So everyone is ready for fall!! My Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks and the cool AC in here is making me want to go buy sweaters and a new jacket, boots and blanket and head into the mountains for a picnic. I am ready to get out the blanket and the thermos and sit on the patio in the early evenings or head to the mountains for a beautiful overnight stay in a cabin.
But most of all it’s time for fall family pictures where you are surrounded by the colors of fall! It’s a gorgeous time and the settings are going to be amazing, but check out Noelle Bell Photography or call the studio today at 865.661.2744 to get more details, but the dates are set so call and grab your slot before they are all gone!
So the end of my story from Saturday was that I had a bunch of empty pots completely de-weeded (if that’s a word), but that’s all they were? Empty pots just sitting there all over my back patio. So on Sunday afternoon I decided that I would fill those empty plants and I started on my afternoon adventure to find some. The adventure began and I started where I had found myself last year at the Lowe’s garden center getting some plants when I discovered they had a 50% off section in the plant area.
To tell you a little about myself, I have a bit of a green thumb. I inherited some of that from my mom who has the greenest thumb I know. People have even brought her their half dead plants and she brings them back to life! I don’t think I have that much of a green thumb, but I do pretty well. Anyway, back to Lowe’s.
The 50% off section is a section of plants that looked pretty sickly and needless to say Lowe’s wants them gone. Some of them didn’t look all that bad this year, one looked downright dead, but I thought since I did it last year I can do it again! So I proceeded to buy $35 worth of mostly dead plants. I even got some cherry tomato plants that thanks to the helpful woman shopping in the same section and my mom, I think they might have a chance. You see they looked great and they were full of green tomatoes. However I learned that if I had planted them that way they most likely wouldn’t have had much of a chance, even though I only paid $1 for both tomato plants. I had to come home and pluck every single green tomato off of the plant, and find even the little ones that were just starting and take them too. You see the roots of the tomato plant needed to get established and all of the nutrients would have gone straight to the tomato’s if I had planted it as is. Now the plant will be able to have established roots which will help the plant continue to produce more tomatoes. So, I’m excited to see if they grow
Plants are a lot like us sometimes. Without nutrients, without love, without care, sunshine, or water, we will just wither away. That goes for us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually! We are not called to a lot of things in this world that are present like abuse and neglect, we are called to love and blossom and grow.
Even in the blooming and growing, there are necessary things that have to happen. Things like pruning and stripping off of dead growth and weeding. These things aren’t necessary painful to a plant, but to us they can sometimes feel very painful and cause us to run from them. However, the result of all the pruning and weeding is something so incredibly beautiful where we see how all of the pain was necessary to bring us to this place that is greater and better than we ever dreamed for ourselves.
I believe that flowers and the gardening process can teach us so much of our Heavenly Father and how much He loves us and cares for us.
This year I have 12 potted plants that will be coral, yellow, purple and pink and I was excited to see what they would look like in a few days. I had spent time pruning and cutting back dead sections of the plants and cutting off most of any dead already bloomed sections. Afterwards I had a row of beautiful green plants and some of them had a few buds on them. Only a few plants did I buy new, two multi-colored Lantana plants and a six pack of Impatients in pink for the corner that gets no sun. I took some before and after pictures so you can see the before planting picture, and then the results after planting.
Then Monday I got to take some after after pictures!! We got a lot of rain that morning that was light and consistent for most of the morning and early afternoon and then sunshine was out by the time I got home. So I came home to some beautiful plants, well nourished with lots of good nutrient in the plant food last night, and the even rain and sunshine from our Father that day!
So I hope and pray that you are open to what God can to do when you open yourself to Him who will prune to make YOU bloom! You’re not alone, He’s working on me too!
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to go through the middle of a crazy storm and not sure what is going on. Things are always changing. Sometimes it feels like you are in the middle of a hurricane and other times it feels like you are bent over in the storm and you are about to break in the wind.
When I think of the storms of this life, sometimes my mind turns to gardening, especially when a great example is right in front of me. . I really enjoy gardening. I’ve seen the beautiful colors of flowers and trees that bloom in all 4 seasons to showcase the wonder and the beauty of their creator who made them and dreamed up all of their unique and interesting traits. They are a testimony to how unique and beautiful that He has created us to be.
Saturday morning I was out on our back patio having my quiet time and spending some time in the word over coffee and the beautiful sunrise, when my eyes fell onto the garden that I had done nothing with all year so far, and that was very evident. I had weeds, leftover plants struggling from last year to see if they could flourish this spring and even an walnut that had spouted a thin tree that was about 2 ft tall. None of the beauty of a garden was there, just the ruins of what once had been a beautiful sanctuary.
So I put my Bible and my coffee down, and I began to pull the weeds from my potted garden. As I began to pull the weeds, I noticed that some of them were quick and easy to pull out, where as others seemed to have a strength to their depth and they were not going to give up their ground very easily. In fact two of them, plants from last year, I had to grab the ball of the root and actually pull each of the individual roots that grew from that big root ball one by one to eventually free it from the soil that it was beginning to choke out.
I began to see a pattern. One that I often see while gardening, but this was a fresh reminder of how sometimes when we have patterns or habits that are unhealthy in our lives, it begins to choke out the good and healthy places in us. Sometimes we don’t even know that they are in our lives or how well established their roots are, but as we open our eyes to see we begin to reflect not only on how stubborn, selfish and hard-headed creatures we are, but how we hold onto things that are so unhealthy for us. I am so thankful that God has the patience to slowly pull these weeds from our lives.
However, once the weeds have been pulled and when we look back, we now have eyes to see that there is a beautiful mix of soil. The soil itself wasn’t bad, but the root was choking all the health and nutrients from it. So now what you have is soil that can be added to and worked with to make more beautiful things.
So are there hard places in your life, are there struggles? Look around and consider, is there something in you, something in your life that needs to be dug up, uprooted and flung far down the hill to never take root again? The Lord loves us so much that He wants to get these things out of our lives, because He loves us so much!! Enough that He choses to say that “They are choking the life out of you and I have something beautiful in you and I want to see it flourish and grow. Come and see what beautiful things I can make with you!”
So these are my rambling thoughts from Saturday…I’ll continue with more tomorrow.
This past week I found myself waiting in the UT Gardens in Knoxville, TN to meet up with one of my senior model reps, Tiana. I took advantage of the free minutes to capture a few photographs of the flowers. One thing that I love is that every time you come here you can see something completely different and new as the seasons change. Here is a one of the flowers I captured.
Have a wonderful weekend and may you all find time to get out and capture some memories in this beautiful weather!
Came home from Charlotte, NC from a photography workshop, of which I will blog about quite a bit in the coming weeks, and I opened the curtains to look out the back window and this is what I discovered. My beautiful asiatic lilies from last year have come back in bloom. They also have a lot more blooms than they did last year when I bought them, so next year I may even divide them and fill many more pots with them. They add so much color to my back porch here in Knoxville, and I love to sit outside in the early mornings and enjoy the view.
I will have to get out my camera and take some beautiful close up photos of them later, but for now they are something beautiful to look at and enjoy. Does anyone know when you divide up lilies? I need to search the web for how and when you do that.
Have a beautiful day everyone, it’s a beautiful day here in Knoxville, TN. I’m off to work on some senior photos!
Sunday I was about to go stir crazy. It had been over two weeks that I had been laid up with this small fracture in my foot and let me tell you it is no fun. Such a small hairline fracture makes so many things difficult, however….I have developed some serious rock hard arm muscles. I think I might be able to bench press a good amount right now. 🙂
My friend Lindsay was coming over to get some of my newborn props that I was selling, and she was happy to take me out for an hour and let me take some pictures with my new Macro lens that I gotten right before the accident and not been able to really use outside.
Well if anyone could have been there to watch I’m sure you would have gotten an interesting view and quite a good laugh. I may have great arm muscles, but balance is one thing I don’t have and especially when there was a camera and a heavy lens around my neck. Occasionally the crutches were used as a tripod, sometimes i was trying to get up from lying on the ground, while only having one leg to do so with, and I think I almost knocked myself over more than once. But just so you know it was worth it!!! Here are some of the pictures to prove it.
So thanks again Lindsay!!! The gift of your time and help was so very appreciated!!
Two weekends ago my husband and I spent time with my parents at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast in Sevierville, Blue Mountain Mist , we went to Dollywood and then out to dinner at The Chop House, and just had a nice weekend away. My family has stayed at this B&B for 3 years now, and love it! They stayed here almost 3 years ago when Lynn and I got married and have stayed twice since. This time they gifted us the night’s stay so we didn’t have to drive back to Knoxville after a full day at Dollywood and celebrating a birthday dinner out that night. It really was a wonderful gift, and for that mom and dad…THANK YOU!
We met a wonderful couple from England who taught us words that have different meanings when they are used in England, like brolley – which is what we call an umbrella. See if you can figure out this sentence. ” It’s raining out so I grabbed my slicker and headed to the supermarket for groceries where I put my brolley in the trolley while I shopped!” – Exit England, welcome back to America. I love that they call the shopping cart a “trolley”. I’m going to have to confuse someone at the supermarket when my arms are full, I just have to work on my British accent! 😉
Here are some pictures of the weekend in the Smokies. This is a picture of “those I hold most dear” at Dollywood, my wonderful husband and my parents who I love so much!
Here is a great shot of my mom next to one of the cars she used to drive, just image it as a convertible!!
And here are some images of the sunrise in the morning on the porch of the B&B. Coffee was ready at 6a and that’s when I woke up, so it was a wonderful way to start the day on the wraparound porch.
And here are the birds that came by to visit on the arbor out front…how many birds can you count?
Here is the hummingbird that I captured taking a morning drink.
And later in the day I captured this image of a dragonfly up close.
There is so much more I could share from the weekend, but work calls, and I must get back to the grind. Thank you to my parents who allowed this sweet weekend to take place, and to bring so many good memories from it! Here’s one more of both mom and dad from the carosel ride at Dollywood.
On Monday the weather in Knoxville was one of the worst with torrential rain and flooding, but Tuesday the sun came out to wash it all away! Of course, in the course of the day, the rain had also done it’s fair share of washing things away! There were impassable roads,
What was normaly a 8 mile drive to work that takes about 10 -15 minutes, took me 45 minutes to make the return trip! Simple roads that you would think would be okay were flooded and you had to do your best to get around them without finding another road that was blocked. When I arrived home the floodwaters had receeded from my road, but my subdivision still had bad flooding in it. Here are some of the pictures I took as I walked around examining the damage. Thankfully our townhouse is higher up and on the other side of where the creek became a roaring river, so we did not have any damage.
I don’t think the covers are supposed to be off like this, but there was a lot of water, and I can only surmise that the pressure from the flooding pushed this off, as there were many more like this along the path of the river. About 2 hours earlier this was underwater, from a neighbors report.
This is further down an behind the gym at our complex where the is a playground to the right and basketball courts to the left. Both had been underwater, and the basketball court still had water covering it.
Here is my little beauty amongst the flood, these branches full of water were sparkling like jewels! If the sun had come out to hit the branches it would have been beautiful!
I had to run back out to pick up my medicine and cat food as they were completely out after I fed them, and here is the devestation that was Catholic High Schools beautiful walking trail! It has been and always will be a favorite walking trail of both mine and my husbands. It may take a few days for this water to receed, but it did block traffic going up Cedar Bluff to Middlebrook Pike.
Here is another view of the massive amount of water that accummulated there. I’m guessing the green grass won’t be to far behind after this good soaking!
And last but not least after cutting through Catholic to head up Cedar Bluff, I saw this! The back of the rectory was also the continuation of the walking trail. This shows how completely covered it was.
I’ll have some new photos of Spring in the next post, and then more images from some of my latest sessions!
Happy March everyone…Spring is on the way!! I can just feel it!
Last night I was in the middle of a hard edit session, when I decided I would take a break and work on some fun images that I had taken in the 2010, but never really had time to work on. So getting back the inspiration to some inspirational photography that I love, here are some fun images from the Chattanooga Aquarium back in July. These two have a nice focus on eyes, just some in other places than on the face!
And here is another from the butterfly garden
Well I hope you enjoyed my stroll down nature lane. Working on the business is keeping me busy, but it was good to take a break and enjoy the images and get my creative juices going. Tomorrow night it’s back to business!