Look up and see the wonders and miracles that surround you

Thanks to the time required for my recovery the pace of my life has slowed down significantly. My priorities have shifted significantly as well.

The state of my recovering body has forced me to be still a lot. For me, sitting still begets pondering. Pondering begets enlightenment, inspiration and guidance. And those precious gifts beget more stillness... the kind of stillness that lets the world of nature happen around me as if I'm not there. It is a stillness that awakens my senses and lets me see with new eyes--eyes that can see all the wonders and miracles that surround me every day if I slow down enough to pay attention to them.

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The sultry red velvet petals of the Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Sometimes no words are necessary and a rose can speak for itself.
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Creating my own secret garden with "curtains and fountains of roses"

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I've posted before about my own little "Secret Garden" of sorts. In that post I said:
"There's a line from one of the film adaptations of 'The Secret Garden' that always come to mind when I'm in the garden--'curtains and fountains of roses' is the line. I think maybe I've been subconsciously using that movie line as a pattern for my plant-as-you-go form of garden design which has resulted in what we have now."
As I photographed the Cecile Brunner rosebush (seen above) that is spilling over with pale pink blossoms, I realized what "curtains and fountains of roses" really are.

The Cecile Brunner is a climbing rose that is a vigorous grower. In only a few short growing seasons, our bush now towers over us at 14-20 feet tall. The long sturdy canes form their own trellis if left to grow woody and the new canes grow fast into long arching limbs of blossoming sweetness. Our bush has created its own sizable garden arch that is the entrance to the back garden.

If that weren't enough serendipity, the sparrows also use the thick green foliage as a protective nesting site for their young swooping in and out with bugs they've gleaned from my garden to keep it pest free without chemicals.

After years of appreciating the aforementioned film, I finally understand what "curtains and fountains of roses" are and why every secret garden should have them. It is more blissful than I ever imagined years ago when I would watch the film and dream of creating my own secret garden someday.
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Introducing... The Merrilee Esther Nature Collection

Last Friday night, Hubby and I went out to dinner with a couple whom I hadn't met yet in person although Hubby had. We sat in a cozy local Italian place chatting and eating delicious authentic Italian food. It was one of those meetings when I felt like I really hadn't met someone new. It helped that because of Hubby we had been Facebook friends prior to the dinner. But there was something else in the ease in which the conversation flowed. It was very nice.

One of my newfound friends is the reason for this new collection I'm featuring. Like me, Merrilee is a nature lover through and through. And she graciously asked if I would like to offer some of her nature photography as free digital downloads at the Rosehaven Cottage Digital Download Shop. Of course I said yes!

Named after her, The Merrilee Esther Nature Collection will hopefully grow over time. The first set Bark and Branches and the second set Water and Waves are now available to download for FREE to use as desktop images, scrapbooking backgrounds, Photoshop textures or anything else creative you can think up. You can pick and choose which ones you want to download out of each set.

To receive announcements when future sets are released, "like" Rosehaven Cottage Inc. on Facebook or follow Rosehaven Cottage Inc. on Twitter.

Oh... and by the way... Merrilee is also the proprietor of Life Is But A Dream - Cupcakes and More. Click below to see some of her delectable desserts.

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