GARDEN WONDERINGS

Watching a garden grow can be an enlightening pastime.  All the lessons of life are available and explained to you if you pay attention.

Life moves at its own pace.  Life in the garden is directed by Mother Nature, assisted by the loving gardener.  Every year is different, the timing, the growth, the harvest and of course the weather.  Some years the tiniest signs of growth show early. Other years, like this year, signs of life don’t appear until late in the calendar season. Last year at this time we were harvesting small pumpkins.  This year they are just starting to swell. The gardener has to be patient and eagerly watch for signs of the garden awakening and enjoy the abundance of Mother Nature in her own time.

July 14 2019 Baby Squash 1 a

Persistence leads to success: If you don’t succeed the first time, keep trying.  Don’t give up through your mistakes you learn the lessons which will springboard you to future successes.

While the cool weather and rain dampened my enthusiasm for being outside digging in the dirt, I waited with anticipation for the tender plants to poke up and greet me with their fresh green leaves and stalks.

I am usually luckless when it comes to starting plants from seed, but this year I pushed through my past frustrations and planted a whole variety of seeds, some favourites, some previously untried and some of the ever frustrating cucumbers. Cucumbers don’t grow for me even when I buy plants from a gardening centre.  However, not only did the seeds sprout, they are struggling to survive. I feel a little extra luck was sprinkled on my seeds.

Patty Pans have been hit and miss for me. I spotted these unusual scalloped squashes at a Farmer’s market a few years ago and the following year planted some. When they matured I enjoyed a few of these small sweet squashes fried in butter. The next year they didn’t fare well, and last year I couldn’t find the seeds, anywhere. Believe me, I looked. I kept looking in every seed display I came across and finally, I stumbled upon on a couple of varieties.  I purchased 5 or 6 packages, planted them in three spots, two are producing lovely little treats. Just in case the seeds are scarce again, I saved a couple packages for next year.

Build on Past Successes:  Every year the Mediterranean garden, which is situated on the south side of the house and is made up of a complement of purchased storage bins, produces more than enough tomatoes and basil for all the tomato sandwiches, sauce and basil vinaigrette dressing to satisfy my family for the whole summer. This year I added onions, cilantro, peppers and summer savoury to the growing garden.

I went on a bean adventure last year and experimented with bush and pole beans.  It was exciting to watch the vines twine, the bright flowers, and the purple, yellow, and green beans grow.

I couldn’t wait to plant more this year. Once the weather warmed up I direct sowed double what I did last year.

Mr. ‘n’ Mrs. Rabbit happily watch over the bean and squash garden.

Be open to inspiration, it can come from unexpected places. A little inspiration can unleash your creativity and expand your repertoire of recipes, spices and favourite plants to grow.  A good friend gifted me a “Herbes de Provence” blend she picked up during a summer holiday in France. The savoury flavour inspired me to add Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary and Sage to the Mediterranean Garden.

July 17 2019 Sage Savory n Cilantro a.jpg

Not all of the herbs planted came up, but I am confident the blend I make will be delicious.

Adventure builds confidence:  One of the planting challenges I accepted this year was to start Echinacea from seed. Over the years my store-bought Purple Cone Flower has diminished, partly due to winter kill and I suspect over-zealous weeding. (oops!).

I have been told that Echinacea is difficult to grow from seed and to transplant.

Hoping to avoid transplant shock to the delicate “plantlings”, I picked up some compostable soup bowls as starter pots.  When the Echinacea was old enough and hardened off I plopped the whole kit-n-caboodle directly into the garden.

They are doing so well I am thinking of starter more perennial flowers from seed next year.

Weed, weed and weed some more. Take stock and clear out what is no longer needed. Cull the weeds that are sucking the life out of your plants, the plants that are overgrown, and the one that no longer serves the garden as a whole.

This may mean splitting and separating some of your favourite perennials and moving them to an open spot that has more space or giving them away.  The harmful or diseased plants and weeds need to be pulled and discarded.  A happy garden needs room to grow and if crowded it will not flourish and thrive.

Reap the Rewards of Helping Out:  Pollinating, trees, plants, and flowers falls under the domain of the Bees but sometimes they can’t get to every flower.

July 14 2019 Squash n Bee 1 a

My husband helps out with a tiny painters brush.  He gently takes the pollen from one flower or from one plant and shares it with the others.  It makes him feel good to know he has helped out the bees and his assistance can mean the difference between enjoying zucchini for dinner

or watching the young fruit turn yellow and wither on the vine.

Have fun:  Remember whimsy and fun can provide solace when the days are dark. For a splash of colour and just plain fun, I planted Nasturtiums and Cosmos. Their colourful flowers will brighten up any rainy day.

Mother Nature can teach us many of life’s lessons if we take the time to sit quietly in our gardens or by a window with our houseplants.  See what you can learn from the cycle of life reflected in the growing garden.

 

Cheryle – July 20, 2019

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Good Grief

Another treasure from my friend Shannon McFadden – Global Grandma. Check out her blog. https://shannonmcfaddensblog.com

Shannon Mcfadden - Global Grandma

There are as many ways to experience grief as there are human beings on this planet. Grief is a very visceral unique awful feeling, experienced with loss. The loss could be a person place or thing. Where there’s change is the possibility of feeling loss and grief.  Kubler-Ross defined 4 predictable stages to the grieving process; shock, denial, bargaining, and anger.  One can move quickly through each stage or slowly or stay stuck in any one stage indefinitely.

At work there are time limits set for how long you are given off work.   Anywhere from a day to a whopping 5 days to grieve a loved ones passing. Unfortunately people have used this as an unrealistic gauge of how long is an acceptable time to grieve. Fortunately research doesn’t support this silliness.  Studies have shown it takes time to regain our stride in life after a loss.  The greater the loss…

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The Buck Stops Here

Written by my friend Shannon McFadden – Global Grandma

Shannon Mcfadden - Global Grandma

I don’t remember when I shut down. It must have been at a very young age, 3 years old maybe. What I mean by shut down is close my heart so I didn’t feel. I didn’t want to feel the pain of my mother’s hostility. Her anger. So I stopped shining my light. I stopped loving. I stopped feeling anything except a deep anger. It came out in all my interactions. I had to really work at being nice. Being nice was acceptable. The thing is, when nice is covering up anger, it comes out as mean sarcasm. And I was very sarcastic and mean at times. Especially when I felt hurt. I realize by shutting down, I didn’t effectively shield myself from the pain of the outside world, I only stopped giving my light. I stopped experiencing the world as a fun and joyful place. In the end I…

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I Submitted an article and I was accepted

I submitted an article to Elephant Journal, they accepted it and published it!

Check out my article in Elephant Journal on how I changed my life by attending a Willpower Institute meditation course.  Click on the “blue meditation course link” to automatically be taken there.

Elephant Journal is an excellent magazine.   A wonderful person edited my submission.  They made it sing and even added a perfect image to go with the article.   The process was awesome.

If you are asked to sign up or create an account you should be able to close the box and continue reading. I have a free account which allows me to read a certain number of articles a day without having to purchase a subscription.

I hope you enjoy it.

Cheryle August 20 2018

 

Join In The Fun! Join In The July 2018 Tea Party!

A wonderful idea in community engagement. Stop by for a sip of tea and mingle with all the interesting tea party bloggers. In love and light Cheryle

The Little Mermaid

“What better way to suggest friendliness – and to create it – than with a cup of tea?” -J. Grayson Luttrell

Aloha, charming WordPressers!

I’m delighted to announce you that The Little Mermaid is hosting her first ever monthly tea party on her website. What? A tea party? On WordPress? When? How? For whom? Alright..alright…take it easy. I’m coming on to your questions.

Classically, a ‘tea party’ makes one think of superiorly elegant and elaborate affairs of the Victorian times. It also conjures up images of fluffy scones, flavoursome muffins, Devonshire Cream and dainty sandwiches served on fine silver or deluxe bone china. Still, the elemental part of a tea party remains the affable exchange of dialogue among the invitees. Almost indistinguishably, the tea party that I am organizing is an online social event hosted in honour of bloggers, that is US! Blogging is most enjoyable when it is done…

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STORY CUBE CHALLENGE 11 – MIXED BAG 2 – DUE JUNE 24, 2018   – The Theft

The Theft

Story Cube Dice 11 Misc Cubes 2 due June 24 2018

Snick, the sound barely audible above my hoarse breathing.  I slide the CREDIT CARD between the sticker plate and the faceplate pushing the latch bolt back into the latch unit releasing the door.

Quickly I glance down the corridor, first to the right then to the left.  The view hasn’t changed any, three doors, a kid’s plastic PARACHUTE TOY lying beside a potted plant on a table, and the elevator.

With a gentle push, the door slowly swings open. I step inside, close the door and stare into the darkness.

Kaboom! The thunder-crack shakes the building.  The storm must be right overhead. LIGHTENING illuminates the room, for an instant like a SHOOTING STAR flashing before my eyes.   I freeze and look toward the closed bedroom door, waiting to see a sliver of light shine out from inside telling me that someone is awake and getting up.

Nothing moves.  I release my held breath and relax, a little.

OK, I start silently talking to myself, like I have a SPEECH BUBBLE above my head.  It’s in the carved wooden box, on the 3rd shelf of the bookcase to the left of the living room doorway, straight ahead.

I am so nervous my feet are sweating and I leave moist FOOTPRINTS behind me.

Standing in front of the cabinet I reach out and touch the box.  I feel the carving of the SCARAB with my fingers as I lift the lid. I pat around inside the box exploring for the rounded edges of the HONEY BEE figurine.  I make contact; the gold is smooth and cool to the touch. Ouch!  I prick my finger on the stinger.  Serves me right for taking it this way, I could have just asked for it.  I am sure she would have given it to me gladly.  But no, I want to make her wonder, to think, how long was it been missing, when was the last time she saw it.  Did she lose it or did someone take it?  I wanted to leave her wondering what happened to it.

Resetting the lid I turn around.  Smiling I retrace my footsteps; quietly close the door behind me.  Whoosh. As the elevator doors close, I can practically see the HAPPY FACE floating above my head.

Cheryle – June 25, 2018