The landscaping and residents’ yards are so beautiful outside my apartment right now. The neighbors are just as determined to have a garden as I am.

They may be having to walk with walkers or use some other device to get around. But still, they’re gardening. And I admire their tenaciousness.

The hosta and Boston fern above is right next to Ron and Pat’s apartment.

By the way, I photographed his ship collection in what he calls his “shipyard” yesterday. It’s the second bedroom in their apartment. He’s had people from all over the world ask him to build ships for them.

Ron doesn’t use instructions. He simply looks at photographs and builds them.

Ron’s Ships:

It’s incredible the ships he has put together. I asked him how long one of them I was pointing at took him to make.

He said something like 1960 hours! Wow. And they are so beautiful and detailed.

I’ll be writing a post about Ron and his ships in the next few days.

I’d never been inside their apartment. I saw all the wonderful paintings gracing their walls. And it seems his wife Pat is an artist as well.

I couldn’t believe she painted them all herself.

She has been hiding her talent under a bucket because she’s never mentioned it to me. Some artists are like that I guess.

A neighbor's beautiful pot of a blooming hibiscus. Ron and Pat put hibiscus plants in their apartment yard every year.

Ron & Pat’s Hibiscus Plant:

Above is one of the blooming hibiscus plants in their yard. Isn’t it gorgeous?

In Scenes Outside My Apartment 5/14/22, this is a pink rose bush my neighbor has across from mine.

And look at these pink roses next door to them in Barbara’s yard. I miss my yellow rose bush so much!

In Scenes Outside My Apartment 5/14/22, this is the cypress tree in my yard.

The cypress tree leaves in my yard are so pretty. They are filling out nicely.

Neighbors say this tree is about the last one to show its leaves. It was worth the wait as I’ve been wanting to see what they look like.

Yes, it brings a lot more shade with it. But I’m learning to work with shade plants and flowers. I’m kind of challenging myself to see what I can do with a shady yard.

Boomer, who lives with John just across the path from me. I love when he visits me.

Boomer The Dog:

Boomer paid me a visit. I was on my patio eating a slice of pecan pie from Braum’s. He obviously wanted a bite.

After I gave him a bit of the crust (John said it was okay), he wouldn’t continue on his walk until I gave him all of the crust.

And he still wasn’t satisfied. So I ended up putting my bowl on the ground and he licked it clean.

Having Boomer around eases the painful loss of Charlie a little bit. I still cry every time I think of him. My sweet Charlie Ross.

Not to mention grieving my little Gracie. Losing both of them tore me apart. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get past the crying and just be able to remember them.

In Scenes Outside My Apartment 5/14/22, this is Boomer sniffing plants on my patio.

John told me yesterday that he saw a baby bunny in his yard. Oh, how I’d love to get a photo of that!

I looked down at one of John’s plants growing alongside the fence he put up (I may do this one day). And I told him I saw blooms on it.

A Man Who Dearly Loves His Plants:

He rushed over to it, threw his arms up in the air, and yelled: “Yes, yes, yes!”

Now I’ve seen men do that watching ball games on TV. But never have I seen a man that excited to see blooms on one of his plants.

It was a beautiful thing.

He’s 63 years old and loves to ride his motorcycle and watch OU (University of Oklahoma) football games. But he’s also a gardener who plants whatever he wants and hopes for the best.

Boomer’s name comes from “Boomer Sooner”, the fight song for the university’s (OU) football team.

Remember John of the “buy whatever is pretty no matter the exposure it needs?”

My house plants are spending the summer on my covered patio. They're already so green and lush.

My Patio:

And now for a bit of my patio.

The plants are so lush since I brought them outside to spend the summer on my covered patio.

It makes me so happy to see plants growing this time of year. It’s a rejuvenation of the mind and spirit.

In Scenes Outside My Apartment 5/14/22, these are the house plants I've put on the patio for the summer.

Calathea Plant:

Did you know the Calathea plant can bloom? I didn’t.

I looked up the meaning.

Symbolism Of The Calathea Plant: The Calathea symbolizes a new beginning. This comes from the famous expression ‘to turn over a new leaf’, as this is exactly what the plant does when it gets dark. Calathea, therefore, makes an excellent gift to someone who is starting afresh.

I have no idea what it will look like. And I can’t wait to see it.

One of my hostas and this Calathea plant have put out blooms that are soon to open.

This is a pot of various herbs I planted in this green pot last week.

This is my herb pot. I’ve begun to add rocks to the dirt around the herbs.

Boomer comes to my yard and steals rocks. Then he runs home and puts them inside John’s apartment!

Ivy napping in one of her three cat towers in my bedroom.

Ivy Lou:

And here are a couple of pics of Ivy. Well, Ivy’s behind when she’s napping in one of her cat towers.

This morning I was in the bedroom and saw Ivy get all excited looking out the patio doors.

I walked closer to the patio door and there was a squirrel right up next to the glass looking back at her.

There are so many squirrels here. And bunnies and birds as well.

You see them everywhere you look on the grounds of this senior apartment complex. It is so uplifting.

And Ivy just loves all the wildlife activity here.

In Scenes Outside My Apartment 5/14/22, Ivy is stretched out on my living room carpet.

Lunch With My Daughters:

We didn’t get to celebrate Mother’s Day last week because of my grandson Riley’s graduation and all the weekend festivities.

So today Kendra and Kasi are bringing lunch over.

We were going to go out to eat and then to Southwoods, my favorite nursery. But I told them I was not getting around very well.

I guess I walked around too much yesterday looking at little squirrels in the trees. They weren’t what I’d call babies, but they weren’t very big. And I was fascinated by them.

So I asked if they’d bring lunch here. And then we can go to a smaller nursery where I can get around better.

I love Southwoods. That nursery has everything. But I just can’t navigate that place very well. And on a weekend they would be packed.

I had pain before my feet even hit the carpet this morning. So I wanted to save up all my walking capacity for the garden nursery. I’m looking forward to that.

Kasi’s bringing food from Red Lobster, which is quite close to me.


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  1. Wonderful post, Brenda, full of spring hope! You are that Calathea plant! On to new beginnings, in a neighborhood that is clearly bringing you joy, both in the physical surroundings, and in new friends and neighbors (and Boomer, too)! I’ve mentioned before that my shade containers are my favorites. Hope you had a nice lunch with your girls!

  2. It’s amazing to find an apartment complex where all the neighbors are so passionate about flowers and gardening. Maybe because it’s older people and they have the time to dedicate? You sure did move to just the right spot where the residents are so nice and you’re surrounded by plants and trees.

  3. I’m glad to be reading your uplifting blog today Brenda!
    Yesterday I had two suv’s park on my lawn and got out talking with each other as if they owned the place!
    I asked them at least four or five times why they were parked here.
    Finally the older woman said don’t worry about it really b….y! I told her she was making my dog bark and on my property! The younger one left but the couple went in their vehicle staying there til they saw me talking on my phone and then they left.
    I think they were up to no good and were squatters bc they were scanning my property! I took pics of them with vehicles and their license plates! Then I sent them to my daughter and told her bc I didn’t like the vibes I was getting so damn brazen!

      1. Yeah I know! They had a piece of paper that they were looking at on the top of the hood of their suv. I wish I took a pic of that to see what it was! I’ve never seen them b4 and they just came down the st and parked between my house and garage and ignored me! I’ve been on alert ever since! Scumbags!!!

        I’m writing this bc I just want everyone to be aware of their surroundings!

  4. What a delightful and fun post, Brenda! Thank you for sharing happenings in and around your new home.
    Boomer is cute and I love that he steals rocks from your yard. LOL
    I hope you enjoy every minute with your daughters today.

  5. Incredible and beautiful little vignettes of your and your neighbors’ special outdoor spaces. It’s wonderful, isn’t it, when you get to see what your neighbors’ little gardens and patio areas are like, to share the sense of community and love of gardening and growing beautiful things. I live in a small subdivision of single story “ranch” style homes built in the mid to late 1950s. We have a good mix of older folks like me, some families with children up to early teen ages, and young families moving into their first “beginner” homes. These are modest homes, but most of them are well-loved. It’s a pleasure to stroll around the neighborhood to admire what people have done with their homes and gardens, getting fresh ideas everywhere, and spending time nearly every day chatting with the neighbors about various projects and problems and how to solve them, etc. There are very few homes here that are less than “up to snuff,” so to speak, like the young single guy who lives next store to the south. But after my two lawn cuttings and trims and going so far as to sweep up accumulated gunk on his front sidewalk (although I have not cut his grass, much as I’ve been tempted to do it at times), I think he was finally “shamed” into getting out today and cutting his lawn, LOL! I’m sitting here out back looking around and seeing endless projects, and listening to the hum of gardening tools and lawn mowers all around me. Yesterday I got the basics put into the Shezebo – all season area rug (worked up a good sweat cleaning and hosing it down and then manipulating it in full sun over chairs to dry it quickly), pulled out of the garage my metal round table, two chairs, their cushions for a good clean, and two new curtain panels hung up over the mosquito netting to block where the sun comes in most strongly – pinned up and need to be cut and hemmed (and ironed). More to do but it will get done, a little bit at a time. Boomer and Ivy – what a hoot they are! Ivy looks like she got a Brazilian butt lift in that one photo of her inside her cat perch, LOL!

    1. Where I lived before I didn’t know of anyone who used their patios and actually had plants. They just let the weeds grow tall in between the pavement cracks and that was it. What is a Brazilian butt lift?

  6. Your other patio was nice while you had it, but now that you are having a few issues getting around, maybe this new patio size is just what you needed. And you get to gaze on other people’s flowers too. Not to mention the nice neighbors, fun critters, and cute little dogs. Kind of wish I could live in your community! Thanks for the pics. Always interesting to see what’s going on in your neighborhood!

    1. You’re right. It’s just what I needed. I could see last September/October that I wasn’t going to be up to snuff had I stayed there in terms of gardening. Too many things just going wrong physically. So yes, this is what I needed.

  7. Your neighbor dog is a hoot!! Some animals do the funniest things. And isn’t it amazing how much Ivy enjoys this apt too!? I thought it all looked so amazing…how stimulating to have neighbors who enjoy some of the same things you do!! I hope you feel better soon!! Got Hubby back on his hemp pills at night again…might take a few days but I think it will at least relieve some of the pain then. (When we moved, I did not take all our supplements, just the most important ones.)

  8. Hi Brenda, what beautiful gardens you have surrounding you! Wonderful you live in a place where people seem to love gardening. I love that John got excited by one of his plants flowering!
    Boomer is such a sweet dog. Lovely he comes to visit you.
    Hope you had a great lunch and nursery visit with Kendra and Kasi.

  9. Even though you don’t have the same plants or space as your last apartment everything looks great. And unlike the other apartment you can easily enjoy the other plants that are close to you. It is so nice to have plants, animals and friendly neighbors. I thought about your friend Teri who helped you move, how is she doing? Enjoy your weekend.

    1. Cindy, thank you so much for asking about me. I’m doing much better, getting stronger all the time. I’m a little sore today from doing so much bending and sitting on concrete while pulling weeds out of my garden space to get it ready for the huge load of plants I bought a few days ago. It was my plan not to buy until it was ready but a friend invited me to go with her to a nursery I love in another town, so I now have a lot of work to do and the weeds are almost done for the moment. In the country you have to be diligent to stay ahead of them and I have not been! Have a great weekend!

      1. Teri, nice to hear about friends helping each other. We live in the country and there is always something to do. I am finally feeling good about planting my annuals, veggies and herbs very soon. Our weather has been so cold and windy for months. Usually when our community has a yard sale in April it gets postponed because of rain. It did not rain much in April this year. The yard sale was set for the beginning of May and it has rained the last 3 Saturdays. Hopefully we will have nice weather next Saturday. Take it easy and enjoy your plants!

      2. Great minds must think alike because I was thinking about you today too, Teri and wondering where you’d been!

  10. Love the picture of Ivy on her back. She is enjoying life to the fullest. It seems as though you are truly enjoying the challenge of shade of shade plants. So far everything I see is beautiful. Enjoy lunch with the girls.

    1. I was afraid at first that I wouldn’t have any pretty blooms with this much shade. But I’m learning that that is not true.

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