23 June 2010

I felt the earth move...

As I was uploading the photos for this post I suddenly noticed the monitor shaking... and the windows rattling... and OMG--the ceiling's going to come down on me! That's when I took off downstairs, seeking the safety of a nice, solid doorway. The cats ran off to find shelter, as well. Of course, by the time I got downstairs it was all over. I wasn't even entirely sure if it had been an earthquake or if there was something seriously wrong with the house (roof caving in--who knows)! But within a few minutes I had confirmation that the entire city felt it, and within about half an hour the SO sent me:

AUTOMATIC EARTHQUAKE NOTIFICATION
FROM THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF CANADA

The epicentre of the earthquake of 2010/06/23 at 17:41 (Universal Time)
34 KM N OF BUCKINGHAM, QUE.

is located at latitude 45.88 N, longitude 75.48 W with a Richter magnitude of 5.1


Which was a shock as we're about five hours (by car) from the Quebec border. I can't believe we felt their quake in Toronto. I also just found out that it lasted 20 seconds, which is pretty long in earthquake terms, and much longer than I thought it lasted. Crazy. I hope everyone else affected is okay and not too freaked. And it's a good thing we have these photos of my garden to soothe our frazzled nerves! Click photos to enlarge...

I love the way the stem of this poppy has looped around:


I don't grow them for their flowers, but potatoes have surprisingly pretty blooms:

With a cluster of buds about to open:


I've probably mentioned it before but I'm not a fan of orange. Especially bright orange. Especially in the garden. Same goes for bright yellow. But for some reason I love my California poppies! They're so cheery. I just make sure to plant them off to the side where they won't get in the way of sightlines and clash with the rest of the garden.


A fresh bloom with a recently spent one:

Not only did this hydrangea bloom much earlier than the other two in my garden, but the individual flowers are huge (the flower clusters are average sized)!


The potato flowers again, taken a couple of days later; the cluster of buds is now a cluster of flowers:
I have an inordinate love of pansies and violas. I don't know what it is--maybe their colours or their cheery little "faces." The only time I've contemplated plant theft was over some johnny-jump-ups (hey, the garden had plenty to spare, but I'm happy to report I didn't give in to temptation--although I might ask the gardener for some if I ever see her/him out there).

Anyway, the first growing season after we moved to this house we bought and planted some pansies. Not only were they pretty but they lasted the entire summer (they usually prefer cooler weather). Despite my effort to keep up with deadheading, several of the plants must have gone to seed because ever since we've had pansies come up on their own each spring. I love it--no need to buy plants and every year there's a few more, not to mention new colour combinations. And that was a rather rambling introduction to the next few photos of our self-seeded pansies...




My 'Sorbet' peony (if that's what it is--I'm guessing) did really well this year. This flower happened to flop over onto the deck, and I thought it was purty...


Larkspur is a fantastic plant. If you want a smaller, less fussy version of delphiniums--this is the plant for you! It also has insecticidal properties, so in theory it'll keep the nasty bug population at bay. I need to plant more of these.

The last blooms of my Apothecary rose:

The nameless roses we brought from our last place:

Speaking of too-tall delphiniums:

Some photos of my 'Viking' rose:



'Sealand Gem' clematis mingling with the 'William Baffin' Explorer rose:



And yet more of the 'Viking' rose (I love pink roses--can you tell?)


Rose petals on one of the English lavenders:

I'm not sure what the point of potato flowers is (they don't seem to produce seeds) but I'm glad they're there. By the way, these are 'Yukon Gold' plants.

And one last look at the pansies...



My garden may not be fancy, professionally designed and full of the trendiest plants (who gardens according to trends, anyway?), but it's a happy place and I love it :)

Photos by Domicile.

15 June 2010

Flower Power

I've had a rough couple of days and, rather than tear my hair out or go on a bender, I decided to lighten my mood by looking at (and posting) some of my recent garden photos. It's the next best thing to actually being in the garden. So if you're feeling stressed too, take a moment for some flower therapy (click photos to enlarge)...

First bloom on my clematis 'Sealand Gem' (I'm 99% sure on the name, but I could be wrong)

Speaking of names, I finally remembered which Explorer rose I've got! It's the 'William Baffin' rose (don't know how I forgot--the guy's only got a massive island named after him). They're not kidding when they say this plant flowers freely!

Delphinium 'Black Knight' (again 99% sure, but...) This is a great plant. It's survived several moves, it's healthy, it's huge, it's got tons of blooms, and it's beautiful. This one's a keeper.

This is the rose you see above, behind the delphinium. I have no idea what rose this is, as it accidentally moved with us from the last house. I'm so glad it did, though! Every year it's got more flowers. This year I noticed a sweet scent (yay). And much to my excitement, the flowers seem to have mellowed from true red (last year) to more of a crimson/hot pink shade. If we move again, this guy's coming with us.


I just noticed this picture is sideways. Oops. Still looks nice, though ;)


One of my English lavender plants in bloom, with the 'William Baffin' Explorer rose in the background.

This is another mystery rose that came with us from the last place. Planted in miserable conditions (almost no light) it still would bloom every year. I couldn't leave it behind. Now it's much happier, and as a bonus, we accidentally brought along the reddish-pink rose I mentioned above.

Honeysuckle flowers and buds. I love this plant. It smells heavenly and the colour blends well with all the other plants. It's also a very enthusiastic grower. A little too enthusiastic. I've got to train it to grow on the fence...

Lady's Mantle in bloom. The flowers are pretty, although nothing exciting. The leaves are what make it special, though; after a rain they sparkle like diamonds. Beautiful. It also seeds freely, so if anyone wants a plant...

This is my 'Viking' climbing rose. Little scent, but once it starts flowering it doesn't stop. It's also nice and healthy.

One more of 'William Baffin.'

I only bought one geranium this year (this was the year of almost no plant purchases), but I couldn't resist when I saw it. Why, yes--I do enjoy pink in the garden!

The SO took this shot with my camera. One of several mourning doves that like to hang out in our yard :)


This is not a black and white picture. It's actually a shadow of the delphinium on a white door leaning against the wall in our garage. I thought it was too pretty not to photograph.

All photos above (except for the one of the dove) by Domicile.

These next shots were taken by the SO with his fancy-pants camera. He's only now learning photography and his skills have already way surpassed mine. And he says he's not creative...

These photos are of one of my California poppies, after the petals have fallen off but before the seed head starts forming. I thought it looked pretty cool.



These are delphinium spikes, before the flowers open. They're so tall it's difficult to secure the tops, so they tend to bend over.

I feel better now. Hope you do too!