Wonderful, beautiful June is here! My Gloriosa Lily is blooming like crazy, multiplying and running up the gas light pole. It is so pretty it looks like it has been arranged by a master flower arranger. Well, hello, it was Mother Nature, the best! Years ago, maybe 28, Mary Burlingham welcomed us to the Garden District with a bucket of these tubers, instructing me how to plant and care for them. They look almost like an upside down Spider Lily that has been sprinkled with gold flakes. I have plenty and would love to share. I don’t think there is a lily that I have met that I have not fallen in love with. They give and give over and over, blooming in our gardens, gracing our tables in a pretty vase, dividing and sharing with friends. The more you divide the better. Maybe eight years ago Mike and I went to a family-run Daylily Farm that is open only from Mother’s Day and closes on Father’s Day. It was so much fun! You get in golf carts with a Mexican driver with shovel in hand, drive down rows and rows of every kind of blooming Daylily known to man. Point, pick and choose. Yes, I went crazy and yes, Mike had a very funny look on his face. He took it like a man! I’m in heaven, I’m in heaven. They are so beautiful! Each morning I can hardly wait to check on them, to break off old blooms and get excited about all the new ones. JEANETTE COOPER WILBANKS has the same passion I have when it comes to Daylilies. Many years ago Jeanette invited me to join her for a visit with her friend, Mrs. Kiper, and stroll her fabulous Daylily garden in the rolling slopping hills of West Monroe. Truly beautiful.

Thinking of Daylilies, last week Mike and I were in New Orleans for LSU School of Medicine, Committee of 100-Champion of Excellence annual banquet. This is a way of giving back to the school for an education that Mike could not have received without a state school option. We are so proud of the new university center and combined VA Hospital! What a beautiful campus. Dr. Jeffrey Carter gave a very interesting talk on the new Burn Center. They are doing amazing things. Lots to be proud of in this Banana Republic state we live in! Back to the story … After two days of wining and dining, we decided to skip dinner, stay in our beautiful Hilton Hotel room on the 25th floor — overlooking the Mighty Mississippi, with lots of barges and tug boats cruising down river. It was so pretty and we just enjoyed the view and maybe watched a movie or read our books. Strolling through the menu, we saw “The Mule” with Clint Eastwood. I had heard it was really good. Mike Cage is not a fan of Hollywood and thinks to see one good movie, you have to see 10 bad ones. To watch this movie it will cost $19.99. He is not happy … too bad! It was so good! We really enjoyed it — it had a good story and a great song by Toby Keith, “Don’t Let The Old Man In.” When Mike dies, at his funeral, he wants Isaac Watts’ “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”, Kris Kriskstoffen “Why Me Lord” and now, Toby Keith “Don’t Let The Old Man In.” Toby Keith could have written this song just for Mike. God Is Good, God Is Great!

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I have said it before and I will say it again: no one has prettier weddings than Monroe, Louisiana! This late May, JULIE ZAMBIE & ALEN WILLIANS celebrated their marriage at the beautiful Saint Mathew Catholic Church in old downtown Monroe. The fabulous reception was held at the home of the bride on Island Drive. The angels blew the rain clouds away and parted the heavens with the most beautiful stars of all. Phillips Lake was splashes of sparkling diamonds with moon beam reflections. The gardens were gracefully covered by the ancient Live Oak Tree that was perfectly lit with studs of golden stars. Guests were greeted in the front gardens with soft music, champagne, flowers, hot char grilled oysters, fried oysters, fresh lump crab meat, smoked salmon and caviar. On to the dining room, grilled perfection lamb chops, rolled grape leaves stuffed with lamb. On the back gardens were white tents, dancing to dancing, carving stations with beef tTenderloin, apple smoked leg of pork and all the trimmings. It was truly a magical evening with a beautiful crowd. All God’s blessing for this young couple!

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The St. Paul’s Methodist Women held their June Lunch at the home of Janelle & George Snellings on Point Drive. We had so much fun getting ready for this fun gathering. The children, Sallie, Georgia, Quinn, the dog Cole and the cat Duke were all busy cleaning, cutting fresh flowers, Janelle pointing and directing to a perfect setting on the Bayou DeSiard. All the ladies brought their favorite salad, delicious and pretty. Proverbs: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” This group works very hard during the year with different projects, like the Chicken Salad Luncheon and auction, to raise money to support so many of our local charities..

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I always feel so special when I find a turtle in my yard and gardens. It is almost like finding a good luck charm. Along with DEE & TOMMY CAGLE, if I see a turtle crossing the road and if it is not a dangerous place, I will stop and help him across the street so he will not get run over. One time I stopped to help a beautiful tortoise crossing the road. He was so pretty that I decided to just take him home to my gardens. As I picked him up to put him in my trunk, he wee-weed all over my shoe. I guess he did not want to go! I just read where an animal shelter in Minnesota fixes shells after turtles are hit by cars. Please, please be careful if you see a turtle crossing the road! I think turtles are the new garden pets of this year. If any of you know TAYLOR CAGLE, ask him to show you the video of his trained pet yard turtles. Very interesting and very cleaver!

T.Z. be sure and tell M.Z. that Admiral Byrd’s beloved dog, UNALASKY, is resting well at Georgia Tucker!

Be kind to all and I look forward to the next time.

Dianne

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