Showing posts from June, 2018

Five on Friday

Yesterday, in the morning, I started slow and didn't really speed up all day. The first day of summer break should be like that, don't you think? 
In the evening, Tim and I picked some more blueberries. The bushes are loaded this year. I'm keeping track and so far we have picked over 6 pounds and they are just beginning to ripen. I put them into containers and freeze them to eat with granola and yogurt throughout the year. There are plenty to eat fresh, too. 

The scent of lavender doesn't rank very high on my list. I find it quite astringent. However, a faint wafting of fragrance from the linen closet is very welcome. I make lavender sachets to tuck between the stacks of sheets and pillow cases. 

When I cut lavender the other day, I thought I'd make up a couple of pretty bundles and took them to some of my teaching colleagues. The remainder is drying in vases. I don't hang it upside down. 

For this year's patio pots I focused on white with some purple-blues. Wh…

A Bit of Yellow

"How wonderful the colour yellow is. It stands for the sun." Vincent Van Gogh
I would never choose yellow as one of my favourite colours. However, I've been admiring it lately. Feverfew, seen above, seeds itself wantonly in my garden, and I let it grow where there are empty spots. The unwanted plants are easy enough to yank out. Some of my plants are single-flowered, others are double. Aren't they pretty?
Yellow, combined with white, is sunny and fresh. My neighbour has a few daisies that have crept across the strip of land between our gardens, cheerful open flowers that hide nothing. 

My mother recently gave me two plates and two bowls of J & G Meakin ironstone ware that belonged to her mother, the grandmother I never met. Mom told me that when she was about 12 years old, she and her father went to Mission, BC to buy a set of these dishes, a breakfast set, as a gift for Mother's Day for her mother. These are all that's left of the set, given at least 70 year…

Dads, Books, Flowers, and Food

Summer came in with a rush over the past several days. Clear skies and heat! The poppies are nearing their first flush of blooms and what a run they've had. Bloom after bloom. I think I love the seed pods almost as much as the flowers themselves. I poke them into flower arrangements for a bit of architectural interest. 

Strawberries and thyme. I was talking with my younger daughter one day, via Skype, and she said she was making Honey Thyme Strawberry Jam. It sounded delicious, and there were another couple of pounds of strawberries just picked, so I made a batch. It's from Marisa McClellan who writes a blog and books about small-batch canning. The thyme flavour is very subtle, and I wonder if I didn't add enough. Perhaps the flavour will intensify over time. 

My reading stack. I've finished the bottom three and enjoyed them. Today, after the family left in mid-afternoon, I took Winter Garden out to the patio and read, lounging in the shade. Utter luxury. 

Today is Father…

Friday Five: Admiring the Morning

First, a caveat: This is a Friday 6, not 5. 

As I sat at the table this morning, the sky was cloudy and things looked a bit dull. I forked up my last bit of egg and avocado, and then - the sun burst through, and compelled me to go outside. I poured myself a mug of tea, slung my camera around my neck, and stepped out into the morning. 

Oh, what a morning! No noble lady strolling her vast estates could take more joy in seeing the day's delights than I in my little urban bit of garden. God's wonders are everywhere.

I notice the oregano will flower soon, so I'll cut it back tomorrow, drying the stalks on trays before stripping the leaves and storing them in jars. The bees enjoy the flowers so much, and I'll leave a patch of stalks for them. Blue campanula peeks from underneath the oregano.  

The Secret Roses smell wonderful and bloom repeatedly, although they are mottled this year, with splotches of odd colour. Perhaps they absorbed some of the peony colour blooming behind the…

June Days

It's 9:30 pm. There's still plenty of light in the sky, and the street lights have just come on. Birds have chirped their sleepy goodnights and the air is still. 

These days the garden grows almost visibly each day. Just now the strawberries are the stars of the potager. I've harvested at least 8 pounds already. It's a bumper crop in our area. We're enjoying them every day with our yogurt in the mornings. I made some strawberry preserves, froze several bags of them, concocted a fresh strawberry pie, and on Saturday we enjoyed a puffy oven pancake with mounds of fresh berries. 

For showiness, the poppies have taken over. Huge pom-pom like heads in grand profusion fill one corner of one of my vegetable beds. Two plants seeded themselves there and I let them be. There are others in the flower beds that haven't yet bloomed, so I'm looking forward to more of these beauties. 

I discovered that the poppies don't do well in cut arrangements. I put together a vase …

A Mountain Escape

About 10 days ago I read a text from Tim: "I have to go to a conference in Whistler. Can you come?"
My first reaction was "no," but then I thought about it, checked with my principal, who said, "certainly." 
So I arranged for a TOC and last Sunday, Tim and I took the 11 am ferry to the mainland and drove to Whistler. You might remember it as one of the main venues for the 2010 Winter Olympics. 

It's in the most beautiful setting, in the heart of the Coast Mountains. The Sea to Sky drive showcases view after view of the ocean, snowcapped mountains, distant peaks, and more. I'm glad I wasn't the one at the wheel so I could just take in the scenery.

The above photo is the view from our room, overlooking the hotel garden and pools (not visible) and Whistler Blackcomb ski runs. 

Tim was in conference all day Monday, so I had the time to myself. What to do? I could swim and lounge by the pool, or wander through town, or go off exploring one of the many t…