Sunday, September 25, 2016

Daytripper

Took a trip up to Algonquin Park for the weekend. Will sort through photos and share just a few so as not to bore you all to death with my love of the park ;) The weather was gorgeous ... the fall colours were, meh, not their best. Wildlife sightings were reduced to one raven, who was a rough looking character that my son said frequented the Portage Store regularly. And the way this guy was scouring the parking lot looking for food, I'm pretty sure it was the same raven. Gotta love these wild northern cousins of the crow.


Thanks for stopping by!

Wendy





Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Creative Wednesday

I'm linking up today with my friend Kathy at Hummingbird Woodland Studio for her first link party of Creative Wednesday! Thanks for hosting this party Kathy :) Please stop by Kathy's blog to see what others are sharing, and since this is her first link party, maybe you have something creative you have made recently that you can share.

Creativity Wednesdays

This summer we made one of my favourite projects with the kids ... Faux Sun Prints. These are pretty much fool proof sun prints you can make easily with plain cotton fabric, watered down acrylic paints and various leaves of plants around your garden. We have experimented with different leaves, with some good and some not so good results. The ferns work particularly well, and I just love the patterns we get from them. I have a full tutorial here if you are interested.


Basically, you paint the fabric with watered-down acrylic paints, press fresh leaves into the paint and set this to dry in the sun. The kids love seeing the results, and we've done different things with the results.

Waiting for the paint to dry.

Revealing the image once dried.
 Last year we picked up some cute frames made with slices of real wood from the dollar store. 
It made a nice combination for the nature prints.


Look how nicely the fern turned out.


Another sample of the leaves drying on painted fabric in the sun ...


 ... and after it was dry and the leaves peeled away ...




Here are the pieces that the kids completed this summer ...


One of the kids didn't want anything done with his finished piece, but his sister asked for it to be made into a bag. I finished the bag last week for her.



On the reverse side I used another project she created making a stencil from freezer paper.
She was happy with the way I put them all together in a bag for her. 



Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Wendy

Friday, September 16, 2016

Five on Friday

Joining in with Five on Friday today, hosted by Amy of Love Made My Home.

Suddenly, within the span of only a couple of days it seems, the fall weather has at last arrived. Last week we were still hot and muggy with highs up to 30C and very humid. The air conditioning was still on, even at night. The last three days have seen a drop in evening temperatures and in the morning the thermometer is hovering just above 10C, and then it gets about 25C later in the day.

As a result, things in the garden are winding down. I've been a very negligent gardener this summer. It's been so hot and so dry for so long, that I just didn't have the energy or the inclination to deal with it at the end of a long day outdoors with the kids. I'm outside all day with the daycare kids in the summertime, and this summer we didn't have one day of rain while they were in my care. Gardening had to take a back seat this year (sadly).

We only have a few annuals in the gardens each season. I've been picking up perennials over the years, and at least I don't have to do much to keep them going year after year.

Rudbekias did fairly well this year, despite the lack of rain. I did have to keep them well watered, or they were drooping by midday.

August 28

August 28

August 28


today


Starburst something or other. This is an annual, and I've planted them before. They look nice and flower continuously. I'll be getting more again next summer.



Bonus ... my non-stop pink geranium, one of two pots that come in for winter.

Bonus: rose campion springs up all over my garden after seeding down in the fall ... love it!

Donkey-tailed spurge was doing great in another garden last summer. But for some reason it seemed to have died back quite a bit, and there was only one tiny little "tail" left in that garden. I moved it to this new location and it has flourished beautifully. I had plans to do something with this, but I had to leave it alone this summer to get its strength back. This plant has been going since my son was little and we picked up plants with funny names at the gardening centre.


My son's climbing rose. One year we should really give it something to climb on instead of just growing over the back of the bench. I wish it had even the faintest scent, but nuthin'.


The rose is beside the pond which has some new pond comets this summer. My husband bought these cheap fish thinking they would all die by the end of summer (or get eaten by the GB heron). Neither happened, and now he doesn't want to bring them inside. I would hate to see these pretty fish die in the cold, so I told my husband to go and buy a pond heater. Poor little guys!!
 I paid $4 for a weed. On purpose! Last summer our gardening centre had a push to sell weeds to customers in order to promote, um, well I can't remember what they were trying to promote now. It's milkweed, and I like milkweed because it takes me back to my country home where it grew wild in a big bunch right beside our school bus shelter. So in a fit of nostalgia I brought it home with me. It looks great, but it still has not flowered after two seasons. Maybe next year. I was hoping to attract monarch butterflies (oh! maybe that was the promotion?).


That ends the Five on Friday. The rest of this post is filler ;)

My hosta experiment has succeeded and makes me very happy. I planted these around the base of our big ol' white pine tree, and they've gone from this ...


... to this ...


 In about three years. This year I've noticed that it's filled in really well. Might be time to thin the herd next spring. I let the kids play on one branch of this tree, it's our "horse". To keep the kids from trampling down the plants, I didn't plant any hostas at the back of the pine. In the blank spot I throw all the pinecones that fall all over the yard. I like that little spot just as much as the hostas planting :)


Turtlehead flowers are one of my late summer, early fall favourites. The only thing I did well for my garden this year was water it diligently. These flowers really suffer in the heat, so I checked on them every day. I did loose a small bunch that were in direct sunshine :( but this big grouping survived. I have a black aster bush beside it which is dying (I think from aphids). I already gave up on it last year, but it came back and shaded the turtleheads a little bit in the late summer. I think that saved the turtleheads. But the aster is dying again, so I'm not sure how well the turtleheads will do next year.



The bees love these flowers since not much else is blooming.


This summer I tried some ivy geraniums in the window box of the shed. They did really well, and I think I'll put them in there again next year too. They are a much brighter pink that came out in the photo, and in the early evening they just glow hot pink!


I meant to plant creeping thyme in my son's pond area this summer, but I only got as far as shoving it in this planter again. Maybe next year. I just spent a long afternoon pulling creeping Charlie from that pond area last week. Creeping thyme would crowd out that horrible weed and look better too. My husband hates cutting the grass in that little area, so it seems a good solution to me. It's stuff like this that drives me crazy because if I planted it this year, next year I would get to see it bloom all over that spot ... now I have to wait another year for that!


The "godzilla" Japanese fern wasn't a great success. However. I planted ferns from my mom's house, and the first year they looked terrible. The second year they looked MAGNIFICENT! And they've been going strong ever since. I'm hoping the godzilla fern (which was supposed to explode to 3 feet in height!) will show me the money next year.


Did I forget anyone? Oh yes! My balloon flower ... 


I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that this favourite flower of mine will come back really well next summer. It struggled a bit this year, and I have to cut back the ornamental grasses in the spring because they're getting a little aggressive in the same garden and blocking the sun from my sun-loving plants. Hang in there balloons!



And I think that's all for now. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wendy










PS my sunflower was devoured by the rotten chipmunk!!