Thursday, May 20, 2021

Friday Favourites: Garden Promises and Books

 


May is the month when hope rises high in the human psyche. Capricious spring settles down a bit as she matures into summer. On our Island the grass is greenest now before the heat of summer turns everything brown. My own garden is exploding and next week I'll be pulling up rampant plants to give others some breathing space. 


Peony buds grow fat and round and will soon unfurl into lushly ruffled flowers. They are planted towards the back of the flowerbed and a couple of rose bushes have grown taller and hide them. I fear moving the peonies because they bloom so beautifully now, but I think that I'll be rewarded more by moving them to a spot where they can shine on their own. I've read that peonies are long-lived plants - even up to 100 years old. 


The raised beds in the potager are filling out. I always plant a row of cheerful marigolds at the front of each raised bed (there are three of them), for a spot of bright colour and also because they supposed ward off some vegetable-loving bugs. This is a good year for spinach and radishes and we've eaten lots of salads, and I've sauteed spinach and added it to other dishes, as well. Carrots, Swiss Chard, and beets are thriving. I asked my husband to set up the large trellis. One side will be for pole beans and the other for tomato vines. In the center I planted zucchini and butternut squash. 


While working in the garden yesterday evening, I spotted one ripe strawberry and picked it, then asked my husband to close his eyes and popped it into his mouth. Today there are more red berries and I plan on picking a few more tomorrow. They are very sweet and juicy with a flavour and texture far above anything that is imported from California or Mexico. The raspberries and blueberries are forming fruit, too, and it's always an exciting sight. Little Iris loves blueberries and I'm looking forward to picking them with her. 


You might notice a theme in the book stack. Since travel is limited this year, I decided to travel via books. On our library website I did a search for books with "Paris" in the title. France is the European country I've visited most and I am very fond of Paris. I only wish it were closer than an 11-hour flight. I've read the three books in the center of the stack and loved "Paris Letters" and "A Paris Year." I can't recommend "Seven Letters from Paris" as I found it rather trite. So, two more Paris books to read this weekend. Do you have a favourite holiday destination? 

It's the Victoria Day holiday on Monday - usually a major traveling weekend in Canada. However, this year, travel restrictions mean we all need to stay in our own regions. Our vaccination rate (for first doses) is increasing each day and we're hopeful that we'll have a "normal" summer. We are fortunate to live in a beautiful part of our province and don't have to leave it to enjoy ourselves. I am hoping that we can soon visit my parents across the Strait. 

Enjoy your weekend!



23 comments:

Elizabethd said...

Your strawberries are well ahead of ours, Lorrie. Even the tiny wild ones are only in flower.It is such a joy to see the garden changing almost every day, buds popping up, bees investigating flowers, and vegetables thriving.

Madame La-Bas said...

The flowers are so beautiful in May! I'm wandering about the gardens each and I discover a new bloom. Paris is my favourite destination. I can never have enough of the city! I have a Paris book collection because I find that reading transports me. I haven't read Seven Letters from Paris. Have you read the Cara Black mysteries? Each one takes place in a different arrondissement. I think that you will be able to visit your parents soon.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Your garden is looking great! I loved Paris when we visited 11 years ago too. It is a long flight for sure. We are not planning any overnight trips here this summer, but have plans for a little travel in September.

Latane Barton said...

my favorites... peonies, strawberries and Paris.

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Nothing blossomy to report from the garden here - it's crawling out from under the snow dump we had a few days ago. I lament for the trees just coming into blossom hoping tender petals haven't frozen off. Your Paris pile of books looks so inviting - armchair traveling is the next best thing to doing the thing in person. My most favourite travel destination is England. Closer to home is visiting Vancouver Island, Victoria, particularly. Brought home Kate Quinn's new novel "The Rose Code" yesterday (historical novel about Bletchley Park in WWII and Princess Elizabeth's upcoming royal wedding). A masked customer in the bookstore pointed to the cover as she went by and said to me she'd just finished and really enjoyed it. I looked no further - my decision was made.

I hope you and Tim have a lovely Victoria Day long weekend. We're taking a little picnic and going for a drive in the countryside this afternoon to mark the start of summer season even though it's only about +13C here today. I'm glad I'm not going camping like so many are with their aired and restocked trailers - my idea of camping is a four-star hotel (hehe).

Ta for now.......
Brenda xo

Jenn Jilks said...

Nicely done, gardening! It's great to garden, health for heart and soul!
Our kids, in Vancouver, regale us with your earlier spring. Plus the lack of bugs.
I guess we have to take the good with the bad.

Marie Smith said...

Our peonies are just erupting through the soil. Your plants are weeks ahead of ours. You have a wonderful garden. Enjoy.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lorrie, your garden is wonderful and inspiring. I hope you can move the peony successfully. How sweet of you to surprise your husband with the one ripe strawberry! Not sure I would have had that much self-restraint!

gretchenjoanna said...

I think I would do an Instanbul/Constantinople/Byzantium theme, were I to take on the travel-via-reading project. And I like that idea very much!! But this summer is spoken for, for me. I will make note of the idea for future explorations.

Summer is so wonderful, with all the fresh -- and local! -- fruit. That is the culinary theme, maybe.

kathy b said...

Oh my gosh. How can we be so far apart and our gardens are completely in sync!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Your gardens are much more advanced than ours. My peonies are about 4-6 inches tall, so no flowers for a while. Part of that is as a result of the severe drought we are in. Strawberries picked fresh from the vine are the very best. Enjoy your weekend.

Cheryl said...

Your garden is such a feast for the senses, Lorrie! I think you have a gardener's heart! I love the photo of the peony getting ready to pop. I had never had peonies until we moved to Pineapple House and now I enjoy watching them open each spring. I have a bunch sitting in a crock on the table beside me as I type . . . although they are waning. I'll clip a few more blooms today to replace these. Enjoy your berries! I can imagine little Iris nibbling on those blueberries.

ellen b. said...

We had to move all 6 of our peony plants to different spots in our yard and they are all thriving quite well. How fun to see those red berries. A great idea to travel via books! Happy weekend to you.

Marilyn Miller said...

I hope you can soon visit your parents too. It is such a relief to be fully vaccinated and to hugs a few friends that are too.
Your garden sounds wonderful. The blue in the iris is gorgeous. Oh, strawberries would be a favorite of mine. We have quite a few blueberries coming on now too. I do love this time of year when everything seems to be just lush.

handmade by amalia said...

How nice to see your garden so full of life after its longer winter slumber. I like your idea of travelling through books. My favorite destination is London but I'm sure that Paris inspires more romantic writing. I have The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles on my TBR but have yet to get to it.
Amalia
xo

riitta k said...

Literature is a good way to escape from the everyday and travel via books. Lately I have travelled to Italy and South America via books. The nature is almost at its best right now - your garden looks lovely & lush!

Mereknits said...

I love all of your gorgeous flowers and your stack of wonderful summer reading, enjoy!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

You’re so lucky to have so many wonderful things growing in your garden, Lorrie. I’ll bet little Iris will be popping those blueberries in her sweet little mouth!

Kathleen C said...

I've just discovered your blog from Letting Go of the Bay Leaf. Thank you for sharing your lovely garden with your readers and also your list of books. I follow blogs (nearly all are quilting; I also enjoy nature and travel posts) in a feed, and your blog was listed as a Mosaic Monday post at Angie's blog. I get in my travel by following blogs, even pre-pandemic. I read a lot, from my small local library and ebooks from Overdrive, and your interesting stack caught my eye. I enjoyed Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley; it's a good-feeling story that you may like. Looking forward to your future posts.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Yes we too live near beautiful natural surroundings which makes staying home easier. This is always a blessing but especially so in the year of Covid. Reading blogs and books both help with the travel itch, but I hope though that you will be able to visit your folks soon ... there are no books to make up for that lack. ... Your garden is wonderful. Oddly, I really miss Swiss Chard, which is very hard to find at our Farmer's Markets. (I don't know why because as I remember it was very easy to grow!).

Margie said...

Happy Victoria Day, Lorrie!

I've always enjoyed seeing your garden. We're still under stay-at-home orders here, so my long weekend was pretty low-key.

I also have peonies in my garden, so good to know about their 100-year longevity!

My inner math nerd is thrilled to see the steep slope of our vaccination rate. Go, Canada, Go!

Deanna Rabe said...

Strawberries grown to ship across the country and around the world have no flavor! Locally grown is where all the good berries are, and I love having some in a big pot on my deck and so nearby with local produce stands.

With your boat, you can take little trips away regularly!

Catherine said...

We also had our first strawberries this weekend. The weather don’t allow us to work in the garden. Rain,rain all day for about one month.
My son when to university in Paris and I was really scared by the traffic when I went there! It’s 150 km from our home.

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