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Emmanuel

We have just arrived home from the Christmas Eve service at the Cathedral where we listened to the beautiful choir and were reminded again of the wonder and miracle of Christmas - Emmanuel "God is with us."

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas touched with blessings from the Lord.

Reflection:
Matthew 1:21
"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Packages

The garden's Christmas packages are beginning to unwrap.

Reflection:
"Call unto me and I will answer thee and show you great and mighty things." Jer 33:3

Bugs

With the chilly start to summer the winter bugs seem to be hanging about.  We are both a little less than best and looking forward to a break from work soon.

Reflection:
"I will strengthen thee; yea I will help thee." Isaiah 41:10

Summer Delights

The calendar has ticked over to summer.  The weather may be confused but the flowers aren't.

After a beautiful warm sunny day yesterday it's rainy and cold again today.  I'm sitting by a cosy fire this evening.

Reflection:
"For I will turn their mourning into joy and will comfort them." Jer 31:13

Heads up

How welcome the sunshine is after the bursts of rain that have been making all the flowers look very bedraggled.  But new ones lift their heads ready to smile  .. and my face lifts and smiles too.

Summer starts tomorrow, maybe the sun will shine a little more.

Reflection:
"For in the He Himself hath suffered being tempted. He is able to succour them that are tempted." Hebrews 2:18

Rain

There has been lots of rain lately, interspersed with the occasional bright sunny day.

Reflection:
"I give until them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." John 10:28

Unfurled

Remember the tree fern fronds that were beginning to unfold a few weeks ago.  This is the view from the kitchen window today.

Reflection:
"In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy path" Proverbs 3:6

Comfort

Reflection: "I, even I, am He that comforteth you." Isaiah 51:12
In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil On Christ the solid rock I stand All other ground is sinking sand.

Together

We had been away for the day and came home as the sun was setting.  I liked the shadow of the picket fence on the house.

Reflection:
"If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask. it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven." Matthew 18:19

Faithful

The garden bed may be full of weeds but the little perennials have faithfully returned.

Reflection:
"God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength"  1 Cor 10:13

Small

What a shame she is such a fidget, it would have been a lovely shot except for her head being obscured. A yellow thornbill I think.

Reflection:
"The Lord is very compassionate and of tender mercy" James 5:11

Another view

I'm still looking out the kitchen window. If I crane my neck a little to the right I can see that Azalea Walk is in flower.

Reflection:
God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength." 1 Cor 10:13
Still looking out the kitchen window I see the native frangipani is in flower.  That side of the house is heavy with the the fragrance of the Port Wine Magnolia at the moment.

Reflection:
"God helped him ... he was marvellously helped." 2 Chron 28:7,15
"And He helped me." Psalm 116:6

Unfolding

New fronds unfolding from the tree fern outside the kitchen window.

Reflection:
"They shall not be ashamed that which wait for Me."   Isaiah 49:33

High climbers

The snowball bush was planted below the maple outside the bathroom window.  As the maple grew it was being starved of light so has been climbing high to compete. It makes me smile to see that their struggle has paid off.

Reflection:
"I am still with thee" Psalm 39:18

Moving on

The floral parade has moved onto azaleas now.

Reflection:
For I the Lord thy God, will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

Wild garden

This is the season of the wild garden.  Everything is in leaf now and the forget-me-nots all over the place.

Reflection:
"He giveth power to the feint." Isaiah 40:29

More birdies

This week the silver-eyes were visiting the garden en-masse.  They migrate through the garden twice a year, in the autumn when the maple leaves are in colour and in the spring when their new leaf unfolds.

Reflection:
"Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid."  Matt:14:27

Sapphire

I didn't get such a great shot of the bower bird but if you look close you will see her beautiful sapphire blue eye.

Reflection:
"Fear not ... I am thy shield and they exceedingly great reward." Genesis 15:1

Hunting

The bird hunt continues.  You can see the blossom has all but gone but there is still much of interest to spot from my desk. This lovely creature is a King Parrot.  I saw a Brown Cuckoo-Dove in the tree last week but as I was in the middle of a conference call so could not catch it with my camera.   It was nonetheless  very exciting as it is the first time I have seen one in my garden.

Reflection:
"And the Lord will deliver the from every evil work." 2 Tomothy 4:18

Brief

Spring blossom is all too brief.  Their time is already past but I could not resist showing one more shot. This is our little weeping cherry, a favourite with bees.

Reflection:
"The Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants, and none of then that trust in Him, shall be desolate."   Psalm 34:22.

Tulip time

I don't remember having a yellow tulip in my garden. One of those lovely unexpected surprises.

Reflection:
"He that has pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will He pay him again." Proverbs 19:17

Stunning

Isn't the neigbour's Crab Apple tree just wonderful.

Reflection:
"My Goodness and my Fortress, my high Tower and my Deliverer, my Shield, and He in whom I trust."  Psalm 144:2

Bells

Despite my neglect the garden delivers its annual delights. Look closer at the dainty bells of these grape hyacinths.


Reflection:
"Oh how great is thy goodness, which though hast laid up for them that fear him."  Psalm 31:19

Ah spring

Five months ago the view from my desk was this and now it is this.

Reflection:
"If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself." John 14:3

Gotcha

The Eastern Spinebill was singing in the sunshine so I tried again. I just love these little guys but they sure are hard to catch.


Reflection:
"Behold my servants shall sing for joy of heart."  Isaiah 65:14

The slow

These ones aren't so hard.  They like sitting around showing off.

Reflection:
"For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry."  Heb 16:37

The quick

This is the best so far of the quick ones.

Reflection:
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  Matt 11:28

Repetition

I know I have already shown the magnolias this season but I wanted to come back to them, they have given me such delight.

Reflection:
"The Lord thy God hath been with thee"  Deut 2:7
"The Lord thy God is with thee." Joshua 1:9
"The Lord thy God will be with thee" 2 Samuel 14:17

Difficult things

I find yellow flowers are very difficult to shoot.  Usually they come out indistinct. This one was a happy fluke.

Reflection:
"If ye shall ask anything in my name, I shall do it."  John 14:14

For the birds

The birds are driving me batty.  They are feasting on the blossoms outside my window.  I  know a spinebill/rosella/bowerbird/yellowbreasted bird has arrived as I know their calls.  I no sooner grab my camera and get up from my desk to grab a shot than they flit away leaving a shiver of blossoms in their wake. I will persist. I don't get enough birds into this blog.

Reflection:
"He shall cover them with His feathers and under His wings shalt thou trust."  Psalm 91:4

Close

Aren't flowers magnificent up close. I love the way the light is picking out the detail on this iris.

Reflection:
"The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him."  Psalm 145:18

Peaceful

Soon the time of these delicate little camellias will pass but for several weeks now their flower filled boughs over the pond have been delighting me.

Reflection:
"God is a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear."  Psalm 46:1-2

Spring

I usually herald spring with jonquils.  They are so cheerful and oh what a wonderful fragrance.

Reflection:
"Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded." Jer 31:16

Open

Reflection:
"The Lord who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly,"  Matthew 6:18

Satisfied

How satisfying, my magnolia has a lot of flowers on it this year, many more than ever before.   And to think that just a couple of years ago I almost lost it in the drought.

Reflection:
"The Lord shall guide the continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought."  Isaiah 58:11

Feet

Daffodils naturalised at the feet of a birch trees, an iconic spring image.

Reflection:
"He will keep the feet of his saints." 1 Samuel 2:9

Unreliable

I've noticed something odd.  The camellias that were so reliable in flowering during the drought have barely flowered this year and the other smaller flowers are the best they have ever been.  I dunno, gardens are a mystery to me.

Reflection:
"But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you and keep you from evil" 2 Thess 3:3


Rewards

Japonica is prickly annoying shrub for most of the year.  Then hey presto in spring it lets me know why i put up with it.

Reflection:
"They that sew in tears shall reap in joy." Psalm 126:5

Burdens lifted

I stepped out into the garden early on Saturday morning, breathed in and sighed with pleasure.

Reflection:
"Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee."  Psalm 55:22




Turning

Just a surely as the day is turning in this shot, the season is turning as well. The trees are still bare but Winam is right, the cold snaps are not quite as cold as a few weeks earlier.  Spring is certainly beginning to unfold in the gardens below even if the trees have another month to go before they too will stir to life.

Reflection:
"For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy one of Israel, thy Saviour."  Isaiah 43.3

Twists and turns

Winam commented that it has felt a lot like spring over the past two weeks, and it has, but I knew not to get  too excited. Here in the mountains we will have a couple more months of twists and turns in the weather before we can begin to think of consistent warmth.

I was right to prepare myself, after a bit of rain and the temperature has plummeted.  I am feeling quite cold tonight despite sitting on top of the fire.

Reflection:
"I will make darkness light before them and crooked things straight." Isaiah 42:16

Spears

And here are the jonquil spears still unravelling their bundles of flowers.

Reflection:
"The Lord shall fight for you and ye shall hold your peace."  Exodus 14:14

Glory

I popped out into the garden today expecting to take a photo of jonquils as an early sign of spring and was surprised to find the first daffodil in flower.

Reflection:
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40

Shy violets

They are hiding in various nooks around the garden and are all in flower at this time of year.

Reflection:
"Before thy call I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."  Isaiah 65:24

Remembrance

They say that Rosemary has long been associated with improving memory, hence Rosemary for remembrance.

Reflection:
"Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."  Hebrews 10:17

All thy sins were laid up on Him,
Jesus bore them on the tree.
God Who knew them, laid them on Him,
And believing , thou art free.

Praise God, some things are not remembered!

Snow flakes

It was snowing in the mountains earlier this week.  I missed out yet again as it was one of my work in the city days.  At least these little snow flakes brightening the winter garden hung around for me to get home.

Reflection:
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him." 2 Timothy 2:12

Reminder

I haven't been out in the garden much lately.  But I took a short walk around today and even in a winter garden there are spots of joy.  A reminder that the desolate times will pass, we just have to wait.

Reflection:
"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."   Isaiah 40:31