Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘cottage garden’

Our lives are distilled to two realms: Inside the cottage or outside to work on projects and go for walks. Its all so simple. No need to keep track of the date, no need to plan days and movements around social events or the numerous groups we each belong to. So we go out whenever weather permits, and when we are tired, cold or wet – back in. Some other things going in and out:

The old sheds and deck went out.
And loads of new lumber came in.
Piles of weeds and other green waste went out…
And a fresh load of clean crush came in to be spread about.
This pine tree, which was getting a bit big for its britches, came out…
And a new deep planter for growing potatoes went in.

Read Full Post »

image

Day lilies

image

Phlox

image

Gladiolas

image

Coreopsis

image

Statice, I think

image

Crocisima and wild geranium

image

Bee balm

image

Mexican grass and annuals

Read Full Post »

So satisfying to pick one sad corner of the garden and do some spring cleaning.
That’s what I did last Friday while waiting for the honey wagon to come and pump out the septic tank.

Before

Before

and After

and After

Read Full Post »

When I arrived at the cottage two days ago, I found a Steller’s Jay – the provincial bird of British Columbia – resting on my deck. She fluttered to the railing and watched as I ferried multiple loads from the car to the cottage.  Her feather’s were puffed up and she was hunched over. She looked at me as if she knew help had arrived.

I quickly put out some bird seed and my new Valu Village find – a bird bath.  She had a few bites and drank a considerable amount of water, then hopped down and strolled towards my shed.  Her mate took over her spot at the feeder.

Not a very happy bird

“This bird can’t fly,” thought I.  So I called the Gibsons Wildlife Rehab Centre.  This volunteer- run organization sent Barbara Lee Fraser along within an hour, by which time Stella had made her way into a tree. We lured her down with peanuts and suet, and Barbara proceeded to herd that bird through the front garden and into the wilderness that is my backyard, waiting for the right moment to drop her net.

Before long Stella was safe in her arms and then in a transport cage on her way to Rehab.

I called this morning for an update, and it seems she has some puncture wounds under her wing, and they are cleaning them  frequently to prevent dried blood from gumming up her feathers. She can’t fly yet, but they are hopeful she will.

The volunteers at the Centre are also concerned about the colour of her feet, and are conducting tests today to see if she has a fungus problem.  It seems she is receiving very good care.

When she is ready to be released, she will be returned to Keats View Cottage to rejoin her mate, who is staying very close. I bought a bag of peanuts on the theory that males of many species can be distracted from their troubles by food. It seems to be working.

I don’t know for certain that Stella is a gal. The folks at the rehab centre tell me it is difficult to determine gender of a Steller’s Jay, but they are calling the bird Lisa in my honour.  It’s very sweet, but when she comes home it will get darn confusing if there are two of us with the same name, so Stella it shall be.

Please keep your cats inside and consider making a donation to the Gibsons Wildlife Rehab Centre to help them continue on with their excellent work.  I know I will.

Stanley Kowalski is staying clean and fit in anticipation of Stella’s return

Read Full Post »

All that cooking wasn’t quite enough to purge me of all my mental clutter and exhaustion. So when I got to the cottage that recent early morning and Cottager needed a nap on the couch to recover from a late night and an early morning, I grabbed all my sharpest and most dangerous tools and went out to deal with Laurel.

This single shrub has monopolized the sun, harboured invaders like English Ivy and Morning Glory and crowded the paths from day one.  My initial timid trims gave way to repeated efforts to keep the top shoots under control, but on this particular day, it was like I was seeing it for the first time.  I knew I couldn’t kill it if I tried, so why not  give the girl a serious haircut?  Luckily, I remembered to take out my phone and take a few pictures before I started…

From one side . . .

 

. . . and from the other side.

 
And here is how it looked a few hours later after I had unloaded all of my urban frustrations, anger and guilt:
 (yes, there was a stump in there!)
 

From one side . . .

 

. . . and from the other side.

And here is what I removed from this shrub, including the forementioned parasites and an enormous salal growing out of the stump:
 

What Cottager had to haul away when he got up from his nap.

Now, what to do about the stump? It is fairly degraded, and Cottager is of the opinion that we could tear it out easily. I, on the other hand, like the idea of chopping enough of a hole in its soft gooey center to hide a nice pot with some trailing flowers in the spring.  O!  and some small white lights for the laurel branches, I think.

Read Full Post »

Many more travel photos and stories to follow, especially now that I have my laptop in front of me again.  Skipped over to the cottage during a break between rentals to check on the garden and was dismayed by what I found. The cool damp weather and the two yards of compost-enriched topsoil we spread this spring caused our always- fecund garden to morph into a jungle!   With guests arriving in two days, I got out the clippers and, frankly, started hacking!  This was an emergency operation to clear pathways as much as anything. Here is what the garden looked like in early June prior to my departure: 

All was left in good order . . .

And here is what I found upon my return this week . . .

Badly overgrown and in need of attention.

Read Full Post »

You may recall I dreamed of an espaliered Italian plum, but I was thwarted.  Having obtained a giant pot – courtesy of Cottager’s thoughtfulness – and a sufficiency of dirt and a day in which the rain promised to stop long enough to plant a tree, I went to the nursery to discover that they had no Italian plums. No espaliered trees whatsoever, in fact.

The arborist there told me that Italian plums don’t lend themselves to espaliering because they are ‘aggressive’ which I took to mean they grow big, fast, rather than that they are likely to attack.  What I wanted, she said, was a dwarf tree – of which they conveniently also had none.

And then she suggested the columnar Sentinel apple, which grows to a maximum of about 10 feet and which they did have available, in both golden and red varieties. 

When I learned that this apple wouldn’t spread its stubby little branches more than a foot or two in any direction, the need to have a two dimensional tree vanished like warm strudel. I didn’t fritter away another moment wondering if this apple tree idea was just pie-in-the-sky.  For $25 and a saucy smile, a Golden Sentinel was soon riding shotgun . . . er, be-cider me, in the Honda. 

I honestly had never heard of this apple variety, which bears a Golden Delicious-like fruit, plus all the accompanying foliage, close to the trunk instead of on branches.  That the tree is tall, lanky and essentially shapeless really adds to its beauty. If you are truly my friend, you will agree with this statement. Just nod.

So here is a picture of what my Golden girl – christened Gwyneth – will come to look like in time:

 

And here is what she looks like now, in her new home:

Gwyneth the Golden Sentinel apple twig (and companion blue lobelia)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »