Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Where We're At

Well I hope you've all had a good Easter weekend, and were able to get together with family or friends.  My family had a nice gathering on Sunday at my sister's place, but it involved a lot of highway driving to collect my father and return him home again before heading home ourselves in the opposite direction.  We also moved our daughter back home on Saturday from university town, and she has quickly settled back into her room and has even got her photos and horse ribbons hung up on the wall again.  I was ready for a break from the driving to and fro by the time yesterday rolled around. 
The gardening work has finally begun in my little corner of the world.  On Thursday (garbage collection day), there were big paper garden waste bags set at the curb of every house along my street ... except mine.  Obviously, I've not been utilizing the good sunny weather as well as my neighbours, but I've been unable to get out there until yesterday.  It was mostly sweeping the patio of birdseed shells and then raking up one section of the yard and gardens.  I packed up four bags of garden debris ready for the next collection day.  Most of it is maple leaves blown in from my neighbours' trees.  My own little maple doesn't produce enough leaves to bother raking (yet!).  I'm taking it easy with the heavy gardening chores as I destroyed my shoulder last year with snow shoveling and it gives me grief if I overdo it now ... a sad sign of ageing I guess.
After viewing everyone's blogs from warmer climes, I almost feel like the spring flowers are close to finishing!  But here in southern Ontario the spring growing season has only just begun.  Here's a little glimpse of what's coming up outside. 
This is the only blooming flower outside at the moment ....
... my mom's snowdrops.  I can understand why this little white flower gave my mom such joy after a long winter.  It's too bad the flowers all hang down as they're quite pretty and rose-like in the centres.
L-R  Lilac, Black Currant, Butterfly Bush
The shrubs I have around are finally breaking out in buds.  I pruned the butterfly bush back, although it scares me to do this.  I read last year that they only produce blooms on new growth, and it was suggested that they be cut back hard in early spring.  Each branch I cut seemed brittle as bones, so I hope there's some life left in there somewhere and that it will survive because I really love this bush.
L-R  Iris, Iris (bunny's fav), Columbine
Lower to the ground my iris are all sprouting up.  The only one the rabbit touched is the only one I paid money for (of course).  The rest I rescued from my mom's garden.
L-R top: bleeding heart, snowdrops, bleeding heart
bottom: rock (formerly with hens & chicks)
The bleeding hearts always do well, and are often the first things I notice coming up.  I have quite a few of them and now when I see tiny new shoots sprouting around, I just throw them out.  The little "hens & chicks" plant I had growing on the rock last summer seems to have disappeared.  It was the first time I tried this little plant and was really happy with the way it was filling in this dirt filled gap in the rock.  I think R.R. (Resident Rabbit) may have had something to do with it.  I'll get the dog to interrogate him later.
L-R Logs from pine, My Son's Pond, Tree Clean-Up
 Everyone in this area has had to clean up damaged trees from the ice storm back in December.  It's rather sad to see many of the town's trees in parks and along the roadways chopped right down.  I hope they eventually replace them, but the cost to do so must be horrendous. 
 In my own backyard we lost a large limb in my pine tree, and the remains of that got chopped up on the weekend too.  We'll burn our logs in the fireplace, but the small stuff will go to the dump.  My pine is not doing well at all now and is turning brown on one side.  To lose this tree will be like losing a piece of my heart.  I love watching it out there, branches swaying in the breeze and the needles twinkling in the sun.  We lost a huge locust tree a few years ago, which used to cast beautiful lacy shadows over our patio and lawn.  The pine tree is the last mature tree on our small plot.  The space it will leave will open my yard to our backyard neighbour's house ... our privacy will be severely impaired! 
The trees are still bare here, but yesterday the temperatures peaked at 18C and my kids and I enjoyed a late & leisurely breakfast out here on the patio (just picture it with comfy chair cushions, umbrella up and the glorious sun shining down ... it really was like that!  Today is drizzly rain, but not too cold, and I have the patio door open to air the house a bit.  Don't you just crave fresh air in the springtime after being closed indoors for such a long winter?
One of my neighbours had this water feature set out for "collection" a few weeks ago, and I decided to have a closer look after walking the dog.  I figured if it was still at the curb when I got home, I would drag it to my house.  It's so heavy!  There are three pieces to it, and my husband said he'd get the necessary tubing and we could set it up with a small pond pump my son no longer uses for his pond.  It's not something I would buy if I saw it in the gardening centre, but since it was free I like the idea of having the sound of trickling water right here on my patio. 
 And of course a little thrift store find ... a cute china owl couple which I put in my bookcase.  My husband made a bookcase for my birthday last year, and I'm still fussing with it to give it that right combination of books and small curios that I admire in others bookcases.  I have so many books though, that the curio side of things isn't coming together quite like I'd hoped.  I'll show it all sometime soon.
Well, that's it for me.  I've been immersed in other things this April, and wasn't able to set aside much time for writing up posts ... although I've been trying to keep up to date with all of your blogs.  Life gets tedious at times as you know, and I try my best to do a bit here and there.
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. So good to see ya pal! Sounds like me....just a bit of puttering here and there as things start to show their faces! Looks like so many of your plants are happy to see the sun!!! And how cool is that free water feature....total score!!! Glad you had a nice Easter and that you were able to enjoy the patio with your kids! I do hope your pine makes it! Happy gardening friend...and yes... Thank goodness for the fresh air!!!! Nicole xoxo

  2. Oh yes, windows flung open at every opportunity now!
    Jane x

  3. Isn't it wonderful to get outside for that first spring clean up and find all the sweet little flowers and sprouts? Every year we lose a few things, too - it is always hard to see a favorite succumb to a hard winter or storm. We have a large hemlock that we watched grow from a small tree to 50 ft. tall, and now it is dying right in my front yard. Beetles... But that is the way nature is and we must just pick up the pieces and move forward. I hope you find something special to replace your pine and continue to get some nice sunshine. For us it is very cool and rainy this week. Hugs xo Karen

  4. Your photos don´t look so cold anymore...Spring and summer are coming!

  5. It feels so good to get back in the garden, doesn't it? I've always cut my butterfly bushes (6 of them) back to 6-8 inches as they flower on new wood and the full sized ones reach easily 5 feet by summer. The Nanho dwarf variety is shorter at about 4 feet tall and the mini reaches a foot.
    Sorry to hear about your shoulder, I've been having physio on my right shoulder since the fall from a gardening incident. I think age plays a part in mine too.

  6. The snowdrops are so very pretty and I like the water feature that you were able to get. You'll really enjoy that! And how nice to be able to get outside. It's been a long winter for so many. enjoy your week my friend! Sweet hugs, Diane

  7. Your spring is further along than ours! No buds or spring flowers in this yard yet. But they're coming. The rhubarb is beginning to unfurl its leaves. Great curbside find! The sound of running water will be such a balm.

  8. Aww so sorry for all the damages. What a shame! Enjoy your garden, so many pretty things are still there.


  9. Wendy, at the high elevation I live at in Southern California, at this time of year we used to be at the same point you are at now. This month, a lot of stuff is blooming, even the lilacs...they didn't used to bloom until June. I think it probably has something to do with our 'winter that wasn't." I'm so sorry to hear that so many trees were downed over the winter. I hope your pine recovers. Love the thrift shop finds!

  10. It's lovely to get outside just for a bit after so long indoors, yes the fresh air of spring really lifts your spirits. You sound like I did a few weeks back when my garden was coming back to life, it won't take long now for everything to come through. Take care.

  11. So pleased that Spring has sprung in your part of the world!

  12. Hi so glad to read that spring has finally arrived for you-I am hoping we are past the freezes now too. I have lots of plants to get into their pots-I went kinda crazy at the garden center yesterday-lol I love little fountains like that-enjoy-and great find!

  13. I know what you mean, Ella decided she wanted to spend Easter with Auntie Belinda and Uncle Stefan in Scarborough. So that meant 4 1/2 hours down (not including stops) and 4 1/2 hours home again! I'm done travelling for a while too. It was nice to see the bright green grass and the bits and pieces growing down south. I'll have to get out and have a good look around today to see what's finally trying to grow around here.

  14. i'm not as far north as you are, but we are still "north." our full spring has not yet sprung around here either.

    i did see a blossoming fruit tree, when out on errands. but it looks pretty bare, when i look out my windows.

    one way to look at it is....... you and i still have the bursting forth of spring, to look forward to. :-)

  15. It wont be long before your garden catches up. You seem to be a couple of months behind us here in UK but then again we havent had the long cold winter you did!
    Love the little china owl!

  16. Your snowdrop is so very pretty Wendy, and you certainly have strong signs of Spring around you; such a pity to see trees being spoiled and chopped though, and not good when your privacy is lost either, but you'll find ways to overcome, I'm sure!
    I do like your water feature - it's always so soothing to hear that water trickling isn't it!
    Sounds like your Easter was a lovely family affair, although very busy with all that driving, and isn't it sweet that you daughter is settling back in to home again - it's always good to have another female around to enjoy and share support!
    Take care, love, Joy xo

  17. Yes I do crave fresh air after a long winter - but I've been known to open my window in the winter in order to get it :) karen

  18. Hello Wendy and thanks for stopping by my corner of the world :)

    We are not seeing any spring flowers yet outdoors here in Iceland but the weather is getting better so Im hopeful for a big color burst in the fields here soon. I really like your garden space and that shed! Oh! Something about sheds are so adorable to me. I love seeing them tucked away in a corner of gardens. Sorry about your trees being damaged. Nature has a weird way of remind us who really is boss.

    Have a good rest of the week :)
    Birgitta xx

  19. Hi Wendy lovely to see your photographs, our garden is starting to wake up now too - I adore your little snowdrop, just the cutest little thing in the world. It is a funny feeling when the days lengthen out and thoughts turn to flowers and warmer days, always exciting. Thanks for the post Wendy, I really enjoyed it. Sending you big hugs and loves

  20. Here in Michigan we are just starting spring too. It's been a long time coming! I love the little snowdrops. It will be nice for you to have a little fountain. And I know what you mean about bookshelves -- no room for curios on mine either!

  21. It is so nice that spring is finally here and the weather is starting to warm up. The water fountain will be really be nice to look at and hope you enjoy. Have a nice weekend.

  22. Spring is almost over here, the lilacs, which I always think of as the last of the spring blooms, are beginning to flower. But we did have a very mild winter. I honestly wouldn't mind colder, longer winters, it's long and/or very hot summers I can't abide!

  23. Happy that spring has arrived for you! It's lovely to see blooms appearing in the garden after winter, it's very cheering.
    Marianne x


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