Posts filed under ‘plants’

The garden produces

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tomato blossoms

The plants are maturing and we’re beginning to reap the rewards. One day I went out and picked a cucumber. I sent a message to my daughter. E. will be happy to see cucumbers. “Can you bring the girls one day soon to see the garden?”

Several days later, they came, ready to see how it looked. Sure enough, there was another cucumber waiting to be picked. E loves cucumbers.

“You need to share that.”

And she agreed.

 

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happy about the cucumber

 

Her sister, A., didn’t want to be in this picture. She wished for one of her own. Industriously, watering the strawberry plants, she got her wish.

 

 

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giving the plants a drink

 

It was a good time of day to water, at early evening. We were having a hot dry spell with no rain so the plants were ready for a drink. We had to fill the small watering bucket again and again. Of course other plants got a drink too while the girls and their Mom were at our place.

The girls might have been surprised to see how the plants had grown. There were even the beginnings of tiny tomatoes. “I saw them, ” E. said. They both love the tiny tomatoes and will be happy to help pick, and eat, them when they’re big enough and ripe.

 

 

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zucchinis starting to grow

We could have quite a lot of zucchinis growing, but no worries. Our family likes zucchini and my daughter, Laura, has one of those spiralizer machines that cuts the vegetable very thin.

 

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mint in a pot

 

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parsley

My parsley plant has seen better days. Here’s hoping I can find another plant to replace it, even this late in the summer. Our granddaughters, even the one with selective taste buds, like to pinch off a piece and eat it right there at the garden

This morning when I went out to take photos of the garden, I saw my neighbour in her yard. After a bit of conversation, I offered her a basil plant and so we got to talking about how to use it.

 

 

 

 

 

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July 2, 2016 at 3:00 pm 5 comments

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.

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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.

 

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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

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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.

 

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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.

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

 

 

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

 

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

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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.

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Morning glories need thinning. I think every seed sprouted.

 

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Transplanted mint is doing well.

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Zucchini has blossoms

 

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

 

 

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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

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.

 

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bearberry submerged

 

 

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last season’s stems of gaillardia

 

 

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a crystallized arc of bearberry

 

 

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frozen daffodil stems

 

 

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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

Winter is back

Although winter seemed to have left us, we’re still in February and in that month we can have anything from thaw to heaps of snow. The snow started falling last evening,  following up the rain we had during the afternoon, and so it was no surprise this morning to see a thicker covering of snow on the roofs, the cars that sit outside as well as on the ground and filling in the crooks of the trees.

 

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blanket over my garden

 

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little caps on the sedum blooms of last summer

 

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Garbage morning, can you tell? And we know which way the snow came from.

 

 

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I like how the snow clumps on the ends of the branches

 

 

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I think some small animal was up earlier than me.

 

 

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Snow fills in some of the spaces on this chicken wire where my morning glories climb in summer.

 

 

 

All photos, unless otherwise noted are copyright of C. R. Wilker

 

 

 

February 9, 2016 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

Last flowers to bloom

I’ve been meaning to do this for days and today I finally got to it. Taking photos of the last flowers of summer. Most everything else has died off or was looking a bit droopy, although there are still a few gaillardia in bloom, but the wind was rustling through them, making it hard to take photos of the last few newer blooms. Considering that Collingwood and Blue Mountain had some snow last Friday when I was there, we may not be so far behind, but then again, maybe being two hours south, we’ll have a bit longer. Even the parsley next to this plant is still green.

 

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My pink carnations, three still blooming. It was a bit windy so the plant was swaying.

 

 

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No flowers on this plant anymore but the leaves of the scented geranium, green in summer, have turned to red. The flowers were a delicate shade of pink and they smelled wonderful. Not strong, but a gentle scent. We have two of those plants.

 

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Michaelmas daisies, among the last to bloom in summer, are still hanging on at the more sheltered side of the house.

 

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The big plant up near the edge of the flowerbed, still hanging in. Still looking good.

While the plants are winding down, leaves are still falling from trees, making a carpet to walk on and people are raking leaves to the curb for pick-up. Leaves that were blown to the backyard are in the composter getting ready for spring mulching, and the rest of the garden material is on the garden already breaking down to add nutrients to the soil for next gardening season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 18, 2015 at 9:49 pm 2 comments

How many butterflies are there?

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Birds at the conservatory too

Saturday of our holiday week with my east-coast friend we went to the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. Because it was a bright sunny day outdoors and the light shines in through the conservatory roof, the butterflies were quite active.

What I learned recently from reading the book, The Art of Butterfly Gardening, by Matthew Tekulsky, butterflies have their own behaviour. Some flit around continuously and even as they gather nectar their little bodies are moving as though they had ADHD and then there are the ones with a less dramatic fashion and who sit on the feeding plant as though they had all the time in the world. We were about to observe which ones did what, and of  course I didn’t have the book with me as it was from the local library, but still it was an enjoyable time since we had purchased a chart with the birds and butterflies represented there and spent time taking photos and figuring out the names of the butterflies.

Just so you know, no North American butterflies are represented in this place though there are charts showing the Monarch, one of the few that flies to Canada but doesn’t overwinter there.

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The Wood Nymph and Rice Paper butterflies are so much alike and both from South East Asia, but we thought this one was the Rice Paper butterfly. Very pretty  and it looks almost like lace.

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See the tiny white bird sitting on the branch? We saw a few of those but have no name for them.

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Easier to see the markings here, though some butterflies’ upper wing pattern differs from the lower pattern when they sit. While sunning they spread their wings, but to protect themselves from predators, they keep their wings closed, like the owl butterfly.

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Food dish where butterflies sit and sip and sun all at once.

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DSCF9358The Blue Morpho, and there were many of these. This is how they look on the top with quite a different appearance on the bottom, when they fold up their wings.

 

DSCF9365The Bamboo Page in the centre, with the Cracker ( I think) on the left and the Rice Paper on the right.

 

DSCF9368One of the guides holding a strange insect on her hand

Spiny Stick Insect

 

 

DSCF9372Read more about it here. Looks weird and maybe a bit scary, but it’s totally harmless, according to the guide.

 

 

DSCF9391There’s a waterfall feature and a pond. Maryann was watching the fish and turtles swimming and the turtles poking their heads up.

 

 

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bird feeders for those small birds

 

DSCF9371 The butterfly stayed way up there. I kept hoping he’d land closer to us.

 

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DSCF9381We saw butterflies coming out of their cocoons and letting their wings dry before flying

 

DSCF9382Some kind of beetle. I don`t remember its name. Harmless or the guide wouldn`t be holding it.

 

 

DSCF9357The Owl Butterfly, from a distance the spots looks like an owl`s eye, but on the topside when its wings are spread, it looks quite different

 

DSCF9383Showing the life cycles of a butterfly, only there are no Monarchs in this place

 

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The pond from a different direction. Turtle has his head above water again. Liking those leaves.

 

DSCF9396Pretty purple plants. Would like some of those in my garden, except they`re probably not suited to our climate

 

DSCF9400Ending our tour of the conservatory itself with this one that sat so still so I could take his picture. A Golden Birdwing, I believe.

 

We stayed around for a cold drink and then checked some other displays in the building. More for another blog post. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as we enjoyed seeing the place and all the butterflies and beautiful foliage.

Photos by C. Wilker

September 15, 2015 at 1:36 am Leave a comment

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