Summer afternoon, summer afternoon…

“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have
always been the two most beautiful words
in the English language.”

– Henry James

Henry definitely has a point.   This is especially true here in the Pacific Northwest, where summers are idyllic.  Sunny, no humidity, temperatures hovering in the 70s and 80s…

Okay, okay, I’ll stop rubbing it in.

These flowers are from my garden:  “Graham Thomas” roses (heavenly scent!) from rosebushes I planted over a dozen years ago (purchased from Heirloom Roses, my favorite rose nursery of all time and a spectacular day-trip destination); Lacecap hydrangea, whose blossoms remind me of butterflies; and fragrant Perovskia or Russian sage.  The perfect trio for a summery bouquet!

 

 

A pearl of a film

I’m donning my movie critic hat again here briefly to let everybody know about a FABULOUS documentary we watched over the weekend:

A Man Named Pearl came out in theaters in 2006, so obviously I’m behind the times here.  If you are like me, however, and missed it, you must go IMMEDIATELY to the video store (or Netflix, or the library) and track it down.  It’s one of the most inspiring and uplifting movies I’ve seen in a long time, and as empress of the world (well, OK, of this blog), I’m hereby designating it required viewing for artists everywhere.   Heck, for everyone, everywhere.

The son of a sharecropper, Pearl Fryar bought a home on the outskirts of Bishopville, S. C., a couple of decades ago, only to learn that because he was African-American, residents didn’t think he would keep his property up.

Boy did he prove them wrong.

Pearl taught himself topiary and worked night and day in an effort to win the local garden club’s “Yard of the Month” award.  The result (which has now spilled over into downtown Bishopville and many other destinations) is a visual delight, filled with whimsical creations that have been described as “Dr. Seuss meets Edward Scissorshands.”  Pearl’s garden draws tourists from all over the world and has elevated him to the ranks of horticultural and artistic genius.

Part sculptor, part gardener, part philosopher, part philanthropist, Pearl Fryar is one of those rare human beings who lights up not only the screen, but also the corner of the world in which he’s been planted.

But I’ve given too much away already.  Watch it.  Please.  Trust me.