Well I haven't been here on my own blog very much of late, but only because I really hate staying indoors during the summer months. Not a lot is happening around here actually. My small family doesn't get together very often, so there was no family gathering for Canada Day. We're a bit widespread and it gets more difficult to convince some family members to make the effort to meet. I miss the happy days when we would gather with all of our kids at my parents' home. The cousins would all run off on their own down to the creek. The adults would sit on a jumble of chairs out on the lawn having a cup of tea together sharing the usual stories of what we'd all been up to.
I visit my father on the weekends, but his dementia is worsening by the month. This past Saturday he was quite surprised to hear that he was my father! We're in the process of having him transferred to a new care facility, and the one we have in our sights has staff trained specifically for residents with dementia, and he would be able to stay there for the rest of his life unless he required full-time hospital care. It looks very promising, so we're hopeful everything falls into place.
My father was always very enthusiastic about life and never let a day go by wasting it in some lazy fashion. He was always busy, even if it was riding his bike for miles for relaxation. It's a hard thing to visit him now and see his depression, his scruffiness and his constant complaint that he's now only existing, not living. He's 91 this August, and I'd really like to see him in a place where he is happier. Fingers crossed he adjusts well to another change. It's impossible to explain to him so that he understands and retains the information that we're moving him to a new home permanently.
During this time, my garden has been a bit of a refuge. The plants there are a bit on the green side at the moment. The grand spring flourish of colour has subsided, and now we're into the hot weather and the next set of flowers seem slow to mature.
I was happy to see that the little bush (above) I rescued from my parents' home a couple of years ago is, in fact, a black currant bush. Years ago my mom presented a similar tiny bush to my son telling him it was a black currant. My mom used to make delicious black currant jam, and I don't think there's a better jam in the world. So tangy, and sweet! That bush took a long time to produce any berries, but when it did, they turned out to be gooseberries ... so disappointing. I am not a fan of gooseberry anything, so we leave those berries for the birds.
I found the above tiny bush struggling to survive in a shady part of my mom's garden, Mom probably shoved it into the ground in a desperate attempt to fit all the plants she had brought from her country home into the small town lot. A big pile of tree branches had been thrown on top of it through the winter when I found it, but I felt compelled to heave everything off it and dig up this brave little plant. I recognized it as one of Mom's berry bushes, and I feel quite attached to it since I saved it. After a couple of years in a sunshiny spot of my own yard, the bush has thrived and grown, and this year has produced berries ... lovely dark black currants! I've never made jam before, but perhaps this is the summer to learn.
This is my son's clematis on his arbour ... the entrance to his secret pond garden.
As soon as he finished his exams, he was finally able to clean up the pond and return his shebunkins and goldfish to the outdoors. The garden around the pond needs some work, so I'll save that for another post.
Secret roses in his secret garden. This rose bush did not look well after the winter. I cut away dead stalks from about two-thirds of the bush, but now the remainder is looking healthy, and these buds are finally plumping up. Even though this is my son's garden, I tend to spend more time caring for it than he does :]
The shed garden ...
And my favourite garden this year is the shade garden beside the patio ...
I moved my free roadside find fountain into this garden. It looks nice with the water catching sparkles from the occasional drop of sunlight through the leafy canopy, and it's so nice to hear the trickling water as you sit outdoors. The birds like it too, and we often see goldfinches and grackles stopping at it for a drink. One young grackle squeezes in the bottom for a good splashy bath! I like the dark coolness of this garden with the bright flashes of white from the astilbe and pink & white fuchsia. The ferns behind and the bark nuggets across the ground give it that woodland feel.
And look how nicely my mossy stump is filling in! I'm thrilled that this simple project worked out ... it's just how I envisioned it. The astilbe (above) is scented and smells quite spicy in a cinnamon spice sort of way. My parents used to have a very bedraggled looking flower called "Night-Scented Stock" (or stalk?). It always looked fairly sad, but the scent from it filled the air on a humid summer night (and only at night). This scented astilbe smells very much like those night-scented stocks, and when I walked out early in the morning this past weekend when it was so humid, it smelled wonderful. Once the breeze picks up, the smell drifts away.
Thanks for stopping by and listening to me ramble on again about not a whole lot ;)
Happy Fourth of July to my American friends, and I hope everyone stays safe from Hurricane Arthur. Enjoy your weekend folks!