Friday, May 31, 2013

Plant Sale

I don't buy many plants these days - I'm kept busy dividing the perennials I already have in my garden.

And I no longer plant veggies, as a rule. I've concluded that the meager crops I get aren't worth the work. (I like to blame the rabbits and the squirrels!)

But I like to support neighborhood fundraiser plant sales, like this one for the Nepean Horticultural Society.

Which is where I purchased this heritage Cherokee purple tomato plant! Now I'm not sure where to plant it... Indoors? Or out? Purple tomatoes would be an interesting addition to my summer salads. (But squirrels would probably eat them, too...)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cedar Hedge

Our neighborhood has lots of cedar hedges. Many are regularly trimmed, but others are left to grow wild.

Even those that are cut regularly - usually once or twice a season - take up more and more space every year.

One neighbor trimmed his old hedge back a year or so ago ... and it hasn't filled in yet! Seeing how hard Terry works to maintain the hedges to keep them from overtaking the yard, I'm willing to get rid of them all! But recently driving through the neighborhood, I came across this hedge!

How did they manage to cut it? How often do they cut it?

If more looked like that, I could become a fan of cedar hedges again!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New Sewing Space

All winter long I have been sewing...

... and doing art on the dining room table.

But Terry was getting tired of seeing piles of fabric and sewing supplies everywhere! (We often had to clear off the table just to eat!)

So I took the drastic step of moving my sewing things upstairs to a sunny unused bedroom.

We gave away the bed... and it has become my new sewing space.

I haven't tried sewing it it yet! But if it doesn't work out this summer, come fall I'll move back into the dining room again!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fabric Memories

Scrap quilts bring back fabric memories:

Scraps of blue and grey striped fabric in this quilt were left over from a long-sleeved, collarless shirt my mother made me when I was in high school.

My mother had a favorite blouse made of this blue, green and burgundy cloth.


She wore it for years...

The same two fabrics are appear in a quilted jacket my mother made for herself at least 20 years ago...

She still wears when going out on warm spring days. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Neighborhood Changes

One of our neighbors is renovating, adding more rooms to his house.


Hedges on both sides of his property have been removed in order to accommodate a larger building.

For the first time in the thirty-plus years we've lived in this house, I can see into the back yards of both my next-door neighbor and the neighbor on the other side of him!

Then came the digging for footings and a new foundation...

A messy job on a rainy day!

It brought back memories of our reno 12 years ago.

Major renovations like this can be very stressful to live through. I'm glad it's them this time - not us!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Coffee... and Psalms

I smiled when I read Dorothy Day's description of her early morning: "My strength returns to me... with my cup of coffee and my reading of the psalms."*

An apt description of my early morning as well!

*(Quote found in a book I am re-reading, The Quotidian Mysteries, page 25)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Farmers Market Day

Saturdays often finds us driving to one farmers market or another, as we did last week.

At this time of year, there are few fresh vegetables - but bedding plants, meat, honey and baked goods abound.

This leaves more time to stop at booths where they sell quilting, pottery and jewelry.

... And to stop and meet some of the animals who are also there!

Why does everything seem healthier when it's bought at a FARMERS market?!

Is it because everything sold has to be produced by the seller?! I'm not sure, but we always end up buying something!

Friday, May 24, 2013


The past few weeks have been dandelion season. We live near an open field with millions of them!

As a child, I loved dandelions. I would make bouquets of them to give to my mother - and when they turned white, blow the seeds into the air. As an adult, I never gave much thought to dandelions... until I had a garden. Then I started to hate them! They plant themselves in every bare spot of ground.

Some of my neighbors use dandelion greens as food - they come back from the field with their arms laden with them. I've also read that dandelions were first brought to North America on the Mayflower - on purpose, for their medicinal properties. But I still don't like to see them in my yard!

Which is why I've been spending hours trying to root them out of the ground with my wonderful dandelion remover. (We have so many dandelions that I wore out my first one last year - and I'm on my second!)

With all the rain we've been having, the soil is very soft - so they come out easily, often roots and all.

If I were a true botanical artist, I would probably stop digging and start drawing - especially when I see a marvelous specimen like this.

But I must be a gardener foremost, because I simply toss them onto my (growing) compost heap instead!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Yard Work

A few weeks ago, my neighbor started to tear down his garage.

He kept all the good bricks, but is throwing out the chipped ones...

... so I plan to incorporate them into my garden! (I hate to see anything go to waste!)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Quilt With a Purpose

My neighbor came over to show me a quilt that had been given to her daughter.

It's a labor of love - a gift from a group of quilters who want to comfort cancer patients. 

Its cheerful design and colors are meant to warm her as she goes through chemo-therapy...

It's beautiful quilt with a loving purpose.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Hawk is Back!

A few years ago, a hawk had a nest in a tall tree across the street. One day while walking on the street, I saw him (or her) swoop down and snatch a robin in mid-flight. I could hardly believe my eyes!

For the past few years, I've looked for the hawk, but didn't see it. But a few days ago, it swooped down and landed on our telephone line. I wonder what it was eying! It could be an interesting summer!

(Watch out little squirrels!)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Raccoons on Mont Royal

On our recent trip to Montreal, we drove to the top of Mount Royal...

... the once-volcanic mountain that Montreal is built on.

We went for the view...

... a spectacular panorama of much of the city.

We also encountered some of the raccoons who live in this wooded park...

They tamely wandered around, hoping for a hand-out of food.

None of them looked deprived!

I suspect they are regularly fed by visitors who come up for a picnic!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Joys of Silence

One of the things I love about this time of year is being able to sleep with windows open. And when I get up, I open a few doors in the early morning, for fresh cool air... and the sound of birds singing.

Before the sounds of traffic begin to hum in the background, I love to sit with my cup of coffee and listen to the sounds of nature around me: Geese flying overhead, birds chirping... (even when their songs wake me up!)

I think of all this when I read these words by Ben Okri:

"I think we need more
of the wordless
in our lives.
We need more stillness,
more of a sense of wonder,
a feeling for the mystery of life."

(By Ben Okri, quoted in Lost in Wonder, p. 136)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Just Having Fun!

Most days they are responsible adults... who would be embarrassed if their mother suddenly started skipping down the street! But when they get together - as they did at a recent family reunion in Montreal - they suddenly transform into three impish kids!

We were quietly walking down the street and passed a fountain. Suddenly, at the word PARKOUR, the antics began!

To understand them, I had to turn to this YouTube Video of professional PARKOUR...

(Fortunately they were leaping off ledges, not buildings!)

The antics must be contagious!

I suspect that before long Natalie (my soon-to-be daughter-in-law) will be just like them!

Friday, May 17, 2013

What's in Bloom?

It's only mid-May - yet the first wave of flowers has disappeared from my garden. The hyacinths, tulipa tarda, scilla, and hellebore are gone.

There are still a few late blooming tulips in our back yard.

I probably planted them deeper into the ground - to  keep them from being eaten by squirrels!

Now they risk being hidden by other plants, like this lonely white tulip!

There are also a few interesting tulips - with variegated colors - that I bought last year at Algonquin College's spring garden show. (I missed it this year!)

I must have trimmed my snow fountain cherry tree at the wrong time last year - it hasn't blossomed! It's the tree in the center of my front garden bed in the picture on top. I think I trimmed it in fall - and probably cut off all the budding branches! (Lesson learned!)

The bleeding heart is blooming.

The Canada anemone flowers are out.

I divided the lamium last year - and now I have three big clumps. I think I'll plant a clump under the pine trees to see how they tolerate the acidity there.

The lovely blue forget-me-nots are also in their prime.

This cluster of yellow flowers, a plant called Euphorbia, is in bloom.

Some wild strawberries have crept into my flower bed - I'll let them stay!

I wonder if these flowers (hidden  under the green and white leaves) are periwinkle...  Every day there are new surprises!