Posts filed under ‘Nature’

Warmth for our gardens

A fellow writer spoke of the flowers shivering in the cold temperatures earlier this week. And I replied that the garden veggie plants are likely doing the same thing. Quite a picture when you think of it — a plant shivering.

I was glad to feel more warmth today. It gives me hope for the garden doing well. After all there are blossoms on the tomatoes and the zucchini; they need sunshine and warmth to grow.

IMG_20180601_0812593

 

IMG_20180601_0812387

tomatoes have blossoms now too

We need to be mindful of our environment. Global warming is for real. We need to eat, we need to breathe; we need so much for healthy living.

I  won’t say more except to declare that some in government don’t believe in climate change. I shake my head over it. They’re not in tune with what’s going on.

 

If you’ve planted a garden, may it grow well for you and produce good food. And beautiful flowers and shrubs.

 

Advertisements

June 8, 2018 at 2:40 am Leave a comment

The veggie garden is planted

 

This past weekend three granddaughters came to help plant our vegetable garden. They arrived together and were ready to begin. I could have done it myself or I could use it as time together and teaching moments. I chose the latter. It’s busy, but it’s fun too. And they feel a part of the process.

We talked about setting up the fairy garden before they were all out of the car. That was part of the plan for the time together. The small one said, “I didn’t bring my fairy,” but she didn’t seem upset. The other two chimed in that they’d share their fairy for her to play with.

“You can bring your fairy for a visit another day,” I said. She seemed pleased by that.

While I was getting some things ready, the eight-year-old helped the newest crew member to get her garden gloves on.

The plants were set up in the garden ahead of time, where I wanted them to be. The youngest one, at three, needed help digging the hole. The older girls understood that’s where they were to dig. The 6- and 8-year-old proved that they could dig the hole, put the plant in, and fill it in with soil, then smooth the ground around it.

Everyone had tools to use. The little one loved her new little shovel and fork and the little garden gloves that stuck out farther than her fingers. Eventually the gloves came off and she settled at digging holes, a tool in each hand. You can picture it, a purple shovel in one hand and a green fork, that looked more like a shovel, in the other hand. I helped her dig deeper and helped her fill in the hole with the tool and smooth the ground around a plant. She had a hand at it anyway. That’s good for her first time.

The older two dug holes on their own, put in the new plant, remembering to break up the root ball first.  “I don’t need gloves, Grandma, ” one said. They knew the plants need water. The bigger girls put the cages over the tomato plants. The plants will need it later as they grow heavy with fruit. They remembered that from the previous year, I think. Placing the wire cage was a bit tricky for one, but she got it too.

We set in plants I got at the nursery and some we’d grown ourselves: tomatoes, zucchini, yellow beans, cucumbers and basil plants, and then we put in carrot seeds too. (One of the cucumber plants was started in Brownies and Sparks.) Now we’ll watch them grow. Oh, and we gave the plants a lot of water before we went inside for a bit, to play and have a snack.

 

DSCF1631

Our garden planted and cages around the tomato plants

 

DSCF1636

Time to play. Sidewalk chalk is good.

DSCF1635

“Here’s my picture”

 

DSCF1633

Fairy garden is in process after some controversy over how the house and garden stone were to be placed.

Soon it was time for the girls to go home as parents arrived. They wanted to stay longer, but they’ll come again soon, I’m sure, to check on the garden and to give it a good drink.

DSCF1642

The fairies seem happy to be outdoors again after the winter inside looking out

Later in the day my husband and I placed the netting over the garden beds and secured it  in place, to keep the birds and small critters out of the garden. Now we tend it and watch the garden grow.

May 29, 2018 at 1:15 pm Leave a comment

The Garden as a Lesson in Growth

A few days ago I posted over at Canadian Writers Who Are Christian about lessons in gardening.

Read the first bit of it here:

I’m teaching my granddaughters who are 4 and 6 about gardening. It’s an ongoing lesson. They enjoy helping me plant and giving the plants a drink. I’m sure they’d be like me, as a child, if it was a large garden, dreading the long rows, but ours are much shorter than the large garden we had on the farm.

 DSCF9907
posing by the garden with her own tools

The garden teaches about growing. After sowing seeds, we look forward to seeing those first shoots poke above the ground. The children are gentle with the tender small plants that we set in the ground. They know that water helps the plants grow and so they love to get out the watering can and help it along.

 

DSCF9906

Watering buckets can be heavy, but she’s strong

 

Read more here.

June 14, 2016 at 1:47 am Leave a comment

Our Garden Grows

DSCF9905

I had some help again this year in planting our vegetable garden. You might say I’m training the next generation, engaging them while they’re eager to help me, but they’re also enjoying it.

At Easter, I bought both girls their own gardening tools, a set in blue and one in green, a shovel and little rake. The girls were excited about finally using their tools and liked digging the holes for the plants and pressing them in the soil very gently.

We planted tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, a neat specialty lettuce and herbs (basil). And we planted the morning glory seeds too.

 

DSCF9907

Of course we posed after the work was done so we could show the results. And we watered the holes and put the plants in after, because it was such a hot afternoon.

DSCF9906

The watering bucket is heavy when it’s full, but she’s strong.

 

 

DSCF9915

After all that work, we need to sit under the umbrella and have a cold drink.

 

DSCF9918

And we’re happy that all this work has been done.

DSCF9931

 

Making time for a bit of fun. We love to blow bubbles together.

 

 

A mere few weeks later, with sunshine and rain, our plants and seeds are growing.

DSCF9943

Morning glories need thinning. I think every seed sprouted.

 

DSCF9944

Transplanted mint is doing well.

DSCF9951

Zucchini has blossoms

 

DSCF9946

Cucumber plants are doing well too. One little girl will be very happy about that.

 

 

DSCF9950

And tomatoes are doing well too, growing straight and tall. One little plant needs setting in some pot yet.

 

Let’s see what a few more weeks of sunshine and rain (or watering) take the garden.

 

 

June 10, 2016 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

I love spring

 

When the snow recedes and the flowers come up and bloom, that’s the thing I like best about spring. A couple  of times, I thought spring had finally made it, then we had more snow and  ice in our northern hemisphere. Overall, the plants held up, even if a few blooms  didn’t make it.

DSCF9756Ice-coated flower stems

Although I don’t have a crocus bulb or snowdrop in my flower beds, I do have narcissus,  paper white hyacinth and grape hyacinth. The narcissus are done now, but those little grape hyacinths are still blooming, sprinkled all over the garden, wherever they choose to grow. I took a bunch of those out, but left some here and there because I like them.

DSCF9845

 

And then the flowers really began to bloom—grape hyacinth springing up between the purple phlox

 

DSCF9847

the spring-pink blossoms on the uva ursi arctostaphylus

 

DSCF9852

hyacinth

 

DSCF9846

white phlox

 

DSCF9865

then the multi-hued tulips I love

and for the visual effect of many put together… and some trimming that still had to be done on old growth
DSCF9864

tulips next to the thyme

 

DSCF9867

a bright bunch of those colourful tulips

 

 

DSCF9869

My front garden with a marker where new bulbs will sprout next spring. Bulbs from the pots of flowers given to my father when he was in hospice that he wanted us to plant in our gardens to remember him. And we will, of course.

 

There’s a good part of my garden. It’s a work in progress, and of course there are more beds and they too will change over the seasons. More for another day.

 

 

photos by C. Wilker

 

 

May 17, 2016 at 7:02 pm 2 comments

A Women’s Retreat

Could it be two weeks already since our women’s retreat. I look at my planner and it most surely is. Last year our retreat was cancelled when the church camp was closed for the winter and until May. Our retreat, originally Mount Zion Lutheran Women’s retreat, is always held in late April and has been held at Camp Edgewood at Eden Mills, ON, for many years. This year we were in for a treat because we were at Stone House at Hidden Acres near Shakespeare, Ontario.

DSCF9814

We ate, gathered and learned in this building, and the accommodations were good too. We had time to explore the camp in free time as well, so we weren’t indoors all the time.

Our theme for the weekend was “Seeing God in Surprising Places.” We arrived early evening on the Friday, unpacked our gear and food contributions, dug out our Bibles for worship and greeted each other. It had been two years since our last gathering so it was good to see each and catch up on what’s happened in others’ lives. Among them were two newcomers to the group, and they came with musical instruments.

Friday evening’s questions for pondering included these questions:

What’s the dream/project or vision you feel called to in this time of  your life?

What is one tangible part where you can start where you are?

In small groups we talked about seeing God not only in church, but also in the community and where we’re asked to serve.

A really interesting question that we carried with us in our conversations for the weekend:

Where do you see assigned seating?

In the world there is assigned seating, but in the kingdom of God, there is not.

DSCF9801

 

Saturday morning, we gathered again for discussion and worship. And we changed our seating arrangement often that weekend.

 

As women, we  are called upon for many roles. We’re often wives, mothers, sisters, care givers. Add in work commitments and we may be business owners, employees, and in my case, a writer too. We often have many identities. We talked about identities that we carry around.

Some of the questions we were asked included: Which ones need to shrink? And which ones need to grow?

Pastor Anne kept adding on layers of questions for us to discuss in our small groups: When does one identity fight for prominence (my own words) over another?

DSCF9803

Pastor Anne Anderson, our spiritual director for the weekend, handed out nesting Russian dolls for us to open  until we reached the smallest one. The last one was indeed very tiny.

DSCF9805

Most dolls of this sort that I’ve seen before were similar to this one, where all the dolls are modelled after women and they get tinier and tinier as we open up one layer after another. I had never seen the kind that housed different characters within.

One question on Saturday morning for us to ponder on our own:

If Jesus could talk with you personally today, what is the message he would give you?

Consider that question any time and come up with your own answer.

DSCF9800

We followed the discussion about identities with an activity.

DSCF9812

some of our results

DSCF9830

 

After lunch we did a craft directed by Helen Weber. Here’s one example of our journal and jar with journal topics.

DSCF9827

 

DSCF9828

 

We ate, we laughed, sometimes cried as we shared things in our lives, knowing that what we said in confidence in the group stayed there. We enjoyed each other’s company. During spare time, we went outdoors for a walk and enjoyed nature.

 

DSCF9817

 

DSCF9822

 

DSCF9819

One of the other buildings at camp

 

DSCF9826

A new person to the group. We sat on the swings and chatted. We both love to take photographs.

 

DSCF9837

And some of the time we just sat and visited.

DSCF9836

 

Here are a few questions that we contemplated that you can too:
Where do you encounter God?

How do we celebrate who we are? And how do we live that out in a diverse society?

 

May 5, 2016 at 12:32 pm Leave a comment

Is winter going out like a lion?

It took a long time for me to understand about seasons going out or coming in like a “lamb” and “lion.” Is it for real?

If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.

Sandi Duncan, managing editor of the Farmer’s Almanac explores this saying. She asks if there’s any truth to the saying and states, “Weather sayings are as colorful as our imagination. ” She closes by declaring that the saying is “more of a rhyme rather than a true weather predictor.” Then she offers a few more of those sayings to consider. You can explore it further in her short article..

Pondering what happens, I think about the metaphor. It might come in like a lamb, that is gently. That it just slips in or out without any fuss. Or does it have to “roar in” like an angry beast, that is like a lion, and make people take notice. That may be the case for this winter that’s been rather unusual and at times quite dramatic.

This week we had an ice storm, one in which the rain and freezing rain coated branches of trees, driveways, and all the little flower buds. Yesterday as we drove across town to our family Easter gathering, we noticed ice-coated branches lying on the ground under their equally ice-laden trees. Deejays on the radio declared that hydro crews were concerned about power interruptions once the ice on the lines starts to break off. Indeed, the ice falling from the lines nearby startled me when I was out taking pictures and some people were without power for hours, including members of our own family who came to our house to warm up and have breakfast.

In spite of the dreary skies and broken branches, the freezing rain left behind some rather interesting sights in my garden and other places once the sun came out.

 

DSCF9759

bearberry submerged

 

 

DSCF9758.JPG

last season’s stems of gaillardia

 

 

DSCF9765

a crystallized arc of bearberry

 

 

DSCF9756

frozen daffodil stems

 

 

DSCF9768

It even froze the water coming out of the downspout mid-pour

 

This may well be the last of winter, now that one hint of spring has already shown itself. I’m hearing and feeling that we’re ready for spring to come to stay.

 

 

 

 

Photos © by C. Wilker, unless otherwise noted.

March 26, 2016 at 12:23 pm 2 comments

Older Posts


Twitter Updates

Top Canadian Blogs - Top Blogs

Book title

Harry’s Trees


debi riley

The Creative Zone for Making Art

Shot By Sarah

Photography

Janice L. Dick

Tansy & Thistle Press: faith, fiction, forum

LEANNE COLE - The Photographer's Mentor

Fine Art Photographer ~ Daring to be Different

SIMPLY LIFE with Kathleen Gibson

Just another WordPress.com weblog

I Like It!

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Whatever He Says

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Baden Storytellers' Guild

Continuing the Tradition of Oral Storytelling

Tenacity

thoughts on faith and fiction

gardenchatter

Garden adventures and advice...

Promises of Home

Stories of British Home Children, written, compiled and edited by Rose McCormick Brandon