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Posts Tagged ‘garden’

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Day lilies

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Phlox

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Gladiolas

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Coreopsis

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Statice, I think

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Crocisima and wild geranium

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Bee balm

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Mexican grass and annuals

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Honeysuckle and roses on the trellis.
And these…

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Yellow loosestrife and the first plox

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Alstibe

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Sweet William transplanted from the beach in the Kootenays

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Wild geranium

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Delphinium

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Clematis

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Over-wintered snapdragons

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A profusion of succulents

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Jasmine - more on this shortly!

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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

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I can never remember -exactly- what blooms when. So I will be posting pictures once a month for future reference and so I can choose and position new perennials to best advantage in future. 

Peiris

Peiris

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Lenten Rose. (Hellebore)

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Bluebells and primrose

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Pig's Ear

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Heather

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Trillium

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Rhododendron

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Mystery plant from my neighbour Elaine

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Sweet olive tree just one sunny day away from bloom.

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We chose this town for an overnight stop on our way back to France from Barcelona. Unlike some bigger places on the Costa Brava it is not known for it’s party scene. What sealed the deal were coastal walks in each direction – one to Cap Roig botanical garden and in the other direction to a lighthouse with a stunning view. We headed for the garden first, and spent an hour wandering the meticulous sloping terraces of a lovely old chateau.

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On the way back we stopped at platje Golfet, a near-deserted beach where we swam in the crystal clear water before following the coastal path back to our hotel in town for a picnic lunch on the deck. After lunch we climbed to the lighthouse, rewarded ourselves with a jug of Sangria and them lolled around the pool until dinner. A perfect day in Catalunya.

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Spring in the Kootenays: High water and lupins

I believe it’s good – every now and then – to push “Pause” and do an all-points inspection of yourself and your life. When actually forced to do this, about a year ago, I came to the conclusion that a personal retreat was in order. I have latched on to current events and dubbed my retreat my “Jubilee Year Celebration.”

It isn’t easy to pull this off. It required planning. Cottager came on board right away. My employer agreed, last November, to allow me eight weeks leave on an income averaging arrangement. I want to give my full attention, through this period, to the things that really matter to me.

So the first thing I did was make a visit, along with my sister, to my parents in the Kootenays.  We stayed five days, helping out a little bit around their property, but really just enjoying their company. Our usual visits involve husbands, children and pets and can seem rushed or chaotic. It was so pleasant to just hang out.

The second thing I did was make some quality time with my own family. It’s hard, with both urchins in school and working, but we did it.  We spent a night in a hotel near Seattle; visited the Woodland Park Zoo (we’re all bonkers for animals); had great Mexican food, and went shopping at the Outlets.  These are four things we all enjoy. Along the way we had a lot of laughs and some great conversations.  My guys are just amazing men.

And today I’ve moved on to Stage Two, taking up residence at Keats View Cottage for the next month in order to pursue personal goals which never seem to find time and space in my day-to-day life.

These goals fall roughly into two groups: Creativity and Wellness.

My creative goals include indulging a desire to immerse myself, however briefly, in a creative writing process.  Sub goals are to make a small quilt and to work an hour or two in the garden each day so as to move beyond simply trying to beat back nature.  Quite honestly, the quilt may just be wishful thinking.

On the wellness front, I aspire to get 8 hours of sleep each night, exercise, eat well, and make a daily practice of stress-reduction techniques. It’s a tall order, but I like tall things, and I am determined to give this a try.

Follow along and I will let you know how it goes.

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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.

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