Monday, April 20, 2020

Garden Time

Do you find that the days tend to blend together with little to differentiate one from the other? In spite of the fact that I am teaching from home and thus "working" five days per week, the days run into each other like boxes on the calendar. On Sundays we tune in to online church, but other than that, every day seems much like the one before. 

Time feels suspended as we wait for the end of this isolation and distancing, yet in real time life continues on as it always does. In my garden I can see the season unfold; first the snowdrops, then the muscari and daffodils, then hyacinths, and now tulips. Many of my bulbs were snatched by squirrels, I think, but the ones that survived stand with pride in the sun-filled days we are enjoying. 

Many years ago a friend gave me this book Time Began in a Garden. Emilie Barnes writes, "Garden time is time that involves itself in the moment, that passes each moment fully alive, that focuses on the soaring stateliness of trees and the minute scale of the tiniest blossom and insect. Garden time requires daily attention, but does not require that everything be done in a day."

In my garden, or walking outdoors, I rediscover that kind of time. A fat peony promises the soon revelation of ruffled flowers and sweet scent.

Bees were busy about the rosemary bush this morning. I watched a dotted red ladybug clambering about in the grass. Snap peas are up and I thinned the radishes. Strawberry plants are in bloom and we'll enjoy a good supply of berries if the slugs don't get them first. Our apple trees are just beginning to blossom. Life is bursting out. 

 Do you watch the Great British Bake Off? In Canada there is a spin-off - the Great Canadian Baking Show. It's very similar, with a baking tent, 10 contestants, judges, technical bakes and showstoppers. It's so lovely. Each baker does their best, but it's not cutthroat the way so many shows tend to be. Indeed, bakers help each other and cheer each other on. I've been re-watching the shows and was inspired to try one of the technical challenges - a Battenberg Cake. It was a fair bit of work, but enjoyable (except for spreading the jam on those cake pieces) and resulted in a not-bad cake. Not Star Baker quality, but delicious. A couple of hours puttering in the kitchen was a lovely reprieve from real life. Kitchen time is very similar to Garden time. 

In one garden bed, violets spread themselves green and purple under the roses. They are so pretty, and for now, they have remained in one spot, so I'll let them be. Their little faces are so pretty and I think them the dearest things. 

How are you feeling about time these days? Too much, too little? Does garden time seem like a good thing to you? Stay well, my friends.


  1. We had a friend on the 1st season of The Great Canadian Baking Show ~ Terri from Sherwood Park, Alberta. She now lives in B.C. and we miss her! Baking from her was always a treat! Enjoy your baking!

    X Chy

  2. You had a great result from your baking challenge endeavor. Love the look of that cake. Love the look of that Peony bud. Such lovely flowers. Yes...everyday runs into the next. I look at my calendar that is blank...sigh. This too shall pass.

  3. What? you just made my day!!! A great Canadian baking show with people being kind? That's what i've loved about GBB.

    everyday is sort of like the others. I miss the barn so so much. No therapeutic riding for any of our fragile students. I miss the horses, the volunteers, the STUDENTS and their families!

    Things are getting green here but our peonies just emerged as red shoots last week. ! ! Hi bee! Im all for the pollinators.
    Im growing some clover to enhance the woods soil and help the bees! If it would just get over freezing at night, i could plant it all!

  4. Hi Lorrie,

    Yes, I find one day feels very much like another. There was a joke going around on Facebook about us needing our Days-of-the-Week undies again. :D Do you remember when children had those? But seriously, we're doing okay here. It feels a bit frustrating at times, but we're managing fine. I've never minded being at home anyway.

    I LOVE your flower picture! Is that one of your tulips? It's gorgeous. Yes, cooking and gardening are both good for the soul, I think. I'm so impressed with your cake -- Wow! Is that fondant surrounding the cakes?

    I enjoyed your post Lorrie. Wishing you and your family continued good health, my friend.

    Warm hugs,


  5. Garden time is the best time. The peony bud looks delicious indeed and your gorgeous tulips look like peonies as well.
    We still have some snow but this morning it's sunny and the little birds are singing their heart out, "chanting out their Maker's praise".
    Stay safe and well!

  6. Garden time and walk time are the best parts of the day for me.
    Love the look of your Battenberg cake and how attractive you have made it look.
    It's good to see nature going about her business, bees buzzing, buds opening, being in the garden lifts the spirits.
    Everyday does seem the same, in fact I am not sure what day it is most of the time.

  7. As always Lorrie a beautiful and inspiring post with such wonderful photos. I will definitely be spending more garden and kitchen time along with some doing nothing time as all of these offer time to reflect and to be in the moment rather than all the usuall rushing and planning etc. Maybe we are all supposed to be learning some life lessons from this situation? Thanks for your lovely thought provoking posts keep them coming.

  8. I'm actually okay with staying home. My concern is when I'll be able to travel again. I had planned to visit my boys and mom & brother in the States this summer, but am really beginning to think I may not be going anywhere anytime soon. Thank goodness for gardening. I have two balconies where I'm able to plant and grow. And, of course, there's crochet and cross-stitching and baking and cooking and cleaning and organizing. I never ever run out of things to do. :) Saw your cake on IG. Looks great! Have a good week.

  9. I can’t believe how much time I’m spending in the garden these days. So much to enjoy and do. I know what you mean about the days. Going out volunteering gave a structure to our weeks that has now disappeared.
    Your peony flower looks glorious, a plant I have yet to grow successfully. I’m hoping to get back to baking once flour returns to our shops. Hope your week goes well. B x

  10. I have to consciously think every morning about what day it is!
    My Peony is only just beginning to come out of the ground, so you are a long way ahead. The waiting for those ruffly petals is half of the joy!
    I am in and out of the garden as much as is possible, transplanting tiny seedlings, encouraging plants that are just appearing, and just enjoying things.

  11. Beautiful and interesting cake, lovely flowers
    Violets are are show leaves here in Vermont, the lawn is green, and birds are busy.

  12. Oh yes, the days do run into each other like boxes on the calendar! (I do like that phrase of yours). Time is feeling strange these days, like it's stretched in odds shapes. What happened only yesterday seems like ages ago, and what happened years ago feels just the other day.

    Your Battenburg cake looks so pretty. I'm glad it was delicious, especially after all that work to make it.

    And, I have Emilie's book 'If Teacups Could Talk', given by a friend years ago. It's a lovely book and yours looks a delight too.

    We had our first proper day of Spring yesterday. It was warm, even the breeze, and the snow is very nearly melted. And Rick put out the Peace Rose (she's got lots of leaves already) to take in the sunshine and warmth. She'll be happy to escape her winter roost in the garage.

    Wishing you a beautiful day...
    Brenda xox

  13. Time seems to hang heavily early in the morning but the afternoon passes quickly. I'm going to extend my walks because I think that we are going to be socially distancing for a long time. Every day there are new blooms in the gardens. Your cake looks beautiful.

  14. Time seems to go slowly but I fill my days. Maybe to distract myself from the grim reality. The garden looks quite tidy much better than usual and I feel much more at peace outside tending to the jobs my hands busy and amongst the birds, butterflies and bees.
    I think we will be living quietly for the next few months...with some things altered slightly to keep us all out of harms way.

    Stay safe and enjoy your garden!

  15. Dear Lorrie,
    That is what I needed. A little walk through your garden. I love your sweet photos especially the little violet. Mine also like to scamper about.
    Have you tried beer in a little flat bowl in your strawberry patch? The one must empty the bowl very early in the morning. Try it. You will be amazed how many slugs you will see in the dish.

  16. A wonderful post, Lorrie. It is so true that getting outdoors to work in the garden or clean, or baking--all so therapeutic during this time. And yes the days are running together. Today I ask, "is it only Tuesday?" I've also noticed people aren't staying in touch as much, which isn't good. Must make the effort to keep up our E.Q. Take care.

  17. The sun has made an appearance here at long last and what a difference to our mood. It has been a delight to make a start on the garden and potter about outside. Your battenburg cake looked delicious, I haven't had one in awhile. Take care.

  18. I'll just 😊. Great questions just don't have the oomph to answer. That's about how things are with me these days. I think your cake looks worthy of an award and the painting on the top is so Parisienne Farmgirl.

  19. I want to come and walk around in your garden, because my has only the smallest signs of green poking through the soil. I am so done with this social distancing , but will be patient and do what has to be done.

  20. I’m always having to stop and think through what day it is!

    I have that Emilie Barnes book. She mentored me through her books. I have read that one in a long time, I’ll have to get it out!

  21. Your cake turned out good!

    March seemed to last forever, but April seems to be moving faster.

  22. I'm so envious of your gorgeous blooms, you must be warming up pretty well. I miss my peonies at the lake, we lost all of them when we had some major work on the one area of the house where they grew. Someday I'll add more.

    I was glad to hear you are faring well with the virus (in your comments my last post). How fantastic that you have so few cases! I pray our border opens up, we were all set for a wedding in August and planned to visit Vancouver Island. I was hoping to meet you personally of course. We are playing it by ear to see if my brother in law and fiancee are going to postpone.

    I'll keep you and your husband in my prayers, and your kids and grandchildren as well. It's tough not to see them. We have two new grands that I feel are growing everyday without us there to experience those milestones other than FaceTime. Not a huge deal in light of all the suffering in the world, but heart tugging.

    Be safe and well, Lorrie.❤️


  23. Such beautiful blooms, a joy to see.

    All the best Jan

  24. I love Battenberg Cake. I don't usually go for kitchen gadgets but I do have a special pan to make it. Yours is beautiful.


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