A Good Home, Canadian Families, Canadian Homes, Spring Bulbs, Spring garden

The Upside

Last night, we had supper at table for the first time in weeks.  First, we prayed for all who are at risk of the virus, then we gave thanks for our blessings.

The upside of being restricted at home with family is that someone always senses when we need an uplift. Out comes a sandwich, a bowl of guacamole, or a whole meal with vegetarian meatballs, which I know is an oxymoron, somewhat like chicken balls.

We all know chickens do not have balls.

Blog Photo - Bread homemade

This morning, we cut slices of warm bread — ingredients (flour, yeast, water and salt) mixed by daughter, left to rise overnight, then, this morning, separated into loaf pans and baked.

The yummiest thing: fresh warm bread.

My daughter held her baby and we sang along with “Lovin’ You” by Minnie Riperton.  Minnie and husband Richard Rudolph created the song  “as a distraction” for their baby daughter Maya. 

My granddaughter loves to dance. Yes, at 5 months old.  All you have to do is sing and move your body while holding her, and the arms and legs start to dance, while her face fills with joy and laughter.  

Daughter and I got a bit emotional as we sang along:

“Stay with me while we grow old
And we will live each day in springtime”

Blog Photo - Minnie Ripperton Album Cover Lovin' You

We knew that Minnie died at age 31 when Maya (actor Maya Rudolph of “Saturday Night Live”, “Bridesmaid”  and “The Good Place”) was not quite 7 years old.

Our singing faltered, but we kept going, uplifted by granddaughter’s smiles and dancing.

“Want to go for a walk, Mum?” Daughter asked.

So we did, and passed 3 men working in front-yards. 

“Gentlemen, I’ve found a dime!” one hollered.

“That’s my dime!” another yelled from across the street.

“I was counting on that dime for my retirement!” shouted the third.

We laughed with them and continued walking.

Blog Photo - Garden umbrella and chairs from other side of pool

Back home, granddaughter asleep, my husband put some cushions on the outdoor chairs. Daughter and I sat outside in “the South of France” – the name we’ve given our back garden since it’s unlikely we’ll visit the south of France any time soon.

Then, out of the blue, she asked: “Mum, how do you know what’s a flower and what’s a weed?” 

We toured the garden beds. I pointed at the mint-like leaves of red bee-balm

Blog Photo - Garden bee balm leaves in early spring

… describing the blooms to come

Blog Photo - Garden - Bee Balm Splendour

… the dark-green-brown cylindrical beginnings

Blog Photo - Garden Trillium early spring

of Ontario’s flower, the trillium

Blog Photo - Spring 2018 Solo trillium

… and my favourite early-spring bloomer, the blue scilla

Blog Photo - Garden Blue Scilla

… then the pesky dandelions, growing between brick pavers. 

“When I was younger, I thought you were weird,” daughter said later. “But it was cool! I learned a lot just now — what’s a bee balm, a tulip, a daffodil, a scilla and an alien.”

“An alien?” Her dad asked.

“An allium,” she corrected herself as we all roared.

Older daughter has a small garden and I love when she seeks my gardening advice. Then today, younger daughter, who, along with her husband, will likely buy their first house soon, took an interest in the garden.

Would it have happened if we weren’t under stay-at-home orders?  Maybe later, not now.

Special moments like these are the upside of a scary time. I need to mark them, and not forget them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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, Garden, Gardening, Home, Life in canada

Bloomin’ Stuff

Stuff is blooming in my garden.

Blog Photo - Columbines

Pink Stuff – some that were expected to be pink, and some that came up in a different colour scheme. It’s very pretty, this pink and white columbine. But where did it come from?

Blog Photo - columbines pink and white

The grace of the garden: you get more than you planted.

The surplus, Canadians call it.

Brawta, Jamaicans call it.

Blog Photo - Phlox wild pink

I just call it grace.  And when I think about it, my whole garden this spring is an illustration of grace. The harsh winter killed off very little. The starving rabbits chomped off all our clematis vines and tender shrubs right down to the ground, but most are returning. And I’m able to walk around the garden each morning and evening, and enjoy the miracle called Spring.

Blog Photo - Bachelors Button 2

The Purple-y-Blue Stuff — like this bachelor’s button — returned looking dapper.

Blog Photo - Bachelors Button 3

Yellow Stuff like these day lilies bloomed early for our region.

Blog Photo - Lilies yellow

And then there is Stuff that’s making me wait. Like the peonies and the poppies.

Blog Photo - Peony Buds Closer

Anticipation. Aspiration. Expectation. These things build character. Don’t they?

Blog Photo - Poppy buds

Perhaps it is time for some meditation.

Whether you garden or not, I hope your spring is going well.

By the way, these photos are entirely amateur, and I won’t identify the inept photo-taker (I simply can’t call her a ‘photographer’) in order to protect the guilty.  My wonderful photographer is busy with other things right now, but he will return.

**

Dedicated to the memory of Donald Moore, one of the most patient and expert gardeners I’ve ever known.