Six on Saturday: Searching for Beauty

As I surveyed my gardens this morning, searching for beauty I could share, my eyes at first only saw the work that needed to be done…like pulling all of this frosted hosta.

In focusing on the mess, I nearly missed this lime-green bit of beautifulness.

And the little snapdragon faces smiling at me on the front porch.

I might never have explored the lacy layers of fungus growing on our neighbor’s tree stump and woodpile. Fascinating.

It makes me wonder how many other beautiful things I would see in life if I would just stop to look.

And there you have it — my Six on Saturday. For more glimpses of gardens all around the world, head on over to the Six on Saturday host site at   https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/category/six-on-saturday/.

Palliative Care Praises

As this mid-stage of Alzheimer’s drags on, Mom is sleeping quite a bit more, not only at night (which I appreciate), but during the day as well – sometimes skipping a meal in lieu of sleep. Unfortunately, her nighttime sleep doesn’t appear to be very restful, as she gets in and out of bed various times throughout the night – sometimes to use the restroom, other times to explore the contents of her purse or her dresser drawer, or watch the real or imaginary happenings going on inside our house or outside of her window.

We have also noticed she has been less content during her awake hours and is more easily agitated. She paces back and forth between her bed and her chair at the kitchen table, never quite settled in either place; never quite sure if she’s going to bed or getting up.

Long ago, when my mother was still able to make her own decisions, we had discussed her wishes related to end of life care. We had agreed that there would be “comfort measures only” as her time here on earth draws to a close – and she entrusted me with the future task of making those decisions.

The future is now, it seems. I’ve wrestled with what to do for her a lot lately and have come to the conclusion that helping her relax, get some rest, and ease her anxiousness does fall within the parameters of “comfort measures only.”

Momma is not yet in a state of decline which requires hospice intervention and end of life care, but she does qualify for palliative care in this transitional time of declining health and memory.

At the end of August, a nurse practitioner came to our home to establish a course of home-based palliative care. I liked Diane right from the start. What’s not to like? Diane enjoys gardening (and daylilies in particular) about as much as I do – even hooking me up with five new daylilies for my garden (pictures to come next summer)!

Mom’s blood pressure was very high, and had been trending that way for some time. This hypertension is likely one of the reasons she has been having increased difficulties with headaches. Diane suggested that a trial of  blood pressure medication might also help her with a number of other uncomfortable problems. She suggested a medication known to have a sedative effect on some patients, which may ease Mom’s anxiety and help her get more restful sleep. For the sake of Momma’s (and my) sleep and for comfort related to hypertensive headaches, I decided to try the medication. I’m not entirely convinced it is helping with sleep, but I am thankful her blood pressure is now normal and headaches are no longer an almost daily complaint.

Diane has been helpful in so many other ways, including being a liaison between me and mom’s primary care physician, following through on medication changes and checking for understanding regarding those changes. She has helped me work through decisions related to whether or not additional dental work should be done (weighing the trauma it may cause versus the benefit it would bring), connected me with caregiver resources and information to feed my inquiring mind.

As a caregiver, I see palliative care as being the comfort care “bridge” between Momma’s failing physical and mental health and the hospice care that will be provided for end of life needs. I am ever so grateful for Diane as she helps me walk my sweet mother Home on this leg of life’s journey with Alzheimer’s.

Six on Saturday: Fall Cleanup

Taking advantage of a window of dry-ish weather here in Wisconsin to clean out my flowerbeds.

My ceramic garden frog hangs out in various flowerbeds every summer holding succulents. I brought him in today for a good bath. Now he’ll spend the long winter months on my countertop holding something for me. One week it may be apples; at Christmas a few favorite ornaments; or perhaps a small offering of pine cones and acorns.

This pretty little Heuchera ‘Green Spice’ was hiding its almost heart-shaped leaves beneath a clump of garden phlox that had worn out its welcome. Locust tree seed pods and a few bright red maple leaves from our neighbor’s tree keep it company.

Hydrangeas have taken on a mellow, fall-ish hue of pink. I’m fairly new to the beautiful world of hydrangea gardening. I am enamored, to say the least.

Here’s a little glimpse of a fun up-cycling summer project. Hubby transformed freebie drapery rods into garden stakes with just a coat or two of Rustoleum spray-paint in a lovely shade of “Gloss Grape.”

I’m a hopeless cause when it comes to growing roses. Hubby dug out a struggling rose which had refused to flower for me this year and last. I guess the rose wasn’t finished with me as a gardener. A bit of root was apparently left behind, rewarding us with one sweet blossom…and a little reminder to not give up so easily.

Sadly, my pots on the porch were finished off by frost…but this little survivor wasn’t finished with the show. I’m a perennial gardener for the most part, but was super fascinated by the beauty of annual gazania and think it shall make an appearance every year in my garden.

Thanks for visiting my garden. Check out our ‘Six on Saturday’ host site The Propagator for 6-picture-tours of gardens all over the world and instructions on how to join us.

Six on Saturday: The Garden’s Faded Glory

A tired garden trellis is given a fun purple paint-job and a new lease on life, thanks to my hubby.

Iris ‘Immortality’ makes a return fall blooming engagement.

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Between raindrops – German Bearded Iris ‘Immortality’

We lost our birch tree last year and haven’t gotten around to grinding out the stump. It made a nice pedestal for my mother’s blue pot of dianthus and a bit of orange portulaca trying to make a comeback for one more blooming before killing frost.

This hibiscus moscheutos ‘Tie Dye’ just keeps on blooming. It’s slowing down, but still putting out a few ruffled blooms every day.

A few years ago my neighbors bought a whole bunch of plants in the hopes of doing a major landscaping project. Pots filled with the promise of spectacular blooms awaited planting, but it seemed they would never get planted. In fact, I rarely saw my neighbors. At summer’s end, I noticed my neighbor lady outdoors, so stopped my gardening to chat with her a bit. She apologized for the “mess” in her driveway – a few pots of dead and dying plants sitting in a heap. I asked her what had happened. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, much like these potted plants, my neighbor’s marriage was shriveling and dying. Pointing to the pots, she said that if there was anything I’d like to try to save, to just take it. Sedum ‘Maestro’ stands in testament to the fact that, like marriage, plants need attention and TLC.

My garden helper, Smoky – a neighborhood stray who chose us as his family three summers ago.

That’s my six for the week. Now, let’s see yours.

Keep checking back to our host’s site for the latest Sixes.

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/