Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rose Party

There’s a fireworks celebration going on in our garden and it’s way past the 4th of July. This one is only noticeable if you stop and look real, real close.  It’s in the center of a wild, vibrant colored rose that we named the Roanoke Rose, due to its discovery at the Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island, North Carolina.  It now resides in our garden and lately there’s been a lot to celebrate, considering the battles it has endured.

This rose has a group of deer that love to eat it!  We actually think the deer version of Bon Appetit magazine must have published an article about this rose being a delectable, deer delicacy, with bright colored roses and thorn free stems, because it’s become the latest culinary rage in deer dining spots. Yum!  They love it.

Fortunately, hundreds of new savory selections are growing in the garden now and the deer have moved on to more trendy dining spots. And the rose has bloomed!  We were thrilled and it obviously was too, since a full blown fireworks celebration and dancing is going on in the center of each rose.  The celebration is so noisy the deer probably won’t ever come around again. And if they do, they'll just have to dance.

Celebrating does that.  It just kind of chases away all those things that eat at you.  It creates a force of joy that simple repels any little spoilers.  Celebrating changes the entire atmosphere. And it’s good for the soul!  Listen to how one of the wisest men in history reflected on the importance of celebrating:

I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice (celebrate!), and to do good in their lives, and also that everyone should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor – it is the gift of God.”  King Solomon 

So, take a tip from a little rose that’s had its head bit off every day and a very wise king.  
There’s actually “nothing better” for you to do. And when you let a celebration begin in your heart, the music from your soul will change the very atmosphere that surrounds you.

Dancing with the deer,
The Velvet Lime Girls
Elizabethan Gardens - Original home of our rose.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Snapdragon Smiles

The snapdragons came back this summer. 

Normally they’re cool weather flowers that say hello in the spring, on long stretches of stalks that explode with popcorn heads of color.

We love them not only for their amazing shades, but, as every little child should know, because they “talk”.  It’s true.  Just gently squeeze one of those blossom puppet heads and you’ll soon have a lively conversation going on that is sure to please anyone who is young at heart.  They have such a great personality!
And they are funny.  Just ask a child who has learned how to make them talk and you’re sure to get a giggle.  Even adults smile.  And when you look at them real close, they seem to be laughing. Maybe it’s the popcorn like entrances or maybe they are just laughing at us making them “talk”.
Whatever they are laughing about, we were thrilled when they cheerfully arrived again in July and brought a smile to the garden.

They made us realize how much a cheerful outlook can change things.  It’s a secret source of smiles, just ask any snapdragon.  We think they may have embraced this little truth:
A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face…”  Proverbs 15:13



talking to  snapdragons,

Velvet Lime Girls

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crowned with Love

Hostas reign in our garden.  Their lavish leaves of green create an oasis for the eyes during the hot summer months. Sporting colors of celadon, chartreuse, pistachio and lime in their full skirts of leaves, they just seem to be dancing while the rest of the garden fizzles away under the sun.

How do they do it? How do they stay so fresh and green under the heat?

They have a secret. They start out by being “crowned” with life- giving water each morning. Shortly before sunrise, the tips of their leaves and buds receive an infusion of life-giving water. Little water crowns fill them with loving, tender, droplets of moisture that settle on their heads and change their world.

You can be crowned with this kind of love each day too.  Really.
It’s an open offer from a tender hand.  Just listen to it:

“He crowns you with love and mercy – a paradise crown.”  Psalms 103:4
Like the hostas, you’ll be strengthened to flourish, regardless of the heat that may surround you. 
Let the master gardener of your soul crown you today with love and tender mercy. Spend some time with Him each morning and soak up the life-giving water He supplies. Like these little hosta flower buds, you’ll be lifting  your head up with renewed strength, and you’ll begin to reign in life.

The Velvet Lime Girls

Photo by James Rhodes

Friday, July 6, 2012


The first big, fat, juicy tomato in our studio garden was ready today.  It’s plump little body just beckoned us over and we could almost hear it saying “pick me, pick me!” It’s been living on a tomato bush for several weeks, loaded with little green polka dots of tomatoes. We’ve waited, and waited, and waited until they all grew up. They’re full grown now, firm fleshed, luscious, red garden tomatoes all begging to be picked.

They can’t wait to get inside to one of the most revered places in the South.  A BLT.  That’s a BLT sandwich. Or, a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich for those of you who like things really spelled out for you.  It’s the best place for the first tomato of the season. There’s just nothing quite like it.  A BLT is simply fine cuisine without the fuss.  Especially if the star ingredient, the tomato, has just been picked from the garden.

Here’s a photo of our first BLT of the summer and our recipe. We’re not responsible for any mouth watering that may occur. By the way, don’t let your dog see it, because we think it causes drooling.  Actually, we hear that happens with humans who just start thinking about a BLT.

Velvet Lime Girls BLT
1 ripe tomato
1 lettuce leaf
Few slices of crispy fried bacon
Bread.  We know everyone says soft, sliced white bread is the best.  It is.  But, we like soft whole wheat or toasted English muffins too.
Slice the tomato and layer on top of your bread selection that has been slathered in good mayonnaise. Slathering may be a new term for you if you’re not from the South, but trust us, you need to master this move and get over the  sound of this culinary technique.  It’s kind of just like gobbing it on.  Oops, another Southern term.  Okay, for all you arty people, it’s like putting gesso on a canvas.  Just plop it on and rub it around until everything’s creamy white.
Now, layer the lettuce and bacon on top of the tomato slices, sandwich between two slices of bread and salt & pepper.  Take a bite and enjoy the true taste of summer.

Slicing tomatoes with smiles,

The Velvet Lime Girls