Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My Garden Journal - Summer Breezes

Summer is flying by, so it seems. Busy with gardening, family and outings like most of you, my days are filled. Summer breezes keep us cool.
I harvested the garlic this week, 'Music', 'Killarney Red', and 'Puganski' - the latter two new varieties I wanted to try. The bundles are colour coded with ribbon and after a couple of weeks I'll brush the dirt from the bulbs, cut off the tops and roots and store in mesh bags in the basement. The final bulb from last summer's crop was used for dinner recently and since we love garlic in most anything, my little veggie patch will now only be planted with it.
If you're like me and know that crops should be rotated because of nematodes or viruses in the soil, a garlic grower told us at a seminar in the spring that you can use the same place each year. Remove the top third of soil if possible and condition with manure, digging it in well for autumn planting.
 Daisies in the moon garden.
'Inniswood' hosta that commands attention in the shady Japanese garden.
A homemade concrete bird bath gifted me from a friend that came for tea. The slices of birch were by the side of the road after a neighbour cut down a tree and I carried a couple home for rustic decor.
A few favourite pinks; the centre leaves are persian shield, a good shade plant for the garden and it's also a pretty houseplant.
My library classes continue and I'm enjoying learning about apps, computer issue solving and last week, social media. I am already on Pinterest and was undecided about Instagram. Well, I opened an account and think it will be fun for photography shares. 
@lavendercottagegardening can be found here if you want to see my few photos so far. 
I'd like to direct readers to Linda at Stitch Lines in New Brunswick for an eye opener about her home break-in and some advice she offers.
Happy Gardening, take time for tea.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Crazy Weather Gardening

Our crazy summer weather continues with alternating hot and humid days that require the AC to be on followed by a few cooler days. A lack of sufficient rain has produced many plants smaller in size and it's a struggle for those with shallow roots.
Here's the butterfly garden with quite a few bare spots which are usually filled by the branches of the butterfly bushes. Some bloggers find these shrubs invasive but this far north they don't reseed and grow back from the roots each spring. I cut the previous year's dead branches back to 6-8 inches when new growth starts and they're worthwhile for the nectar provided.
Photographed through the living room window on the left and from the sidewalk on the right, the New Dawn rose is quite robust but does get a deep watering from a rain barrel every other week.
The pink Invincibelle hydrangea is full of dainty pink flowers.
In the shade acanthus (Hungarian bear's breeches) is flowering while the plant in the sun only has leaves. I like to experiment with plant location because various factors sometimes allow a plant to be hardy where it shouldn't be.
Clematis 'Queen Mother' is a petite showstopper on a pergola in the front garden.
Taking the path on the south side of the house to the backyard are plants that can take the baking sun, many natives which can survive on their own are in here.
Blue vervain, (Verbena hastate) the flower spikes open from the bottom to the top and this year it has appeared in a few other places around the garden.
 Daylily 'Barbara Mitchell' has large frilly peach flowers.
Astrantia is a plant that needs consistent moisture to produce pretty clusters of flowers.
From the kitchen...I baked a Kentucky Derby pie which is pecan with mini chocolate chips. Our grandson came for dinner the day I made this and he, and hubby have a sweet tooth but only a small piece is needed of this rich dessert.
I've been helping our daughter create a hosta garden in a shady corner under trees where grass won't grow. A few divisions from my plants, some pots from the local nursery, a birdbath and birdhouse are bringing it together. A couple of varieties of Japanese painted fern have been added for texture contrast.
Next year more pieces of my hosta collection will be added. 
How are your gardens this year? I know the unpredictable weather patterns are being experienced in many countries.
Happy Gardening, take time for tea!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Day Trip and an Announcement

I have a new laptop which needs some tweaking to get the font size to where I can read it comfortably and at this point, I'm not sure if it will affect my post.
Our youngest daughter and I took a day trip to Port Perry this week to have lunch and browse the stores. Before going into the town though we drove a little further along to White Feather, a country store we like for the linens and bakery.
The outdoor display had interesting bird feeders and healthy looking hanging baskets of flowers.
The park across the road from where we had lunch had crispy parchment-coloured grass but at least the cool water of Lake Scugog in the background.
Pantry Shelf is the only bakery/cafe we've ever eaten in over the years as the food is good and the staff friendly. I had the afternoon tea selection with Earl Grey which was delicious. It's a good thing we did a fair bit of walking so I could wear off my lunch!
Luke's Victorian gift and card shop is always a pleasure to wander around in.
Back at home a combination of green textures in a shade garden is looking good despite the lack of rain. (l to r - hosta, bleeding heart, astilbe)
And now my announcement...
Mosaic Monday is travelling across the pond...yes, all the way to Normandy, France.  Maggie, a regular contributor at Normandy Life will be hosting weekly starting August 1. Follow the link to her blog to remember where the party will be and thank you Maggie for taking over as host. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Creative Side

We finally got rain this week, enough to top up the three rain barrels and it perked up the gardens.
 Light and dark pink carpet roses line the front walkway with lavender between them. In the background is lady's mantle providing a frilly skirt to a 'New Dawn' rose climbing up a gated arbour.
Clematis 'The President' is on an arbour entering the backyard.
Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose created a shabby US flag on a wooden hanger that I liked and I wondered if I could come up with something for our Canadian flag. I don't sew or usually have much wide ribbon on hand but a trip to Michael's and I've done a better interpretation than when I first posted my effort.
I've been attending classes at our library to sample various crafts and the plastic keychain was made with Inkscape software. What a coincidence that they had piece of purple plastic available. 
Also tried my hand at a leather bracelet for granddaughter Mia, who like her grandmother loves butterflies. 
I have a craft studio in an unfinished portion of our basement where I make cards but I usually forget to take photos of them before they're slipped in an envelope and mailed.  Here's a couple I just finished.
If you are a crafter, joining the annual 'Where Bloggers Create' link up party at My Desert Cottage is a great way to meet others with the same interests. Even if you don't participate, and I haven't decided if I will this year, it is awe inspiring to see the craft studios and talent of fellow bloggers. (the link button is on my sidebar) The party is hosted by Karen Valentine (Valentine Designs) who designs my blog.
Linking to Amy's Five on Friday.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Mosaic Monday #92 - The Final Mosaic Monday

Rather than wait until the end of July as intended, we're all busy with other activities now that summer is here. Therefore, I've decided that #92 will be the final link up post and end of Mosaic Monday.
A big thank you to the regular participants who made this meme enjoyable to host. New friendships formed and we experimented with various programs to create interesting collages. I hope you'll continue to use mosaics in the other memes you link to.
To the bloggers who linked but never visited others or commented, you missed out on meeting some wonderful folks and the sharing that comes from participating.
On this last Mosaic Monday I'm showing some of my favourite collages from over the years.


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