Tag Archives: California

Friday I’m in Love: Poppies

My mother loves poppies. The red ones that grow (or used to…) on the edges of English fields. The Flanders poppies that everyone wears on Remembrance Day. But then we moved to America and I saw the California version…interesting colours, attractive foliage, and even after they die they are interesting…poppies montage


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Filed under California, Flowers, Gardens, Happiness Project, Nature, Plants, Seasonal Pleasures

Happiness project: after the rain

after the rain | bellesidees.wordpress.com

after the rain 3 | bellesidees.wordpress.com

after the rain 2 | bellesidees.wordpress.com

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Filed under California, Happiness Project, Seasonal Pleasures

Friday I’m in Love: Liquidambar

This is as close as we come here to Autumn foliage and I love it! Gorgeous red and gold leaves…and aren’t the seed pods wonderful?

liquidambar montage

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Filed under California, Gardens, Happiness Project, Nature, Plants, Seasonal Pleasures

Friday I’m in Love: Crepe Myrtle

I’ve written about my love of lilacs and my regrets that I don’t seem to be able to make them survive here. I’ve been looking around for an alternative and at last I think I’ve found it…the crepe myrtle. They grow in abundance here, but it was only on a recent visit to Charleston that I really came to appreciate how attractive they can be, given the right setting.IMG_0722

Like lilacs, they come in a variety of colours. IMG_0721Unlike lilacs, many have interesting bark.IMG_6462Some are evergreen. Others offer the possibility of autumn foliage.

Sadly, their fragrance, though sweet, is not as powerful as that of lilac. But I’ll take what I can get!






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Friday I’m in Love: June Gloom

Yes, I’m aware it’s July…

The phenomenon known as June Gloom is a marine layer that covers the coast of California, and a little way inland, in spring and early summer. As the name suggests, this happens most commonly in June, but can also occur in May and July.  We are about 50 miles from the ocean and at an elevation of 1700 feet, and the cloud usually burns off by mid morning. But mornings can be magical! 





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Friday I’m in Love: Lilacs (again)

While lilacs (syringa) can survive in California, they need attention to really thrive. Lilac in England is a completely different proposition. Given the minimum of care, it typically runs a little wild in a garden hedge or the back of a border.
But when the results look (and smell!), so good, why not?20140612-204910-74950908.jpg

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Monday Pinspiration: Entertaining Little Guests

As I mentioned, this week we are welcoming Lovely Man’s family to stay. Since BH is more than half child himself, he’s particularly excited about the two grandsons (2 and 3) – small but very active!

They are coming from England and will not have much with them beyond iPads and a couple of essential toys, so I have been trawling Pinterest for ideas on how to keep them entertained. I focused on games they can play outside (this is California after all!)…

Here are some of the ones I thought looked fun:

IMG_0251Penguin races

IMG_0250Colour and shape jump

IMG_0253Toddler tennis

IMG_0262Water sponge fights

IMG_0255Water balloon target practice

IMG_0256Water balloon baseball

I just hope we have the energy to keep up…

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Filed under Crafts, General, Happiness Project, Parties