Welcome to Hyacinths for the Soul

My heartfelt thanks for stopping by for a visit to my blog. HFTS is all about friendship, feathering one's nest, and sharing a creative spirit. Thank you to all of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Adding a Little Chocolate to the Garden

Have you ever heard of 

Chocolate Plant?

A member of the Acanthaceae family, this heirloom plant

is rarely found in catalogs or plant centers.

Rather it is usually shared with others by garden enthusiasts such

as my friend who recently passed some along to me.

Typically a low growing mound that easily spreads,

the chocolate association comes from the plant's leaves

that are subtle shades of brown with silvery patches.

A slender bloom stalk, just barely visible in the photo above,

produces a show of dark purple flowers.

My friend had first seen this plant growing in mass

down a slope in another friend's garden.

It was in bloom at the time, and she said the contrast of

the deep purple against the chocolate leaves was stunning.

How fortunate to have a friend who 

generously shares plants from her garden.  

I've been the lucky recipient of other 

"pass along plants" from this friend's garden.

She knows I have shade gardens, 

which are a perfect fit for Chocolate Plant.

Taking a cue from my friend's observation about

seeing these growing on a slope, 

I decided to try them along the path

in our front shade garden.

They are a bit wilted from just being transplanted,

but hopefully they will perk back up soon.

Persian Shield, another shade loving favorite in my 

garden is also in the Acanthaceae family.

If the Chocolate Plant is happy in this spot, I think I will 

add in some Persian Shield for a bit of contrast. 

Perhaps some Foxtail Ferns too!

~ Chocolate Plant ~

Add a little chocolate to your garden!

Click here to read more about this interesting plant.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Birthday, America!

~ July 4th ~ 

American Independence Day!

Americans all across this beautiful country

are out celebrating today.

Neighborhood parades are a tradition in US communities

large and small, and as with every year, 

I started my day as a spectator at the annual Tarrytown Parade.

I never miss the neighborhood 4th of July Parade!

It's heart warming to see the hundreds of neighbors,

young and old, who come out on the 4th of July to 

participate in these little community parades.   

Many walk while others ride along in 

decorated cars, trucks, golf carts, jeeps,

wagons, bikes, or scooters as other neighbors along

the parade route cheer the group in the spirit of the day.

For many, the remainder of the day will be

spent enjoying outdoor meals with family and friends,

swimming in pools or boating at area lakes.

Tonight the Austin Symphony Orchestra will present a

concert along the grassy banks of Lady Bird Lake,

culminating with a spectacular fireworks display 

above the beautiful Austin skyline.  

Here at Hyacinths for the Soul

there are no big plans for a cookout or picnic.

For us it's a quiet evening at home, dinner for two,

ending with a slice of our patriotic cake.

I set a table for just the two of us to enjoy

an early dinner out on the terrace.

These two little patriotic chickadees

flew in to join us.

I happened upon these little guys

when I stopped by Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago.

It was hard to resist their jaunty personalities

and the charm of their patriotic costumes.

A mini hydrangea was just right

for a touch of white, and .   .   .

These patriotic Kalanchoes were

the perfect companion.

Both small pots being just right for

my favorite ceramic cachepots in red and blue.

I added some cushions of

red, white, and blue.

Then set the table with a mix of dishes that 

bring to mind the patriotic spirit.

All are set atop my favorite Ralph Lauren 

paisley textile in patriotic colors.

A friend in Dallas sent me these cute little anchor

salad plates that she found at Walgreens.

I reciprocated with the blue plaid dinner plates

that I found at a local grocery here.

All are melamine and perfect for summer alfresco dining.

I also used my MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check chargers 

and flatware purchased at Pottery Barn several years ago.

Though it may look cool and refreshing,

to be honest, it is steaming hot in Austin today.

We may take flight and move inside where

the AC is thankfully cranking out much cooler air.

Just us two and these cute

little chickadees!




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