Saturday, January 12, 2019

Hopeland Gardens

Winter at the Hopeland Gardens of Aiken, SC is spectacular.
It is full of one of my favorite southern things, great big oaks!
They are covered with a whimsical fern that loves its branches.
Their unruliness is marvelous.

The trees are like something out of a fairy tale.

The turtles are well respected here with their very own dock.
 Camelias bloom in winter.
Lots of winter berries too.
This is probably some sort of trained camelia at the doll house here (they do a lot for the kiddos at this place too).
This site will be so alive when spring comes!
I hope you enjoyed this southern gem. 

We were here around Christmas time and it gets lit up at night for a more magical experience!

Open daily and free of charge.

Hopeland Gardens
135 Dupree Pl
Aiken, SC 29801

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Frosted Garden

When we experienced our first frost here, Jim ran out into the yard with the camera to show his creative eye.
Here are our Japanese maple tree leaves that fell on our deck steps.
This last one is a deck post cap. It looks like it needs a shave.
Such beauty in nature.

I hope you enjoyed these photos. It is January and there are still blooms on our knockout roses!

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 Year in Review

2018 was my most life changing, challenging, exciting year yet!

Our Massachusetts house went under agreement right away in May. Jim and I waited it out before house hunting. 

Then we put life on hold, headed south and searched. We found the perfect home in a perfect location.
downtown Lexington, SC
We wanted to head south for the warmer climate more suitable to us. South Carolina was a perfect fit.

We also wanted a better quality of life. Relocating to a more affordable part of the country has given us just that. Our lives have significantly improved in more ways than I ever imagined.

Besides the move, this year was full of first time experiences. Here are a few fun ones.

We did not know female praying mantises do this when they are angry. This little lady was on our front porch and did not want her photo taken even though she looks like she is striking a pose.
Carolina Mantis
A whimsical southern swamp.
Congaree National Park
A tree tunnel.
South Boundary Ave, Aiken, SC
Tons of Spanish moss.
A boiled peanut experience (Jim warned me)! It is probably a taste you have to grow up with.
Lots of flowers blooming in December.
camelia shrub blooming in December
In terms of my business, in the last quarter I spent time improving listings, sourcing and adding new inventory so I am looking forward to moving into a fresh, efficient year! 

Although I love challenging myself, my only goal in the new year is to enjoy the simple pleasures each day has to bring.

I hope you have enjoyed your 2018 too! Wishing you a happy, healthy, successful new year!

Thank you for stopping by. ~Val

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Aiken at Christmas Time

Aiken, SC is a charming southern town to visit.
Our first time there it was filled with festive decor.
The shop and restaurant windows are fun.

I adore seeing flowers outside at this time.
Next year I would love to stay overnight so we can enjoy all the holiday lights here.
This is a conveniently located inn!
Southern magnolia tree leaves are used on a lot of wreaths. Very charming!
I hope you enjoyed our first trip to Aiken.

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Gibson Park

We discovered Gibson Park in Lexington, SC which is only 5 minutes from our house.
It features a concrete walkway that meanders through the woods and just keeps going on and on!
A peaceful walk to enjoy nature.
Just perfect.
I have never seen mushrooms with this iridescent like color until now.
Gibson pond used to be here. It is now covered with flowing green stuff. 

Swinging benches that used to overlook the pond.

There are darling flowers here and there.
Where did the pond go? This dam broke. The damage resulted in the disappearance of the pond.
Rushing water remains producing soothing sounds.
There is a lovely overlook to enjoy it.
These fluffy things are prevalent down here, not just wild, but also as a landscaping feature (which we are hoping to do with them).
We will be regulars here since it is so close and peaceful.
I hope you enjoyed our little walk.

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val