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

STORY CUBE CHALLENGE #7 – VOYAGES 2 – DUE APRIL 15, 2018

 

A FRIENDLY VISIT

The STARS twinkle against the black of the night as I crane my neck to see the almost invisible PLANE fly overhead.  I track it by the roar of its engines and can just see the light from the cabin shine out the tiny windows. I raise my HAND and give my best friend a final wave as she flies across the country back to her home and family.

Her visit was a whirlwind of adventures. Being apart for more than 20 years we didn’t waste any TIME catching up, we practically melted our credit CARDS. We enjoyed laughter and tears watching live THEATRE at The Pumphouse. Our skin glowed from the BEE pollen facials we treated ourselves to while reminiscing about childhood antics. We ate out every night, except pizza night when we stay in and watched romantic comedies.

Last weekend we kicked off our shoes and left FOOTPRINTS in the snow from the kitchen to the hot tub while we laid back and soaked our aching muscles from our trek around Vulcan.  We didn’t see any ALIENS but had a blast touring the Visitors Centre and the Starship Enterprise replica.

As I watch the plane slip into the night, I know I will remember this visit for many years. I guess it is now my turn to visit her in Halifax.  This trip will be hard to top, but we will do our best next time we get together.

 

Cheryle – April 15, 2018

Story Cube Dice VOYAGES for Story No 7 due April 15 2018

For more Story Cube Challenge posts Visit: A ‘Lil HooHaa Story Cube Challenge #7

 

Photo Blogging Challenge (October 2015): Closeup

Close up – Up Close

I ventured out this month to visit one of my very favourite parks to photograph.  Carburn Park in Southeast Calgary.  It is a quiet gem, normally overlooked by many park enthusiasts.  On a good day, I can see Pelicans, Cormorants, various ducks, woodpeckers, one or two owls and deer.   The Pelicans were late this year, sitting on the Bow in mid-September when their usual visit occurs in late spring or early summer.  I wasn’t able to capture them this time, but I do look forward to next years’ opportunities.

Carburn Park is a popular spot for local dog walkers who enjoy a bit of exercise with their fur babies. There is no off leash area here, due to the abundance of wild life and the way dogs do like a chase whatever runs.  Therefore it is a once or twice around the lagoon before moving onto Sue Higgens’ Dog Park across the river or back home. The dogs appear to be content to wag their tails, scratch the grass, sniff the brush, and the trees that line the pathway. Occasionally they will catch the scent of a deer, squirrel or other park dweller, bark excitedly and try to follow their instincts into the woods. All the time, irritating their walkers who are so encapsulated in their world of walking and raising their heart rates, they don’t even look about to notice the life moving around them.

Often they miss, nature at large, up close and personal, right next to the pathway.  This is the perspective I chose for this months’ Photo Blogging Challenge.

 Nature Up Close and Personal

Crow n Bones

duck up 2

duck down 6

These last two shots were taken on a day when I was without my Nikon. Lucky me,  I had my little Ricoh.

This fat gopher bodes a late and mild winter as she basks in the October sunshine.

Fat Gopher

A young Mule Deer walks so close to the pathway I could touch her, if only she would let me.

Deer 1

Cheryle   October 2015

Blogging U – Photography 101 – Day 3 – Water

BLOGGING U – PHOTOGRAPHY 101 – PHOTO A DAY

DAY 3 – WATER

MARCH 4, 2015

 

Water Day 3_Mar 04 Black n white cropped

Two Faces of Water

 

Cold drop on top of cold drop builds ice up high

A drip drop by drip drop erodes the ice by and by.

 

 

Cheryle March 4, 2014

Blogging U 101 – Photo A Day – Home

Hello Fellow Photo Bloggers!

I am excited to participate in the Blogging U – Photo a Day.  The topic for todays’ assignment is:  Home.

My home is my sanctuary, my place of peace, space filled with love.

My yard has been given over to the birds, squirrels and feral cats.  Each species has their own sanctuary, created especially for them.  Here is a bird house a friend and his kids built over 20 years ago.

Home - A Sanctuary Everyone needs One
Home – A Sanctuary Everyone needs One

First it was occupied by sparrows, then the squirrels moved in.  They chewed the door to make it fit.  That is why it is so large and crooked.  The sparrows still use it, sometimes, but in the winter we can usually see a glint from the eyes of a black squirrel.    This picture was taken from my living room through the front window, using my Nikon D60 – on auto.  The indoor cats are able to see the bird house and have an opportunity to feel like the hunters they are. They cackle to their hearts content from the safety of their own sanctuary, our home and the birds and squirrels are safe from outdoor predators.  Everyone needs a sanctuary.

Cheryle March 2, 2015

Photo Blog Challenge – February 2015 – Winter

Photo Blog Challenge – February 2015 – Winter

Hello Photo Blog Challengers:

This is my first post of the five photos taken this month on the theme Winter.  I hope I figure everything out ok and can visit your photos to enjoy and get some inspiration.  In love and light  Cheryle

Winter 2015 Cat Tracks                 Cat and Bird tracks shadow the snow

Black and scruffy a black feral cat

Monk like she does alms rounds

Silent and unseen unless siting in the sun

Meditating

Generous with gratitude

She gifted us a fresh caught mouse

Winter 2015 Downtown         Winter water silently slips through icy snow

Famous for trout

Fishers cast into the bow

As it meanders through the city

Quadrants north and south divided

Rafters, kayakers, surfer too

Yes, surfers recent since the flood

Enjoy blue refreshment from the summer sun

Winter 2015 Fence 1               Fence links

Repetitive texture

Shows snows

Sensual nature

Winter 2015 Steps 1              Winter a romantic season

Ice clings to the branches beautifully

Canopy the road perfectly

Accenting the wooden stairs

winter 2015 tire tracks              Tire tracks crisp and stark

Sharp against the smooth softness of snow

Assignment 3 – Blogging U 201 – Poetry – Acrostic, Trust, Internal Rhyme

Assignment 3 – Blogging U 201 – Poetry – Acrostic, Trust, Internal Rhyme

I must apologize to my friend followers and those I visit regularly for not popping by or commenting on your posts.  I have been so focused on writing poetry, which I struggle with as if shedding my own skin,  I have not maintained my social graces.  This morning,  so intent on writing,  I let an important appointment slip my mind.   Ooops.

Anyway to get on with the post.  Here is my offering for assignment #3 – Acrostic on Trust with an Internal Rhyme.   The internal rhyme is not as subtle as I would like, but it is there.

Trust in Yourself

 

Touch a match to the torch

Restrain the stain of shadows insane

Undulating in the corners.

Sustain the light of truth

Through the pain of the darkness.

 

Cheryle Feb 19, 2015