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I wonder…

…if the person who invented fireworks was inspired by Mother Nature?

As I watered the garden today it occurred to me that it holds  plenty of inspiration. 

Ready…


Set…


Go!


Children draw “simple flowers” … but have you really looked at a sunflower lately? It looks just like a child’s drawing. 

But there are many possibilities, both in individual blossoms and the entire plants as well as the landscape itself. There is no set design…


There is no single way to grow…


For the kid who loved to wear pink striped socks with a purple embroidered tunic, all this is still  great encouragement every morning. 

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockle shells 

And pretty maids all in a row. 

It always seemed like a silly nursery rhyme to me; anyone can see that gardens don’t want to grow in a row. 

Here’s to unruly blossoms that wave in the wind and gardens that inspire the child in all of us! 

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Glory in the Flower

Despite the heat we’ve had that melts butter on the counter, and the flooding that has streams and lakes rising past record levels, there is simple beauty around.

We have sardonically joked that it’s a good year to be poor enough to not afford lakefront property. My garden is well above water. We lost a few big branches from one of our lilac trees last night but that’s all. (They were waterlogged and beaten down by previous hits from ambitious woodpeckers. )

If you’ll pardon the expression, I thought I’d show the cup half full in what for many is a time of tense anticipation or even tragedy.

Mother Earth iris blossoms abound at Rabbit Hollow – I inherited them, and take special pride in knowing this symbol is our signature flower in the neighbourhood.

Oriental poppies are a majestic start to the season of blossoms here. For me, they are a sign of strength, perseverance and beauty.

Allium Globemaster flowers are their own world, and a symbol of our larger one. They are also my own private fireworks show.

I hope you can smile at these the way I do. As my mom always says, “it’s important to stop and smell the flowers.” Breathe deep. 

Maybe I’m trying too hard 

In the last week I lost my mojo. I looked daily for inspiration on writing and I came up empty every time. I haven’t been cooking anything except eggs and warming leftovers. I need to shake this off. 

Our cool spring weather broke on the long weekend and we were inundated with heat. The first blossom to make a stand was a poppy. 

Seeing it stand there, so striking and strong, I was encouraged. 

As I approached to take a close up though, I noticed something…

The flower had closed its petals. It appeared to be resting after a long day. 

I took it as a sign. I’m going to attempt not beating myself up for past behaviour and move forward. Tomorrow is another day. And another post. 

It’s Not Easy Being Green

We sprang forward this past weekend and at Rabbit Hollow that sentiment was taken to heart. We don’t have a particularly hard winter in the Okanagan, certainly not for Canada anyway, but there is still snow and frozen ground and cold winds with which to contend. Every year I marvel as the ground comes to life again; I feel a sense of expansiveness that is not there in winter, as the green shoots grow and the air warms. My admiration for all the new life spurs me on, too. Brighter colours seem the order of the day, so I do my best to participate.

a spring wreath offsets the windwalker hanging at the front entry to the house at Rabbit Hollow

It did my heart good on Sunday to see my first robin of the year as I awoke to Daylight Savings Time. When I walked the dogs I noticed the green shoots in the grass. As I looked closer, I could see tulips poking through the mulch and even a little viola making a brave face in the wind. Every living thing was cheering the coming of spring.

The first Johnny Jump-up to celebrate spring. These violas will re-seed themselves quite happily if you let them.

The icing on the cake was in the back yard. I noticed the forsythia was beginning to show shoots, but the lead cheerleader for the spring cause was the pussy willow. I squealed like a birthday girl with balloons when I saw the fuzzy shoots as big as my thumb, all up the branches. There was certainly more spring in my step as I continued through the orchard on our route.

My shining glory - the pussywillow in "the back 40" at Rabbit Hollow.

I have to remember to take it easy, as spring comes slowly in Canada. I have planted garden seeds in February, to be ahead of the curve. But they can’t go outside until late April and by then they end up being stringy shoots reaching for more sun than I can offer them.

It’s not easy being green, as Kermit said. Those beautiful shoots work so hard to make it through the ground and to keep growing. If they are perennials that survived the winter, they deserve a marching band to announce their return, if you ask me. Once they’re up, they have to make it through spring rains and wind, and possibly even another frost. It’s still a long way till there are rows of green in my veggie garden. In the meantime, I will just have to keep cheering them on.

This is an actual cheerleading garden gnome, wearing the North Carolina Tar Heels colours. It was Michael Jordan's team, and always one of my faves. After all, it is March madness. (I don't have one in the yard, though)

Stay tuned in future weeks as I plan out the heirloom seeds for this year. If you have any favourites you plant in your garden, I would love to hear!

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