18 June 2015

Dear Garden: Summer Garden Party





Dear Garden,  These clogs have come a long way. Note to self: take better shoes on vacation, so you don't have to buy a pair of these to walk in. (Though you are perfect for gardening xo)

Brenda from Cozy Little Cottage invited us to share at her Summer Cottage Garden Party today. This is my first time participating in one of these, so this is new and fun. Thank you, Brenda, and her pupsters. 

2015 Summer Garden Party












It is so hot out here already that your lettuce has gone to seed into beautiful white puffs.  I want to collect your little lettuce seeds to plant in September.
















Blackie is your helper, because he keeps pack rats away. I've never seen one here, only one squirrel that is nearly as big as him that taunts him as he runs by. He wears a silver warning bell for the birds. I wonder what he is watching?









Dear garden, your mini-meadow has gone to seed now too, but it provided beautiful colors for five months now. In December, I threw the wildflower seed down in one of your beds, because I was curious as to what would happen, and what a wonderful surprise it has been. Layer upon layer of blooms...









Oh that is what Blackie is watching! This lemon tree is on its second bloom, and the hummingbirds love its blooms. It already has good size fruit, but they are still green.









The basil is blooming too; many of the basils were grown from last years seed.




































Since you are a desert garden you work most of the year: from January to June and from September to December.  Now it is your time to rest.








































Here' the little guy, Francis, who loves to explore, make messes, and snatch cat food. He thought he heard someone whisper breakfast.










Oh yes, it's two Gordas (that's what these ladies are called) on the bench.










But the table is empty! See the size of the lemons!










I've arranged some scrapbook photos of your gifts this year. Right now we have tomatoes, basil, chives and mint. But we had broccoli, peaches, lemons, and oranges. The peaches were the woolliest little peaches I have ever seen.











Earlier this year we raised eleven butterflies to help with pollinating. We keep the aphids away with lady bugs, but they were not working so hard this year, so we made a solution of boiled tobacco, soap, and Listerine to keep them off the roses.





















Here's the morning's harvest.












What's that you say?








What a relief, there is breakfast after all for Francis.











Wait a minute, he says, "yuk, I don't eat fruit."










I tossed a toile sheet over the table, and used the dish towels as napkins, because they really are too pretty to be dish towels.






















The bumblebee glasses were my birthday present. It's hard to see, but there are clear, raised bumblebees on them.











What's on the menu? Tomatoes and basil from the garden and lemonade.


Italian Mozzatini

Equal parts of cantaloupe balls, mozzarella balls, and cherry tomatoes.
Basil leaves and a sprig of basil.
Optional: Trader Joe's balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) & a touch of olive oil
and topped with a few of their shelled roasted and salted pistachios
(My daughter said it is better with blueberries and strawberries instead of cantaloupe.)


Honey Lemonade
(I used Williams Sonoma's recipe)
I used mint from the garden and a lemon to garnish it, and the honey is imported from Germany,
though I do love mesquite honey that comes from the Sonoran desert too.
1/3 cup of honey
juice from 4 to 6 lemons ( about 1 cup lemon juice)
bottled water (11/2 cups of steaming water)
ice
a sprig of mint and lemon for garnish.


(I did not receive compensation from TJs, WS, or Gallbani. I just enjoy their products and recipes.)

Thank you, for visiting our Sonoran desert garden, and here is the front garden.
(P.S. I just realized this is my blog's third year anniversary.)


P.S. I'm featured Kim's Living Vintage.


xoxo Su


There are nine blogs to visit from the east coast to the west coast from the mountain areas to the sea.
I think up next is Cathy.




92 comments:

  1. What a lovely and lush desert garden you have, Su...and so many friends to keep you company! It's so neat that you grow so much in your garden. I wish I had something besides weeds to harvest in my yard! ;-)

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    1. Thank you, Kim. I really have some luck too, Kim. Sometimes, I just do something not knowing if it will work or not, like the meadow. The year before I tried to grow wildflowers in the ground and nothing happened, so this year I thought I throw the seeds in one bed and see what would happen. xoxo

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  2. Beautiful garden? What I wouldn't give for a lemon tree! That must be amazing. I always wish I could let my cats out in the garden and that they would just lounge among the flowers but I'm too afraid they'd run off!

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    1. Thank you, Jen. They were all strays that we adopted and fixed. I also have an indoor rescue cat that someone handed off declawed.

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  3. I just love what you've done here. The closed in gardening spaces. The decor. The ambiance. You have truly created magic here! Thanks so very much for being part of this garden party! And I envy you your harvest each day. You must have wonderful meals!
    Brenda

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    1. Thank you, Brenda, and thank you for inviting me. It was a lot of fun writing this up. Good thing I checked it at 7 when the alarm went off, blogger still had in draft, even though I scheduled it for 6.am. xoox Su

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  4. Su,
    You know I always love and swoon over your garden. You have such a beautiful artistic flair along with your beautiful flowers. I love that you can gather your home grown veggies each day. So awesome.
    Loved seeing your garden today.
    Kris

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    1. Thank you, Kris. My favorite part is the fruits and veggies. xoxo Su

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  5. Your garden is so inviting and like an outdoor sanctuary. And your pictures are beautiful. I love the the meadow garden. It's so sweet to have the cats in the garden and that's such a good idea to have a bell for the birds.. Have a lovely day and thank you for sharing your inspiring garden talents.

    Tamara <3

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    1. Thank you, Tamara, for the compliment and your sweet visit. The outdoor cats were all rescued strays. xoxo

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  6. This is one garden party I glad I didn't miss. I love all the elements of your yard, the pea gravel is a favorite. Love the table set with all the whimsy a garden can add.

    Such care is put into the beauty of all you have created and it shows. Enjoy your summer weekend dear.

    Xx
    Dore

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    1. Thank you, Dore. I agree. When you order it, they call it crushed granite and it comes it several shades. To keep it nice, I brush it with a wide floor broom a couple of times a week. It's easy, because it's dry. It was probably six inches deep, and then compacted, and no weeds have risen within. It always looks nice and neat. The glasses were a gift from my spouse. They are made in France, and I have forgotten the name, but I think they are known brand. Thank you, Dore. I always enjoy your visits. xoox Su

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  7. What can one say, but how very lovely. You garden is warm and welcoming as well and it beckons one to come in and see more. My gardens has very little sun so I only grow herbs and tomatoes. Love how you can reap the rewards and benefits from your garden. Lovely!

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    1. Thank you, Cathy. We have the opposite too much sun, but eventually some of the newer trees will provide shade. xoox Su

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  8. Loved touring your lovely garden,Su. I wish I had a green enough thumb to grow vegetables to harvest each day. That sounds like a dream. Francis is such a cutie too :) Courtney

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    1. Thank you, Courtney. Francis is so cute. He's a toy poodle, and he's 8, but he runs around like he is 3. xoxo Su

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  9. I enjoyed the visit ! It's lovely there as usual! :)

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    1. Thank you, Deb. It's warming up here, but despite how hot it has been we haven't broke a record for the day. xoxo Su

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  10. I enjoyed the visit ! It's lovely there as usual! :)

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  11. Oh, what a delightful garden party! I loved this post, dear Su! All your photographs have left me quite inspired, being an aspiring gardener myself... Is there anything more satisfying than walking in the garden and selecting fresh produce for the table...?

    I especially loved your mini meadow - oh! I love meadows and sadly we have none here....so I think I might try something like yours!
    Have a blessed day, Su!

    Much love and joy!
    Kelly-Anne

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    1. Thank you, Kelly-Anne. Previously I had tried to grow the wildflowers in the ground, but it didn't work. I was so happy that the garden bed worked perfectly as a small meadow. I agree it is so satisfying to pick your own produce. This winter, I should have oranges, grapefruits, and limes too. xoxo Su

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  12. truly truly so beautiful. Not only is your garden beautiful with blooms, it is also functional with vegetables. Aphids have been my biggest enemy this season. They ate all of my lupines. I also love your gravel courtyard. It is so expensive here to get all that gravel. I plan to have no grass at all but just gravel and raised garden beds when I move to west coast.

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    1. Thank you, Victoria. It's very easy to take care of the crushed granite, especially the path areas, because it is compacted. I just brush it with a really wide broom a couple of times per week. No weeds come up between the paths between the beds. Aphids were particularly bad here this year as well. xoxo Su

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  13. Good morning, Su :)

    Isn't it amazing that we're only about an hour and a half away from each other, but the things that we can grow are so different? I so wish I could have a lemon tree... Hopefully next year, I'll have gotten my veggie beds put together, so I can try out some tomatoes.

    Your pictures are beautiful and of course the subject is as well. The hummingbird shot was incredible! Anyway, you know how much I love your yard and your home ;)

    xoxo,
    rue

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    1. Thank you, Rue. The differences are amazing. xoxo Su

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  14. What a garden, it's truly a beautiful, cheerful and happy place! Your photographs are stunning, love this wonderful garden party!

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    1. Thank you, Nancy. I really enjoy gardening. xoox Su

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    1. Thank you, Pam, for visiting and for your sweet comment. xoox Su

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  16. Beautiful and bountiful gardens! Gorgeous! Looks like lots of hard work but also looks like it is paying off.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Judy

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  17. Your garden is as wonderful as I knew it would be. The 5th photo, the one with the arch and the wildflowers just jumped out at me.

    Everything is perfect!

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    1. Thank you, Carol. Yours too! I really like the patio you put in last year. xoox Su

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  18. I so enjoyed coming to your blog, Su, and having a tour of your desert garden. So much is new to me and you have me sincerely wishing I could grow a lemon tree! Wow...those lemons are big. I love that you combine growing plants, flowers and veggies (as well as herbs). I love the variety of that, too. The last few pictures of your pretty table were the icing on the cake. Thank you for the recipes!

    I was wondering as I explored your blog a bit, the beautiful butterfly wreath...is that a foam form you used? I'd love to try this. Thanks! And thank you for stopping and leaving a comment on my Garden Party post.

    Jane x

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    1. Thank you, Jane. It's a foam wreath form and sometimes the dollar store has them. xoxo Su

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  19. You put a lot of thought to make the most of your Sonoran desert garden and it's beautiful! Hotter than Haiti here, so keep cool! Kathleen in Az

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    1. I know. I'm surprised that we only tied a record from 1896 the other day, though today was worse. xoxo Su

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  20. Absolutely gorgeous garden Su! and I see that little stinker of yours hanging out, too! Any birds in sight??? :)

    xoxox

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    1. Thank you, Anne. There was a hummingbird feeding on the blossoms! xoox Su

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  21. I enjoyed touring your lovely garden and love all the edibles you have grown.
    Love the table you have set as well.

    Carolyn

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  22. Su,
    I am so late arriving to the garden party! I enjoyed your Garden tale as told by Mr. garden who holds all the growing secrets. Blackie is a watchful garden guard - so cute! My brother in Florida has a Lemon tree and I envy it and yours OMGosh gorgeous. I remember when we were waiting for the frozen ground to thaw in Philadelphia. Waiting for the first signs of Snowdrops, Crocus and Hyacinth to lift our spirits at Winter's end you were posting your gardens harvest. I'm not familiar with dessert gardening would read your posts and scroll the photos and delight in your share. I have pea gravel in my manicured boxwood beds (my touch of Tuscany) :-) I love your tile table on top the pea gravel with those beautiful iron chairs. Your dressing of the table with the whimsical linens and pretty Bumblebee glasses with the refreshing Mozzatini and fresh Lemonaide made me fall in love with your garden. The Gordas with their placement the wild flowers all so intriguing. The thing that floored me and I will admit I said YUCK to was the boiled tobacco, soap and Listerine to ward off the bugs off the roses. I hope you boiled that up outside, lol. Thank you Su and Mr. Garden for this creative tour today.
    xoxo,
    Vera

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    1. Thank you, Vera. The gravel is great, they call it crushed granite around here, and it comes in several sizes, and colors. I brush the paths with a really wide broom a couple a times a week. It is really easy to care for.

      The lemon tree is wonderful. We had a mature one, and last year it was a sad day when we had to let it go. We tried to keep it; it blocked a door, and we repaired the porch around it, but when we had to deal with the drainage to the porch, the person fixing the problem said it had to go. My daughter was crying, and the landscaper was kind and found her a really nice one that was more mature than others that would give fruit right away.

      The table is really nice. It easily sits ten. I have a bench that matches and head chairs in other places in the yard. I have four siblings that live here, and their kids, so on holidays like Thanksgiving, we can have dinner out there. We used it all the time at my previous home. It's about the only furniture that will last for years around here.

      That mixture to kill the bugs is gross, but it is so effective. You use the liquid from it and put it in a spray bottle.

      Thank you for visiting today. Have a lovely weekend. xoxo Su

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  23. Replies
    1. Thank you, Michelle. Have a wonderful weekend. xoox su

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  24. Wow, what an amazing garden. Love the fruit. That owl plate is so cute. The helpers are adorable.

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    1. Thank you, Debby. My daughter gave me the owl plate. xoxo Su

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  25. Such an inviting garden party and I am honored to have been able to attend. ( beautiful ! )

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    1. Thank you, Kathy. Have a wonderful weekend. xoox Su

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  26. Su,
    Your garden is beautiful and you did an amazing job capturing it through your photos. The lemons on the tree look green...do they turn yellow when they are ripe?
    Lori from LL Farm

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    1. Thank you, Lori. Yes, the lemons will turn yellow when they are ready. xoxo Su

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  27. Su, I love the way you wrote this garden post. And everything is just exquisite! Such a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the day. I love the architectural pieces you have displayed throughout they garden. They blend perfectly with the colors and design of your garden. Such a bountiful harvest...beauty and sustenance!

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    1. Thank you, Benita, for your sweet complement. Have a wonderful weekend. xoox Su

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  28. A charming narrative through your lovely garden! And your table is so pretty, I want to try your tomato salad in the beautiful bumblebee goblets!

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    1. Thank you, Dewena. I love garden parties, because there is so much freedom in what you do. It really is good and so easy. I chilled everything first, it tastes so good cold. xoxo Su

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  29. Wonderful garden tour Su! Your garden's helpers are such cuties. I know you have really enjoyed your harvest throughout the season! Thanks for sharing your desert garden today! Blessings, Cindy

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    1. Thank you, Cindy. I hope you stayed cool today. xoxo Su

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  30. Your garden always amazes me! Your desert climate is so different from ours that it's hard for me to imagine what you would grow. But then I see your pictures and WOW it's gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you, Stacey, for your sweet visit. Have a beautiful weekend. xoox Su

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  31. Very lovely post, Su. Can you share your Listerine recipe? I found a Japanese Beetle on one of my new little rose bushes, and I don't want to spray tons of chemical because it's where we live and play (especially Finlay).

    LOVELY post. Your garden is amazing, and the wildflower bed is stunning. I love the bee glasses. What a great gift!

    Thanks for the lovely post. Your photos are fantastic.

    xo,
    RJ

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    1. Hi, RJ. I am waiting for my spouse to look it up for you. He got it from a friend years ago, and he says he has to look at the recipe to tell you how to prepare it. xoxo Su

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  32. you have such a lovely garden, love the outdoor table and seating. just beautiful!

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    1. Thank you, Debra for your sweet visit and complement. Have a beautiful weekend. xoxo Su

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  33. I love your garden and have gotten several ideas for mine. I live in the armpit of Florida also known as north Central Florida. It is so hot and humid here. We also have the same garden seasons as you as not many veggies can thrive in the heat and humidity.

    I've been incorporating more seating and my Puerto Rican heritage and absolutely love the Gordas. Where did you find them. I googled them but can't seem to find them. Please help!

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    1. Hi, Just Jo. They came from a mom and pop shop in Sedona, Arizona, when I use to live an hour away from there. I don't remember its name. This pair appears to be not mass manufactured, no company on it. A lot of things use to come from Mexico, but unfortunately it is not easy to find these imports anymore do to violence. A number of my favorite shops went out of business. I looked on google maps to see if I could see the name of the shop, and I could not find it. xoox Su

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  34. Such an endearing and enchanting post-your garden photos are lovely and I enjoyed the collages too.
    You have creatively embraced the dessert climate, which I so admire and respect. Making the most of what grows naturally rather than fight Mother Nature's gloriously natural beauty. I need to take a leaf from your garden book and do the same with our new garden once the house is complete.
    Your gentle spirit shines in this lovely garden space.
    xoxo
    Jemma

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    1. Thank you, Jemma. That's true. One has to see the beauty in the imperfection.
      xoxo Su

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  35. Wow. Just stunning! Your gardens are such an oasis! Please share your greenthumb with me? :) So jealous of your giant lemons and other produce. I have never had much luck with anything edible besides basic herbs. Thanks for taking us on such a lovely garden tour!

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    1. Thank you, Linsey. Have a wonderful summer. You have so much to look forward to. xoxo Su

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  36. Truly, you have one of the loveliest gardens I've ever seen.
    Just stunning.
    I will visit the others now but I just don't know how they could begin to compare!
    LOL!
    You have set the bar very high!
    xo

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    1. Thank you, Cynthia, for the visit and sweet complement. xoxo Su

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  37. How dreamy! I want to raid your garden so badly, it looks like it brings you the loveliest treats! And your little munchkin Francis! What a sweetheart!

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  38. I have always loved your garden. It looks just as beautiful today. As does your breakfast table. Love how you've used the sheet as a tablecloth. Your pictures are so pretty and your garden quaint and inviting. Jen x

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  39. Hello,
    I love your garden, and I find it fascinating on how you garden in the desert. I live in the North woods of Wisconsin, so I always enjoying learning about desert living.
    I also love your style and from the heart posts.
    Carla

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  40. Your dear garden is a colourful, little miracle, growing so profusely with such tasty, edible and non-edible treats, in a geographical landscape that is challenging. Beautiful photos and mosaics! Thanks for sharing.

    Poppy

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  41. Thanks for the lovely garden tour. I like the different "rooms" within your garden. Thanks for sharing through your gorgeous photos.

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  42. I really enjoyed the tour through your lovely garden. The pictures were so beautiful, I felt like I was strolling among the lemon trees and pretty flowers right along with you. Oh and I loved your idea of using a toile sheet for a tablecloth and using dishtowels as napkins. I would have never known. Everything looks so elegant and I loved your presentation. Thanks for that tip and have a wonderful day... :)

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  43. Su, I truly enjoyed this post so much. I loved touring your garden with you. I really felt like I was walking the grounds admiring all of its beauty. Thank you so much for sharing. You have so many amazing varieties. The aphids took over my roses too. Did you buy the ladybugs online?

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  44. I always enjoy spending time in your garden and this post was a real treat, you shared so many different parts of your lovely garden.

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  45. I had so much fun walking through your garden. So many pretty things to see. Your fruit and vegetables look amazing! I'm sure they're delicious too!! Thank you so much for sharing your summer garden!
    Hugs,
    Jody

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  46. Thanks for the garden tour.I saw so many beautiful things.Such a treat <3.
    Have a wonderful week.
    Hugs
    Caroline

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  47. Oh Su,
    Your garden is absolutely breathtaking. I enjoyed my stroll through it. Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs,
    ❤️Ana

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  48. Your desert oasis is just beautiful! Lovely in any season. Happy 4th!
    Hugs,
    Patti

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  49. Su, your garden is just beautiful! So productive! Blackie is adorable! And your plates! :) xoxo Jen

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  50. You throw quite a party! Every detail is beautiful. And how lovely your garden looks.
    Amalia
    xo

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  51. Your blog is just jam packed with beautiful pictures! It's great to see how far you and your wonderful garden has come since I started following you.

    I'm not keeping up with the blog world as well as I used to, but I plan on changing that around soon.

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    1. Thank you, Misantropia. This is our first day home from Europe. xoxo Su

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  52. Superb garden party!! These arrangements are standing out. I also feel that you have created magic here. Thanks dear for this wonderful post. I have never hosted any party at my backyard. I always reserve the best Boston venues for that. I’ll definitely host a party at my backyard!

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Thank you for taking time to visit and leave a kind message today. I love to visit your blogs too, and I do when I can link back. xoxo Su