Is September the new July?

Normally fall or autumn is my least favourite season as all the plants in my gardens start to die off in preparation for the winter ahead.  The calendar says September 21st was the first day of  autumn, but Mother Nature is displaying something quite different this year. We have had the most beautiful summer-like weather lately here in Ottawa, more summer-like than June, July, and August.

The gardens I work in are all confused.  Many perennials such as roses, clematis, and weigela have rebloomed.

 

Others, such as peonies and bleeding hearts, that usually look unsightly around this time of year are still green and lush.   Coneflowers have been in bloom all summer and continue to look great.  The monarch butterflies are loving the lasting blossoms…

20170922_114049

 

Is September the new July?  If this is autumn, I’ll take it, weird or not!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Purple passion

I have a passion for purple, especially when choosing flowers.  It is such a vibrant colour with so many shades available.  When my daughter-in-law decided she wanted shades of purple flowers in her bouquets and floral decorations, I was excited as I have lots of in my gardens.  I even planted extra perennials just in case I didn’t have enough…

 

Too bad many of them didn’t bloom in time for the wedding thanks to the wet and cool spring Mother Nature gifted us with this year.  To improvise,  I borrowed blossoms from my clients’ garden to supplement the ones I did have in bloom to make bouquets and flower arrangements.

For the past week (now almost two weeks after the wedding)  my passion for purple has been blooming in profusion in my gardens!

 

It’s official, I now have a daughter (in law)

My son’s wedding was this past weekend, so I have now inherited a daughter (in law).  As a mother of three sons, a daughter is very welcome in our household.

The wedding was a beautiful event that even Mother Nature saw fit to participate in. Everything, including the weather, was perfect.  Here are a few photos of my preparations for the rehearsal party BBQ and wedding pictures in our backyard…

 

 

 

I was in charge of the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages and floral decorations at the venue…

 

 

A neighbour (thanks Libby!) dropped off a spectacular “bouquet” of purple hydrangea cupcakes. Eating them almost felt wrong, but the flower girl was willing to eat the first one, making it easier for the rest of us to dismantle the display…

3
bouquet of purple hydrangea cupcakes!

 

 

With all the cool, wet weather we have had up until this weekend, many of the “shades of purple” and white themed plants in my garden were not yet in bloom in time for the bouquets, but they are today…

 

 

The day before the wedding I cut as many purple and white flowers as I could find in my and a few of my clients’ gardens (with their permission) in preparation for making 5 bouquets, 5 boutonnieres, 3 corsages and 1 crown.  The floral decorations for the venue were planted a month ago, but the center plants (predominantly ornamental grasses) had not grown as much as I had hoped either.  Water tubes purchased from a local florist allowed me to improvise by adding fresh cut purple irises, lilacs and alliums for the desired height in the arrangements.

I was desperately seeking large purple blooms for the main flowers in the bride’s bouquet because my pale purple roses and deep purple clematis were not yet in bloom.  Although I was not working in clients’ gardens last week (too busy in my own!)  I stopped by one of them to check on it.  Lo and behold there was a beautiful deep purple rhododendron in glorious full bloom.  It felt like a sign from above since although last season this client promised me I could use some of these blooms in the bouquets, she has since passed away.   I know she was smiling down proudly as everyone admired her rhododendrons at the wedding.

This morning as I cleaned up the mess I made in my basement while making the floral arrangements, I put some tiny leftover blooms in a vase on my table.  A beautiful reminder of a beautiful weekend…

daughter
leftovers

“Let it snow” belongs in December, not March!

16508972_1306266709416586_8630384549014871819_n

Snow can be pretty and welcome in December, but in March it is a bit overdone!  It is snowing here in Ottawa, again!

I am so ready for spring, cannot wait to get out to my own gardens and the ones I look after.  Check out my website GARDENS4U  to read about my gardening business.  I just finished updating it with new pictures and information.

Drought conditions in Eastern Ontario

On a recent trip along the 401 between Ottawa and Kingston in Eastern Ontario, I could not help but notice the toll that the drought conditions have taken on the trees.  Usually beautiful, lush green against the magnificent limestone rock cuts, many of the deciduous trees are currently a toasted, brown color.  The rocks absorb the heat from the sun making the high temperatures that much more dangerous for the trees.  The rocky landscape is not able to retain the limited moisture we have had from rain…

 

 

Even though this was mid-August, it looked more like October when the leaves have changed color and are about to fall.  Although we have had more rain this past week, I don’t think these poor trees will recover.

The grass is always greener

The saying goes”the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”  In this case, the crop is always greener on the other side of the creek LOL…

grass is always greener

 

anyone know what the brown crop is?  It is quite healthy looking up close, just the color from a distance that makes it look dead.  Although you cannot see it in the picture I took from the car as we drove by, there is a creek running between the two crops.

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE

and

be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW

My gardening website can be viewed at www.gardens4u.ca

Storm clouds

These storm clouds circled us on Palmerston Lake this past Friday night, but we did not receive any rain until early Monday morning…

 

In fact, after the stars and moon chased away the clouds, we were able to enjoy our first campfire of the season since the fire ban had finally been lifted in the North Frontenac area…

20160722_213545

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE

and

be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW

My gardening website can be viewed at www.gardens4u.ca

Dragonflies, nature’s bug exterminator

I heard that dragonflies are released each spring on Palmerston Lake where our cottage is located.  This practice is to reduce the number of annoying mosquitoes, horse flies, deer flies, black flies and such, naturally…

 

While I have seen numerous dragonflies circling around, I had never seen one catch or eat any of the thousands of mosquitoes or black, deer and horse flys prevalent this time of year at the lake.   Until this past weekend…

As we worked on the final stages of our new deck project, a large blue dragonfly landed right beside us on a board, with a horsefly in its grasp.  For the next 30 minutes, the dragonfly chomped away on the horsefly, paying no attention to us.  It was so intent on devouring its prize, that it did not budge as I snapped pictures and a video of the action from inches away…

 

Watch the jaws at work:

Trying to stuff the whole horse fly into its mouth…

 

and then finishing it off:

 

Shortly after it had devoured the fly, the dragonfly took off and I got back to work.   I bet the dragonfly flew off to have a nap somewhere; that was a workout!  The bugs seem to be worse than ever this spring, but I have proof there is now one less horse fly around to bite me!

Happy birthday from above

I read somewhere that when a cardinal (the red bird type) makes an appearance in your yard, they have come to tell you that a departed loved one is thinking of you.  As I was pouring a cup of coffee first thing this morning, I noticed this bright red cardinal in my garden…

As he hopped through my (still snow covered) garden, he stopped to pose a few times and sing a few notes before a female cardinal joined him.  As she is less brilliant in color, a brownish red instead of the bright red, she was harder to photograph.

I think the cardinals were a Happy Birthday message from my dearly departed parents.  My dad was an avid bird lover, and my mother was never far from his side…

If April showers bring May flowers, what does April snow bring?

If April showers bring May flowers, what does April snow bring?  Yesterday we got the 10 centimeters (4 inches) of snow that was promised us from Mother Nature.  It started off with hugh fluffy flakes that quickly covered the ground and everything else…

 

We went out for a walk last night, hopefully our last snowy walk of the season…

354

and came across this bus that had jackknifed across the road shutting down traffic on the main street that runs through our residential neighbourhood in Ottawa, Ontario.  The ironic part was, when we got home (just down the street from this mishap) our son told us he just got off the bus at that stop and as the driver pulled back into traffic from the edge of the road this happened.

I am not sure who made the bright decision to have accordion buses in Ottawa.  More often than not they get stranded when it snows, but that’s another story!

 

This last picture is an attempt at a selfie as I enterred our home, covered in snow…

6a

 

Today it is plus eight degrees Celcius (46F) and raining, so these April showers may bring May flowers after all!