Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Wonderful Life

The drought continues in beautiful Santa Barbara, but this morning a brief shower passes through. All the established plants are happy for any drop of moisture.

The desert plants are filling in a few gaps and putting on an exotic show in the meantime. And of course we are happy to visit in any season.

Foggy mornings give way to brilliant afternoons. There are always gorgeous views from Marcia's villa.

It has only been a couple of months since our last visit, but the changes are dramatic. The spring bloom has given way to the challenges of nurturing a bit of garden in hard times. People are even putting "shower water" to good use (the gallon or so that usually runs down the drain while waiting for the water to heat up).

And of course beauty can be found even in harsh conditions if we look for it, and this wonderful house situated in the hills has endless charm, as in these few steps down to the tour of the garden.

The summer days have taken me away from the usual routine, including blogging. But a change of scene always brings a new energy along with it.

Some people call these the dog days of summer, but they are pony days too.

 Along with a few tomatoes, the garlic has reached its peak. The heads are spectacular and aromatic.

The squash plants struggle on. But there's no keeping a good gardener down even in the worst of conditions!

These are also melancholy days, as the family's matriarch has recently passed on. She was beautiful and youthful in her ninety-fifth year, and I have written about her often on these pages. She was an inspiration, and spent many hours among her own lovely gardens.

"Don't be sad," she would say often in the last days. "I have had a wonderful life!" And though we know that to be true we are sad now anyway.

A garden stroll is good for reflection. For enjoying each nuance of the seasons. For appreciating life.

I find myself glad for the summer days ahead. For time still left for vacation and visiting family.

For the welcoming doors, and cheering talk, and good laughter. 

Wishing you a wealth of sunny summer days ahead too!



Cozy Little House said...

I'm wishing for rain. Maybe it will cool down the humid heat a bit. Lovely photos!

elizabeth said...

I love Santa Barbara! We are in a long dry spell here in usually rainy Portland,Oregon,too

Marilyn Miller said...

Sadness can also bring the shared memories of a life well spent. So sorry for your loss. Love Santa Barbara so much.

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

I've never seen garlic, that's neat. Just so happens my daughter is growing it for the first time ever, so now I know what it is supposed to look like!

The pup and gardens and home - lovely, though I am sorry for your loss. Your friend's matriarch had it right, and had such a long life. How wonderful - I hope the good memories glow over the grief, and laughter reigns once again soon.

It's so weird you have drought and we have had nearly a month of rain, and it looks like it is going to rain again tonight - very ominous cumulus clouds forming out there - and two huge storms in two days and pretty much never ending rain. We had a nice respite yesterday and all today (it's early evening now) and we're headed to our next-door neighbor's for a cookout, hope the rain stays away till it's over. We all need this desparately!

Take care, enjoy the rest of your summer, too J. Hugs.

Sylvia said...

"I have had a wonderful life!" I genuinely wish I have the same spirit and satisfaction in my last days. So inspiring!

Rowan said...

Your friend has a beautiful garden in spite of the drought and a lovely home as well. It's lovely to read of someone who felt that their life had been fulfilling and happy, I hope that I feel the same way if I reach that age - so far, so good:)

AntiqueChase said...

Lovely photos. My grandmother recently passed and I have been sad but your comment about having a wonderful life reminded me that she did too... and while I'm sad, I need to remember that.

Jeanie said...

What a beautiful and thoughtfully kind post as you remember a woman who sounds quite amazing in her outlook and celebrate the beauty of a garden that is dealing with loss as well, the loss of the water that nourishes it. Regardless, it is still lovely; I can only imagine how much more splendid it would be if only mother nature would cooperate.

It saddens me to see the drought in the West when here we are having plenty of rain (and the bugs to go with it, although I remind myself not to carp too much on that under the circumstances). One can only hope things will look up soon.

Junkchiccottage said...

Sorry for your loss of this great person in your lives. Her memories and great outlook from her fabulous life will sustain all of you in coming days. Beautiful pics with the post today Jacqueline.

Rose L said...

Even here in Oregon we are having extremely dry and hot weather and drought conditions. We had the hottest June ever on record! And an extreme lack of rain, lower snowpack in the mountains as well. Very difficult on gardens!

Sarah said...

Beautiful thoughts on life, Jacqueline. I admire your writing style. TX is having a milder summer than usual, and though we had a very wet May and June, we could use more rain. I worked in the garden early this morning before the heat set in. Always something to do to keep it tidy. Great idea to use the shower water on the plants. I try not to throw water away, ever! When I empty Sadie's water bowl to refresh it, I always take it out to a plant on the terrace. Water is definitely a precious commodity.
Thanks for a beautiful post!

June said...

I'm really glad you are having such a lovely time with your family Jacqueline. Loss is hard no matter the age of the person. Only because we no longer can spend time with them. My mom's getting frail and I think how hard it will be to let her go when the time comes, but she always says she has had the best life too. I love that attitude and hope I have one like it when I get as old as she is.
Have a wonderful visit with those you love.

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Beautiful photos Jacqueline. It's really into the high heat of summer here. The gardens are a challenge to keep looking good. Looks like you are enjoying a wonderful time with family at a special charming villa. The garden is so pretty.
Love the sweet little dog looking out the window.
Have a nice week ahead. cm

Curtains in My Tree said...

I love the house,garden and the dog
It had to have been a wonderful life living in such beauty
Thanks for sharing her sweet 95 years of life with us.
what a smart idea to use the shower water for the plants and flowers

Heather Maxwell said...

Jacqueline, what a lovely place to visit! I think all the rain came down here while you were away. No complaints though! Let me know when you can hold still here at home for 5 minutes so we can catch up! ;-)

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

This looks like a wonderful place to visit and take time to reflect. Wishing you peace of mind at this time.

Art and Sand said...

Yes, we southern Californians have to be strategic with our use of water. But, it is amazing how much difference buckets in the shower and kitchen sink can make. We have cut our water use by more than 40% and our garden has never looked better.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

What a lovely, lovely home and garden! How nice to spend time with loved ones in such a beautiful place. Hope you are getting lots of R&R. So sad to hear of the dear lady's passing. xo Karen

Debbie said...

What a lovely post Jacqueline. Even in your sorrow, you have a sense of peace and rest as the memories of a joyful woman give you the strength to go on and appreciate the beauty in each new day.
You're pretty amazing yourself.

Pura Vida said...

I want to go HERE!!!

Sea Cottage said...

So sorry for your families loss. It is always sad because we miss their beautiful soul so much. Marcia's villa is a dream cottage to me. I would want to live in it full time. It is definitely much greener in Santa Barbara than further north where I live. It feels like a desert here because the ground is so dry. All our parks and neighborhood lawns are dry grass. Everything is dying. Our vegetable garden struggles to survive too. We are waiting for the rains to come. They say El Nino is supposed to bring some relief.

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