The Cherry Festival is in full swing in Traverse City, Michigan and I celebrated the 4th of July with my favorite neice. We enjoyed the afternoon and evening at her home drinking in the beautiful weather, their serene gardens and delicious food.  For her birthday I made her a wallet with a cherry motif.  She lives just outside of Traverse City, which is known as the “Cherry Capital of the World”.

flag walletI’ve made several of these folding wallets and one of them is at the fabric store in town for a 4th of July display.  The patrons of the store are invited to vote on which of the displayed items is their favorite.  The winners receive a gift certificate to the fabric store.  I have a new BFF (Best Friend Forever) who is 12 years old and loves crafting and is learning how to sew. We spent all day Friday at my house teaching her to sew. We made her some pajama bottoms out of flannel for the cold Michigan winters. She had been learning to sew by making Barbie doll clothes.  This was the first garment she had made for herself. I bet she didn’t take those pjs off all weekend.  If I win the gift certificate I’ve promised it to her so she can buy more fabric.  Would you call me an “enabler”?

Cyndi gardenCyndi’s husband, Rick, has created a very tranquil garden that was full of birds and a feast for the eyes and the senses. I spent the day photographing so many flowers and bird’s nests in the arbor by this garden. Rick loves to garden and it shows. He has completely transformed the property and created a serene landscape for all their visitors to enjoy. We always enjoy discussing gardening and what does or doesn’t grow in Michigan. Rick has labored for years with annuals and now finding a new love for perennials.  As the years go by, we gardeners tend to appreciate the flowers that reward us year after year with their perennial power. A few annuals are always welcome to the garden to provide color and blooms.  It takes time and money to create perennial gardens, but by adding a few new perennials each year to each garden it can be done without breaking the bank.

I love the garden art that Rick has included throughout his gardens. The tranquil sounds of the bamboo water feature that is just off the patio, to the bright sun artwork near the birdbath, and the grace of the statues provides your eyes with a resting spot amidst the dazzling colors of the flowers.

I made these mason jar bug repellant candles that don’t use chemicals but rather essential oils which are nature’s way of repelling pests. I also brought along some homemade bug repellant spray using the same essential oil combinations. My favorite are lemon, lemon grass, eucalyptus and citronella.

quinoa saladDinner was delicious with a healthy menu of grilled chicken breasts, a delicious fruit salad and the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad that I brought along. This dish is featured in the “Daniel Plan Cookbook“.  I added the nasturiums from my garden to the salad along with some mint leaves from my patio. Did you know that nasturiums are edible? They have a mild pepper taste and they provide “eye candy” to the dish.

I can’t wait until my vegetable garden starts providing the bounty for the season.  My nasturiums were just the beginning of good eating to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *