Showing posts from June, 2016

A Quick Five on Friday

1. My favorite flowers: hydrangeas and roses

2. Looking at the details: light and shadow

3. Getting the house ready for house sitters makes me realize how much I've neglected the cleaning around here. 

4. If I put flowers on the mantel and the table, will that distract our visitors from the windows that need cleaning? I'm going with that plan.

5. Raspberries: Picked today, made into Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins. Click on the link for the recipe - one I adapted from a magazine.

Red raspberries on a white plate are as much as I'll be doing to celebrate Canada Day this year. I'm so pleased to be a Canadian! Happy Birthday, Canada! 

Linking with Five on Friday, hosted by Amy of Love Made My Home. 

Summer Days Make Me Feel Fine

School's out! Grades are in, files sorted, desks cleaned out. I even had time to send some material for printing and laminating for next year! Now it's time to play!

The sun returned this week. The three munchkins above, along with a parent or two and yours truly, went raspberry picking at a U-pick farm yesterday. Such lovely big juicy berries. I didn't get any as we have enough with our own canes here. And I forgot to take my camera along, so there are no photos of little ones reaching up to pick and then plop fat berries into containers. 

Sunshine and water are the perfect summer combination. Nana filled the pool. Mister F waded in wearing socks and pants, so we let him stay that way. He minded not a whit. The girls poured, splashed, slid, and screamed. We followed up with lunch and homemade fudgesicles on the deck. Ahh, summer.

This morning I wandered out to the garden, enjoying the freedom of not having to be anywhere at a particular time. I filled my breakfast bowl with …

A Special Garden Visit

On my last visit to Butchart Gardens, I stopped in at the information desk to ask a question and noticed this sign. 

Hmmm. I wasn't born in 1936, but someone I know was. What could it mean?

Inquiry revealed that to honor anyone's 80th year, the Gardens provided two complimentary entrance tickets. 

So I called my mom and asked if she'd be interested. She and my father were coming over in a couple of weeks. Her answer was an enthusiastic "yes!"

The two of us spent a happy time admiring the fuschias and begonias in the hanging baskets, 

watching the fountain dance, 


and aahhing, 

and oohing some more over the roses.

This special outing included entrance tickets AND tea for two. 

We each had a large teapot - Mom had the Teaberry Blend: Black Ceylon tea flavoured with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and currants, and I went traditional with Earl Grey. 

There was a berry trifle to begin.

Hot savouries followed: House made sausage roll, and a Roasted Onion and Aspar…

Five on Friday: Summer delights

The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. All exams and papers are marked, and grades calculated. All that's left is report card comments and some tidying up. Whew! Bring on summer!

One early summer delight is raspberries. They've ripened early this year and we've put 6 quarts into the freezer, eaten them by the handful, enjoyed them with yogurt and nuts for breakfast, and with ice cream for dessert. 

The last food lab the Grade Eight class completed was mini cheesecakes. It was a new-to-me recipe so I tried it out on the family a few weeks ago. Easy and yummy! The students used frozen strawberries for a sauce on their cheesecakes, but here at home, home-grown berries were in order.

Delight number two - my Bolero rose bush is showing off this year, producing bloom after bloom of intricately folded petals with a scent I just can't get enough of. Some days after work, before I start dinner, I go out to the garden and take a whiff. Heavenly!

Two years ago our ac…

Fathers, Forest and Beach

Four of the finest fathers I know - my own father, my husband, our son and son-in-law. Our daughter and son-in-law were camping for the weekend, so the rest of us (minus the Vancouver lovelies) drove up for lunch on Sunday.

Although the weather was cooler than we'd hoped, fun was had by all. Travis blew bubbles for the littles. Don't they look magical in the forest?

What fun to try and catch a bubble before it pops. Miss A caught several with her mouth and confessed that they didn't taste all that wonderful. 

While the grandchildren tried to catch bubbles, I caught some ocean spray (holodiscus discolor) with my lens. And some pretty "bubbles" in the background.

After lunch ("We're eating al fresco," said Miss A, demonstrating a newly learned word), we headed off to the beach. The tide was out and the sand stretched far into the distance. However, the girls wanted to plop down immediately to start their sand castle. We convinced them to wander a bit furt…

Roses Galore!

I promised to show you the roses from my walk in Butchart Gardens last week. Here are just a few. The roses are not quite at their peak yet, but will be in the next week or so. The weather has been cooler, which slows things down a little, but makes the flowers last longer, too. 

The gate accompanying this archway is no longer open, but still provides a pretty architectural feature for rambling roses. 

A closer look. Such a gorgeous tangle of colour and form. 

A long path, covered in arches and roses is a fragrant place to stroll. The hint of blue seen amongst the roses are delphiniums. Their tall stalks add some height to the rose gardens.

A cluster of pink roses reaches out from the arches to passersby. 

In the gardens, only the roses are labeled. To know the names of the other plants, a guide is provided according to the seasons. 

This white rose is Winchester Cathedral, the same rose I put into my own garden this spring. I'm happy to say that mine is flourishing as well as the one a…

An Evening Walk

Warning! Picture-heavy post! 

Hot summery weather arrived this past weekend. Temperatures soared into the 80s. We're loving it! This evening I took a walk in Butchart Gardens. These are some of the sights I saw. There are plenty more and I'll share the rose garden on its own. 

Hanging baskets, rows and rows of them, adorn one area of the garden. The fuschias and begonias hang at about 6 feet, maybe a bit more, enabling great views of the blossoms. 

When I got to the Sunken Garden a grin formed on my face and didn't leave. I had the entire thing TO MYSELF! At the height of summer the paths are streams of people, oohing and aahing and clicking away. It's great to see everyone enjoying the sights, but to have it to myself was so special. I felt like I could be wearing a trailing gown and swanning about like the Crawleys of Downton Abbey. What a gift!

Even the garbage and recycling containers have flowers on them. 

Fragrant Sweet Williams wafted their scent on the air. Mass pla…