Rainy Day

It rained all weekend. Luckily for me, Poppy came to stay and kept me amused.

dsc_6710

All she needed was some craft materials, and I just had to follow instructions.

dsc_6708

Carefully, no wandering off to do boring things like cooking or tidying up.

dsc_6747

This sort of work requires close attention.

dsc_6761

Careful penmanship.

dsc_6719

And excellent company.

dsc_6766

A small sample of our work. Apparently they are octopus, or octopi, as I was informed by my new teacher.

dsc_6767

No one in our household was exempt from trying on the results. Thanks for a fun weekend Poppy!

Walking on the Ocean Floor

Because of the interesting tides along the Bay of Fundy, you can walk on the Ocean floor if you get your timing right.

DSC_6196

You have to keep remembering that, a few hours ago, where you are walking was deep sea. Deep enough for a whale to swim in.

DSC_6221

So, with every low tide there are new arrangements on that ocean floor.

DSC_6222

If you look long enough you will see things alive and moving.

DSC_6228

Ancient granite rocks. This one has made itself a heart.

DSC_6240

A geologist’s dream I imagine.

DSC_6181

This green was an excellent contrast to the red sand.

DSC_6245

What an experience!

 

Remembering

It’s just three years now since my youngest sister Laurel died.  I had an idea about making a garden in her memory, and made a start the following spring. My planting skills were lacking as of flower bed of sorts emerged, but it never felt right. This year, I have had some special help from my gardening expert Crystal, who really understood what I wanted.

Time was spent moving what existed into a holding bed, then the soil was prepared, a proper wall built by another expert who really got what I wanted, that’s Chuck, and his team who built the dry stone wall.

Now it’s planted and looking full of promise for next year:

Laurels August 9 2010-324 (2014_07_11 05_46_12 UTC)

A happy memory of Laurel surrounded by flowers, her daughter Jessica and furry/wooly friends.

DSC_5722

Her garden is in a shady, peaceful spot, with a bench for me to sit with the cats.

DSC_5742

Our last job is to make a path through the middle, which is marked with red rope for now.

DSC_5699

The colours are just right.

DSC_5695

I love the morning light on the Lily of the Valley

DSC_5709

It’s now a good space, which will gradually fill with our plantings.

DSC_5707

I’m very pleased with this oak leafed hydrangea

DSC_5732

The vegetable patch opposite her garden is also part of it, as she loved good veg.

DSC_5737

This feels like a positive way to remember someone who would probably have liked her garden over here.

Time for My Garden

Moving from a postage stamp size garden in England to a Nova Scotian plot with trees, wild flowers and some cultured plants, I have decided after four years, that it’s time to add something my own to blend with the wilderness around us.

There had to be a vegetable garden somewhere. After a visit to France and England, their well cared for patches of vegetables made me need one.

So I started here:

DSC_5458

Raised beds in a cage to keep the deer out. Please also note my lovely arbor made by good friend Colin Jackman.

DSC_5485

I have glossy lettuces

DSC_5474

Rows of tasty salad.

DSC_5483

Maigolds to keep away the aphids.

DSC_5481

Nasturtiums for salads.

I have encouraged the wild flowers that lived here first.

DSC_5512

They attract bees and butterflies, who were also here first.

DSC_5441

We have giant clover, which the bees enjoy.

Then there are my pots, not within reach of the deer’s hungry chops.

DSC_5527

Scented petunias.

DSC_5535

Can’t have a garden without pansies.

DSC_5442

As many as I can get hold of.

For my next project, I am getting help from an expert. The lovely Crystal Godfrey . Preparations began in early spring. We are now ready to plant. More to come.

Meanwhile Tommy continues his regular patrols for me. Just in case of unwanted pests.

DSC_5537

Honfleur Days

A brief road trip to Honfleur, situated in a valley between the Seine estuary and the plateau of Pays d’Auge, was like a little piece of heaven.

DSC_4982

The Vieux Bassin is where the yachts are parked, while their people stop for dinner.

DSC_5201

Rows of tables compete with one another, and the food is wonderful.

DSC_4972

Simple and fresh. Why does everything taste so good in France?

DSC_4987

The little cobbled streets around the harbour are full of delicious temptations.

DSC_5164

I badly wanted that pink handbag, but resisted.

DSC_5175

The shop fronts are all designed, and lure you in.

DSC_5095

Even tins of tuna fish look attractive.

DSC_5189

We are in the heart of Calvados country.

DSC_5040

Window boxes are crammed full.

DSC_5093

Remember to look up.

DSC_5167

It all looks so stylish.

DSC_5024

This bell tower is part of St Catherine’s, the largest wooden church in France. The rest of the building is across the road.

DSC_5048

Parts of the facade of St Leonard’s church dates back to the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries.

DSC_5005

Everywhere is an invitation for a stop. But this time, I need coffee.

DSC_5157

Nothing tastes as good as a double expresso right here in Honfleur.

Dogs

I came across a number of good looking dogs on my holiday. Here they are

DSC_3711

I don’t remember the collie’s name. He came with us on a walk and was a good laugh.

DSC_4232

These two yappers travelled with us by boat along Windermere

DSC_4252

And this sweet boy was on the return journey.

DSC_3768

A fox terrier wanted a game,

DSC_3767

Got more than he bargained for.

DSC_4628

Teazel has the sweetest personality.

DSC_4736

She lives in Normandy, and I guess I am her aunt.

DSC_4910

This feisty little terror is always at the local market in his hat.

DSC_4927

Dogs join in with everything in France, like these tiny ones having morning coffee.

DSC_4556

Another terror, this time a Parson’s Jack Russell saying hello.

A 17th Century Garden

A visit to Levens Hall Gardens was like walking round an art or sculpture gallery. The topiary has over 100 shaped Yew trees.

DSC_3995

Some of these bushes are 300 years old, and have remained the same since planting in the 1690’s.

DSC_3968

Some of the trees are shaped like chess pieces, not sure what this one is.

DSC_3982

The little hedges edging the beds are box and Japanese Holly.

DSC_3991

This must be one of the finest collections of topiaries in the UK, or even wider afield,

DSC_3974

Much as I enjoyed seeing them, it did rather leave me asking myself…

DSC_4061

Why? What did they do it for, and how ever much work does it take to keep it going?

English Days

It was such a perfect time to visit the English Lake District

DSC_3657

 Blossom was just freshly blooming

DSC_4006

Breath-taking clouds of red tulips, and no sign of deer nibbles.

DSC_3924

Ancient grave yards. Always a good source of blooms.

DSC_3685

Dry stone walls covered in green moss and ivy, far older than we could imagine.

DSC_4187

These walls make a good backdrop for planting.

DSC_3851

Up on the moors with a good friend and promising weather; my idea of heaven

Admiration

The challenge this week from The Daily Post Photo Challenge is about someone we admire. Hmmmm

DSC_8389

I know exactly who I admire no end. The lovely lady on the right is someone who has been facing big health challenges in recent years. Her reaction to becoming ill was to write her Bucket List, and do every last thing on it, which she seems to have done. There is a lot to learn from people like her, people who decide to live every moment fully for the time they have left. Cheers for Ali, she gets my admiration!