A Good Home, Canadian Gardens, Flowers

A Bloomin’ Miracle

 

European explorers didn’t call Canada the “land of ice and snow” for nothing!

It’s usually cold now. So why are the plants outside blooming and reblooming in late September?

Take this miniature rose. A gift from my husband in late June (after the ankle-break), it’s flourishing outside. Again.

Blog Photo - Rose late summer 2017

And this cyclamen, also a gift — from our neighbour.

Blog Photo - Begonia late summer 2017

Now, you may recall that I consider myself an expert on getting amaryllis to rebloom.

People ask: “Cynthia, how do I store my amaryllis bulbs during the fall so they’ll rebloom at Christmas?”

I immediately get puffed up with self-importance!  You see, I’m famously bad at the domestic arts, but I’m good at this. I know about reblooming amaryllis.

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms 4 - July 2017

“Stop all watering in mid-August,” I say with great authority.  “Come September, pluck off the dried-up leaves, shake off the dried-up soil, and store the bulb in the cold cellar.  It’s had months outside, feeding on water, soil and sun, and now it’s time for beddy-bye, aka hibernation, until late November. It will be ready to rebloom at Christmas.”

So I took my own advice. Stopped watering this amaryllis on schedule, the leaves turned a dying yellow and….

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Wideshot late 2917

The darned thing bloomed!

It’s a delightful but humbling moment.  Seems I don’t know amaryllis. 

Blog Photo - Amaryllis CU late 2017

It’s like the goddess of amaryllis punctured my pride with her hatpin.

More worrisome things are happening in the world, I know.  But I’ve now decided to see the reblooming as a miracle. If there’s a botanical explanation, don’t tell me.

It’s a bloomin’ miracle, and that’s that.

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A Good Home, Amaryllis in Bloom, Canadian Families, Canadian life, Christmas, Flowers

Time for Something Cheerful

Friends:

As you may know by now, I love sharing cheerful posts, especially in challenging times. So here’s one, with pictures provided by the wonderful Hamlin Grange.

~~

First, you may recall that I save our Amaryllis bulbs each year, hoping to get them blooming again at Christmas. Amaryllis are a Christmas tradition in this part of the world.

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms CU1

The trick is to cut the flower stem off after blooming, and allow the plant to keep growing in its container. Take it outside in the spring, and only stop watering in late summer. Then I shake the soil off the roots, and store the bulbs in a big paper bag in the cold cellar.  

But – once again — I forgot all about them. Till late June. And discovered they were growing — in a peculiar colour.

Husband and I planted the alien creatures right away in a big ugly container …

Blog Photo - White Amaryllis 2 - July 2017

Blog Photo - White Amaryllis 4 - July 2017

… and hoped that beautiful changes would take place. 

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms 4 - July 2017

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms 3 - July 2016

And here is the outcome: Christmas in July.

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms 3 - July 2017

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms 2 - July 2016

Whoever said “better late than never” was not thinking of this, I’m sure. But after the 3 weeks just past, these flowers are such a cheerful sight, we wanted to share them with you.

Take care of yourselves, all of you. Thanks also for your kind wishes. I’m not back to form yet, but speaking more clearly today, moving around a little and taking no risks. The new cast is providing more support, the sun is shining, and my family and friends have been wonderfully kind. I’m thankful for every blessing.

~~

Photos by Hamlin Grange.

ps: Some photos are mistakenly labelled 2016. Pls. ignore.

A Good Home, Beauty, Canadian Families, Canadian Homes, Canadian Women, Couples, Flowers, Grace, Valerie Rowley

Valerie Rowley – Beauty Inside and Out

In 2014, I ran a series about Valerie Rowley, her husband Chris and their lovely home, garden and pets.

Blog Photo - Val and Chickens

I was impressed by Valerie and Chris’ relationship – their obvious love and respect for each other.

I also liked this fact about them and their home: despite being an interior designer herself, Valerie didn’t renovate her home all at once. It took 20 years of patience and work. And though she created a beautiful home, it was above all, designed for comfort.

When Val’s illness worsened recently, my heart hurt for her and Chris and their family.

I remembered how she and Chris generously shared their home with my blogging community, and your warm responses to the series. So, knowing that Valerie loved flowers, I asked some of you to send a photo of your favourite flower for her. Many of you replied by Facebook or directly to my blog.

Valerie was very thankful for those flowers. 

Valerie died yesterday. She was surrounded by Chris, her daughter and son and grandchildren, and other loved ones. We wish and pray for comfort and strength for them at this tough time.

Some people have a special touch for creating beauty — in one’s surroundings, and in one’s heart. Valerie touched people in this way. In addition to being a gifted and well-known designer, she was a very positive person who had a way of lighting up a room with her sense of humour, frank talk, unpretentious ways and that beautiful smile. 

“Have I ever told you how much I love your spirit?” I wrote in what would be my last email exchange with her. “You draw people to you because there is a kind unpretentiousness about you, and an interest in others. I took to your presence like a duck to water … the warm look of welcome on your face, and the delight when you laugh, are  lovely.”

I am thankful to have known you, dear Valerie.

Prayers for Chris, Tamsyn, Jon and all who love you.

 

 

 

 

A Good Home, Blogging Community, Flowers, Valerie Rowley

FLOWERS FOR VAL

There are times when words just aren’t enough.

So I send flowers on my blog to individuals going through happy times, sad times — or just because.

This time, the flowers are for someone whom many of you may remember: my friend Valerie. With husband Chris, pet dogs, chickens, their beautiful gardens, home and farm — Val graced these pages about 4 times in the last two years, and many more times through her kind comments here.

Val is very ill right now. These flowers are sent to her from bloggers who read about her and from my own family too.

Blog flowers For Val from Gallivanta
From Gallivanta in New Zealand
Blog Flowers for Val from Cindy Knoke1
From Cindy Knoke, USA
Blog Flowers For Val from Wendy MacDonald
From Wendy MacDonald, Canada
Blog Flower from Natalie Scarberry
From Natalie Scarberry, USA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
From Jeni Rankin, Scotland
Blog Flowers for Val From Amy and Alan the Greyhound
From Amy Grant (and her greyhound Alan), USA
Blog flower from Laurie Graves
From Laurie Graves, USA
Blog Flowers for Val from Diane Taylor
From Diane Taylor, Canada
Blog flowers for Val from Chris
From Chris, Canada
Blog Flower for Val from Katherine 2
From Katherine, Gibraltar
Blog Flowers for Val from Lavinia
From Lavinia and Rick, USA
Blog Flowers for Val from Ann Moser.JPG
From Ann Moser, Canada
Camellia
From Derrick Knight, UK
Blog Flowers for Val from Jason
From Jason, USA
Blog flowers for Val from Margaret
From Margaret Mair, Canada
Blog Flowers for Val from MT McGuire.jpg
From MT McGuire, UK
Blog Photo Amaryllis Red and White
From Cynthia, Hamlin and Family

Love and prayers, dear Val and Chris.

I thank you for welcoming my blog community into your home, and above all, thank you for being you.

**Blogger friends: You are welcome to send a flower for Val. I will add it here.

Cynthia.