On the Road and In the Garden

Whoops! I was mistaken. I can post today. I’ve managed to make my ailing adaptor work (though it needs to be replaced and the replacement will arrive today.) It’s a temporary fix, but it has allowed me to chat with you today. I only hope that you all see it! I’m going to sprinkle this post with photos of what was blooming in my garden as I left town.

I got a glimpse of the beauty that is the Chautauqua Institution as I arrived on the grounds on Wednesday night. But I haven’t been able to explore it very much as yesterday was consumed by rehearsal. We worked until 9:30 pm. This production is being done on a Summer Stock-type schedule. Very short rehearsal period. Very short run. So I need to be there at rehearsal as much as I possibly can. This theater runs a season that revolves around a core company of acting students that are currently studying in some of the best graduate training programs in the country. They mount three productions a season with casts that consist of the students and a guest Equity actor or two. It’s a wonderful concept and this particular group of actors is very talented. Since I love working with students, I’m particularly enjoying this rehearsal process. The guest artist is playing the matriarch of the household, Lena Younger.

peony with water drops_

Yesterday we couldn’t help but feel the poignancy of the death of Ruby Dee, who originated the role of Ruth Younger on Broadway and who was a close friend of the actress playing Lena Younger in our production. May she rest in peace.

blooming ground cover

By the way, on my way into town on Wednesday night, I saw a sign for a miniatures shop! As someone who lives in an area where there’s exactly zero miniature shops, I cannot wait to go there!

peony 1

The apartment I’m in is right across the street from the theater building. It’s a condo with three bedrooms that I will eventually share with the costume designer and the lighting designer, both of whom are scheduled to be back in town on June 20th. But right now, I get it all to myself. There will be no decorating, my friends, partly because I’m sharing the space but mostly because I’m only here for a little over two weeks. Not worth it.

peony two

I’m so grateful that I got a chance to see the other peony bush in bloom before I left. I’m going to miss the Catalpas in bloom. Sob. And some of the roses. Sob again.

rose and buds

Hello, Julia Child rose that was yellow and is now a deep red. That’s okay. I still love you.

peony three

Nature: the perfect designer.

peony with water drops and ant

Lest I blow my wad by posting too many photos of the flowers blooming at MHC, I’ll stop there. There’s more to come. Hopefully, I can get Don to take some pictures with his iPhone. Speaking of which, I didn’t bring my big girl camera along with me – too cumbersome. So any and all photos I take here will be with my iPhone. Should be interesting!

Don’t forget to stop by my post on Gardening with Hydrangeas from the Endless Summer® Collection for a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card.

And don’t forget my book review. I’m giving away a copy of Moving Day by Jonathan Stone.

Happy Friday.




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  1. Judy says

    Glad you had a safe trip.
    What?? you didn’t take your sewing machine?
    Thanks for the photos…on my way out to the garden right now to dead head…everything!
    How come you don’t grow hollyhocks? What is a cottage without hollyhocks.
    Have a good day at work, Judy

    • Claudia says

      Hollyhocks are annuals around here and I plant very few annuals. I’m mostly a perennial gardener.

  2. Eileen says

    I just love your roses and peonies. I miss them…wish they liked sand dune living. Have a great day. Eileen

    • Claudia says

      I bet you have to rethink all your gardening in your new place, Eileen. I owe you a letter and I’m working on it now!

  3. Nancy says

    Claudia, gorgeous photographs, as always. Love the dewdrops on the peony, and the soft-focus rose with the sharp-focus rosebuds in the foreground.

    As you have that big condo to yourself for a week, can Don bring Scout for a little visit?

    • Claudia says

      We thought about it, but it would be too long of a drive for her. Her arthritis would make a bumpy car ride for 5 or 6 hours very painful.

  4. says

    Im so glad you have work but like last year you are missing the blooms. I know the money is more important right now :)

    • Claudia says

      I’m thrilled about the work, but this was going to be the first spring where I was home the whole time. Almost made it!

  5. Nancy Blue Moon says

    Big pink Peonies and that amazingly pretty red Rose..wow..I agree with you..taking all your things and decorating for a couple of weeks would not be worth the work..A shop full of miniatures..you must tell us all about it please!! Have fun..

  6. Janet in Rochester says

    I know I’m always saying it, but these flower pics might be the best ever! What brilliant, vivid colors! Nature IS the best designer and always will be. That Julia Child rose is just incredible! Now have a great weekend – and get some rest too! :>)

  7. Donnamae says

    Perhaps you can cajol Don into using your big girl camera to take some photos…you know….on the job training! Good to hear from you…and glad all is well. iPhone pics are quite fine with me…I’ll travel vicariously with you for a bit! 😉

  8. says

    Sounds like fun and interesting work. It is so convenient for you too, I would like that a lot!
    I never, ever get tired of your Beautiful pictures! -Judy A-

  9. says

    Sounds like you are settling in. I always loved Ruby Dee. She was one talented woman…and will be missed by so many.
    The pictures of your peonies are so pretty….I love them in bud.
    Have a nice weekend….Balisha

    • Claudia says

      I so love peonies. Don tells me it rained very very heavily there today, so I’m sure they’ve been brought down to the ground.

  10. says

    I don’t blame you for not lugging your big camera with you. I’m sure your iPhone photos will be fine in the meantime. Behave yourself in that miniatures shop! 😉

  11. says

    Claudia, I am happy you have a job assignment, but sad you have to be away from your home and loved ones. That was said about Ruby Dee, she was a fabulous actress. I loved her husband Ozzie too. Blessings for a great time while you are there, xoxo,Susie

  12. says

    The peonies we get out here in San Diego are woeful but still gorgeous and beautiful. I’ve bought two bunches so far: one for home, one for work.

    The Julia Child rose that has gone red? The new growth may be coming up from the old root stock. It happens when a rose is grafted onto said root stock. I have two tree roses and one regular rose bush that’s doing it. Not that it matters because it’s a pretty red rose, but thought you might like to know!

    • Claudia says

      Thanks, Leanne. A reader said that very same thing a few years back when I couldn’t figure out why the roses were turning red! I sort of miss the yellow roses, but these deep red ones are beautiful, too!

  13. Kimberlyncreations says

    OMG Claudia! You will die when you walk into that miniature store!!!! It is awesome! I cannot begin to tell you how incredible it is! The girls who run it are absolutely wonderful too! Jeez I just want to hope in the car and drive over there now. If you are free on a Saturday morning go to Westfield to the Crossroads Market. My husband and I had a wonderful time there. There is a nice winery, Johnson Estates, just a little farther west on 20 also. You have to stop at Barcelona Harbor too and check out the lighthouses. Stop at the fish market, they have amazing smoked fish and seafood there. Yum!
    I love that whole area. My grandma lived in Westfield. She’s buried in Ripley. It’s close enough for us to take a day trip but there’s so much to see and do one day is not enough!
    Enjoy your time there, it is a different way of life there and so restoring! Kim

    • Claudia says

      Oh you’re getting me so excited! I have to find some time to go next week. (Just in case I need to go a second time the week after that!) Thanks for all the tips, Kim!

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