Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Saying goodbye


This is a difficult post to compose. First of all, I must apologize to readers and followers of my blog for not keeping you updated. The reason for this is that Michael and I are so superstitious that we were afraid that broadcasting what was going on would jinx everything. But the day has arrived - as of this morning, our house is sold.

So, how do you say goodbye to a house and garden that you have lived in for 23 years and loved with every fiber of your being? I am not sure. I thought I would have a literate philosophical essay about that but the truth is I am rather numb at the moment. Both of us are emotionally and physically exhausted. I think that is probably for the best. I think it is better not to dwell on the issue. Just writing this and selecting these photos has been a very somber experience.

However, I know we are in for wonderful experiences ahead.We are moving to the Pacific Northwest, an area that I never dreamed I would ever live (but always knew that I would love). I am not officially retired yet so I will be returning soon to finalize those plans as well as get our belongings in storage moved out there. Keep your fingers crossed for us - neither one of us has ever lived outside Alabama and we are both a bit apprehensive. 

First of all, we have to find a house. We have been very fortunate so far - the next-door neighbor to our friends in Portland is letting us rent his house at least through December. This really relieved some pressure and we are happy to be so close to people we will know. Hopefully, we will find a house quickly - the market out there is really competitive.

I am of course excited to begin the creation of a new garden. This blog will continue - I will just be changing the sub-title! As for this home and garden, it is being inherited by some wonderful people who absolutely love the garden. I know they are going to love and care for it as much as we have.

So, for now, I will end by sharing some of my favorite photos of the garden, taken over the years.


rose-veilchenblau
borders-pergola-2 rose-new-dawn Rose "Nearly Wild" japanese-maple-leaves













Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Topsail Hill Preserve

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida)  
There are numerous state parks around the Destin area and on Hwy. 31, the scenic stretch where we stay. We have been to a few in the past but somehow missed Topsail Hill on past trips. It was the prettiest that we have seen. Parks along the coast consist mainly of pines and assorted low-growing shrubs that grow well in sand. Topsail featured a wide paved road, spotted with joggers and hikers, that ran one mile to the white sandy dunes and beach. It had more of a "forest" feel with denser plantings and taller trees.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida)

Topsail Hill Preserve is also considered a major bird sanctuary. We heard birdsong constantly along our walk and saw a few birds in the open although most of them remained quite shy. There was also a sign warning about bears but fortunately we didn't see any of those.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida)

After leaving the forest area, a long boardwalk takes you to the beach. Sandy dunes with wildflowers dotted them.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida)

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida)

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida)

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida)

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida)

The city of Destin in the distance.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida)  


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Santa Rosa Beach

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 

We are home from our annual Florida vacation - this year we stayed in Santa Rosa Beach. The weather was rainy the first part of the week but then it cleared out and we had sunny skies for the remainder. We actually did not do that much - we spent more time in our beach house and just ventured out for food. After visiting for over 15 years, I think we have seen just about everything but we did visit a park that was new to us (photos coming later). 


Santa Rosa Beach, Florida  


Santa Rosa Beach, Florida



Santa Rosa Beach, Florida




Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy