Posts filed under ‘plants’

Changeable Weather

It’s that time of year when the weather is a little fickle, when it’s not completely spring and winter still wants to hang in. We woke Sunday morning to a thick coat of snow on picnic table and lawn, and the car covered with a coating of white.

When we thought we might be done with winter, snow and snow shovel, it made another appearance to keep us guessing. It did look pretty and it was very cold. And very much a surprise.

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However, we are in April now and there were flower stems shooting through the ground and buds on trees before this snowfall, so surely we’ll feel the warmth coming again soon.

 

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shoots poking through the ground for lilacs and other early spring flowers only last week

In a few days, perhaps, we’ll smell spring in the air. We’ve seen the robins and know they’re back. I’m ready for spring. Maybe you are too.

 

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April 1, 2019 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

A little fairy garden

 

One only needs to do a little investigating to find figures and houses for little fairies. My granddaughters are young enough yet to enjoy them.

Last year was the first year for our fairy garden, tucked in among one of my front flower beds, ideally with a bit of shade for said guests. We had the house which our fairies wouldn’t actually fit into, but with the imagination anything is possible. Beyond that open door is a little set of steps, set against the verandah wall, one could imagine a door at the top that the fairies could enter another space.

But imagination was needed outdoors too. We had a path of coloured stones that they could follow around the garden. This year, I looked everywhere—that is, everywhere but where they actually are tucked away—but I couldn’t find the coloured stones so I got some new ones. The other ones will show up when I least expect.

And this year, because there is another small girl old enough to imagine fairies, I invested in an extra fairy figure for her.

The set up is different this year. The oldest one, 8, figured the house could sit on my garden stone, itself full of coloured stones. The next one, who’s 6, wanted it somewhere else. We finally worked out a solution, after some tears, and she helped invent the new pathway for the fairies and when we added a seesaw and a well at a later date, she got to place the one of her choice.

 

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The fairies showing off their new space for this year. The smallest fairy lives with the three-year-old for now.

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the well along the path

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The see-saw and a lamp for night time so fairies can find their way home

 

And one day when the three-year-old comes to visit, she can bring her fairy along to play in the garden.  I imagine also when the older two come for a day in August, there might be some changes take place even in the fairy garden as in the world around them.

July 14, 2018 at 1:07 pm 5 comments

The Heat Goes On

Today I posted over at The Word Guild blog as I usually do once a month. Here’s the opening of my post.

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No, not the beat. It’s the heat. Not so long ago we waited for the heat to come. Now we’ve got it in spades. The ground is dry again, the grass is dead, but thank goodness for the rain we had that filled  our water barrels and soaked the ground. Our plants stood up taller and had a great growth spurt afterwards. it’s as though they were saying “thank you.”

 

 

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This spring’s garden after the rain

 We could use another good rain shower for the crops and gardens. Then people wanting to picnic and have outdoor events might holler no. There’s no pleasing us humans. Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it … in between.

We can be picky, or maybe it’s particular. Many times we just complain, but God is used to that. He’s heard it before. Centuries of it. One most notable being the philosopher in Ecclesiastes who felt nothing was right. People worked hard and got nothing for it.

 

granddaughter helping with gardening tasks, 2017

Read more here.

July 11, 2018 at 6:19 pm 2 comments

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.

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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.

 

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.

 

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Our garden planted and cages around the tomato plants

 

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Time to play. Sidewalk chalk is good.

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“Here’s my picture”

 

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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.

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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 Great Outdoors

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Beautiful basket of flowers at St. Jacobs Country Gardens

Last Saturday I went to the garden centre to promote, sign and sell my book, Harry’s Trees, and then on Monday, I visited another garden centre closer to home (one that also helped me promote my book) to get plants for my own home,  both veggies and flowers.

There were plenty of flowers left and I found that the food plants (tomato, cucumber, etc) were in limited supply. I managed to get tomato plants and a couple of cucumber and zucchini plants that were outgrowing their starting pots. No worries though, the plants will soon be in my garden, with the help of three granddaughters.

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Garden stone, made at retreat one year. Back in my flower bed

 

 

 

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Raised garden beds ready for planting

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Window box from BAK to Basics, planted

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Veggies and herbs

My parsley needs to be replanted this year. Two of my granddaughters love the taste of parsley. The first time they saw it, they asked, “What is this?”

“Parsley, ” I answered. Seeing their puzzled faces, I said their mom might put it in a salad.

“Can we taste it?” they asked.

I showed them that they could pinch off a small leaf and eat it. And so they did. Every summer they look for the parsley and ask if they can have some. They love the flavour.

 

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Tomato plants, the non negotiable plant in my garden each year

My husband rescued the overgrown yellow beans from the garden last summer and saved the seeds. He planted them in a shallow plant of soil. We have to get those planted because they’re growing.

Today I’ll go and purchase a small shovel for the youngest member of our planting team. New to it this year, the three-year-old must have her own. It seems she wanted some gloves too. She must have seen someone else wearing garden gloves. Perhaps her other grandmother wears them.

 

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And a planter with spikes and other flowers

I like to purchase the flowers and plant them in my own pots so there’s room for them to fill out. And one other thing to do  this evening is to soak the morning glory seeds I’ll plant tomorrow so the shell breaks open and they start germinating sooner.

 

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A small one in my life loves being out of doors, looks at the trees with great interest,  even follows a bird across the lawn, now that he’s walking well.

Hoping to get some good pictures of planting tomorrow then I’ll post some.

Happy planting. Enjoy the beauty around you!

 

May 26, 2018 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

Book Promotions

This season I’ve been busy promoting my picture book, Harry’s Trees. When I take those books to places, I’m also taking along several others.

Recognizing the connection between trees and plant nurseries, I decided to contact plant nurseries. Several were glad to be asked and accommodated me and a few other places had already booked sufficient activities to fill their spaces at an extremely busy time of year. Fair enough. I’ll check back in with those later when their pace is a little less harried.

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This little doll will have my book read to her as she grows. And one day she’ll read it herself. At Belgian Nursery, Breslau.

For the nurseries where I did  go, I had a variety of guests come to see me, some I had invited and others who came to the nursery for plants, albeit on a cold May day, and wandered in to see what was happening in the classroom area of the building.

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Invited guests who travelled a distance, and of course my illustrator, Maja, on the left. At Sheridan Nursery, Kitchener.

 

Sheridan Nursery, the first to accept my idea of shared promotion, gave me the space and opportunity to read part of my book to children, including four of my own grandchildren.

It seemed most of the children, if given a preference, liked the spring and summer seasons best, but a few liked the colours of fall as well. Maybe it’s that they could be outdoors then.

All children coming to my table with their parents get a colouring sheet to decorate in their favourite season, but only the first location provided opportunity for hearing part of the story.

 

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I was glad I had brought along markers so these two girls could colour their tree picture while their mom shopped.

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See the birds flying to and from the tree? And the new leaves sprouting on the tree?

 

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Another young reader in the making. For now, it’s the colours in the book and this little one already loves trees and the out of doors.

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And long-time friends (since 4-H days) coming to celebrate with me and taking pictures for me.

Sheridan offered opportunity on Earth Day weekend for advance promotion of my book, Harry’s Trees. As my calendar was already filled, Judy, a friend of mine, was willing to read my book at the event. She reported some interesting conversations, especially one with a girl who was interested in the art in my book.

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And Amanda, my helper at two of my events thus far. Thank you.

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Thank you, Amanda, for taking such a great photo for me. You’ll see this one on my new website very soon.

Belgian Nursery generously provided maze pens that I could give out to people, especially children, coming to my table. There were engaging conversations and people admiring Maja’s art in my book and getting to choose a bookmark, hand stamped or decorative ones created by my illustrator. And a colouring page too. One of the employees told me that the children were delighted with the page to take home.

 

Then there was the turtle pond and the fish pond at St. Jacob’s Country Gardens and Plant Nursery.

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And the fish pond with a small waterfall too, because they also have a pond specialist.

 

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And here I was stationed between the two. It’s a lovely place to sit and chat with people.

Thus goes my book promotion for this spring. I’ve been offered the opportunity to return to this third place as often as I wish, and I will take them up on the offer.

Thank you all who came or helped, and for purchasing a book. I hope you will enjoy reading it to your children or just to share with others who you know.

May the children who hear the story come to understand the value of trees to humans and nature. When they do, I know my father would be smiling because he loved them too.

 

 

 

May 14, 2018 at 1:12 am 2 comments

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