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I am sharing with you a few of my favorite close-up flower photographs this week.

Here is one that brightens up my garden summer and into early fall…

Sunflower&nbsp

Sunflower 

It is hard to find a flower that grows so large and that is easy to grow.

flower photographs

I plant mine from seed each spring and then plant a second crop in mid-summer.

Did you know that you can make a bird feeder and shade tomatoes using sunflowers?

The past few days have been full of celebration in our family.  Our daughter has returned home from her Navy training AND we have a new addition to our family.

For those of you who have been following along in my adventures, you may remember that my second-oldest daughter, Rachele, joined the Navy last spring.

This was our last family photo taken just before she left in March.

We missed her a lot, but were proud of her decision.  My husband and I, along with our oldest daughter traveled to Chicago back in May to see her graduate and I shared our journey with you back then.

Since then, Rachele has been in Missouri, training to be an equipment operator learning how to drive excavators, bulldozers, scrapers, semi-trucks, etc.  She did very well and love it – I’m not sure where she got her skills (not from me 😉

Last week, she graduated and became a “Seabee”.

Okay, so what is a “Seabee”, you may be wondering.  I know I did when she first told me that was what she would be doing.

Basically, a Seabee is a member of the Navy Construction Battalion.  They build bases, airstrips and roads – sometimes in hostile territories.  Unlike most members of the Navy, they spend little to no time on ships.

Once they graduate, Seabees trade in their traditional navy and blue camouflage uniform for  “Seabee Greens”.

Last week, Rachele graduated and got the honor of wearing her “Seabee Greens”.

We were so proud and couldn’t wait for her to come home.  She arrived late on Saturday night.  We didn’t tell the kids when she was coming.

They were surprised when their big sister woke them up.

Rachele was happy that her cat remembered her.

The next day after church, we went to her favorite place for lunch.

That evening, we had all of the family over for dinner.  Our home was filled with aunts, uncles, grandmas, cousins and siblings including my granddaughter…

Lily dressed up for the occasion.

I mentioned that we had an addition to our family.

I’d like for you to meet ‘Penny’…

Penny is the newest member of our furry family.  

She is an 8-week old English Black Labrador Retriever.

There are two types of labradors – one is from English stock and the other, American.  The English types are shorter, stockier and blockier.

Both are classified as labrador retriever by the AKC.

Needless to say, our days have been filled with frequent trips to the backyard as Penny works on becoming housebroken.  And, our kitchen is filled with chew toys.

*This blog post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). Thanks for your support in this way.*

Have you ever seen a miniature garden?  They are becoming very popular and are sometimes called ‘fairy gardens’. I must admit that I’ve been quite intrigued by them and so I was very excited with the publishers of “Gardening in Miniature” sent me a book, free of charge, for my honest review.

If you aren’t familiar with miniature gardens, it is helpful to think of them as large gardens shrunk down in size into a tiny world that fits into a single container.

If you like to peruse Pinterest, you have undoubtedly seen some great examples of miniature or fairy gardens.

I came upon a collection of miniature gardens for sale at an antique shop in upstate New York a couple of years ago.

They were planted in old enamelware pots and bowls.

As you can see, there is a pathway delineated by the larger pebbles, small fiber optic grasses, and a yellow viola in this garden.

This garden has a tiny shovel and watering can in it.

For some people, the accessories are the most enjoyable part of creating a miniature garden.  I would probably be stuck in my local Michael’s or Hobby Lobby trying to decide what small accessories to include in my little garden.

I must admit that I have been thinking of creating my own miniature garden.  Imagine a tiny world neatly contained inside of a pot.  For those of you who experience cold winters, you can enjoy having a little garden indoors all winter long.

Have you considered trying to create a miniature garden?

Well, if you have – then I have a great book for you to read…

Gardening in Miniature by Janit Calvo is a visual feast of beautiful and unique little gardens.

Of course, there is much more than miniature garden photos.  The book has all the information you will need to create your own tiny garden.  From container selection, a list of plants, soil type and how to care for your little garden – this book covers it all.

A beautiful garden is well-designed and small gardens are no different.  Gardening in Miniature offers helpful advice on how to design your tiny garden using plants, pebbles, water features and adding small furniture or figurines. Have you ever created your own miniature garden?

 
 
 

*I was given this book, free of charge, for my honest review.