Sunday, December 10, 2017

Afghan squares

I've started knitting some squares to put together as a patchwork afghan.  Each colour will have a different stitch pattern. I'm enjoying doing the 6" squares rather than knitting the afghan in one piece. Each square seems like a completed project in and of itself. I'm learning new stitch patterns as well and that's interesting. When I'm knitting with a particular recipient in mind, as I am in this case, the added pleasure is that I think of them every time I work on the project.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Mystery



Life is full of mysteries. How does a little brown seed transform into a large green plant? Why are all the galaxies so different from each other? How do bumblebees stay up in the air? So many mysteries all around us.  But here is a question which rattles around my brain: Why do some people hear the call of God’s love and embrace it, and others don’t? It truly is a mystery to me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Simple Winter Hat

I just finished a cozy sweater for my sister who is recovering from surgery and I felt like doing some quick project before I embark on something more time consuming. I had some leftover chunky light blue yarn and I paired it with some champagne mohair that has some shiny metallic threads in it. This photo makes the colours look washed out and dull
but this shot gives a pretty accurate representation of the colours and the sparkle highlights.
The hat was super quick to knit with chunky wool.  I cast on 44 stitches using 6.5 mm needles for my average size head and a snug fit. I knit 1 1/2 inches of k2p2 ribbing and then switched to stocking stitch. To shape the top, k2 together across the rows three times then thread the yard through the remaining stitches and pull tight. Sew a seam down the back and presto - a new winter hat.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Brisk, Very Brisk

Yup, snow this morning. Not only snow but cold : -10C with an Artic wind. I got to try out my new winter boots. Our little dog and I had a real power walk this morning, both of us marching along as fast as we could. It wasn't a long walk at all but we were both glad to get back in the warm house.

Tomorrow will be somewhat warmer at 3 C but perhaps we are in for an early winter. It is so unpredictable; some years winter starts in November, and some years it doesn't really start until the end of December. On the plus side, the coming week is supposed to be sunny, if on the chilly side.
Hope you're all warm.






Sunday, November 5, 2017

Nature

This is my Father's world, 
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas-
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world,
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker's praise.
This is my Father's world:
He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father's world,
O let me ne'er forget,
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father's world:
The battle is not done;
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and heav'n be one.

Maltbie Babcock

Saturday, November 4, 2017

November Bouquet

November bouquet from the very last bits of the garden.

Friday, November 3, 2017

November-Fading Light

 One of the few advantages of November days is that you don't have to get up very early to see the sun rise.  Tomorrow we set the clocks back so it will be dark at 5 pm.  Every year it's the same and every year I am surprised by how short the days get.

 After some very rainy and cloudy days, the sun came out this afternoon.  Quick get out for a walk!

 There is still colour out there but you have to look a lot harder for it.

 Some very red berries.

 A stylish mushroom.

 Tenacious fluff.


Sumacs against a rocky fence.

Beavers have been at work here. Two small stumps show up in the foreground and a larger tree on the left is half cut through.  In the middle, a dark path indicates where they travel from the pond to the trees.

Distant poplars are a spot of colour in the distance.

The grass is still surprisingly green and this patch was just glowing in the sun.

We got the winter tires on the cars and the propane delivery man filled up the tank that supplies our heater so I guess we are all set for whatever comes our way. I don't mind winter if I don't have to go anywhere but snowy driving can be stressful.  Hopefully, I won't have much of that to deal with.

I hope you have found your cozy sweaters and have some good books to read. Spring is just around the corner :)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Warm Fall


 After a cool rainy summer, we had a beautiful warm sunny September, and now even in October the weather has been mild. Some of the open areas have had frost but we are protected by all our trees and haven't had any frost yet.


The annuals have, of course, slowed down but there are still bright spots of colour.

 The zucchini which got off to a slow start is still producing bright yellow squash. Usually by this time of year it's on the compost pile.

Some red leaves are to be found but a lot of the leaves are just brown.  Too much rain and then too little rain isn't good for fall colour.

Compared to last year, the fall colour is quite subdued.  Never mind, we had a wonderful September.

 I planted this Cimefuga in a rough area and was pretty surprised to see its snowy white flower stalk.  It has gone through one winter so here's hoping it will keep surviving. It has a sweet scent to it.

 The purple loosestrife goes a pale pink in the fall. I like the delicate colouring.

Good old reliable sedum.  Never had a year when it didn't perform well.

The wild purple asters are just as pretty as any nursery bought plant. And the bonus with them is they are tough as nails.
Our new granddaughter was born last week so I am seeing life at both extremes these days: my mother who is 93 and the new baby. And, of course, there's everybody else in between those two.
It can feel quite similar being with an old person and a baby - lots of just hanging out together and food is a highlight of the day.
A squirrel is hiding nuts in the little hay shed, and the chipmunks are scurrying purposefully around the yard getting ready for winter. Won't be long now.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pardon Me Daylily and others

 The Pardon Me daylily has started blooming. It really is a rich red just like the catalogues promise.
 This Pink Double Delight echinacea is a perky, cheer-leader kind of flower.
 Coreopsis often gets a bit tangled with wind and rain but I like the markings on this Heavenly Gate's variety.
 The Jackmanii clematis is proving to be an incredibly durable, dependable flower.  Even in the shade, it is full of blooms. They say clematis like cool roots so maybe light is less important than the situation of the roots.
A wild very prickly thistle shows off it's pink topper. I don't like thistles in the lawn but in a natural space I really enjoy the structure of the plants and their bright flowers.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Annuals

 The annual beds at the Arboretum were quite far behind for this time of year.  I guess all the rain delayed planting.  They had quite a few orange flowers so that was different.
  The geranium was a really eye-popping red.  They also had some very bright orange ones.I like the nice markings on the red geranium leaves.
I believe the small trees are lantana which surprised me . They would certainly not be hardy and  it would take quite a while to produce a plant of this size.  Were they perhaps grafted on to something else? Interesting. As I said, the plantings are very new but it is possible to imagine what it would look like if the plants were fuller: purple salvia, purple millet, pink and orange geraniums, silver artemisia and silvery blue African daisies, and the orange lantana trees.
This is actually mostly small perennials in a shady sunken garden. It was restful and peaceful.
The red leaved celosia in this bed brighten it up. In the centre are castor bean plants which have a great form but they are poisonous.

I like the dotty effect of this planting broken up by the fan-shaped plants (some kind of grass?)
On the home front, my annuals have suffered a lot of slug damage . The nasturtiums and nicotiana are surviving better than the zinnias and cosmos. Maybe next year will be better.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Perennials

 The Arboretum has some nice perennial beds.
 Click for full width. To the right are some rose campion plants. I don't see them very often but I really like the branching form and the bright pink flowers  atop grey-green fuzzy leaves. I had one for a couple of years but our cold winter was too much for it. They also need very good drainage.
The balloon flowers had really big flowers - was it all the rain or a new variety? Quite impressive.
The red beebalm looks good behind the cream daylily.
Sometimes when plants get jumbled together they make a nice arrangement.
Most of the perennials were growing well as they easily use up the abundant rain.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Arboretum

 We went to the Arboretum in Ottawa.  We parked at the top of the hill and had a lovely view of the sweeping grass and trees below. It was supposed to be sunny but it was cloudy and humid. Appropriately, when we got out of the truck we heard a pipe band in the distance.
 Where were they?

 Here they are -about half a kilometer away on the other side of the canal. I think that's about the right distance to be from a pipe band to really enjoy it.  It's amazing how the sound of the pipes and drums carry across the landscape.
A nice big droopy willow.

A couple of kayakers in green boats enjoying the canal.
In the arboretum, a couple of smoke bushes give colour to the otherwise green landscape.
All the rain we've been having will be good for the trees.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Lilies and Some Shade Plants

 I got the idea to plant some lilies in among pansies from somewhere online -possibly Fine Gardening. I popped the lily bulbs in the pot mid-April and the pansies early May. It's been so cool and rainy that the pansies are lasting longer than they normally would.
 On the left, the dwarf scarlet runner bean I started in March or whenever is blooming away.  A few beans are forming but the plant was flowering for several weeks before the beans starting being properly pollinated so no actual beans to harvest yet. Also the slugs are chomping on some of them. Anyway, the flowers are somewhat decorative.


 This orange lily used to be a hybrid tiger lily but it has reverted to a plain lily with just the fewest of spots at the center.  That's the trouble with some hybrids, they don't stay true. Still it's pretty as it is.

Most of my gardens are full of weeds this year and the flowers look sad from too much rain, so I decided to make a fresh bed today.  All the plants were half price. I planted a blue hosta, a green and yellow hosta, two heucherellas with reddish centers, three green heucheras, a cowslip primrose and the bushy plant in the middle is the yellow corydalis. We'll see how it survives winter but for now I have a little patch that's not full of weeds. This will hopefully inspire me to get weeding in the other gardens.
On another note, the other day I had Pepper, my horse, out eating grass near the house.  Little bunny arrived and for a few minutes they were eating about 6' apart. Bunny didn't seem to notice me at all.
Then a noisy truck went down the road and scared the bunny away. It would have made a very cute picture with the two animals munching on the grass together.