Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Checking in on the Garden Jungle

Late June seems to be the time when plants grow fastest, and our garden is beginning to look like a jungle.  At this point it's the greenery that's growing, but at least for the veggies we're hoping that will turn into a crop by the end of the summer.  We're already enjoying some peas and tiny carrots.

This lovely Clematis is blooming profusely at the moment.  It was kept in a smaller pot and just fell over the edges the past two years, but this year it's been moved to a larger pot and given a trellis to climb up.

This big patch of Coreopsis is also blooming wildly, forming a bright yellow patch straight out from the living room window.  Soon it will be replaced by the Day Lilies.

We have a small group of Sweet William flowers in bright red.

We have several Lavender plants that started out as tiny little flowers in 3" pots.  Now they're a foot across and about to flower.

The Peonies, so bright for awhile, are now beginning to fade.

While the Peonies fade, the tomatoes are beginning to flower.  With failed crops the past two years we're really hoping for a bounty this year!

A couple of other interesting things of note.  On one very windy day recently we had a heavy rain of ash seeds, probably still undeveloped at this time of year.  It makes me wonder if they know the Emerald Ash Borer is approaching, from only a block away where I've counted 20 large White Ash dying.

And at the front of our garage this enormous Dragonfly paused long enough for a picture.  I swear it was 4" across.  I don't think those are a third pair of wings, but the shadow of the hind wings on the concrete.

The garden will continue to grow, but I'm going to turn to other topics for awhile.  See you soon.  And those strawberries yesterday, I only ate a few.  We make jam in jars because the freezer is full of other stuff!

Monday, June 27, 2022

It's Strawberry Jam Weekend!

It started on Friday afternoon.  Mrs. F.G. headed for Thornbury to pick up the flat of strawberries we had ordered from our favourite local farm market, Goldsmiths.  She gathered together all the things needed for making jam, so we'd be ready to start Saturday morning.

Jam season is always a favourite for me.  This year since she's also making home-made yoghurt, I use a spoonful of jam to provide flavour.  It's divine!

And this year I got to help, coring the berries and accumulating a big bowlful ready for the jam - Berries on the right, bowl for the cores lower right and finished berries on the left.  It's nice when I can actually contribute!

And this is the result of my work, after about an hour.  Mrs, F.G. came along and finished the rest in about 10 minutes!  But it's the final results that count and yesterday I was able to have strawberry flavouring for my yoghurt, like I said, divine!

That's a tiny bouquet of Coreopsis behind the berries.  Mrs. F.G. keeps a few flowers on the island all summer long.

And just in case you don't believe me, here I am, working away.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Grange Hollow Part II

While Mrs. F.G. wandered the nursery, I chugged down the path that I could access and got a few more photos.  While I was doing this the guy that was working there came up and said you're the Furry Gnome aren't you (he knew my actual name).  It turned out we had met on a field trip and his partner recognized me too.  They soon introduced me to her mother, who moved here 50 years ago and runs the nursery (with a lot of help from them).  So it turned into quite a social visit for me!

A bright red Yarrow.

Yellow Coneflowers.

A 4-foot tall Penstemon.

That unusual blue Campanula.

And an unusual green-flowered 

Lots of hostas.

And a beautiful stone retaining wall.  Now that's the kind of project I'd enjoy working on, probably over 2 or 3 years!

Monday, June 20, 2022

Sunday Trip to Grange Hollow

Yesterday we headed out for a drive to a favourite local nursery, known as Grange Hollow.  I must ask them next time how they got that name!  Anyway, it was a nice drive and I had a pleasant visit looking around, while Mrs. F.G. was looking for yet more plants.

I find the buildings here more interesting than the plants myself.  This is the original house, a classic Ontario farmhouse in red brick with yellow brick trim.  Then an interesting addition on the back.

I found the log addition of particular interest because the combination reminded of my grandparents home.  Actually what I'm describing as the log addition was probably the original home, and the brick front portion was actually the 'addition'.  And remember, while I was busy perusing the buildings, Mrs. F.G. was happy to have me kept busy while she was checking out all the plants.  She did find several of interest enough to purchase.  

The first flowers I noticed were these beautiful purple meadowrue, a very feathery patch 10 feet away, so I didn't do very well on the depth of field, but it was stunning anyway.

Then there was a welcoming barn, ...

... complete with an interesting little balcony under the roof.  I wonder what's up there.

Some interesting succulents growing in an old pair of boots.
The backside of the barn where we parked has a great old windmill, sadly missing the functioning top.

And across from that there's even another barn, this one with newer boards.  It was common for some farms to have two small barns rather than one larger barn, but neither is in use for the display of plants.

I did check out the plants i could get to of course.  This is one of the unfamiliar ones, a rich blue Campanula.  The blooms hardly open at all but stay largely closed.  A few more plants to come.

Friday, June 17, 2022

A Few More Things Around Town

I've got just a few more photos to share from various spots around town.  It's a motley collection of things that interested me as I passed by, so here goes.

The Bridal Wreath Spirea I've seen on my travels have been absolutely beautiful , their stems draping with the weight of blossoms.

We've got lots of the miniature daisies running rampant through the grass.  I wish they were much more widespread.

On my short travel route I spotted these beautiful deep blue Iris in bloom.

And across the street my friends have this nice patch of light coloured Pinks.

I've noticed the Silver Maples are dropping their seeds in great drifts along the roadsice.

And in the patches of roadsides allowed to flourishm the grasses are starting to bloom.

Finally I saw this gorgeous line of Poppies down the side of a driveway about two weeks ago.

Those are the sorts of observations that keep me going, since I often can't get any further afield.  But I've got to keep my brain active one way or another!

Monday, June 13, 2022

The Harbour

The earliest group of photos I haven't shared were taken on two or three different rides down to the harbour.  I always enjoy getting down by the water, though unless there's a good offshore breeze, and it's very warm I do find it chilly yet.  These won't be new to you if you've been following in previous years, but here they are.

The Glen G. should be familiar to you; it spends the summers docked in Collingwood but the other nearly 10 months docked here in Meaford.  It's an old steam tug built in 1909 (witness the big funnel), and converted to diesel in 1948.  It's on its sixth owner and currently serves as a floating cottage for a guy who loves fishing in the bay.

I was amused by this sign on the cabin door, but could see no sign of the camera!

The W.M. Isaac is a new ship in town.  It definitely looks like a fishing tug, but I've been unable to find any information about it.

The R.A. Hoey has been here for several years, almost permanently docked it would seem and currently for sale as a passenger vessel.

The W.H. Wheeler, just entering the harbour from Georgian Bay where it has undoubtedly been fishing for whitefish and lake trout.

As you get down toward Fred Raper Park, there's been a lot of shoreline repair with small broken pieces of limestone.  That's Cape Rich, home to the military base, in the background.

And as you enter the park there is an enormous boulder decorated with a small plaque, acknowledging the Rotary Club, the Apple Harvest Craft Show, MacDonald's Furniture, and Stanley Knight Limited, presumably for their contributions to developing this small park.  Fred Raper was one of Meaford's early settlers.

Beyond this there is a small gravelly beach where you do see people lounging, or even swimming (!) if it's hot enough.  Certainly none of that yet this year.

I was intrigued to see a large collection of painted rocks outside the museum.  Meaford's rock snake was started by local public school student Cleighton Carbert, a line of painted rocks along the Georgian Trail.  Cleighton was awarded the Youth Spirit Award for his efforts.  In December the rocks were moved to this 'permanent outdoor exhibit' outside the museum, and there's a display telling the story inside the museum.  I must get in there and find out some more details.