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:

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

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

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

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The colours are just right.

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I love the morning light on the Lily of the Valley

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

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I’m very pleased with this oak leafed hydrangea

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

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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:

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

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I have glossy lettuces

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Rows of tasty salad.

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Maigolds to keep away the aphids.

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Nasturtiums for salads.

I have encouraged the wild flowers that lived here first.

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

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We have giant clover, which the bees enjoy.

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

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Scented petunias.

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Can’t have a garden without pansies.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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I badly wanted that pink handbag, but resisted.

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

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Even tins of tuna fish look attractive.

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We are in the heart of Calvados country.

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Window boxes are crammed full.

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Remember to look up.

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It all looks so stylish.

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

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

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

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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

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

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These two yappers travelled with us by boat along Windermere

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And this sweet boy was on the return journey.

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A fox terrier wanted a game,

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Got more than he bargained for.

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Teazel has the sweetest personality.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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 Blossom was just freshly blooming

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

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Ancient grave yards. Always a good source of blooms.

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

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These walls make a good backdrop for planting.

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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

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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!

Moments at Blue Rocks

Little villages by the sea are irresistible for me. No funfairs ice cream and candy floss, just natural rocky shores and busy fisherman.

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Blue Rocks  gets it’s name from these obvious giants strewn around the beaches.

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Years of storms erode the rocks into smooth and interesting shapes. This tree managed to stay upright throughout.

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This raggedy old place has been given a shiny new chimney.

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Each little fishing hut has it’s own features, and seem well cared for.

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Plenty of excellent lichen and moss around too.

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Although this old dory needs a coat of paint, I quite like it as it is.

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Will be back when it’s warmer. On to Lunenburg a few minutes away

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Last look at this shore line.

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Looks like people have been putting fresh paint on their homes, ready for the tourists.

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Love this

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A few good lines of washing out. Now time for lunch.

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Yum, that’s better. A good day out. How lucky am I to live here!

 

Lift Off

Catching moments in a day is the plan. Ordinary moments in a bit of detail. The idea is to look and keep looking to see what’s really there.

Take today, there is some serious work going on in the garden.

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Equipment showing signs of good use.

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This pick axe is being used with some considerable strength behind it.

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Granite needs shifting.

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There is renovation going on of a small patch of garden, originally built in memory of a dear person. Now it’s having a renewal.

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There’s a dog helping out. She sits on the newly dug soil to fend off the deer. I think.

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Two young men are there, doing the work, while I watch.

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