A magic morning in Helena

This morning in Helena was magical. The magic part of it was that I was up, dressed, and out the door with my camera at six AM. Those who know me well know that I am not an early morning person. On the days I go to work I have to depend on an alarm clock to get me up. My natural biorhythms don't wake me up before eight AM, which for a gardener in Alabama comes close to being a sin. But every morning as I was leaving Helena on my way to work, I would look at the mists coming up from the waters of Buck Creek and promise myself that I was coming back one morning with my camera.

Today was the day, and it was worth it. I felt so good when I left Buck Creek park that I decided to stop by Joe Tucker park and walk around the lake there. Positively invigorating. Almost enough to make me an early morning person. Both of these parks are inside Helena, close to where I live. I am truly blessed.

Technically, these parks might not be considered gardens, but I think a garden is any planted area, whether tended by God or man, that lifts the spirit. So here are a few "garden" photos from this morning. More of them can be seen if you click on Buck Creek park or Joe Tucker park to the right under my Photo Galleries.


Early morning mists rise from the waters of Buck Creek.This old tree is a guardian of Buck Creek. The misty waters of Buck Creek -is that a beaver or a log? I'm not sure.This is a view of a newer section of Old Town, Helena, from Buck Creek.This body of water above the dam on Buck Creek is called Lake Davidson.a view across the lake at Joe Tucker parkThis is a great place to sit and watch the ducks at Joe Tucker park.This beaver dam can be seen from a bridge which crosses one edge of the lake at Joe Tucker park.
This gray heron lives at Joe Tucker park. Mallards also live here, and geese are regular visitors.Magic mornings to you all - Deborah


A Perfect Day in November

Another perfect day. Sixty-eight degrees, clear sky, fresh, clean air. Spring is my favorite season, but fall is a close second. I watch as my garden puts itself to bed, and there is beauty and peace in this place as winter's rest approaches.

In my last journal entry, a walk through my garden, I posted a photo of a Japanese maple with golden leaves. Look what happened to it overnight.

 In the woodland garden, a blue hosta, which was about three feet tall in its prime earlier this year, is yellow and wilted with age, but still beautiful as it composes itself against the remnants of an old stump.

I love old stumps, as long as they are where they belong and not in the middle of my lawn. They provide shelter and nourishment to little woodland creatures, and I like the look of them when they are covered with moss and lichens.

This old stump, near the lady garden, is host to variegated ivy.

What else to share with you today? There is so much out there. A lot of it I have planted, and a lot of it I have not. I am blessed with some great native plants, including oakleaf hydrangeas. I have heard that there are more oakleaf hydrangeas in Alabama than anywhere else in the world. It is our official state wildflower. I have plenty of them in my yard. After the leaves have fallen, the seed heads will persist through the winter. 

As the days are shortening and the nights getting cooler, the hydrangeas in my yard are putting on their final show.


One kind of hydrangea I did plant is Hydrangea arborescans 'Annabelle'. This was my mother's name, so I planted a half dozen in her memory. They have smooth green leaves and huge white flowers through the summer. Now the flowers are shriveled and brown, but this morning's sun caught one of them and gave it a golden glow.

I hope the sun is shining in your heart, wherever you are, whatever the weather may be. Have a great weekend.