Showing posts from May, 2017

Hawthorns, Purple Martins, and Foxglove

Hawthorn trees are in bloom, with a white and green loveliness that seems bridal. I think Anne of Green Gables would loved them. 

On docks throughout our region, conservationists have been encouraging purple martins to rebuild their population by providing houses for them. The program seems to be successful. When we were out on Sidney Island, pairs of martins chattered, swooped in and out, and seemed very at home on their perches. 

In my garden the foxglove is blooming. She stands taller in the morning freshness than in late afternoon. We've had some very warm weather, but I'm not going to complain at all.

Thyme is blooming, and how the bees flock round. There's a steady buzzing as they fly from the rosemary to the chives to the thyme and back again. 

One more hawthorn photo. So dreamy. They are so delicate and soft looking now, and equally striking in the fall with their rich red berries. A tree for all seasons!

Linking with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Maggie of Normandy Life.

Ramblings from my Mazy Mind

I'm so glad that after lurking in the shadows for far too long, Summer decided to show herself last weekend. She not only showed up, she showed off! It appears that she is sticking around for awhile since she received such an enthusiastic welcome. 

We celebrated Victoria Day last Monday by staying home, working in the garden, and enjoying a dinner full of summer flavours - barbecued steak, radish salad, BLT salad, and some roasted tomatoes from last year, tucked away into the freezer for the winter. 

I'm keeping a close watch on the peony buds - there are many of them, and I love their ruffled blooms. Tim got the irrigation system working, and caught me unawares a couple of times by turning it on "just to check." I can move very quickly if needed! 

In the vegetable garden we're harvesting lettuce (need some?), radishes, and lots of herbs. I saw the first red on a strawberry this morning and am looking forward to their juicy sweetness. 

I'm keeping a jug of water …

Gardens and Beaches

It's time for Mosaic Monday once again. I can't get over how brightly coloured these Cineraria are, seen at Butchart Gardens. Mass plantings of them are like a POW to the eyeballs. 

Spring has been unseasonably cold thus far, but that all changed over the weekend. On Saturday we took our son and his family out on the boat, just across Sidney Channel. 

I always enjoy observing the arrangements tossed onto shore by the waves and wind. Half-buried clamshells, delicate sand cupped in purple-hued mussels, intricate barnacles, and more.

A shallow tide pool + sand + seaweed + shovels + a found piece of plywood to float + imagination = hours of absorbed fun for Bigs and Littles alike. Mr. F also had fun pretending to drive the boat. 

What a day! Off in the hazy distance is Mount Baker, in Washington State. 

Three gulls on a log were unfazed by the ferry boat passing in the distance. I don't know if the gulls were nesting or not, but one of them swooped down low over me, squawking all t…

Bring on Summer!

Beautiful, fragrant lilacs never last long once cut. About a week ago I smashed the woody stems with a hammer before putting them into the water and they've lasted almost a week now. The cooler temperatures help, too. 

I met a friend for a stroll around Butchart Gardens today. We are all hopeful that warmer temperatures are just around the corner. On Wednesday, the lowest ever temperature high was recorded for the day. 

Meconopsis Himalayan Blue Poppies bloom with paper thin petals surrounding golden centers.

This summer marks Canada's 150th birthday and a special breed of tulips commemorates this year. Canada 150 tulips are red and white, like our flag. Beyond the tulip beds in the photo above, technicians are laying the groundwork for the fireworks displays held each Saturday night during the summer. They are always spectacular. 

Colourful Cineraria filled beds with symmetrical flowers in bright pinks and blues. 

It's cruise ship season and the garden paths were filled with p…

Things Beautiful and Practical

View from the breakfast table. The fig tree is sprouting leaves and I think that they look like enormous butterflies ready to lift off and fly away. 

They stretch eagerly towards the light. This corner of the world, and our garden in particular, is full of life and the promise of things to come. Some days, especially when the sky is blue and the sun warm on my back, I ache with the beauty of it.

The friendly wisteria vine that grew in through the hedge from the neighbour's garden is thriving. 

It has latched onto the garden shed and we're training it to go where we want it, across the front of the roof. So far it's cooperating beautifully. The slightest stirring of air sends sweet fragrance through the garden. 

How do you store your food containers? I kept mine in a set of double lower cabinets, but found that I only used the ones in the front because reaching to the back was such a chore. Some day we'll redo our cabinets, but for now, Tim installed drawers behind the cabi…

A Ramble Through My Mazy Mind

I once read an essay that categorized essays as rambles through an author's mazy mind. Hence the title of my post. Many essayists manage to wander around and yet arrive at some clear conclusion. This post is less of an essay and more of a ramble.

This evening I took a walk through the neighbourhood. Delightful smells of freshly cut grass mingled with sweet lilacs. Rain is in the forecast and I think everyone is cutting their lawns beforehand. We did ours last night. Tim does the trimming and I mow until he's finished trimming, by which time I'm happy to relinquish the mower as I will have arrived at the steepest part of the back lawn. 

I'm listening to the sounds of Tim retrofitting drawers into a set of kitchen cabinets. Some day we'll redo the kitchen, but I get so frustrated with the storage of small containers. I've tried baskets, but one can only reach so far into bottom cabinets without crouching right down and crawling halfway in. I'm thankful for a ta…

Tulip Mania

Spring has been slow and cold here. Sunny days are outnumbered by grey dull skies. Saturday, however, dawned with a bright blue sky - a perfect day for a visit to Butchart Gardens. One little grand stayed with us overnight while her parents were off celebrating their anniversary, so we called up the cousins and asked if they would like to visit the gardens, too. Daughter-in-law Katie came along to help guide herd the flock. 

Waves of tulips in a plethora of colour and shape greeted our eyes. Elizabeth Von Armin, author of Elizabeth and her German Garden writes "I love tulips better than any other spring flower; they are the embodiment of alert cheerfulness and tidy grace..." She goes on to disparage hyacinths for their untidiness, but since I love hyacinths, as well as tulips, I'll ignore that part. 

Although this was Miss S' first trip to the gardens, the cousins have been here many times as Katie worked here for several years and received a lifetime pass as a parting…

Hodge Podge for the First Time

Every week, Joyce, of From This Side of the Pond, comes up with some interesting questions for bloggers to answer on their own blogs, and then post a link in her blog so we can all read the answers. I've read Hodge Podge posts for some time and thought I'd take part occasionally. So here goes - the questions are Joyce's, the answers mine.

1. Can you tell I'm embracing a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week? Do you like Mexican food? What's your favorite dish? How about on the side-black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice? What about heat-mild, medium, hot? Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo?

I really like Mexican food. A lot. Fish tacos would be my favourite dish. I'm not as fond of the side dishes of beans and rice. Medium heat, please. We don't celebrate Cinco de Mayo here, but I might make pizza, since it's a Friday and a granddaughter will be spending the night.

2. Ever been to Mexico? For work or holiday? Lo…

A Weekend in Vancouver

Cherry trees arch across the street where our youngest daughter and her husband live in Vancouver. The trees are some of those donated in 1958 by the Japanese Consul, Muneo Tanabe, as "an eternal memory of good friendship between our two nations." 

The trees are aging. Ashley told us of a neighbour who, as she parked her car on the street, heard a crashing sound behind her and saw that a tree limb large enough to span the road, had fallen just behind her car. 

These days, traffic on these streets is busier as many people come to photograph the trees. They bloom all over the city, but the ones in this area are a bit later and attract those who just can't get enough of the Prunus genus. I know I was out there with my camera snapping away. 

The City regulations allow for backyard chickens. We got to meet Gala, Fuji (rather feisty), McIntosh, and Granny Smith. They live in a large and airy coop in the back garden. I helped Ashley do some weeding on Saturday morning and we were …