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Waiting for Springtime…

On a day like today, when the snow is so deep and the air is cold enough to freeze your nostrils, I long for springtime. This long-eared rabbit pops round my kitchen every April bringing with him sweet bunches of silkin blooms. It's far too early yet for the real thing! I miss him and the warmer weather...

In my garden, these are the real blooms - pretty peonies. An iron trellis supports the heavy, flopsy heads. I love their raspberry 'collars' and creamy centres. They look almost good enough to eat! I cannot wait to be in the garden again and to hear the birds singing ...Are YOU waiting for springtime?

 

“Life is gorgeous in the garden.” Anonymous

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The next best time is now.”

~Chinese Proverb

 

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'Pink Hawthorne' and 'Golden Chain' trees flourish near the garden gate and hang over the fence. How lush they are when they've had the warmth of the sun and plenty of moisture! There must be something in the soil, too 🙂

 

'Mr. Sun' and 'Joseph's Coat' both smile on the garden shed.

 

 

 

“All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.”

~Helen Hayes

 

Greetings, Friends!

A' fisher girl' sculpture (a spouting fountain) tends to 'the catch' she carries in her apron. Pink full-faced 'Bonica' roses climb the iron 'birdcage' trellis toward the sun. In the foreground, swollen poppies are about to burst into bloom at any moment.

Goodness!  Come in from the cold, won’t you?!  I’m glad you’re here.  How would you like your tea today? Maybe with a slice of lemon? Or, a little taste of honey? There’s ‘Japanese Cherry’ flavoured green tea brewing in the pot.  It is delightful on its own merits and one of my favourites.  I hope you like it, too. It’s ready to be poured.  Hmmm…It has a subtle, sweet aroma. I hope  this ‘cuppa’ warms your spirit…

The snow didn’t come until late January this year.  We normally have three long months of winter by then. People say we’ve been lucky.  It’s like we escaped the wrath of Narnia’s ‘Ice Queen’ (a.k.a. The White Witch) or something.  Well, it seems she found us and we’re well making up for it in this month! (Don’t you love ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe?”  C.S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia).

About this time of year, I start to get the winter blues. I especially feel it this year.  Last spring and summer passed me by altogether while I was having cancer treatments.   Whenever I start feeling the winter doldrums, I reach for my gardening books.  They are never far from reach at any time of year.   For hours at a time, I pore over and over their pretty pages of inspiration and begin to visualize, in my own garden, the spot each new flower will call home, and where another will be relocated to a new address.  Before too long, the ‘winter blues’ turn into the ‘winter pinks’! Planning a garden is the best medicine for just about anything.   Dreaming of days in the garden transports me to warmer, sunnier times ahead.  I can almost hear the birdsong…

 

The lilacs seemed to have thrived last season.

 

“When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it.  If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.” ~Author Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

A cheery circlet of tulip bulbs (and a rose) rests on a half wall in the kitchen.

MY GARDEN IS MY SANCTUARY:  A PLACE TO PUTTER, PLANT, PONDER, RELAX, REFLECT, REMINISCE, READ, WRITE, DREAM…A PLACE WHERE I CAN JUST BE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.” ~Emma Goldman

 

Last season, I didn’t get in the garden at all.  ‘Chemo’ was brutal and I just didn’t have the wherewithal, although my heart was right there with my flowers. I wondered if they missed me.

Covered in faux moss,  a reproduction of an ancient Roman figure poses in front of a mirror in the foyer.  He looks as though he’s been in the garden for centuries.  Come summer, he spends most of his time outside on a garden table.

My dear neighbour, Joanne, shares my love of gardening. She unabashedly proclaims to the world that she especially loves weeding – can you imagine that?! She assured me early on in my treatments, taking my arm in hers, that she would tend to my garden while I could not. She brightly announced that she had even organized an entire tag team of ‘garden gals’ who would help care for it.

A smiley and enthusiastic group of four, they call themselves the ‘Thursday night craft girls’. One of the girls, I’d never even met.  Rain or shine, they’d come to my garden, unlatch the gate and let themselves in amongst the blooms, like little sprites, to happily weed and water from June until August.  I hardly ever saw them but I always knew when they had been there. Some days, as if by magic, a pretty new annual would appear amongst the perennials along with an inspirational note! What a beautiful thing!

 

“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.” ~Winnie the Pooh

 

 

A lush bleeding heart , one of my most treasured plants in our garden, was transplanted by my mom-in-law from her own garden some years ago.

The "Queen of the Garden" in all her glory

At the end of the gardening season heading into the fall, and as I was starting to regain my strength and my interest in ‘real life’ pursuits again, I decided to make a romantic garden basket for each of my new ‘garden gal pals’.  It would be a means to say a small, yet huge-hearted, “Thank You”.

The baskets held floral themed one-cup teapots and companion cups with cute garden sayings written on them, herbal tea sachets, pretty paper napkins, bird-embroidered tea towels, tiny seed packets and convenient garden journals.

Filling the baskets was the closest thing to gardening that I’d be able to manage for one season. I carried them to Joanne’s house across the street. She was happy to present them to the garden girls at the next Thursday night crafters’ gathering. Days later, they would phone from their evening meeting to express their enthusiasm over their garden ‘lovegifts’.  As thrilled as they were to receive the baskets, I think I may have been even more thrilled to give them to repay in some small way what they had done for my garden and for me.   I think they may have underestimated what a profound effect their caring and supportive gesture would have on my soul…

 

 

“The best fertilizer is the gardener’s shadow.” ~Author Unknown

 

 

A view of the garden shed before its face lift. You'll have to come back and visit on another day to see its transformation...

In the fall of 2010, at a November reception at City Hall (that I was unable to attend), we were acknowledged by our City for our summer gardenscape.  Before ‘the announcement letter’ had arrived in our mailbox, it came as a surprise to hear from several friends and co-workers that our garden had been mentioned on radio and in the newspaper! A keepsake framed plaque with a photo inset of our garden would be  later delivered to our door.  How lovely!

On the August day back when the judges came to see the garden, many of the most spectacular blooms had already been long spent, the roof was being re-shingled, the fence repainted and a new walkway was about to be installed.  With all the construction going on, the garden was an unruly mess!   And to top it all off, I was recovering from a nasty chemotherapy treatment that I’d had a few days prior and was too sick to even haul myself off the sofa and greet the judges, let alone show them around the garden.  Talk about unfortunate timing!  They saw fit nevertheless to bestow a ‘Honourable Mention’ upon our little plot of paradise.  And we are truly honoured by the gesture.

 

As any gardener will attest, a garden is constantly evolving, purposely as well as naturally.  Here are some pics of last summer’s garden…

 

“The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.”
~Dorothy Frances Gurney, “Garden Thoughts” 

Flower boxes, proudly wearing a new coat of shiny black paint,  spill over with ‘Pink Wave Petunia’, variegated ivies and geranium.   (Background) ‘ Flower Sacks’, full-to-their-brims with ‘White Lobelia’ and more geraniums, pretty up the face of  the shed.   The bags look sweet at night, too, under the glow of the carriage lamps.  ‘English Ivy’  vines and ‘Ivy  Geranium’ trail from a natural moss-lined basket that hangs near the door to the shed.

 

“You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.” ~Author Unknown

 

View from the deck. (Background) A 'Pee Gee Hydrangea' tentatively climbs an iron arbour near the garden shed. A 'Fairy Rose' tree standard stretches her slender arms up to greet the sun!

 

“All gardeners live in beautiful places, because they make them so.”
– Joseph Joubert

'Nelly Moser' clematis and 'New Dawn' roses twine round one another as they competitively climb the gatepost. I love the soft pink combination. What a pretty welcome at the garden gate!

 

 

Thank you, my lovelies for coming by!  I hope we’ll see each other again very soon.  Be cozy and remember…

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.” ~Proverb

 

Warmly yours,

Linda

The  heady  smell of old-fashioned lilacs always brings to mind pleasant memories of my Grandpa Golden’s peaceful garden round ‘The Bay’.  Our sense of smell oftentimes evokes the strongest of memories…


“One kind word can warm three winter months.” ~Japanese Proverb

 

Sweet-smelling 'Morden Blush' roses seem to clamour for attention along the garden's path.

 

“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
~ Hans Christian Andersen

Bits of blue sky peep through the masses of pink 'Hawthorne' florets and foot-long 'Laburnum' pendulum-like gold chains. What a spectacle of nature!

 

 

Wands of pink lilac wave in the wind greeting visitors to the garden. The leafy boughs of a huge red maple join in and create a stunning contrast, especially after a cleansing rain.

 

 

 

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Categories: JARDINS
  1. Carolyn Walsh
    2011/02/21 at 6:58 pm

    This is simply wonderful. As long as I have this to read, I will never need a psychiatrist!

    • 2011/02/21 at 7:59 pm

      Greetings, Carolyn!

      I am just thrilled to bits that you are enjoying the blog so much. Your comment made me laugh, which is a beautiful thing! Thanks for following.

      All the best,
      Linda

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