Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Mid-week Musings


Outside my window today puffy clouds are sailing across the the blue sky, signaling a rainy front moving in from the Pacific. We've had a dry spring, and rain will dampen the forests and prevent fires, so I won't complain.  

A big vase full of deep pink, white, and pale pink peonies graces the dining room table. They have such elegant and extravagant ruffles and a delicate scent. I have a dilemma in my garden, though. The peonies are in the back of a wide bed, with roses in front of them. I cut the roses way back in the dormant season and think, "yes, I'll be able to see the peonies before the roses bloom." The roses, however, grow at such tremendous speed that they hide most of the peonies. I've decided to move the peonies and have written it on my calendar for September or October. I have an idea to create another bed for them, but I'll have to speak with my hard-scaping gardener (aka Tim) about it. 

As the peonies lose their petals the roses are coming into glorious bloom. The top photo is of Boscobel - named for Boscobel House in the UK where King Charles II hid in an oak tree during the English Civil War in 1651. It's such a beautiful colour with a lovely fragrance. 

Just above are Winchester Cathedral buds. This is a pretty rose, with a delicate fragrance, but the blooms are fragile and don't hold up to cutting very well. My other white rose, Bolero, is much more robust, with a stronger fragrance. 

In a corner of the garden we installed a bed for a cutting garden. I say we, but it's Tim who did the work. I'm sure he groans inwardly when he hears, "I have an idea." For this year I've planted foxgloves, which I hope will reseed themselves, cosmos, sweet peas, zinnias, dahlias, and delphiniums. Temperatures have been below seasonal this week and everything is emerging slowly. 

My mother told me that her mother, who died before I was born, used to go out into the fields where foxgloves grow in the wild and collect the leaves. She would dry them, place them in paper bags, and send them off to a pharmaceutical company where they would be used to produce heart medication. The Latin name of foxglove digitalis purpurea is a key to the drug name - digitalis. 

Over the weekend we held an outdoor party for these two little girls. Iris is watching how Sadie blows out her candles and she was able to do the same with hers. We also hosted two indoor get togethers with individual families, so now we've had all three of our children over inside! It feels so good to be getting back to normal. 

The party was held at our eldest daughter's home. She has a beautiful Lady of Shallot rose bush that is loaded with blooms just now. It was planted in memory of 4 little ones lost to my daughter and her husband, and when I see it, I take a moment to remember them. 

This lantern collects light all day and then, as darkness falls, begins to glow. It's pretty to see the soft light on the patio as I walk by the windows late in the evening. Days are still lengthening and I love the energy the light gives me. 

I spent yesterday in the garden, and today I'll be doing some kitchen tasks. We roasted a whole salmon on the grill over the weekend and there are plenty of leftovers, so I'm making a salmon and spinach quiche for dinner, along with a big salad of lettuce and radishes from the garden. The cookie jar is almost empty so I'll fill that with something yet to be decided upon. 

Wishing you all a most lovely day!


  1. What a lovely time of year! Peony time is such a short time. It's so nice that we can see a few more people. I visited my housebound
    friend on Sunday. Her fully vaccinated sister is caring for her. I felt quite comfortable and I'm getting my jab next week. Did you make the girls' party hats? They are very cute. You must be enjoying your first June of retirement.

  2. Your flowers are beautiful. I am so glad you are able to be with your family now!

  3. Sounds like your days are good at the moment. I share your problem of plants growing to the wrong size. I have some aquilegias that I didn’t realise would grow so tall and they are in front of everything! How poignant to have a rose for remembrance. Those girls won’t be forgotten I’m sure. B x

  4. Love the birthday hats! Glad that the granddaughters had a fun birthday celebration. Let's hope this will be the last pandemic-style party.

    My mom is thinking of taking some of my peonies to her garden so I'm curious to see how moving your peonies go...

  5. Your flower needs must be so beautiful. Roses in any color are my favourites.

  6. You made me smile in mentioning how “I have an idea” to Tim! You have a good hubby, as did I, Lorrie. The little girls look quite festive in their party hats. Also, thank you for the story about the foxglove leaves and the medication.... I never knew. Enjoy that lovely quiche and your beautiful garden.

  7. Those losses as miscarriages, or later losses are so difficult to discuss with others. I admire their rose dedication to them! so beautiful.
    Fox gloves are awesome flowers.
    I'm beginning to press flowers so I am really evaluating all the flowers on everyone's blogs! Thanks

  8. I do like the birthday hats, so pleased you were able to have some fun birthday celebrations with family.

    All the best Jan

  9. Love the birthday crowns. How very special to be able to host your family units in your home again. How very hard to lose 4 little ones. Fitting to remember them with a blooming plant.
    The story of your grandmother gathering leaves to send off to make medicine is fascinating. Hope the rest of your week goes well and that cookie jar is filled!

  10. The Lady of Shallot rose is very lovely. Planting it in remembrance of lost little ones is a sweet idea. Foxgloves are so pretty and usually happily self-seed so I think you'll find yours will too.

  11. I can't imagine losing four precious babies! I know each one is remembered even when you never get to know them. That birthday candle blowing photo is precious! So good to celebrate!

  12. I also have foxgloves in the garden I think the birds brought them.
    The peonies here are over. The weather went from winter to summer, we did not have any spring and the roses are already in full bloom.
    I love you granddaughters crowns so cute!
    I hope they had a nice Birthday!

  13. What a precious photo that is of Iris learning how to blow out her candles from her older cousin Sadie.
    The beautiful Lady of Shallot rose is a very poignant reminder of sad loss.
    Don't worry if your peonies appear to be slow in gathering their strength again once they have been moved as they usually take 2/3 years to reestablish themselves.

  14. It's good to have a semblance of the new normal.

  15. There is something so very special about a flower that holds a memory of someone, and that rose is so beautiufl.

  16. As I read about the rose bush planted in memory of four little ones, my heart skipped a beat. Always loved . . . always remembered . . .

    I'm sure it was a lovely celebration for your two birthday girls, and I can imagine the smiles all around as Iris blew out her candle!

  17. Your garden is lovely! I’m wanting to get some delphinium, I used to have it in my garden at our old house. I’ve been reminded recently of how lovely it is.

    Your roses and your daughter’s rose are lovely. Theirs is a beautiful reminder of those babies.

  18. Lorrie - all of your flower photos are lovely, but I must admit to being partial to the foxglove - such a unique and delicate plant with the spires that reach to the sky. So sorry to hear of the lost little ones ... I think it is a wonderful approach to plant something in remembrance. Glad life is getting back to normal, especially when it means spending time with grands!!!

  19. Such a wonderful time of year with beautiful flowers and harvest from the garden. I am thrilled that you have been able to get together with family at last and that entertaining inside is now possible, it makes such a difference. Lovely photos.

  20. Such cute little girls! Yes it feels so wonderful to meet family & friends for such a long while. We celebrated the student exam of my grandson, lovely. That peachy rose looks splendid and even more having such a touching history. Finland has bathed in sun and I have enjoyed to the fullest. Warm greetings.

  21. Gardening takes work that never ends, and that is one of the joys of being outdoors.
    Lanterns do have a comfort glow.

  22. What incredible memories to share and brand new memories to include with all of them. Love your beautiful garden and those two gorgeous birthday girls.

  23. Glad you could have some family times over the weekend...and celebrate with your grands. Love that Lady of Shallot rose!


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