A Good Home, Canadian Gardens, The Garden in Early June, Tree Peonies

Garden Porn – ish

Well, it would be garden porn but we’re at that in-between stage right now.

Flowering plants are still budding up…

Blog Photo - Garden Peony about to bloom

Vines are twining up…

Blog Photo - Garden Clematis vine in June

And if it weren’t for the Jack In The Pulpits, cuddling up to an overwhelmingly tall hosta…

Blog Photo - Garden Jacks

Blog Photo - Garden Light Green large hosta

And these sweet little wild anemone flowers cozying up against the stone wall ….

Blog Photo - Garden Whtie flowers against wall

And the vegetable garden, with tomato plants and eggplants and peppers and herbs shooting up in the hot sun….

Blog Photo - Garden Tomatoes and eggplant plants

Or the annuals in pots, under the guardian’s unwavering gaze…. 

Blog Photo - Garden Face and flowers

Or the empty coffee mug forgotten on the Muskoka chair….

Blog Photo - Garden Mug on Chair

Blog Photo - Garden and pot and chair

Blog Photo - Garden Blue pots CU

And green stuff on the ground or climbing up the walls….

Blog Photo - Garden Path and Greenery

And this one and only bloom on this most reluctant tree peony…

Blog Photo - garden Peony in bloom

Overseen by a multitude of ferns and other shrubs not yet blooming…

Blog Photo - Garden peony shrubs and walls

I’d have nothing to show you at all!

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A Good Home, Flowers, Gardens, Life in canada, Peonies, Photographs

A Photographer’s Passion for Flowers

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Gundy Schloen is passionate about photography.

So: add her passion for photography to her passion for flowers and what do you get?

Blog Photo - Maltese Cross Photo by Gundy Schloen

Beautiful photos of flowers, of course.

Over the years, Gundy has taken thousands of photos of flowers.

Flowers in her own garden and flowers wherever she goes.

Blog Photo - Oshawa Peony Festival -Photo by Gundy Schloen

Like the Oshawa Peony Festival a few weeks ago. (Oshawa is a city east of Toronto.)

So I asked her if I could feature just a few of the photographs she took there.

Blog Photo - Peony Yellow - Photo by Gundy Schloen

But choosing just a few was very difficult. I really liked this one, above.

Then again, I liked this photo below and the one below that.

Blog Photo - Peony large pink CU - photo by Gundy Schloen

Blog Photo - White Peony photo by Gundy Schloen

Gee whiz – I liked a lot of them.

Blog Photo - Peony Border photo by Gundy Schloen

And aren’t these ones below just luminous?

Blog Photo - Red Peonies - Photo by Gundy Schloen

Beautiful flowers…. and beautiful photography.

Blog Photo - Prized peony - Photo by Gundy Schloen

Well done, Gundy and thanks for allowing me to feature “a few” of your stunning photos.

Blog Photo - Gundy Schloen in her garden - photo by P. Schloen

Photos copyright of Gundy Schloen.

A Good Home, Blessings, Flowers, Garden, Peonies

Flowers for Jean

Blog Photo - Spring flowers in VancouverHow typical of Jean,” I thought when she sent me cheery photos (including the one above) of spring flowers in Vancouver. “To do something nice for me when it’s her birth-week.”

Jean does this kind of thing.

But it’s Jean’s birthday, so these flowers are dedicated to her.

Blog Photo - Red Peony

If asked to name something that comes to mind when we think of Jean, her friends would probably say:

Family.

Faith.

Friendship.

Good Food.

Flowers.

(We might also add Athletics, Books and Music but those words don’t begin with an ‘F’, so they don’t make the cut here.)

Blog Photo - Peonies and Solomon's Seal

These flowers are in honour of a special birthday.

Blog Photo - Peony deep pink singleJean loves flowers. She’s actually studied gardening. Recently, she created a whole new garden from scratch.

Peonies are among her favorites.

So are Bleeding Hearts. These below are grandchildren of a plant she gave me years ago.

Above photos by Hamlin Grange
4 Photos above by Hamlin Grange

A few of Jean’s gardener friends have contributed flowers and garden scenes to this birthday greeting.

Ornamental grasses from Linda’s garden:

Blog Photo - Book Club Iron Heron

And a lovely white peony:

Blog Photo - Flowers  for Jean Linda's Peony

Jan sends this yellow beauty and the pink lady’s slippers by the lakeside: 

Blog Photo - Jan's Yellow flowers for Jean

Blog Photo - Jan's Lady Slipper for Jean

And from Val’s garden come these peonies and scene of the lush countryside northwest of Toronto:

Blog Photo - Val Peonies on hillside

Thank you, Jean.

For your friendship.

And for being you.

A blessed birthday and birth-week to you.

A Good Home, Faith, Family, Family Moments, Farm house, Flowering shrubs, Flowers, Gardening, Gardens, Gratitude, Home, Homes, Inspiration

Flowers, Memories, Diaries

Memory is the diary we all carry about with us, wrote Oscar Wilde.

But for me, diary is memory. Years of memories.

Family, home, garden, daily life.

Diaries played a small role in my overall life, but became a huge part of my post-accident experience. With little sense of time, and often no memory of events just minutes after they happened, I started writing in my journal again.

Little things. Big things. Write it down quickly. 

Blog Photo - Journals

A doctor played a key role.  She told me to record events as they happened, figuring I could share these entries with the  medical professionals I visited.  My memory and speech problems were so bad, she noted, that “No other specialist will take two hours to try to figure out what you are saying. Write.”

Of course, that’s not word-for-word. But I scribbled down her order.

I returned to keeping journals. Some of the entries were so painful, I vowed to never re-read them.

The best? Entries about time with family.

Blog Photo - Rainy Garden with Flowering shrubs

Next best: time in the garden.

I used to keep a journal to track my gardens’ progress. The major triumphs and minor tragedies, the plans carried out and those forgotten.

Now, no longer able to garden, I was reduced to observing.  But observing led to writing and writing led to “remembering”.

The first spring bulbs to bloom.

Blog Photo - Crocus in Spring

The first night-bloomer of the season.

Blog Photo - Nightbloomer1

The first time the fern-leaf peonies – presents from friends Les and Sandra – bloomed.

Blog Photo - Fernleaf Peonies

The hollyhock that bloomed in two colours.

Blog Photo - Daylily yellow

The mysterious flower that showed up one summer.

Blog Photo - Blue forget me not -- closer

Red currants, seeds planted by birds or breeze.

Blog - Red Currants

When your brain doesn’t work efficiently, you misplace things. When you’re in too much pain to move, you can’t go looking for things somewhere else.  So I learned to keep the garden journal on the verandah, and other journals in every room of the house.

Blog Photo - Verandah chairsAn onlooker, seeing me writing on that lovely verandah, might have thought: “What a charmed life.”

But as my mother always said : “Never envy others. No-one knows what troubles they have.” I was – quite literally — writing to save my life.

Looking back, I’m astonished at some of the lovely things that happened. Things to be grateful for. People to be grateful to.

I’m shocked at the development of this garden, as captured in my journals.

Grateful to my husband, for building arbours, dividing plants, maintaining the garden — in addition to everything else that landed on his plate.

Blog Photo - Garden Bridal wreath

Some of what I read evokes real memories. They bring tears, laughter, delight, wonder.

Some of it is not at all familiar. It’s like reading about someone else’s life, but knowing it’s yours.

Interesting, that.

Photos by Hamlin Grange