Thursday, June 29, 2023

Today Was Strawberry Jam Day Here!

Today was the day that Mrs. F.G. made her annual batch of strawberry jam.  We ordered the berries last week and picked them up late Tuesday.  Wednesday was preparation day, berries all trimmed, supplies all gathered, bottles washed ready for canning.  Then the real work began, early today.  Those berries were transformed into delicious jam by lunch time.  And I look forward to tasting it asap!

Tuesday's haul of berries ....

And Thursday's production of jam!

Monday, June 26, 2023

Summer Wildflowers Have Started!

I know most of you call them 'weeds', but I call them summer wildflowers.  The spring wildflowers that we love grow in the woods, taking advantage of the ephemeral light in early spring to bloom.  Summer wildflowers  bloom in the bright sun of summer, often growing on poor soil but flourishing never-the-less.

Buttercups are one of the first, flashing their bright yellow colour from the ditches and unused fields.

Our own lawn and many others have at least some growth of White Clover.  Some try to get rid of it, but I think it's good for a lawn because it can withstand drought better than many grasses and stay green.

Miniature Daisies pop up in a few patches of lawn where I ride and I find them particularly welcoming, one of the first of these summer wildflowers to bloom.

This Daisy Fleabane has very fine petals compared to other daisies, and ranges from pinkish to white as you can see.

Finally Field Bindweed is a troublesome 'weed', an invasive plant that will spread quickly through a lawn or garden.  It's about impossible to get rid of, as roots break off and can grow into new plants.  One of the few that deserve the name 'weed'!

Saturday, June 24, 2023

We Got Rain Again!

In a month that's been very dry and sunny we finally got a good overnight rain.  The plants in the garden, and all the crops we see along the highway certainly needed it.  It was very wet this morning, but it's turned sunny now, so I'm going to get outside after I finish posting this.

Hope you're enjoying the weekend!

Friday, June 23, 2023

The Fox are Back!

We thought we weren't going to see the fox family again this year, after watching the kits play in the grass the last two years, but Mrs. F.G. looked out this morning and there they were, rumbling and tussling, just two of them this time.  They stay in the den until they're nearly full grown, hard to tell from the adults - but the adults don't play like this.

All photos courtesy of Mrs. F.G.  I only cropped them a little to retain clarity.  Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Flowers Around Town

Our own garden is not the only one with seasonal blooms, though it certainly has a lot more than most.  I've collected at least a few pictures of blooms than interested me as I rode around.

Friends of ours around a few blocks on one of my favourite routes have a beautiful garden, and I loved the deep blue colour of these tall Iris close to the road.

Down another street where I rarely go is a front yard entirely converted to garden, at the moment filled to overflowing with Allium.

The Spirea, always striking, have been in bloom for awhile.

One of my favourite tree flowers, the Chestnut, precursor to the fall's conkers.

Almost across the street from that is a large Tulip tree, with big fuzzy buds about to burst into flowers that look very much like Tulip blooms.  Another beautiful sunny day here on the shores of Georgian Bay.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

More from the Garden

More and more flowers are coming into bloom in our garden, so here's a selection of what's new.  We're getting beyond the big showy flowers into some lesser known, less showy plants, but Mrs. F.G. is amazing at collecting interesting things! 

This bright red Poppy was stunning, but only lasted a few days.

The stamens are fascinating if you look closely, but of course there's a depth-of-field problem to photograph them.

Our few Alliums have come into bloom, and I love the pattern when you look at this closely.

I've never seen Jacob's Ladder flowers so luxuriant!

This is Callium, a flower you may not know.

And the first of the Coral Bells coming into flower.

Finally, this is an ornamental Meadow Rue, with these very delicate blooms held on a four foot stem

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

It's Also Clematis and Lupin Season

The Peonies are central to our garden right now, but the Clematis are starting to flower, and the Lupins are doing great.  We remember them from our visits to the Maritimes, where you can see fields of them!

As you know I like the bright colours best, and I love the central stamens of Clematis blooms, so this photo of the red Clematis growing against the shed is my favourite.

This Clematis has done really well where it gets full sun.

I can't get close to this Clematis, which Mrs. F.G. planted to grow up the Redbud tree in the front yard, but even from a distance it looks great.

I showed you the white one before.  It's a new one this year, but it's doing great in its first year.

The Lupins range from this light pink one to ...

... this deep blue one.

And what would you call this colour?  I actually like it the best myself.   A slightly cooler week, but it's bright and sunny today.

Monday, June 12, 2023

It's Raining!

Finally it's raining today!  We haven't had a good rain in what seems like a month, with lots of sunny warm days.  That's great for me, but not so good for the plants and crops.  Planted fields look very dry as we drive back and forth to Owen Sound; the farmers will be very glad of the rain.

I've always wondered how best to portray the rain.  It's almost impossible to catch the raindrops in mid-air or hitting the pavement unless it's a very heavy rain.  And I can't get out in my chair to look around.  But the Hostas below my window always hold the drops on the surface of their leaves, so here you go.  The phone camera doesn't provide the clarity I'd like, but it's still a cause for rejoicing.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

It's Peony Season!

It's Peony season here in the garden, with several of our plants now in bloom and the rest opening up.  These are all only three years old, ordered by mail and doing very well.  You'll notice that these are all 'single' blooms rather than the showier 'double' blooms favoured by many.  Single sets of petals leave the centre open for the bees to access.

They vary mainly in colour from light pink to deep red.  You can guess which ones I like!

You can see the central pistils and the numerous outer stamens on each of these blooms.

This diagram, from the website 'Grapes', a national website for viticulture, is the best I've found
 for labelling the parts of a flower.  I'm, always getting confused over anthers, stigmas and the rest of it.  
I think just remembering pistils and stamens is the easiest.

I love the Pinks which are blooming at the same time, and are always such bright colours.  More to come.