A Good Home, Container Gardening, Flowers, Gardening

The Indomitable Pansy

The only pansies we’ve had past the month of June were the dead kind.

If not dead, then seriously bedraggled.

That’s why I stopped planting them each spring, and always planted other stuff instead.

Blog Photo - Potted plants and front door

Annual plants that last longer. Like blue salvia, pink snapdragons and ivy.

Blog Photo - Potted plants - one pot

But our landscaper friend Blaine brought us some bulbs and pansies to put in pots in early May.

Container planting is the only gardening I do these days, so I was happier than a pig in mud.

Blog Photo - pansies - blue CU

The hyacinth and daffodils bloomed heartily and died back. But the pansies kept blooming.

Blog Photo - Pansies Galore

And blooming.

Blog Photo - Pansy yellow

Blog Photo - Pansies on verandah - two pots

The rain beat the flowers down, but they’d spring back soon after.

Blog Photo - Pansies on ledge

Mid-July and they’re still blooming.

So here’s to the indomitable Pansy.

Blog Photo - Pansies Blue

Blog Photo - Pansy white CU

Long may you live!

For fascinating facts about the pansy, or viola:

http://www.gardenherbs.org/simples/violet_pansy.htm

A Good Home, Canadian Gardens, Garden, Spring garden

Mama’s Garden in Spring

My husband named this garden for my mother. It’s my favorite garden and I promised to tend it.

But my injuries made gardening a huge challenge and Mama’s Garden became a little jungle.

For the last few years, it’s looked a bit wild, especially from the outside.

Mama's Garden Side shot with dogwood, ferns etc

Mama's Garden side shot

But it’s always a treasure-trove on the inside.

Mama's Garden Ferns and Jack in the pulpit

My Good Man weeded the pathway for me this Spring – thank you, thank you, Kind Sir!!

Suddenly, you could see the path and even the plants stood out more.

That purple flower on the left below is woodland phlox. Farther below, in the next picture, is Solomon’s seal, blooming its small white bells.

Mama's Garden Pathway May 2015

Mama's Garden Solomon's seal

Mama's Garden Purple Iris CU

Yes, even Irises bloom here. 

Mama's Garden Yellow Iris CU

Ferns, hydrangea, Jack-in-the-pulpit, May apple,dogwood, ligularia, wild phlox, woodland phlox, astilbe, hosta — and many more plants grow together here.  Including two clematis vines.

Mama's Garden Double Clem CU

Mama's Garden Path and Arbor side

 The double clematis flourishes on the entrance arbor. It will cover that side of the arbor very soon.

Mama's Garden Double Clem opening

The dogwood blooms above all that. It has never looked better.

Mama's Garden Dogwood blooms May 2015

Same goes for the purple lilac.

Mama's Garden Purple Lilac

Way to go, Mama’s Garden!  Thank you for your thriving and lovely ways.

~~

Dedicated to my mother.

With thanks to my husband for all his work in our garden.

A Good Home, Flowers, Gardening, Life in canada, Poem, Poetry, Seasons Change, Winter's End

A Winter’s Tail

The birds are back with songs of Spring

Their tunes incite imagining

That Winter’s end will soon arrive

And living things shall haste to thrive

~~

Via vitalxrecognition.wordpress.com/
Image Thanks to: vitalxrecognition.wordpress.com/

A Winter’s Tail, how bittersweet!

Today it’s sun, tomorrow sleet

And wind to stop us in our tracks

And cold to freeze Spring-hungry backs

~~

One day we feel a wave of hope

Warmed by our thoughts that we can cope

And then come gales of Winter still

And blizzards coat the windowsill

~~

Blog Photo - Icy Winter evening

Ho, Winter! Do your level best

Your time is near to take a rest

For Lady Spring prepares to rule

She’ll thaw your ice and warm your cool

~~

She’ll rout you, kick your icy tail

She’ll make you wish you’d stopped at hail

Who’s mighty now, oh Freezer Guy

Who rules the roost? Oh my, oh my!

Blog Photo - Rainy Garden with Flowering shrubs

Spring wakes the earth; the gardens flower

She turns grass green and makes you cower

She strips away your winter clothes

And sprinkles sunshine up your nose

Blog Photo - Mama's Garden2

She brings new life to garden trail

She gives new strength to plants so frail

To stand up ‘gainst your mighty storm

And so defy your freezing form

 ~~

Ho! Winter’s Tail, I kid you not

Pick up your snow and off you trot

Break down your ice and melt away

See you around, when skies are grey

 ~~Blog Photo - Lilacs and forget Me Nots

See you next time, oh Frigid One

But not too soon, for Spring’s begun

And three great seasons I shall see

Before you’re back to torment me.

 ~~

Thanks to Hamlin Grange for all original photos.

Dedicated to my friends Lisa E. and Marion W: Spring is near.

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.