Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wandering Through the Garden

The rain continues to fall. Friday was the sole respite, bright and sunny.

With the rain comes strong winds, and one of the bearded iris was a victim of the wind. While out on aphid and spit bug patrol Tuesday night, I found the broken stem and brought it in the house, trimmed it and popped it in a vase of water.

Thursday, it blessed us with a display of its glory, opening steadily as we watched:

This is its mother plant out in the front yard:

And so I went wandering through the yard Thursday evening between rain showers. 

More German bearded iris, these ones in the southwest corner keeping company with Marguerite daisies, sedum and many other plants yet to come into their own:

Did you have a Grandpa like mine who told you the Legend of the Bleeding Heart while gently pulling apart one of these fascinating flowers? 

Grandpa was an old cowboy who also taught me all the verses to The Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Spider ('That wriggled and wiggled and tickled inside 'er").

The front yard along the retaining wall, looking southeast. Remember photos from 4 years ago when this was bare soil, stones and weeds? Now there are common iris, meadow rue, Jacob's ladder, common lilac, butterfly bush, gooseberry, Marguerite daisy, columbine, Siberian iris, knautia, tomatoes and soapwort visible in just this shot:

Soapwort, creeping thyme, and dianthus in pink bloom. Don't make me list all the others in this bed - it's pretty full of stuff. The lavender is a favorite spit bug target this season:

Shifting just to the left from the photo above, with the stunning iris in front that starting this wandering:

Looking up (north) towards the house; the white posts and lines are electric fence, detering deer from the many roses in the foreground:

Now a 90 degree swing to the right, facing east, and a view of the new house under construction (its rear lot line abuts our east lot line):

Back to flowers, much nicer to contemplate instead of new houses:

I prefer red columbine but somehow I've got more purple ones. Lots of pink and purple in the yard at present, perfect for bees and butterflies:

Pink again, this time the lupins. I have (had) scarlett red ones, not yet in bloom, and there are deep blue ones along the west side of the house:

I'm so proud of my Japanese maple that survived the winter! And it's gorgeous right now:

The weigela gets smaller every year (the Bernie Golany School of Horticulture method - she's gonna flip when she reads that) but still pops with lovely blooms:

The west (cool, shaded) side of the house is lush with bleeding hearts, lily of the valley, ostrich fern, astilbe, hostas, Japanese lantern, lilacs of several varieties, coral bells, lupins, delphinium, Siberian iris and yellow iris:

I adore Icelandic poppies. They are definitely childhood plans. I'm always excited to see the colours that come from their cross-pollination:

This crossbreed is the most delicate peach:

Lush is definitely the by-word with all this rain. The sorrel has become a force to be reckoned with: 

Rhubarb doesn't need much encouragement to turn into a garden giant:

And I'm thinking some of you outside Canada may not know rhubarb. On the prairies, it was called Pie Plant because its main use was in rhubarb pie. It's the stems that are eaten; the leaves are poisonous:

and enormous (that's a size 7, Euro size 38, flipflop on the leaf), and this isn't even a really big leaf:

One neighbour, not a gardener but always keenly interested in mine, gingerly asked Bryan why I'd left these weeds in the vegetable patch:

"Not weeds," he assured her with all the confidence of one who's been trained by a rabid gardener, "Those are sunflowers, planted by the birds, and she leaves them there on purpose." 

Which is true. Back in the day, when a 2000 sq.ft. vegetable garden kept my family fed all year round, I was more disciplinary about such goings-on, but now I'm pretty laid back about the situation.

The sisal twine with bells is deer-deterent, and it works - mule deer don't like surprises:

So I've taken you down around the front of the house, up the west side and to the veggie patch out back, and you've only seen half the yard and plantings, but that's enough for now. 

Coming around the corner, I see the garage door open (and the garage in full summer mode, meaning no room for the car - obviously):

And then the reason the door is open - Bryan returning from an ice cream run to our little store, because there's bumbleberry pie for dessert and - horrors! - no ice cream to go with it:

I have a week vacation time coming up. Bryan and I are taking his mom on a trek across the prairies on a pilgimage to Steinbach, Manitoba. Google Maps directions informs me it's 1,949 km from Vernon to Steinbach, with a driving time of 23 hours, 4 minutes. (Really? 4 minutes?) We'll be in Revy Sunday, to depart early Monday morning.

My intention is to cross Saskatchewan and the White Horse Plains in the back of Mom's car, working on a baby quilt for Niece Jolene. Can you imagine anything more perfect yet fraught with danger than spending a road trip with one's spouse and mother-in-law while having sharp sewing implements to hand?!

Gonna be great.

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