An Island in Bloom/Meeting a Fan 8/12/2010

Okay, okay, okay!  I admit it.  Tuesday was very, very warm on Mackinac Island.  Oh, all right – it was hot!

Not Georgia hot.  Not “it’s been 100+ every day for the last four weeks” hot.  But hot enough for the first time since we bought our condo and moved up here for the summers – without air conditioning – that I thought to myself yesterday, “I need some AC!” 

Even at that, it was only 83.  Now in Georgia when it hits 83, this old girl turns the AC down to 78.  Here – well that option is not available.  In lieu of that, we had every fan we own going strong – one in the great room window, one on a stand on the other side of the great room, one in the ceiling, and one in the guest bedroom down the hall.  Of course, all the windows were open also – up stairs and down, and the sliding glass door off the great room was open, as were the french doors in our bedroom.  If we just sat quietly and read or chatted, we were fine.  If we went outside and did anything and came back in, it was just plain hot until our body temperature adjusted again.

We readily admit it – we are so spoiled.  In three summers on the island, to only have one day we would’ve liked to flip that AC switch – well, that’s what I call blessed.  And here’s another blessing – by the time I walked home today after working at the Stuart House, I was thinking, “Oh my gosh!  I should have brought a sweater!” 

Compared to last summer when it rained – a lot – and we barely got out of the 60’s in June, July, and August, this summer has been a real treat – not only for us, but for the tourist season on the island.  And if anything has thrived with the warm temps and occasional showers, it’s the flowers.  I don’t want to bore you to tears with flower pictures, but like last year at this time, I just can’t help photographing them.  Right now they are at their absolute peak, and I’m hoping that peak with last at least another month. 

I walked home up Cadotte today (with a detour down French Lane), and my camera was clicking almost constantly.  I’ll try not to show you flowers any other day this week, but that’s what I have for you now – Mackinac Island, in all its blooming glory!

Dwight and Jeff's French Lane garden - behind their home.

Most of the garden thrives in the shade, which makes it even more amazing!

This is the garden with the "look and find" game. That ship is one of the "finds".

I couldn't even think of the names of this many flowers - much less grow them!

Hollyhocks in The Little Stone Church Parsonage garden.

A container garden behind the school.



Under all that beauty - a garbage can.

The entrance to The Grand Hotel shade garden.

My hostas at home have never looked like these - and neither have my ferns.


A few fall colors have begun to show up here and there.

This is when I wish I knew flower names - I've got to get Mary at the Grand to give me a garden tour!

A bright . . . . . . yellow flower.

A stunning . . . . . pink flower.

And here we have a vividly . . . red flower.

An amazing . . . oh, you know!

What was it? Six weeks ago that the flowers in these beds were barely an inch tall?

One of my favorite things happened today.  I was working at the Stuart House Museum, and a couple walked in.  I asked if they wanted to go through the museum, and the lady smiled and said, “Just wanted to come by and see if you were working.  I read your blog every day.”  It turns out the couple, Barb and Doug Chevalier, lived in the South for a few years – once in Charlotte and once in Birmingham.  I’m sorry to say I can’t remember where they live now, but I think it’s in Michigan.  They were so nice, and I was so excited she had made the effort to stop by.  It was Barb’s second visit to the island and her husband’s first.  Barb reminded me that she had commented several times on the blog, so when I got home I looked up her comments.  I love this one:  “I have a picture of the flowers and fence in front of the Metivier Inn on the wall of my cube from my trip to the island two years ago and the following quote at the top of my trip planning sheet: (from Bree’s Blog) ‘When company comes, we try to pack the island into a neat suitcase and open it each day to bring out an experience that will turn into a lasting, happy memory’.  Next week I’ll be opening my ‘suitcase’ on your island and seeing the wonderful flowers again. I can hardly wait.”  Now how cool is that!

Barb's husband took this photo of us standing on the porch of The Stuart House. What a blessing to me my readers are. I wish I could meet each and every one of you.


20 thoughts on “An Island in Bloom/Meeting a Fan 8/12/2010

  1. Gorgeous!
    Flowers, flowers, and more flowers. It must be that combination of garbage and horse manure that the island produces and spreads everywhere. Maybe they should export it to garden centers on the mainland. 🙂

  2. It’s funny, I was on the island on Tuesday and it didn’t seem hot & humid to me. Then we took Shepler’s back to Mackinaw City and it was hot and humid. As we are full timers in our RV, zip….went the AC. Weird hey?
    A word about the island flowers…..Brenda snap away as much as you like. I snapped so much on Monday & Tuesday my fingers were getting tired and it all started on the Windermere porch. As I am a flower gardener I take my pots everywhere we go. The deal is whatever plants I can fit into the car when we leave a campground I take with me. Haven’t left 1 plant behind so far. 🙂

  3. The flowers are beautiful. Don’t stop showing them to us. Hope they look as good when we arrived on the Island in early Sept.

  4. Nope, can’t say I ever get tired of seeing those pictures either. They are just to purdy not to post. 🙂 Hard to pick who has the nicest flower garden, they are all spectacular! See you soon! 🙂

  5. Never to many pictures of the beautiful flowers on Mackinac Island. Your picture “stunning…pink flower” reminds me of the one that was growing under the awning at the Grand Hotel last September when we stayed there. A horse was eating it while he waited for his passengers. It was awsome to see. Thanks so much.

      • Was wondering if your viewers are aware of and also that the Chippawa Hotel has a live feed of cameras. They both are wonderful to watch. Have them as my “favorites”. Love to watch the island change from summer to fall to winter. Beautiful to see the snow fly and the snowmobiles come out. Thanks for all you do for us Toledo people who wish we could be on the island full-time. Love ya!

  6. Brenda, although I am, in WWW parlance, a “lurker”, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy (and appreciate) reading (and looking at) your blog. I check it each and every day. I have a long history with my beloved Island and between you and the webcams, I am able to continue to feel connected even when I can’t be there.

    If I could be so presumptuous as to request a topic, I would love to see a blog on the many unique bicycles on the Island. My husband and I were up there last year and we couldn’t help but notice the many interesting ways people had of personalizing their bicycles. Everything from custom paint jobs to eclectically decorated baskets. After all, bikes are just as important a mode of transportation as the horse, right?

    Also, I’d love to see some rainy day shots. It rained most every day we were up there last year, so I did a lot of walking and shooting photos in the rain. Once I returned to NJ, surprisingly, my rainy day photos were the ones people oohhed and aahhed over the most.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your Island experiences with us all. You are a true Southern Lady. God keep you and yours.

    • Hi Bonnie! What two great ideas! It seemed that last year I took a LOT of rainy day pictures, usually thinking, “who wants to see rain?” But I have to admit, there were some nice pics in that group. I’ll start taking my camera out on rainy days now. And the bike idea – I love it! Had never even thought of it – that’s why I love to hear from my readers!

  7. I love the pictures of the flowers! When I go to the island I take a lot of pictures of flower gardens hoping to “duplicate” them when I get home. But they just don’t look as good as the islands! When or if you have time would you be able to take a picture of the store in Harrisonville? I just wonder what it looks like! Thanks so much! Your awesome!

  8. The first thing I do when my flowers bloom around the house is photogragh them, but yes what you said is true nothing compares to this these are amazing. Thank You

  9. From New York to California the flowers are absolutely the greatest this year. I don’t know exactly how your flower pix got to my facebook page, but I was thrilled to see them. Though I’m in LA since ’72, I am still a MI native. I attended NMU in Marquette so I know the Mac Bridge and Island from way back. The island just gets better and better. The flowers are a blessing to share. Don’t ever apologize for God has given us his special gifts of color, scent and unique shape for a reason. You make us appreciate them much more. Thank you and keep them coming!

  10. Ditto above. Who could ever get bored with flowers. Each one if a little different! What gorgeous photos! Photos, alone, say a so very much!!

    Judy, Ann Arbor

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