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.

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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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My Garden Chronicle from Winter to Spring 2018

MY GARDEN CHRONICLE FROM WINTER TO SPRING 2018

Spring sprung late this year.   The winter was long, harsh and we were inundated by so much snow it reached my mid-thigh reminding me of the cold and snowy winters during the late 60’s.  I guess it is true, the weather is cyclical and we were certainly deep in the cold and wet cycle.   Channel pathways had to be dug so the feral cats wouldn’t have to dig their own tunnels through the snow drifts.

 

20180208_113321      20180208_113421 20180208_113554     SNOW DAY FEB 8 2018_0017     Snow on artwork Feb 8 2018 a     Snow tree Feb 8 2018 a

The garden usually shows signs of awakening early in March, however, as late as spring was, once the sun warmed the earth nature took the fast track to catch up. Since the beginning of April, there have been amazing spurts of growth and splashes of colour appearing daily.

Spring Runoff 2 a  tulips rising 2

sunflower_0001    Garden April 27 2018_0003

Throughout the year, I celebrate the progression of the garden with little festivals.  In the spring it is  Nanking Cherry and Lilac Blossom Festivals and in the fall it is Apple and Pumpkin Harvest Festivals.   Most years the blossom festivals begin in March with the Scillia and Crocus blossoms and finish early in May with the Apple blossoms, but this year the spring festivals happened all in the same week. Or so it seemed.

20180512_172304     Bee Back May 12 2018_0018 b (2)     bee in flight may 16 2018 b            flowers May 27 2018_0002     front tulips may 20 2018 (2) a     May 6 2018 0004 white crocus a

May 6 2018 0009 Silia a   Nanking Blossoms at sunset May 11 2018_000 a5

The Scillia, Crocus, Tulip, Nanking Cherry, Lilac, Apple Crab, Crab Apple, Pear and the Cherry trees broke out into delicate blossoms all at the same time.  It was a stupendous show of petals and a fragrant feast of fruity scents wafting on the breezes, a pageant showing off nature’s gifts of growth and fertility.

garden after cleanup may 8 2018_0035 (7)   Blossoms and buds May 18 2018_0004 a

Garden growth May 21 to 24 2018_0023    Bee Back May 12 2018_0018 b (1)

bleeding heart May 10 2018 (4) b Chives June 5 2018 a

blossom pagent june 5 2018 (14)       blossom pagent june 5 2018 (24)

Peony Bud 1 June 5 2018 a    Garden Grows June 3 2018_0012

Planting began early May and the garden was starting to show signs shortly after the May long weekend.   The Anemones are now in bloom; their pure white faces following the sun as it travels the sky daily.  Little Cherries and Apples are visible on the trees boding an abundant harvest.

Garden Grows June 3 2018_0009 b    Johnny Jump Up May 22 2018 2 b  June 7 2018_0013

From today until I put the garden to bed I look forward to Peonies, Pumpkin, Potatoes, Herbs, Carrots, Beans, Apples,  Pears, Roses, Poppies, Honeysuckle, Dill and Sunflowers.

Beans May 26 2018 (3)   Pumpkins under finger  Garden Grows June 3 2018_0003 a

As the garden treasures blossom from buds to flowers to fruit to harvest I will continue to be amazed at the magic of how the garden springs to life, grows and develops throughout the year from winter sleep to the cornucopia of the fall.

Stay tuned the garden chronicles will continue.

Cheryle June 11, 2018

 

 

 

PBC – July 2017 – Point of View

PHOTO BLOGGERS CHALLENGE – JULY 2017 – POINT OF VIEW

This month’s challenge is Point of View.  It took me a few days to figure out what that meant for me.  Inspired by    GeoKs June 2017 Photo Blogging Challenge submission of a columbine from behind, I had fun photographing my subjects from underneath, a very different perspective and I believe an interesting “Point of View”.  All but the last photo were taken with my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone.

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From underneath the rose bush, shooting to the sky, I can see the many shades of rose bush green as blue-sky peeks through the branches.

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Since the camera was in “Selfie” mode I had difficulty keeping myself out of the picture.  As is evident with the shot of the Monarda, common name – Bee Balm.

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The ripening raspberries happily hang hidden away beneath the prickly canes.

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This year I grew zucchini in what I call “the Mediterranean Garden” located on the south side of the house. With its’ ruffles and veins, the translucent yellow flower looks so much more delicate when seen from underneath.

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This “underneath” photo was a bonus of pure luck when I stepped outside and just happened to glance up, I was greeted with the graceful flight of a dozen or more Pelicans enjoying the cloudless day.

I want to thank PJ for hosting these challenges.  I am grateful for the stretch outside my comfort zone and the enjoyment and ideas I get from  checking out the offerings from the other members, which you can check out here:    A ‘lil Hoohaa Photo Blogging Challenge – July 2017 – Point of View

Cheryle July 2017

 

SPRING IS HERE

Today, the last day of April finally heralds spring to our small garden.

As usual, we lived through every season this month.

The messengers of spring nudged their way above the ground in the hope the frost is gone and spring is here to stay.   The sun and the warm wind strengthened their roots and stems so they could push their way up out of their covered beds.  The rich rain and the snow blanket nourished and protected the tender leaves as they slowly stretched their tendrils from the soil to the sky.

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The Peony pokes its nose above last fall’s leaves.  It grows straight and tall preparing for the heavy white blooms of July.

Peony a

The tiny fingers of the tender bleeding heart gather sunshine and air. Growing long and flexible for the pink and white hearts that will dangle there.

Bleeding Heart a

The first blooms of the Silia bring hope to those of us eager for our gardens to grow and blossom with the summer.

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The alien eyes of the Rhubarb unfurl its ruby red stem and iconic leaves. The perfect harbinger of spring.

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I know tarts aren’t too far off.

spring baked fresh

In love and light

Cheryle

April 30, 2017

PHOTOBLOGGERS CHALLENGE – MAY 2015 – SPRING

The challenge this month is spring.  Here are my photo interpretations of the month of May.

To begin I will refer you to a previous post a poem:  The Sound of Spring Has Come to My Garden.

https://lightwalker1.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/the-sound-of-spring-has-come-to-my-garden/

Apple blossoms  1  Apple blossoms bloom bring about thoughts of fall fruit and pie

hardening off 2 Hardening off tender plants in preparation for their days in the garden sun

Rhubarb leaves Rhubarb leaves – poisonous, but the fruit is delicious

spring ready for tarts Rhubarb ready for tarts

spring baked fresh The taste of Spring, flavour ready to eat

However you enjoy it,  Spring wakes up our eyes, taste buds and imagination of good things to come.

Cheryle   May 2015

Day 5 – 5 Day Black and White Photo Challenge

Day 5 – 5 Day Black and White Photo Challenge

My friend hurindine608 of “Needle at the Bottom of the Sea” challenged me to post a black and white photo for five days.  This is my fifth and final post for the challenge.

For day 5 of the 5 Day Black and White Photo Challenge I challenge:  Holly of “It’s all a Matter of Perspective”   http://jahangiri.us/2013/holly-jahangiri/    No worries if you are unable to accept.  This is for fun after all.

Orb sharpened

A metal sculpture sits silent under a sifting of snow.

 

Cheryle March 2015

Day 4 – 5 Day Black and White Photo Challenge

Day 4 – 5 Day Black and White Photo Challenge

This is a photo of dual meditation seats.  Meditation with a friend can be more productive than meditating on your own.

meditation seats

The tractor seats were welded onto hand cut springs which were then anchored onto rocks for stability. The meditation seats are springy and are so comfortable. 10,000 farmers can’t be wrong.   In the winter, I sprinkle sunflower seeds on the seats, the squirrels and birds love them.

For day 4 of the 5 Day Black and White Photo challenge I challenge Sarah of Chilly Bella at https://chillybella.wordpress.com/  The criteria is to post a black and white photo for 5 days and then to challenge another blogger to do the same.

There is no pressure if you cannot accept this challenge.  After all it is for fun.

Cheryle March 2105