A Good Home, Anemone, Canadian Gardens, Canadian life, Flower legends, Flowers, Gardens, Life in canada

Ever Heard Of An Emony?

I hadn’t seen one, just heard the name.

Then I saw the written word somewhere: Anemone.

Blog Photo - Anemone Bud1

Kinda like the first time I saw the word “Cotoneaster” and called it a “Cotton Easter” shrub — to the amusement of experienced gardeners nearby. One of them explained: “It’s an aster. Cotone aster.”

Yeah, sure. But in my mind, it’s still “Cotton Easter”.

What can I say? People like me hail from a strange planet.

Blog Photo - anemone Bud 2

Which may explain why we can’t cook or bake or knit.

Or make nice floral arrangements.

But I digress.

Blog Photo - Anemone Bud 3

The anemone flower, a member of the buttercup family, has magical origins.

If you believe the old legends, anyway.

Blog Photo - Anemone Bud 4

And you should…. if you’re a gardener.

Because I understand that gardeners are really magicians and witches, and that if you see them in the moonlight — at exactly one minute after midnight — you’ll notice that their fingers are an iridiscent green and tendrils grow from their hands and feet…..

But I digress. Again.

Anemone is said to have sprung from the earth when the goddess Venus shed tears of grief over the loss of Adonis and flowers grew where her tears fell.

Blog Photo - Anemone Bloom 1

As to the flower’s linguistic roots: they’re Greekanemos and one – meaning “daughter of the wind”.

And indeed this delicate-looking flower always seems to hold her own.

An example to us humans — for those times when we’re buffeted by the strong winds of life.

But I digress.

Blog Photo - anemone Bloom 2

I love Miss Anemone for showing up in her gentle colours just as most of the other flowers in my Canadian garden have faded.

A reminder that patience is a virtue and that every late bloomer has its day in the sun.

Blog Photo - anemone Bloom 4

Or, as my Jamaican ancestors would say: “Every dog has his day, and every puss his 9 o’clock”. 

I tell you – my beloved people had a saying for every single thing. Some of which I’m still trying to figure out.

No wonder I digress so often.

 **

Dedicated, with thanks, to Les and Sandra, from whose flowerbeds came our anemone and several of the other flowers in our garden. 

A Good Home, Animals, Birds, Country Living, Ducks, Gardens, Gardens and Wildlife, Garlic

Wonders Never Cease

Every so often, I wish I had a well-behaved garden.

The kind where everything does what I want, when I want.

Where flowers don’t stray into lawns and lawns don’t stray into flowerbeds, and the strong wind didn’t break one of the arches on the arbour my dear husband so carefully built.

Blog Photo - Garden Circle

But this I know:

Real gardens offer up surprises each week, each day and sometimes, each hour.

Blog Photo - Hollyhock Mutant

Like flowers blooming in unexpected colours.

Blog Photo - Peony Rust

And interesting visitors.

Like this large bird in the apple tree.

Blog Photo - Bird in tree

And wild rabbits.

Blog Photo - Rabbit cleans self

Cleaning themselves without a care in the world.

Blog Photo - Bird Scratches self

Like this mother duck, with her ducklings.

Blog Photo - Duck Family

She must have squeezed herself under the fence.

Blog Photo - Ant and Moth

This ant, dragging a dead moth many times its size. It took the moth way across the verandah.

Blog Photo - Farmhouse Doorway

This beet, expected to be dark red, is somehow orange.

Blog Photo - Orange Beets

A single squash. It’s from a vine that strayed from our neighbours’ squash plantation.

Blog Photo - Squash on our side of fence

“It’s yours”, he says. The thing will grow to almost half my height. No kidding.

Blog Photo - Squash 2

These onions, because they delight and surprise me each late summer.

Blog Photo - Onions

And the garlic, just because the sight of them when newly harvested always surprises me.

Blog Photo - Garlic 2

The sight of our daughter’s little doggie, coming around the corner at full speed. Well, sort of.

Blog Photo - Doggie Runs

And this shadow “selfie”, which I didn’t know was there till I downloaded it and nearly jumped in surprise.

Blog Photo - Shadow takes photo

Gardens: places of surprise and discovery.

**

Dedicated to all gardeners, everywhere.

A Good Home, Flowers, Garden, Gardening, Gardens, Home, Writers

The Guilty Gardener

Blog Photo - Garden - Rose

I love gardening.

But for a smart person, I can be really stupid. 

**

A pain-filled fall and winter got worse as we headed toward spring: the few times I went out, I caught something.

Flu.

Bronchitis.

A cough that wouldn’t end.

Photo by Hamlin Grange
Photo by Hamlin Grange

Worn out and afraid of falling, I rarely even went into the garden.

Stuck in bed, I tried to write my way back to sanity and health.

Spring came.

Blog Photo - Garden - Roses in Boxwood Garden

And then.

“You’ve relapsed,”  the specialist said flatly during my hospital visit.

“Guilty,” I replied. “Sorry.”

“Do NOT feel guilty,” she answered.  “It was an awful winter. All my patients with complex injuries had a very tough time.”

“But your immune system is also weak,” she warned.  “Be very careful this spring.”

I listened.

I promised.

And I was. Blog Photo - Garden - Working in Garden1And then.

It was gardening season.

Day after day, my husband worked hard in the garden.

I watched, feeling entirely useless.

He left, on an errand.

Blog Photo - Garden - working in Garden 2And then.

I spied a large crop of forget-me-not growing into the lawn from the garden beds.  I know they bug him, and I know they’re easy to dig with a trowel. And so I thought I’d help.

A small thing.

A good thing.

I could do this. Blog Photo - Garden FMN straying into lawn I crouched over the lawn and started digging, feeling useful. When the back and leg pain intensified, I lay on my front, face just above the grass.

I dug, sneezing as dust went into my nose.

Then I spied a few dandelions nearby. Now I crouched over them, trowel engaged.

“Stop!” said my wiser self.

I listened.

I meant to.

In just a few seconds. Blog Photo - Garden - Butterfly on Mint

And then.

My sense of time did not kick in. It rarely does.

When I got up, the pain almost knocked me out. I staggered. Stumbled. Fought against falling, my cane desperately trying to find purchase in the ground.

“Cynthia! Cynthia!” came the panicked shout.

I had not heard my husband return.

Blog Photo - Garden in late Spring I ask you: which is worse?

To watch your partner struggle to do the gardening duties that you loved doing — on top of everything else on his plate? Or risk even worse pain — and his distress — by doing a few small gardening things to help? Blog Photo - Garden - working in garden 3 Blog Photo - Garden compost bags Some days, I’m almost used to the pain. It’s with me all the bloody time.

But the guilt? I never get used to the guilt of watching him do all the gardening work. It drives me nuts.

“Why do you do this?”  He shook his head, frustrated and angry. “You know better!”

Yes I do.  Blog Photo - Garden in shadows

So I’m obeying the doctor. Again.

Sparing my husband distress. Again.

Trying to cope with guilt. Again.

All stuff that requires a person to be not just smart, but wise.

So far, so good.

Wish me luck.

**

Dedicated to all gardeners who are struggling due to age, illness or pain. And to the caring people who help us: thank you.

A Good Home, Decorating skills, Domestic Divas, Flower Arranging, Flowers, Gardening, Gardens, Interior Design

Inferior Design — A Natural Talent

If I call to invite close relatives to supper, their reply goes like this:

“Oh! How nice…”

Blog Photo - Hostas and Clematis

A long pause follows.

Blog Photo - flowers in glass vase mixed

Then:

“Er… Who’s cooking?”

So — naturally — I reply: You have nothing to fear. Husband is cooking.”

Joyful sounds erupt from the telephone.

Blog Photo - flowers in Brown Vase closer

Me, take offense? No way.

Blog Photo - Hostas and wieglia

I’m the untalented one in a family of creatively gifted domestic divas and I know it.

My mother, sisters, cousins and daughters  — all are fabulous cooks and bakers.

All were born knowing how to arrange a room artfully.

Clothes and hair? Fabulously stylish. Floral arrangements? To sigh for.

Blog Photo - Flowers in vase nice

And then there’s me. I have to work really, really hard at all these things – with surprisingly strange results.

An expert at inferior design, is what I am.

Blog Photo - flowers with alium closer

My greatest talent was in designing and planting our gardens.  Really nice gardens — if you like the lush, exuberant kind.  There, I seem to know instinctively what flowers and colours go together.

But, these days, I mostly pick the flowers, not plant them.

So — naturally — I recently decided to try floral arranging.

You may remember that I once ruined a very simple Christmas arrangement.

But hope springs eternal.

So — naturally — I decided to channel my inner Christiane, and Karen B. – two wonderfully creative, flower-loving women.  I love their blogs.

I stuck some flowers in a vase. Peonies and Solomon’s seal.

Blog Photo - Peonies and Solomon's Seal

“Beautiful”, said my sister.

Shocking.

So — naturally — the next arrangement was — hmmm…..

Blog Photo - Peonies in tall vase

Friends Lydia and her daughter Sarah kindly gave me a book on floral arranging.

The designs seemed so simple that only an idiot could fail to grasp them.

So — naturally — I failed to grasp them.

I’ve been hiding from Lydia and Sarah ever since.

Blog Photo - flowers white daisies in vase

Along comes my daughter, to shore up my confidence.

I’ll cut the flowers, we agree.  She’ll take the lead on arranging them in vases.

They were all very pretty.

So — naturally —  I went and stuck allium heads into one of them and ruined her creation. (See the sixth photo from the top.)

But all she said was: Nice, Mom.

Encouraged, I stuck another allium head  into a few flowers in a thin vase.

Blog Photo - Hostas in tall vase

And all of that explains why this post is full of flowers in vases.

The nice ones are my daughter’s.

In case you were wondering.

**

Dedicated to my creative relatives, and Lydia and Sarah. And to creative divas Christiane and Karen B.