Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wildflowers, Wildlife and Wine

"Imagination is air of the mind."
-Philip James Bailey
English Poet 1816-1902

Deceased over 100 years- even he has a Facebook Page

There is no place like home to work. Just outside my study window, wildflowers and wildlife beckon my imagination to come play. Or at least take a picture. 
Wildflowers or Flowers Gone Wild?

How does one work amidst such beauty? With great tugs of temptation and joy.  With assurance that with patience and hard work, all things are possible. Even swooningly romantic gardens in the center of suburbia.

Cupcake Chardonnay - At under $15/bottle- Affordable and Elegant

In a perfect world, everyone would have neighbors like Chuck and Sandra Price. Last weekend Sandra leaned over the fence to invite me to a mostly- family gathering in honor of son Charlie's graduation from Diamond Bar High School. Hurrah!

 Chuck knows my fondness for wine and my husband's adoration of a bargain. Which we all agree equates with good value. 

Perhaps this is eccentric- but I am a writer- so it should be more than excused- it should be expected. The Cupcake Chardonnay had me running back to my house to grab my little wine notebook and pen.  From my notes:

"Straw color with a light greenish tinge when introduced from bottle to glass. Light and luscious. Buttery, yet piquant."

What menu to pair with?  Why an ode to summer simplicity. Something to share on the patio with friends you really like.

Open with heirloom tomato slices arranged in rainbow sequence- red, orange,  yellow. The bright discs cushioned with the ultimate creaminess of  fresh mozzarella cheese. 

 The main course- A lemony chicken breast decorated with ribbons of grilled crookneck and zucchini squash atop a fluffed bed of rice pilaf, all finished with freshly snipped  sweet marjoram suspended in a quality extra virgin olive oil. 

As an herb of ancient lore, Sweet marjoram  is tender outside Mediterranean climates. Related to oregano, but with subtler charms,  embrace  her in your garden and learn why the Greeks and Romans revered her as a symbol of happiness.  

Sweet Marjoram image discovered at

The cartwheeling flower colors include-

The magenta-purple mass entrancing the hawk is an angel faced geranium which sprang from a cutting of the mother plant.

The pink flower puff was named by someone color blind as it is officially not pink, but red valerian. 

Lavender-ish balls - Society garlic

Daisy like path straddlers- Feverfew

Yellow Rose- Julia Child


cherry said...

Flowers gone wild = Beautiful!
Is it to early to start drinking ? Your beautiful description has made me hungry and
Happy Thursday and hugs from Savannah, Cherry

Lydia said...

Thank you for being my early bird, cherry. Savannah is such a LOVELY area- lucky you.

Oregon Sue said...

I am in love with your view. Yes, working at home for you is a treat. And that Cooper's Hawk, how wonderful!!! City living has it's ups and mostly downs, but you live on the edge of tame and wild. Fascinating the critters you attract. In Temple City all we had was crows, occasionally a ring-necked pigeon, and mostly just LBB's (little brown birdies!) Now, like you, I can enjoy the wild critters that are in abundance here. Heaven.

I will have to look up that Cupcake Chard. Sounds good.
Was just having a 'Buckley's Cove 2009 Shiraz' from SE Australia. Excellent. You are the expert when it comes to the perfect words to describe anything, so I will just say that this wine is light and fruity with a lingering berry taste. xo

Lydia said...

Ah, Sue- It sounds like a wine which is like a first summer kiss. One that fills you with anticipation for the rest of what is to come...


OldLady Of The Hills said...

Your Garden is SOOOOO Very Very Beautiful, Lydia....I know it must be an inspiration as well as calling you to come join the flowers--ALL of the time. I would find it hard to not be out there constantly!

I LOVE the names of that wine. I have to try it!
The meal sounds deeee-licious!

Annette said...

What a beautiful view you have! The wine sounds like a must try!

Lydia said...

Dear OOLH- aka Naomi. You have a pretty special garden yourself):-

Annette- Thank you. It is a very nice wine- an exceptional value.

Fishtail Cottage said...

I am in love with your garden~ thanks for sharing over at Cottage Flora Thursday's garden party! xoox, tracie

The Charm of Home said...

I love the lore of herbs. Beautiful garden. Thanks for linking it to HSH!

Lydia said...

Tracie. Thank you for the invitation to the garden party!

Sherry- I'm sure we will "meet" again.

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Your garden looks completely beautiful, Lydia. I love that slightly less formal look. At least, that's what I tell myself when I survey my garden!!!


Lydia said...

Sarah- Know what you mean. Even if I wanted a formal garden- it wouldn't stay that way. So it is a bit of the which came first- wanting an informal garden or understanding that was what would come no matter what):-