Happiness Is …

October 18, 2009 Ashv 011 (2)
Seeing artistic endeavors in public gardens. Added: This is in the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, NC.

October 18, 2009 Ashv 040 (2)
Along with muhly grass.

October 18, 2009 Ashv 030 (2)
Discovering there is a Mum Show being judged inside a lovely heated building at the same public garden when it is raining, windy and freezing cold outside.

October 18, 2009 Ashv 042 (2)
Going to a world class arts and crafts show in the same city when it is raining, windy and freezing outside, and getting permission to take a photo from the crafter. Added: This is the booth of Stan and Sue Jennings of Thornton, West Virginia.

October 18, 2009 Ashv 058 (2)
Finding that your youngest offspring has a prettier garden than you do. Added: This is the garden of son Brokenbeat.

October 18, 2009 Ashv 068 (2)
Making it up a steep snowy, icy mountain. And having another camera as back up when the 20x zoom camera refuses to cooperate for those breathtaking vista shots.

October 18, 2009 Ashv 078 (2)
Taking dual photos of the same red leaf with a friend.

October 18, 2009 Ashv 082 (2)
The sun.

October 18, 2009 Ashv 087 (2)
A beckoning path with dappled sunlight that leads to….

October 18, 2009 Ashv 109 (2)
A cozy cabin with a welcoming smile.

October 18, 2009 Ashv 121 (2)
Finding magic moss icicles on a really big rock.

But the happiest thing of all…

October 18, 2009 Ashv 132 (2)
Is the return of a beloved pet, Mama Spot to her home with Christopher, Outside Clyde.

Another whirlwind road trip to Asheville, North Carolina has come to an end. Tired but happy are we. The story of the trip may be fleshed out in the future, for there were many photo ops to be had. A snowy mountain top and a happy reunion were the final stop before heading back to the Fairegarden. All good.


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44 Responses to Happiness Is …

  1. Love those mums, and oh those icicles are fabulous!

    RO πŸ™‚

    Hi Orchid, thanks. You should have seen those mums, types of which I didn’t even know existed. A photographer’s paradise. Loved your goat tale. πŸ™‚

  2. Looks like you had a busy, fun filled weekend.
    People always think of Canada as being snowy, but I haven’t had any, YET!

    Hi Deborah, thanks. We have had no snow at my place, we rarely get it, but Christopher’s mountainside catches the clouds and wrings out any precip in them.

  3. Darla says:

    So much happiness to be viewed in this post! Gorgeous photos……welcome home Kitty..

    Thanks Darla. When we learned that Spot had returned, the smiles just didn’t stop. A wonderful surprise ending to a great trip with family and friends.

  4. Ratty says:

    Wonderful pictures. That first one with the bird is great. That’s the kind of art I like. Any pets are the best, especially when seeing them after an absence.

    Hi Ratty, thanks. The bird is part of a two piece metal gate that leads to another part of the North Carolin Arboretum. There were critters of all types hiding in the metal vines. You would have loved it. Christopher’s beloved Mama Spot returning after a nine day absence was the best surprise ever. πŸ™‚

  5. Les says:

    Glad you had a nice over the mountain visit, but it is way to early to see frosted foliage and flowers. I hope this spell of cold is just a bump in the road on a more gentle slope to winter.

    Hi Les, thanks. It did seem weird for still green and lush foliage to be covered in snow and ice. It was beautiful though. It is supposed to warm up this week, here anyway. I ‘m with you, winter needs to ease in, not hit us over the head all at once! πŸ™‚

  6. Daphne Gould says:

    Brrr. The icicles look really beautiful, but cold.

    Hi Daphne, thanks. It was a winter wonderland, except all the foliage was still on the trees and shrubs and many flowers had icicles on them. There was a stiff wind towards the end of the visit, brrr is the word! πŸ™‚

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    That poor little petunia. You looked almost as cold as pictured in Christophers garden when signing the geochashe register. I have a friend that does that. She looks for things all over. Glad you got to see Chris and Momma Spot.

    Hi Lisa, it was cold but fun. Many flowers were encased in ice but still held their color and form, quite beautiful. Christopher was so happy, he couldn’t stop smiling. I wrote my name as Frances at Fairegarden in the geocache notebook. πŸ™‚

  8. Oh Frances, I love the icicle photos. Just beautiful.

    Thanks Jackie, they were really prettier than my photo shows. πŸ™‚

  9. Nice photos! Where was the public garden, I can see they used your favorite (Muhly grass) quite well. The icicle-flower pictures is very “cool”! Sorry for the pun…not really!

    Thanks Dave. The garden was the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. I meant to put that in there but forgot. Will fix it now. Sorry about that. I am still tired from the trip and there is no heat in the house. We are waiting for the heat guy to call and hopefully it will be an easy fix.

  10. Janet says:

    What a nice visit! I love a walk in the woods as the trees are changing color–the depth perception changes as instead of various shades of green you have yellows and reds and oranges…wow!!
    Do you remember the name of the wooden utensil people at the arts and crafts fair? Looks like the folks who used to come to our garden shows years ago. Bought a few cherrywood carved spoons and spatulas….would love more. Have forgotten the name of the carver.

    Hi Janet, thanks. I zoomed in on the photo and the wooden ware is by Stan and Sue Jennings, of Thornton West Virginia. I have some wooden things too, but am not sure if this is the same people who made them, many are similar but I thought their booth was very well done. My friend bought some spoons from them I think. The beckoning path was incredible as the sun would go in and out of the clouds. Christopher and I had fun taking the photos. πŸ™‚

    thanks for the name!

    My pleasure! πŸ™‚

  11. Morning Frances. The frozen petunia turned out perfect and we did get the same shots on the posts. I thought you had done a super closeup on that red leaf. A visit from you is always a delight. The youngest’s garden is looking very lush. A month ago I bet it looked great too. Only a block off Haywood you say. I see opportunities to scoop icecream to a huge group of local strollers on a warm late summer day.

    Hi Christopher, thanks. I did a super close up of a red leaf next to that one but thought we were…oh never mind. Brokenbeat’s garden is really a fall garden with those giant salvias and dahlias. Ice cream added to the stroll agenda sounds like a fabulous idea. I’ll let you pitch the idea. πŸ˜‰

  12. Racquel says:

    Great shots Frances, love the icicles forming on the petunia and your daughter’s garden is gorgeous!

    Thanks Racquel. The garden is my son Brokenbeat’s. Birth order was girl, Chickenpoet, girl, Semi, boy, Gardoctor, boy, Brokenbeat. πŸ™‚

  13. So, it was cold in the mountains over the weekend! Love the public garden and crafts.

    I can’t believe your youngest has a garden so great already! There’s a big future of gardening in that one… just think… this is only the beginning! πŸ™‚


    Hi Cameron, oh yes, cold was the key word. First rainy, windy then snowy. There is frost here in TN this morning, light and scattered. I have been out with the camera to capture it quickly, as soon as the sun hits it will evaporate. The three homeowning offspring all have fairly mature gardens. His is the newest but he has done a great job in a short time. His soil is amazing, no fair to the rest of us. πŸ™‚

  14. Rose says:

    It takes a hardy soul to explore gardens on a windy, freezing day, Frances. Looks like you found some great havens from the cold, especially Christopher’s cabin, which is really coming along. Beautiful shot of the ice-coated petunia! Daugher’s garden is indeed lovely; she obviously inherited her mother’s genes:)

    Hi Rose, thanks. Hardy or crazy, hard to tell! The cozy cabin is really getting there fast. He will finish the covering of the underneath then be able to work inside with the drywall installation. It was already quite cozy and the views are priceless. The garden is my son, Brokenbeat’s. I have added that and a couple bits of info to avoid confusion. I wrote the post quickly and was quite tired, sorry for leading anyone astray. πŸ™‚

  15. Pam/Digging says:

    Yea that Spot returned to the cozy cabin. And yea for your fun-filled visit to Asheville. It looks like you saw a lot in a short time.

    Hi Pam, thanks. The return of Spot was the cherry on top to a great weekend. We went to Kingsport, TN, then Asheville, then just outside Clyde, NC. A fast but satisfying trip. πŸ™‚

  16. lotusleaf says:

    Hello Frances! By a strange coincidence, I was thinking of happiness, sitting on the roof of my home a few minutes back! Lovely photos of icicles . The mums are fabulous.

    Hi Lotusleaf, thinking about happiness is the most delicious pastime, thanks! πŸ™‚

  17. Joanne says:

    Great pictures and good to see you passed on your green fingers gene.

    Thanks Joanne, glad you liked the shots. All the offspring are garden lovers. Hard to imagine it any other way. πŸ™‚

  18. Lola says:

    I thought the pic of the petunia with ice was incredible. After viewing the whole post I cannot choose a “best” pic.
    Best news that kittie came home. I’m glad you had a wonderful weekend. Nothing more important that enjoying family & friends.
    Even if it is freezing.

    Hi Lola, thanks. Christopher could not stop smiling, he was so happy. πŸ™‚

  19. Happiness is: a fun photo tour with Frances. Your pictures all made me smile and vocalize happy thoughts. Cheers from not-yet-icicly Toronto.

    Hi Helen, thanks so much. You are too sweet. Glad to here you are without icicles just yet. We had our first frost here in my part of TN last night, but the sun quickly melted it. πŸ™‚

  20. Gail says:

    Frances, I am loving the woodpecker in your opening photo…then onto the other wonderful shots of your visits. Delightful. Brokenbeat’s garden is fabulous; we are not even going to sigh with resignation over the unfairness of good soil distribution! I am so glad you got up the mountain to Christopher’s! The moss and petunia ice sickles are perfect captures… Wasn’t seeing the sun a gift after all this rain! gail

    Hi Gail, thanks. We will have to go to this garden together sometime, it is spectacular. His soil is the stuff gardener’s can only dream of having. Christopher’s spot of heaven was truly amazing. The leaf color with the icy and snow was something quite rare. We had great fun traipsing up and down the mountain paths. He wore me out! Seeing Mama Spot was the high point of the trip up there. πŸ™‚

  21. Di says:

    Frances, handsome photos as always, but the ice encapsulated petunia is a beauty!

    Thanks Di. So glad you enjoyed them. The petunia was one of the freaks of nature, too beautiful. πŸ™‚

  22. lynnsgarden says:

    There’s got to be a contest somewhere to enter the “Petunia on Ice” photo, Frances! Totally amazing!

    HA Lynn, thanks. If there is such a contest, my entry is ready! πŸ™‚

  23. brokenbeat says:

    happiness indeed, mother. great to see you. with my garden consisting of at least 50% passalongs from you (not to mention that fairegarden is a whole brilliant world unto itself), you can hardly claim any worthy comparison to what grows here to there, even if the salvias love my soil. it’s like comparing a rolling hill to mt. everest. not even the same universe, let along league. thanks for the kind words anyway. much love.

    My dear Brokenbeat, thank you for those kind words. Your garden may have some passalong from the Fairegarden, but it is you who made the beds, placed the plants so artfully and care for everything so well. It makes a mother quite proud. I want some of that leucantha! πŸ™‚
    Love, Frances

  24. rosey pollen says:

    Love the last photo, It made me smile, with the cute kitty.
    Your son does a beautiful garden, he was a good listener I am betting.

    Hi Rosey, thanks. The last shot is the winner of the group, happiness captured, it emanated from man and beast both. Brokenbeat has applied himself to learning how to garden and is a quick study, it’s true. All the offspring are. πŸ™‚

  25. ourfriendben says:

    Well, now I really HAVE to see the Asheville Botanic Garden next time I’m there! I love their Appalachian Crafts Center and Museum, have to go there EVERY time, but didn’t realize there was a crafts show too… drool. Does Brokenbeat live in Kingston or Asheville? His garden is fantastic. And thank God for happy endings! I don’t know who looks more relieved, Christopher or Mama Spot! Like everyone else, I love the iced petunia shot. Way better than my browned, curled, piteous coleus after last night’s 34-degree low! Sigh. A nyway, thanks for the wonderful tour!

    Hi OFB, thanks. Oh yes, you need to go to the Arboretum. As many times as we have been to Asheville this was our first visit I am ashamed to say, but it won’t be the last. The big craft shows are mid summer and this one in fall. There may be another one closer to Christmas too. It is the Southern Highlands Craft Guild that puts it on, all local talent with Tennessee well represented. Brokenbeat and Gardoctor live in Asheville, Chickenpoet lives in Kingsport, Semi in Knoxville. The magic triangle. Christopher and Spot both were beyond happy to be reunited, it was a joy to witness. πŸ™‚

  26. Catherine says:

    Those are a lot of good reasons for happiness! I love the icicles on the flower and moss.

    Thanks Catherine. Glad you liked the frozen flowers! Brrrr πŸ™‚

  27. Your photographs are amazing!! I’ve added you to my favorites list…I will be back often!

    Thanks Mary and welcome. Your own blog is quite delicious! πŸ™‚

  28. Sweet Bay says:

    Beautiful photos! I love those mums. Brokenbeat has a lovely garden. And the sunlight filtering through those trees — heavenly!

    Hi Sweet Bay, thanks. Everywhere we went this weekend, there was beauty all around, cold but beautiful. The mums were like nothing I have ever seen. Not your garden variety mum. πŸ™‚

  29. michelle says:

    Very pretty and I love the wooden spoons!

    Hi Michelle, thanks. The craft fair was the best one I have ever attended, and I have been to several of these in Asheville. The wood spoon booth was very eye catching.

  30. VW says:

    How happy to have passed on your gardening love to your children. I hope I can do the same. Warm, dry greenouses sound like happiness to me, too, now that temps are plunging around here.

    Thanks VW, it is the happiest of hobbies to share with the kids. It didn’t happen until they grew up a little and got their own plots of land. We never run out of conversation material and love to passalong plants among each other. Warm and dry, key words for sure! πŸ™‚

  31. Phillip says:

    These photos are wonderful. I take it you’ve had some cold weather too? Brrrr!

    Thanks Phillip. We had our first frost last night, although it turned out to be a lovely sunny day today. And our heater just got fixed! Hooray! πŸ™‚

  32. That Clyde seems to be the most gentle kind of guy and he’s so handy. Looking forward to the rest of the story. You had some grand photo ops with the right light and frozen blooms. Looks like quite the hike under those conditions. Beautiful mums and amazing shot of the wooden utensils. You have such a good eye and we are lucky you share with us.

    Thanks so much for those kind words, Anna. You are so sweet. Christopher is a gentle fellow, such a good descriptive term. He knows all about gardening and plants is is a super talented writer among other things. We were lucky with the sun peeking through the peak fall foliage that day. Lots of photo ops and there will be another post Wednesday about the visit.

  33. Charlotte says:

    Love the icicles! Makes me realise that winter is almost here.

    Hi Charlotte, thanks. Winter was on that mountaintop for sure. Less so where I live, but we still had frost last night, our first of the season.

  34. Anna says:

    Looks as if you are already experiencing some cold weather but how fortunate you were to find a show going on under cover and in the warmth πŸ™‚ I do like the look of that muhly grass – do not think that I have come across it before.

    Thanks Anna. We were very grateful to have that mum show going on inside the arboretum building. There was a lovely little lunch counter too, with nice hot soup and hot chocolate. The muhly is a great plant. Ask for it at your local nursery, they need to sell it over there! πŸ™‚

  35. Siria says:

    Hello Frances! What a wonderful post! It looks like your trip to Asheville and Outside Clyde was great fun. Your son’s garden is just beautiful. So glad you made it up the windy highway 209 on such a cold and icy day. Looks like you and Christopher had a great time. And to witness the homecoming of Mama Spot is truly Happiness!!!

    Hi Siria, thanks. It was a great trip, though very chilly. Christopher could not stop smiling about the return of his beloved mama kitty. πŸ™‚

  36. Teresa says:

    Beautiful photos. I love the ice on the flowers. They look like they are in glass. It is nice to see your children doing these things that we do. Funny how they do learn what they live. Whenever I see my son working in his yard with his wife I am secretly thrilled! I would love to get my hands in their garden but I step back knowing they need to learn it by doing it. Slowly but surely they are figuring it out. I enjoyed your post and I am glad you had such a nice visit. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Hi Teresa, thanks. It sounds like you have learned the secret to being a good mother and mother in law, let them do it for themselves, only offering occasional advice when asked. Life is about the journey, not the destination. πŸ™‚

  37. easygardener says:

    Beautiful pictures – but that icy flower made me shiver.Brrrr…

    Hi EG, thanks. Poor little cold flower encased in ice, it was beautiful however. It was very cold on the mountainside.

  38. tina says:

    You must be most proud of Brokenbeat! All wonderful gardens and it is great Mama Spot returned home safely.

    Thanks Tina. I am so proud of all the kids, they are all lovers of the earth and know how to grow things. Brokenbeat has amazing soil and protected conditions to be able to grow things so well. He does work very hard to make it so lovely. Mama Spot was welcomed with open arms and big smiles. She was very sweet and friendly even after her ordeal.

  39. Glorious photos as always!! I love those mums!!

    Thanks Linda. The mum show was such a treat. I am not that into cut flowers, but these were amazing and it was fun to see which ones won the prizes too. And it was nice and toasty warm in there. πŸ™‚

  40. Kat says:

    Love the shot of the icicles on the moss. Beautiful post… as always. πŸ™‚

    Hi Kat, thanks so much. Glad you ejoyed your visit. πŸ™‚

  41. eliz says:

    You are lucky to be able to visit Christopher; I have been watching the progress of his cottage with great interest! What a fabulous, if a bit chilly, day.

    Hi Elizabeth, thanks. It was a great visit, the mountainside was a vision and the cozy cabin is coming along nicely. It was much warmer with the insulation in than the last time I was there. It will be a perfect home for Christopher and his kitties.

  42. Hello Frances, IΒ΄m catching up your latest posts… IΒ΄m in love with your pictures and your garden… so many beautiful ispiring images, so professional the photos you take… so shy that I donΒ΄t have a good camera so IΒ΄m trying to do my best with the pictures of my garden… any idea of what camera can I buy??

    Hi Maria, thanks. I am just a point and shoot on auto photographer, but have learned to read the lighting for the best shots of my garden, time of day, etc. I highly recommend the Canon powershot cameras. My old camera, the A720 has been discontinued, but I think there are comparable new ones available. Good luck!

  43. Janie says:

    I love those big pumpkin looking mums along the walkway. I may have to look for some for my garden.

    Thanks Janie and welcome. The arboretum’s fall planting scheme was exquisite.

  44. Beckie says:

    Wonderful photos and thoughts on happiness. And your are right about all of them. It takes very little to make a gardener happy-a little sun, a few bright colors and friends.

    BTW, I LOVE those mums!

    Hi Beckie, thanks. Gardeners are easily pleased, it is true. You should have seen those mums, every type and size, all in perfect condition, every color you can think of and more. Ahhh, and it was warm in there too. πŸ™‚

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