Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Chaos Garden

The garden at the front of our house is nicely organized and designed for those passing by.  The Redbud blooms have faded and the Daffodils blooms are gone, so it's in a green phase just now until the Clematis flower.  But the back yard is the 'chaos garden' where Mrs. F.G. can experiment and combine and stuff in her growing collection of plants.  It's hard to know how to describe this, so I'm going to start with two areas that are quite different.

This part of the back garden is in front of the living room window.  It's dominated by hostas, with a large pink Bleeding Heart in the middle and a group of day lilies in the background.  There are ferns out of sight below my feet.

Here's one of the large hostas on the left, Christmas Fern  to the centre-right, and an errant Rhubarb plant in the back corner.

I love the look of this fern, with its ladder-like leaves.  There are several more ferns close to the wall of the house.

On the opposite side of the house, outside the den window, is another group of hostas like this one, a smaller two-tone colour.

And behind that a large Solomon's Seal.  There are more plants here, but they're united in enjoying the shady situation, and all have been directly transplanted from out old house.

The other big patch is the area between our patio and the shed.  It's almost all new plants brought in by Mrs. F.G., some grown from seed, after we had the patio installed.  That was the exciting year!  It has plants that will grow a little taller.

At the moment this is dominated by five large peonies, which will all bloom in the near future.

It's also got some interesting colour patterns too, and these are 'evergreen' in that I can see them even over winter, unless they're actually buried in snow.  These are a Coral Bells and Lambs Ears.

Here the rich green leaves of the Bear's Breeches contrast with a reddish Coral Bells and a few darker purple leaves of our Japanese Maple.  This entire area has now been growing 4 years, and it's filling in really well.

Friday, May 24, 2024

More Lilacs (and Me)

Continuing our visit to Lilac Lane, let me share a few more Lilac pictures.  Try to imagine yourself surrounded by the scent of Lilacs.

And now, to complete your Lilac Lane visit, an almost-selfie (actually a picture taken by Mrs. F.G.).

Don't forget my broken left leg!

We made a further stop at Goldsmiths on the way home, where I stayed in the care while Mrs. F.G. went in to pick up a few things.  I amused myself by taking pictures of the orchard behind the store.  Yes, the apple trees are in full bloom.  Hope you have the same sunny day we're getting here!

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Lilac Lane

On Monday of this week we went to Collingwood and stopped at Craigleith on the way home to see the Lilacs.  The first quarter-mile of the Georgian Trail running east from the Craigleith museum is lined with Lilacs, so we refer to it as Lilac Lane.  The trail here is the old Northern Railway, and the museum is in the old railway station.

It was a beautiful day and plenty of both walkers and bikers were using the trail  The bikes I remember seem to be going out of fashion; instead we saw a lot of fat tire bikes.

The bay was calm, separated from us by the highway.  And in spite of what it looks like, that horizon is level!  The wire and the guardrail are not.

There were huge swaths of both pale purple and white Lilacs in full bloom.  You're encouraged to pick some stems to take home - it's the scent that is most memorable.

These Lilacs are certainly not as well maintained as one in your yard might be; there were a lot of dead twigs.

So I did my best with cropping photos to highlight the best parts.

I was still 10 feet away from most of the blooms.

I liked these pales purple ones best.

Hope you have this beautiful day where you are, and are outside enjoying it.  I'm headed out for lunch.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

A Neighbourhood Ride

I didn't expect to be taking pictures at all on this ride, much less Tulips, but I'm often taking things as they come, and on this ride it was Tulips.  It started with this bright startling white group, and went on from there.

These white ones stopped me in my tracks!

And right above them was this beautiful crab apple in full bloom.

A little further down the street this Japanese Maple was glowing in the sun.

And close by were these bright red Tulips, growing in the unmowed boulevard among long grasses.

The ash tree leaves are still just beginning to unfold, but the maples are in full leaf, as in the background.

As I turned around there was this small clump of deep purple fringed Tulips.

They were just beneath this tightly trimmed Tri-colour Willow shrub.

And I saw my first clump of Buttercups just before I got home.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Garden is Getting Planted!

After Mrs. F.G.'s incredible work over the past three months growing plants from seed, repotting them when needed, hardening them off in the garage, they are going in the ground.  And the plants she has grown, mainly tomatoes, look vigorously healthy.  Our garden beyond the planters I'm about to show you mainly consists of perennials - hostas, day lilies, lavender, and such, so today we're talking abut veggies.

One of the first things we had built were these planters around three sides of the deck.  In this part, Mrs. F.G. has planted tomatoes, with companion planting of petunias, basil and parsley.

Another portion of those planters has areas planted with lettuce and radish, the latter covered in chicken wire to deter a certain pesky chipmunk!

The next acquisition were circular steel fire rings, but we had to add 18" of wire to keep out those pesky rabbits!  Our original soil was entirely heavy clay, so we've stuck with planters for growing all veggies, where we can control the soil mix.

Last year we added this linear planter in which are now more tomatoes.  The second photo shows the framework Mrs. F.G. has built to help hole the plants as they grow.

And beside that are two growbags, in this case with pepper plants.  Mrs. F.G. has about a dozen growbags scattered around the garden.

And finally, the towers!  These are stackable units which will easily rotate, up to six units high.  Mrs. F.G. is experimenting with these for both flowers and veggies.  There are some dwarf tomato plants and the top level in this one has planted strawberries.  We'll let you know the results of this experiment!

Monday, May 20, 2024

Shadow Selfie

I don't often get out in the morning, but I do on Sundays when we're leaving for church.  Last week it was beautiful and warm, so I took a moment to get some pictures.

Here's my shadow selfie.  Like that handsome old hat?

I turned around and the leaves on our little Tulip tree were lit brightly by the sun.

In front of the garage were a large swath of plants grown by our resident horticulturalist, Mrs. F.G.  Many of these have since been given away.

And in the opposite direction, the rich red blooms of our Fernleaf Peony, all facing the sun.

But later in the day one blossom had turned toward me.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Elsewhere in the Garden

We've got some pretty interesting plants growing, so let me share a little of our current late May garden.  It's changing fast of course, because the last few things are getting planted.

The Leopard's Bane is blooming, providing a nice bright yellow patch.

And this is a really rare plant that grows in the limestone barrens of Manitoulin Island.  It's so rare that it doesn't have a common name, so we call it Manitoulin Daisy.

I hope you get the idea of the Forget-me-nots spreading through the garden.

I managed to get a picture of the female Song Sparrow that is nesting close by.  How's that for camouflage?


So I did break my leg the other day, but it doesn't feel like a big deal.  You need to understand that paraplegics like myself lose strength in their bones quite quickly, developing osteoporosis.  We are  frequently subject to fractures because the muscles are no longer contracting.  It doesn't hurt because of course I have no feeling in my leg anyway.  I was totally unaware of it happening.

In any case my caregiver convinced us to get it looked at, so yesterday I rode myself over to our town's small hospital.  They took ex-rays, consulted with the doctor and then took more.  It turns out I fractured both my tibula and fibula, spiral fractures due to twisting my leg.

The way it happened was quite innocent.  Our newly renovated drugstore is no long wheelchair friendly.  It's very crowded and hard to turn around in  I was maneuvering to get close to the card reader which is up high, when the counter caught my toe, pulling it sideway a little too far.  My caregiver described my foot as 'loosy-goosey'.

They put my lower leg in a cast and sent me home, telling me to keep on riding around!  The good doctor applied the cast to position my lower leg in the natural position it would have while I'm in my chair.  So we were able to go to church today.  You can stop worrying about me!