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Raindrops on a Spiderweb

Droplets of water from a recent summer storm on the gossamer threads of a delicate spiderweb.

When you look at a spiderweb, what do you see? Evidence of a pest that you don't want in your home or garden? Or do you notice the intricate workmanship of the web and wonder how long it took the spider to make the thin gossamer threads intertwine?

When I saw this delicate spiderweb that had droplets of water from a recent summer storm, I marveled at the sun shining on the raindrops. I loved seeing the drops suspended on the network of the finely made web.

I'm so thankful I took a moment to appreciate the simple beauty found in nature. What is something in our natural world that you have found stunning recently?

Evening Sun Sunflower

This time of year the sunflowers are opening their petals and showing their bright and beautiful faces. There are so many different varieties of sunflower that you can plant in your garden or even see on the roadside.

Sunflower with vibrant petals that mimic the color of the setting sun

My favorite has been the Evening Sun Sunflowers. Their vibrant petals that mimic the color of the setting sun add a depth of richness to your garden once they bloom. 

What are your favorite sunflowers? I'm already thinking about the ones I want to add to my garden next year!

Ashton Gardens Tulip Festival

Early Spring is such a beautiful time. Everything goes from brownish-gray to deep green with splashes of color from the newly opening flowers. Colorful tulips are one of the first of the flowers to appear in gardens here and I love the different varieties that can be found.

Colorful Tulips with water droplets at Ashton Gardens

At Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah you can find Ashton Gardens - a 55-acre oasis in this mountainous desert. We have visited in all the seasons and it is always pretty, but during the spring it is extra beautiful while they are having their tulip festival. They have hundreds of varieties of tulips to see as you walk along the path by Monet Lake, through the Secret Gardens, around the Waterfall Amphitheater, and through the rest of the 15 tranquil gardens.

Tulip Groupings in the Sunlight at the Tulip Festival

The design of the tulip groupings throughout the garden change each year, so it is like you are visiting a new garden each time. Every time we have gone it has been amazingly stunning to see the variety of color and type of tulips.

Bright Yellow and Red Stripe Open Tulips

Color and Variety of Tulips at Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival

We have visited both during nice weather and on a rainy day. The beauty of the flowers doesn't change, but the crowds are definitely less during the overcast or rainy days. Here in Utah you really have no idea what weather you will have in April and early May, so make sure to chech the weather forecast for Lehi since there is so much variation in different parts of Utah and Salt Lake counties.

Cascading Fountain at Ashton Gardens

Tulips by Cascading Fountain at Thanksgiving Point

Pink and Yellow Tulips at Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival

Plan on spending hours at Ashton Gardens so you can see as much as possible. It's always smart to pack snacks and water. There are quite a few scenic areas where you can sit on benches, next to ponds, or on the lush green grass and rest your feet while you stay hydrated and renew your energy with a treat.

Lovely Landscape along stream at Ashton Gardens in Utah

Peachy Pink Tulips at Ashton Gardens Tulip Festival

Tulips at Sunset at the Thanksgiving Point Ashton Gardens Tulip Festival

Make sure to check the Ashton Gardens website to see what upcoming events will be there to enjoy.

Prickly Thistle Opening

When thinking of pretty summer flowers, I'll have to admit that the thistle doesn't come to mind first. There are roses, dahlias, marigolds, lilies, and peonies that bloom with lovely colors and heavenly scents.

thistle beginning to open with prickly bloom

Beauty can be found in different ways though, as long as we are willing to look at them in a different way. I was out for a drive last week and pulled down a side road that had quite a few thistles blooming.

This one that was just begining to open caught my eye though. The thick green layers of leaves with the bright purple inside starting to open up was stunning. The first layers of the flower opening mimic the pointy green outer leaves. While not traditionally beautiful, my nature loving eye couldn't look away.

Soft puffy purple thistle flower
In a day or so, the prickly but beautiful thistle will open up fully and become a puffy purple flower you can see as it holds it's head up tall over the grass fields.
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