Wednesday, 21 June 2017

backyard flora

Hi again, and welcome back!
It's been the most incredible spring in my memory. Maybe it's enhanced because I'm so grateful-
or maybe it has fed into my being so grateful.

I call it spring because we're having a cool, somewhat overcast day, a blessing after some terribly hot weather. A few lovely days of rain has cleared that up and the plants and birds are thriving.
In fact, it's SUMMER! As of today!

Last night I made a zucchini lasagna.
I was surprised when I went into this Spanish garlic to find that this was one clove!

As the lasagna baked, I stepped out onto the deck to refresh myself from all the chopping and layering of zucchini, ricotta cheese, new leaves of kale and chard, tomato sauce and garlic of course.
This shot doesn't do credit to the enormity of our hydrangea stand.

Stepping off the deck, the purple sage blossoms are out-purpling the chive blossoms.
We don't eat enough of anything to worry about it going to seed, and the beauty is so worth letting the herbs go to flower.

the sage with the white thyme flowers


The Hayfield
looking south

Pink Lupins

a zillion wild rose buds on the giant bush out back of the cabin

new leaves on the scrub tree behind the cabin

a pink wild rose bud about to bloom in the side hedge

purple lupins at the corner of Wally's trellis filled vegetable garden

the poppies in different stages of bloom

with seed heads past bloom and buds about to open

poppy petals after the rain

oregano in the bottom left corner, dill that seeded itself amidst the tomato cages in the middle

21 baby peaches in this picture alone!

neither yarrow nor Queen Anne's Lace, I have yet to figure out what the flowers that bloom from this ground cover are called. They run along the fence line between us and our neighbours.

Up close they appear to have a pink centre, not unlike the purple centre of a Queen Anne's Lace

Along the composter, Creeping Charlie makes a charming appearance.

Inside the composter, more charm from the purple clematis that have worked their way in towards the sunlight.

The fungus on the Ninebark has been outshone by its beautiful blooms this year.

I don't remember them from last year.
Maybe it's that gratitude that is making me see things.


Across the pathway from the Ninebark we have a bevy of Pinks blooming.

On the weekend, Wally planted a new shade garden along the far side of our little front lawn to compliment the hostas he planted along the front porch almost 2 months ago.

Reluctant to return to my duties, I wander along the back of the garage to take this shot of the little Harelson apple tree that is doing tremendously well on the hill overlooking the yard,
Forget-Me-Not Cabin as a backdrop.

Behind me, Wally replanted the sprawling Goji Berry Bush last fall (which he pruned back severely)
and made a little homemade trellis for it til we find something nicer (though it has its charm)

Suddenly a most spectacular copper and black butterfly went fluttering by and try as I might, my camera could not catch an exposure of it in this low light.
Instead I got this chance photo of some grass budding.  Well, why not?  Almost ethereal in its beauty no matter its ubiquitous invisibility, this is what I mean about "something from nothing" and the eyes to see it with. Gratitude incarnate.  If we were that much more aware of the inherent beauty in everyday life, what a different world it would be.

Happy Summer Solstice dear World

Sunday, 18 June 2017

sunday birdies

Good Sunday Morning. Our dreary sky has turned sunny since taking these photos.
Yet it's so much fun, in the dreariness, to wake up to these birds.

the Robin on the chimney

like a sentry

a robin run to the other side

on the cabin eave overlooking the missing shed

always alert

checking the sky

a robin head tilt

a robin stretch

Then I saw two other robins land in the grass below

one following the other like a baby wanting to be fed

Then the follower turned and seemed to be quite like an adult

a female perhaps

In the little Harelson apple tree this teeny goldfinch

at least it looks like a goldfinch

but it seems so much smaller than the goldfinches I was familiar with in Muskoka

about the size of an apple leaf

that's small!
The American Goldfinch is listed as "small" at 11–14 cm (4.3–5.5 in) long
which I guess makes sense when the tail is included,
but that flitting bit of yellow in the back yard seems so wee

This is one of a breeding pair that is nesting in our back hedge
I'm so happy that they are eating bugs in our apple tree

Muji in repose
Wally is planting some shade plants on the front lawn,
and I will carry on stripping wallpaper in the "new" studio.

Thanks for dropping in. It's sweet to share these days with you.


Friday, 16 June 2017

friday roundup

It's late on a Friday afternoon as I write this, having gathered up some pictures to share.

I had a morning cuddle with Babu.  He loves his ears rubbed, his tail pulled,

loving love-

a funny boy.

It's been a changeable week for weather, and today is much the same, this morning's sky quite moody 

a view past where the old shed once stood

the grape vines on Wally's jerry-rigged trellises under the laundry line

There is a tree or three above the lilacs that is/are blooming now

with something like a cherry leaf; I haven't a clue what it is (as it mixes in with the maples)

The lupin field is still a source of wonder for me.

looking ESE

I marvel at its beauty.

There are a few pink ones.

Their rarity makes them more special somehow

their blossoms up close

The honeysuckle is starting to bloom.

Mixed in with our lilac and maple perimeter are wild roses,
budding profusely from a serious pruning last fall

You can just see a pink petal beginning to show in the one on the far right

As I wander up the perimeter of our property, I come to where Wally has placed the stash of plants we've found on sale- out of the heat of the sun until they're planted.

This one is identified as a pincushion, looking very much like the centre of an Echinacea to me

This sweetie pie is an anemone

We didn't know it is considered ground cover

its exquisite centre

As I turn, I come to the grapevine

with a stem of grapes, still buoyant under its light load

though it will soon become so heavy that it must hang

the purple lupin plant that Wally left on one corner of the vegetable gardern, looking toward a hill full of hawkweed, or as we've always called it, Indian Paintbrush

looking toward the garden with Wally's various bean and pea trellises

Lupin flowerets

Lower Lupin Flowerets about to go to seed

In the left corner of the vegetable garden, the poppy is happily ensconced, though the first bloom couldn't take the extremes in heat, wind and rain we had earlier this week;
it is just a knob of seedhead now (in the upper right).

These two poppies look well, with more buds coming along.

On the far side of the vegetable garden, the baby peaches are coming in

They look strong

As I turn the kale is closest to me with the baby mesclun lettuces all ready to be used

Walking back to the house the huge hydrangea stand

with a myriad of buds.

There will be so many of these summer snowballs soon

Leaving the mass of hydrangea (at the top of this picture) I wander over to the middle garden
where Wally has planted his new Queen Elizabeth rose in the middle. He has wanted a rose for so long and we found this beauty on sale because of wind damage earlier in the week.

A fungus is growing on the old ash stump (that stands to the right of the last shot)
Forget-me-nots continue to bloom.

The allium are on their way out leaving a beautiful seed head,
with nubs similar to the baby grapes that I showed you earlier.

Two flies on an allium stem are engaged in fly love.

I'm thinking that our mould infested Ninebark shrub has passed on its ailment to its flower on the left.

The hosta shade garden along the side of garage with some unknown exotics

the old ash beyond the Japanese Maple

the Echinacea on the left with forget-me-nots beside it, the lavender below, in the composter garden

The Sage flowers have bloomed, like mini orchids.

The thyme flowers are beautiful too.

thyme, up close and personal

This fly let me get awfully close as it perched on the cement sheep sculpture

As I backed away, you can still see it there, but the point is that Wally has been planting up some flower pots for me and set out these sculptures, the dog being one I made about 15 years ago that cracked in the firing as it was made in a friend's studio from scrap clay that didn't mix well.

I've finally come inside to work on these photos, and this is how I get greeted.
Muji had been watching me the whole time from the back window, as is his wont.
He gets off his perch on the windowsill and is over to the side door before I make it into the house.

I hope you enjoyed this walk through the garden with me.
I think I may have some more to share with you by Monday.
til then...

peace in our hearts,
accepting what we cannot change,
changing what we can

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