A Good Home, Gardening, Gardening and Nature book, Gardening Photographs, Twigs in My Hair - A Gardening Memoir

Great News

Two lovely things just happened:

Twigs in My Hair, my new gardening memoir — with beautiful pictures by Hamlin Grange — hit the  Number 1 spot for New Releases in its category when it was released on amazon.com yesterday.

My great thanks to everyone who is buying the book!  You made this happen!

Created with GIMP

And author-musician Kevin Cooper has just released a conversation-interview he and I had lately. It’s fun and I enjoyed every moment of it. Thank you, Kevin!


Wishing you a lovely weekend, whether it’s late summer or early spring wherever you are.


A Good Home, Canadian Gardens, Canadian Identity, Canadian winter, Flowering trees and shrubs, Humour

Ice, Cold and … Flowers?

Never have Canadians been so united in one complaint.

Our northern nation, collectively, is shocked and appalled by this winter.

There’s been a surfeit of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. And a wealth of dire prognostications as one cold-weather record is outdone by the next.

Blog Photo - Snowy path

The most popular refrain this winter: “I’m not budging. I’m staying home.”

Second most popular: “Can’t talk right now! Strapping on my snowshoes to put out the garbage!”

We’ve become a nation of winter wimps. Yes, the hardy northern folk you’ve read about in books and seen in tourism commercials and airplane videos are no more. Gone, like the dodo bird.

That being the case, I imagine that there are robots running our schools and hospitals, driving our buses and subway trains, sanding our sidewalks, managing our electrical and gas supply and  keeping our neighborhoods safe and protected. Someone has to be brave enough.

Blog Photo - Spring Cherry trees blooming

In the midst of this alarming breakdown in our national character, my friend Jean sent me photos of flowering cherry trees and rhododendrons and azaleas.

You’d never believe where they are from.

Give up?

The west coast. Vancouver. Canada.


Blog Photo - Spring Rodos Blooming

Scenes like these tend to cause a serious breach in relations between east coast and west coast Canadians. How can one part of Canada be enjoying bloomin’ trees and shrubs in February, while the rest of us are freezin’ our tails off? It hardly seems fair.

But I, for one, am thrilled. Thrilled that one small part of this country is blooming.

Blog Photo - Spring Rodos2

And grateful for friends who send pictorial reminders that spring does indeed follow winter. Yes, even here in the ‘frozen tundra’ of Ontario.

Thank you, Jean. 

A Good Home, Birds, Flowering shrubs, Flowers, Garden, Gardening, Joyful Moments, Life in canada, Lifestyle, Nature, Non-fiction writing

In A Dark Garden

Have you ever walked in an early-morning garden after the rain?  

It’s dark, fresh, cool. And quiet. Even the birds are still taking cover.

Blog Photo - Rainy Peonies

Blog Photo - Rainy Day Lily leaves

Everything’s drenched.

Blog Photo - Rainy Rhodo Bloom

You squint at something pink  in the darkness….

Blog Photo - Rainy Columbines in dark

… ah, columbines. And you think how wise this first clematis bloom is, so nicely sheltered against a wall.

Blog Photo - Rainy but sheltered clematis

You’re lost in admiring this flowering shrub.

Blog Photo - Rainy Garden with Flowering shrubs

Its branches are so rain-heavy, they’re almost touching the ground.

Blog Photo - Rainy Branches over Hosta

You’re wearing sensible shoes, so your feet don’t get wet. But next thing you know, you brush against a wet branch.

Blog Photo - Rainy Burning Bush Leaf

And another.

Blog Photo - Rainy Pine needles

Turning away, you almost collide with a horse.

Blog Photo - Rainy Horse Weathervane

Your hair, face, nose and shirt get wet.

But the air is cool on your skin. Fresh and earthy to the breath.

Blog Photo - Rainy Yellow hosta

And one intrepid bird starts to sing.

Blog Photo - Rainy birdbath

You softly walk around in the dark garden, thankful to be alive.

To hear, see, feel,  smell, almost touch this morning.

And to take a few pictures, even though you once failed photography.


Dedicated to all early risers, including my beloved husband who takes care of our garden and takes much better photos than these.