Archives For gardening

Spring Fever

April 2, 2013 — 24 Comments


SPRING FEVER: For many, those two words conjure up the feeling of falling in love but I see these two words as a reignited passion for life! I feel the urge for longer walks, and more moments bird-watching to witness the returning or ‘passing through’ winged residents. I find myself cleaning out disorganized closets and emptying sheds. Leftover Easter ham is being cherished down to every last morsel into pasta casseroles and various soups. Curtains and blinds are fully opened and windows have been cleaned of their winter dust.

I am feeling fresh and sprite too as I’m drawn to wearing my brightest colours. My usual choices of blues, greens or browns have been replaced by tops and scarves in purple, pink, yellow and orange. Buying cut-flowers at the store feels like more of a necessity than an extravagance as my spirit longs for growing things. As if to oblige all three of my indoor Christmas Cactus are quickly becoming covered with their spectacular orchid-like blooms, and an African Violet in the front window has more purple than green as it keeps sending up more and more blooms.

Just this past weekend my heart soared with the temperatures when my hubby was able to at last remove the last of the ice-hardened snowpack heaped on a corner of our concrete patio that I’ve been looking at out the kitchen window since October! Five months of only being able to imagine exactly where the edge of the patio meets the garden area. Five months of being reminded of the long snowy winters and short, fast summers where I live. Well, that short fast summer is approaching at break-neck speed and I’m filled with energy to ‘hit the ground running’.

Colorful_spring_gardenGarden Floor Plans have been drawn and lists compiled. There are certain perennials that need to be moved, primarily away from the hot sun at the front of the yard facing south, and into the cooler, more shaded area at the back of the yard. Now mind you, the ground is still frozen and only the very toughest plants are starting to show hints of green, so pre-planning is all I can do. Well that and neatening the garden: pulling off the covering mulch and cutting back last year’s dead plant matter. The lovely ladybugs scramble as they are shaken awake. I say Hello and carefully work around them as they hurry away. I send them love and hope they won’t go too far.

When it’s time to take a break and come indoors, the delicious aroma of Lentil-Pea-Ham soup greets me from the crockpot. Yesterday’s hearty Ham & Corn Chowder is nearly already devoured by the family. Hopefully today’s soup will be as well received.

I wanted to share a glimpse into my bustling ‘spring fever’ days here in early April, when the mild winds are pushing small white clouds across a bright blue sky. The temperatures are warming through the day and even staying above freezing at night (barely but 2 Celsius is good for me!). So I say Thank You God for another spring day, and thank you to all of you cherished readers for encouraging me to pause a moment and share about my day. May your day be filled with energizing spring breezes and a deep sense of gratitude that wells up and fills your heart to overflowing. Life is Good! Namaste.

I wish these photos were from my garden! These are wallpaper images off Google.

I have enjoyed spending most of my time in the gardens today, and I had the joyful opportunity to witness the wonder and curiously chaotic flight of several butterflies. Whenever I see one, I pause and this poem that I memorized nearly twenty years ago runs through my mind. Often I will enjoy reciting it aloud. Of all my memorized poetry, this is one of my favourites for its incredibly descriptive cadence, somehow even sounding like a butterfly’s flight. I hope you enjoy!


.white butterfly

Flying Crooked, by Robert Graves

The butterfly, a cabbage-white, 

(His honest idiocy of flight) 

Will never now, it is too late, 

Master the art of flying straight, 

Yet has – who knows so well as I? –

A just sense of how not to fly: 

He lurches here and here by guess 

And God and hope and hopelessness. 

Even the acrobatic swift 

Has not his flying-crooked gift.



young poet Robert GravesRobert von Ranke Graves (Robert Graves) 24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985

poet Robert Graveswas an English poet, novelist, and scholar/translator/writer of antiquity specializing in Classical Greece and Rome.

During his long life he produced more than 140 works, and earned his living from writing. Graves’s poems — together with his translations and innovative analysis and interpretations of the Greek myths, his memoir of his early life including his role in the First World War, Goodbye to All That, and his pseudo-historical study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess — have never been out of print.

(Source – Wikipedia)

Sometimes I have to make a choice. Return from the garden and get back on the computer to let my readers and followers know how much they mean to me… or stay in the garden for just a little bit longer. And hope they know my summer-time absence does not display a disinterest, but rather a very full and busy life.

Summer in my climate is very short-lived and is a reason for celebrating by spending most of my waking time out of doors. As the laptop screen reflects – even in the shade – and the happy bees distract me as well, I am not successful in bringing the computer outdoors. I am too busy tending and talking to plants and watching the robins and sparrows and finches join the party at the plentiful water sources we offer.

Gardening brings me back to myself. My True Self. I use capitals because I am referring to the highest and truest part of myself. I’ve heard people say ‘my church is in Nature’ and I know what they mean. Nature is an essential part of my religion because as I see beauty in Nature (every day, every where I look) I am reminded of how loved we truly are. Those who build a garden are helping bring our love of beauty and spirit right down to earth. 

Just Before

June 7, 2012 — 8 Comments


I just love summer ~ the sound of the mowers,

The scent of bug-spray on my skin;

The late twilight calling me away from my bed

Where winter would’ve seen me, hiding within.


I can hear the plants, when I slow down at last

And just pull and prune and trim,

And they let me know what it is they prefer

And where they want to live.


The sudden sight of a flower, that wasn’t there just before

Fills my heart with a sudden joy,

And I soak in that beauty and return with a smile

To the path I was on just before.


I am reminded ongoing of the peace that will find me,

Even when I resist those same tasks;

Those ones that will teach me: the lessons my garden

Will give me if I only ask.


Copyright © 2008 Professions for PEACE

Gardening smiles

May 15, 2012 — 8 Comments

I have spent the entire day outdoors working in the garden and I have loved every moment. Rebuilding our front yard fence, pruning out the dead limbs in the old overgrown lilac, breaking the branches down to a neat kindling pile, setting up our summer fountain, repairing a bird feeder, and proving a push-mower really can cut thick long grass if you’re willing to go over it a few times. Loving the tasks, and remaining in the present moment. Being thankful for bumblebees, butterflies and songbirds swooping all around me. I am happily tired and truly satisfied with a good day’s work. I will sleep well tonight. Physical exertion plus the outdoors is a perfect prescription for sleeping through the night.

“There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.” ~ Mirabel Osler 

Several years ago I made up my mind: I was finished with tenting. As much as I adore camping and being out there immersed in wind, sun, rain, trees, and fresh air… the lumpy mattress woes and worries of elk tripping and spooking on the tent cords had done me in. It was time to move on up! It was time for a truck and camper.

I knew I was looking at older trucks because I had a very limited budget. I’ve always had a fondness for rugged tough-as-nails trucks anyways. The first standard I learned on at the tender age of 12 was a big ol’ green truck with a stick-shift on the floor. I asked if I could, so my dad got me started and I was more than eager to drive around that harmless pasture. He knew that tough truck could easily handle my occasional stalls and mis-gears. So when it came to searching out a treasure with my twenty-five hundred dollars, I was completely ready to find a tough old truck.

After scouring ads in the papers for weeks, I noticed a phone number being repeated in many ads. After calling I learned they were a small business purchasing old fleets when businesses were upgrading. I headed their way and drove my car into the rough and bumpy lot. Poor car. This lot was much better suited to a truck. There were dump trucks and flatbeds and pick-up trucks everywhere, scattered about in a rough semblance of a parking lot. As I pulled in I wondered how or where I’d find ‘Jim’ the friendly fellow I’d spoken with on the phone. But as I parked next to a hap-hazard row of trucks, a large kindly man approached my car, wiping his hands on a rag. Reminded me of my dad, except subtract many years.

With my tight budget there were only three trucks that day and I still remember them all. A black and red automatic Ford, with a topper and a few ‘bells & whistles’ like power windows and “Tasmanian Devil” accessories and mats. Not feelin’ it. Next truck: a green Chevrolet bench seat automatic. Long box. Very plain, no personality. How else to say it? This wasn’t the one. Finally, the last one, a bit over budget since they were hoping to get $3K for it, but maybe if I could do $2600, was a white giant that drew my eye the moment I drove onto the lot. As we walked closer to this Chevrolet Cheyenne 2500, I saw it had a bumper sticker with a photo of a coyote and a speed limit sign, with the words: “Slow down. Their lives depend on it.” I loved it already. As I walked around the side to open the driver’s door, I could see the glue remnants of the PARKS CANADA letters wearing off the rear side window. This was feeling more like my truck.

I pulled the door open and it groaned and squeaked and asserted its weight as it clunked open. The terribly torn seat on the front corner of the driver’s side didn’t faze me one bit, even though I was in shorts on that hot August day. I ignored the torn corner and eagerly slid behind the huge steering wheel. It was a standard, with 4-on-the-floor… and a 4×4. What joy! I felt an impulse I can hardly describe, that I somehow knew this truck was perfect for me… just what I’d been looking for to haul landscaping supplies and later, to haul my camper once I found one. Jim handed me the keys, unable to hide his surprise at my enjoyment of this big beauty. A ¾ ton crew-cab with the back seat and stereo ripped out. A huge spare tire with change-kit filled the space behind the split-bench front seat. I didn’t care about anything except that I loved it. Having been a government fleet vehicle, it had been very well cared for. I took it for a test-drive, and my teen son who’d accompanied me on this adventure of truck shopping, enjoyed how it beeped when in reverse as if it was a REALLY big truck.

I bought that big beauty that day. While I strive to live ‘green’ and do what I can to conserve and reduce consumption… I adore my big truck. The small, energy efficient car is used for the travels around the city we have to make. The truck sits and waits for special occasions. Summertime projects such as moving rocks for the garden, moving things for loved ones, and camping. Ah camping, that glorious time to enjoy our own little spot of wilderness. Which I enjoy immensely with my reliable truck and the nice second-hand camper I bought after the truck. I am truly blessed. Thank you God. I give thanks for living near the Rocky Mountains and for the gorgeous campgrounds only an hour from my home. I give thanks for the cozy bed and snug security in my little ‘portable’ home. And I especially give thanks for that wonderful old truck of mine.

Image source: Seth Duffey photos