watched Murder She Wrote, with Angela Lansbury. One time when she was visiting me in Texas she was booked on a flight back to Chicago that had a connection on the eastern seaboard.

Gander | Goose | Spring Goslings
Gander | Goose | Spring Goslings
Mr. Gander protests as he chased me and gave me a good pinch as I walked away for getting too close to his family 😉

On the sound advice of the weather channel she said to me “the worst snow storm is predicted to hit the eastern seaboard today” and perhaps I should change my flight.” I scoffed and said, “Mother that’s absurd, no one changes their flight based on the weather channel.” We arrived at DFW and practically all the other carriers had cancelled flights heading into the east coast except her carrier and frankly the ticket agent seemed a little worried. I put her on the plane trusting the airlines to make the best decision about cancelling the flight. Later that day she was on the evening news. Her plane skidded off the runway due to icy conditions. She had to slide down the inflatable emergency exit! No one was able to find her for the entire week-end due to the fact that all communications were down for the entire week-end! Can you imagine the hilarity and her vindication of seeing that skit on SNL the first time?

Now it appears I have turned into my mother,

Tots Ready for A Storm
Tots Ready for A Storm


I watch the weather channel and call my kids and tell them to put helmets on the grand-babies and get in the inside room with no windows when there are tornado warnings in Texas. It seems I share a weather fascination with lots of folks. If you love to dig deep into weather charts, graphs and studies visit Jack Falker, The Minnesota Rose Gardener’s site. He talks about  all sorts of weather trends here.


Tot Tornado Preparedness
Tot Tornado Preparedness

It seems based on weather channel predictions my plant hardiness zone 6b will be a longer, cooler spring due to the polar vortex dipping and lingering lower within the Northern Hemisphere. The Doppler radar then showed a beautiful blue polar dip including my zone. So be it. Remember, my mother, the general’s proclamation upon leaving west Texas for Northern Illinois, “its easier to get warm than to cool off.”
After the last few droughts and a couple of summers that I lost count of days over 100 and without rain in Texas I discovered I just may be a natural born Yankee. There I’ve said it. I like cool weather better than hot weather. What a cool spring!



Bonica, Shrub | This is Bonica when I first planted it in my Texas rose garden outside the bay window.
Bonica, Shrub | This is Bonica when I first planted it in my Texas rose garden outside the bay window. That’s a Strawberry Marguerita I have in my hand for the Wine & Rose Tour of the day

Also I was reminded that the first rose that bloomed in Texas was on St. Patrick’s Day and it was always Bonica. Sometimes we might have to wait as late as Father’s Day for the first rose to bloom in Northern Illinois.  

Bonica, Shrub rose always the first to bloom in the spring
Bonica, Shrub rose always the first to bloom in the spring in my Texas rose garden