Monday, June 29, 2015

When the rain is warm and soft

We finally had relief from the heat wave today. The morning started with a crack of thunder amid some odd curling clouds, and then settled into a slow, light, warm rain--much needed, I must add. 

A little rain has never stopped a girl from enjoying her garden. So, of course, after my son went to sleep this evening I wandered out amid the rain drops to enjoy the roses.

There is something about the first flush of roses that melts me. It's not the same as the first flash of bulbs in the spring. No, this is deeper, and a bit soul-stirring. Their beauty moves me. They are so beautiful that surely they are a gift. I have four bushes along the front walk so that passersby can enjoy them as well.

However, the ones in the back garden are all mine. Each flower is fleeting and I deadhead eagerly because I never want them to end. But then each year June comes and again they return, flushed and as beautiful as ever.They must sleep some kind of immortal sleep. If only winter were so kind to me.

This year I bought a long-coveted Claire Austin rose. I know it won't last here. I know it is only visiting. But we only live once and I had to have her, even for a while. Tonight, in the rain, was her first flower. I am smitten. Agog. Do, I have it bad? Yes, I don't even pretend to be sensible in the garden this time of year. I am rose drunk. Roses have the power to tap directly into whatever spirit it is that compels us to become gardeners in the first place.

Just to prove that roses aren't the only thing I noticed out there, I also made a point of admiring my potted Nikko hydrangeas, another fleeting visitor. They are the party girls, and I have them stationed at all the social points in my gardens....the front entrance, the deck, and the patio. They are the extroverts and put my guests at ease. But when the guests are gone and I sit in the twilight, it is the roses that sing to me.

You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery (The Little Prince)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

When Night Shimmers

"If a June night could talk, it would probably boast that it invented romance.”~Bern Williams

it's that time of year, here at latitude 53, as we approach the shortest night of the year, when it doesn't really get completely dark at night. I find that in June I barely sleep.

I think I just don't want to miss anything--the birdsong, the lilac perfume on the air, the soft, fresh green of new summer. Because our back garden is private, I like to sneak out in my pyjamas and soak it in--dozing in my lounger with a blanket.

June makes me feel like a teenager again going to a summer dance. The world is beautiful and everything is possible.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs...

We have double-digit days and nights above zero on the way according to the weather station. We are at least two weeks ahead of last year so I feel like this is a real treat. The crows landed in our 'hood yesterday and the robins are already here. A crocus even opened on our front lawn this morning!

Gardening in the Great White North is an exercise in patience and fortitude. Luckily, I did get to cheat these last days of winter with a trip to Victoria, BC. (OF COURSE I went almost directly to the Butchart Gardens to find my bliss!)

And, yes, Victoria was blissful....

We were outside all day, every day, and soaked up all the good sea air. We travelled up to Tofino for a few days of nothing but surf and seafood. Our lodge was right on the Pacific with gorgeous views.

Our little son (well, eight now and almost to my shoulder!) was thrilled when a local guide took us out in a boat to the pristine wilderness of Clayoquot Sound where we saw wolves, sea lions, eagles and a pod of grey whales feeding on spawning herring. It was actually quite moving to be in what felt their territory.

The nine days of spring break flew by, and now we are back awaiting our own spring.

In the meantime, this lone crocus, the bravest of the bunch, is getting a lot of love. :)

Let's all virtually hold hands and chant for spring to hurry up!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Some people looks for signs of the apocalypse, gardeners look for signs of spring. And that's why we rock. 

Last fall--a late, beautiful fall--we went a little crazy planting bulbs. The spring before was very late and the few bulbs we did have were the only thing that sustained me. To ensure my sanity this year, I really stocked up last September.

What keeps me dreaming...
Now, wonders of wonders, we are having an early spring. (Thank the gardening gods, I must have been a VERY good girl this year to get both a nice fall and an early spring!)

Signs of spring abound. A robin AND a buttercup were spotted about 100 km south of here (the buttercup even made the news!), Canada geese have been flying over our city all week, and snow piles are melting. Yesterday, I was almost sure I saw some greening grass on a southwest facing slope.  

So, yes, the signs are here. However, I am the proactive type so I'm going to meet Spring personally. That's right, at the end of the month during my son's spring break we are once again off to Victoria, BC, to visit Spring at her home. I can. not. wait!!! Now, hopefully, when I come back, spring will have arrived ahead of me. :)

I hope you are all enjoying the anticipation this season brings. :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Sweet In Betwwen

After a July of storms and heat waves, this first evening of the August long weekend has come in soft with an apricot sky. We've been sitting outside for hours, appreciating our long days of northern light.

Of course I had to get up take tie rotate pots.... But finally, glass of wine in hand, I have settled to pretend this is going to last forever. 

Happy, sweet, blissful summer to you all.