Sunday, May 31, 2009

Somewhere over the rainbow...

Whilst we wait for our backyard to be renewed, rejuvenated and made of awesome, we cannot ignore the front side of things.

I want guests to feel welcome as they approach my home and I want to have a place to sit to look out at the glorious mornings.

Our front entrance has a lovely, shaded stoop with a deep overhang that nestles you in. It is wide enough for a bench on one side...

And a few pots on the other…

My guiding word for this space is Verdant. I wanted green with just a few shots of brilliant colour to keep it cheery as well as restful.

I want arriving home at the end of the day to make me smile. I want to smile at my neighbours out walking their dogs and pushing their strollers. I want my little son to know that nature isn’t that place we drive to find. It’s a part of us.

And by and by Christopher Robin came to an end of things, and he was silent, and he sat there, looking out over the world, just wishing it wouldn't stop.
~ Winnie the Pooh

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Do you remember that loooooong stretch from Halloween to Christmas, after all the bags of chips and little chocolate bars and even the candy kisses from your Halloween treat bag were gone and still your family hadn’t put up the Christmas decorating? The bright lights of Christmas seemed so unbearably far away and you hadn’t even really had a pretty snowfall yet, and so, you scrunched down into your collar and silently trudged through the grey, cold days of November waiting for signs of the festive season ahead.

And then, one Sunday afternoon a few big, fat snowflakes fell and stayed on the trees in your backyard, you noticed your parents huddling in whispers and looking at your with bright eyes as they stirred hot chocolate on the stove. Soon you even caught yourself humming the song to Charlie Brown’s Christmas special.

My little plants feel like that today. They are now sentinels, potted and shelved, waiting for the landscapers to come and restore their earth.

They know it will be a momentous event that will leave them with the greatest present of all—new beds filled with rich earth and room to grow. So although they are scrunched into their pots they cannot help but glow a little in anticipation.

The dicentra ‘Candy Hearts’ has sent up some rosy buds.

The plants that suffered such a set-back in the cold only a short time ago have now bounced back and are sending up new babies.

Even one of our furry feline friends, Bob, has come outside to roll around and have his belly rubbed.

Surely the big day can’t be too far away now, can it?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

May Pleasures

We ventured out into our local ravine yesterday for a hike with the wee toddler. (Hubby has a great backpack-type carrier for the little guy so we can go anywhere!)

The creek has settled down after its spring rush and is moving quite sedately, albeit with a skim of slushy ice pooling on it in the quieter locations. Because we love you, Miss May, we have learned to enjoy all your surprises — even the snow on the streams in the dark, mysterious corners of the ravine.

I love these little nooks who refuse to give up their winter mantle.

Spring is a season of contrasts. So, of course, up on a sunny hill a little later in our trek we saw our first butterfly of the season! Our little guy was delighted and kept pointing as the butterfly flitted about, “budderFLY, budderFLY!” He has only seen butterflies in books (except for last summer which he probably doesn’t remember as he was only one then). I don’t know what this butterfly is, so if any of you astute readers can offer a suggestion I would love to know more. I googled it and it kind of looks like a ‘Green Comma’ (lovely name!) but its wing shape wasn’t quite as ornate.

Out in the garden this morning there are signs of Spring's renewal. The dicentra ‘Candy Hearts’ (fern-leaf bleeding heart) I planted last year is showing vigorous signs of life.

As is the rhubarb, which was here when we got here. . (Looks like the brains of the operation to me!) I think it is gorgeous in full leaf and plan to keep it. I look forward to rhubarb and strawberry pie later in the summer…mmm.

Also, the purple irises (name unknown) that my Dad gave me last summer are coming up.

All these will have to be potted up before the landscapers come to take out the clay and bring in topsoil. Rest assured, little plants, you will all have a home in our new garden!