Say hello to Jewel Weed in our garden! It has generously volunteered to be a most beautiful backdrop for the Coleus and Dusty Miller in our flower bed near the back door. We have never had it in this location in 30 years. Kind of make me wonder how it came to be there.
Just after July 1st we bought a few red and white impatience planters that were looking a little scruffy and nursed them back into shape. Now they are looking very cheerful and ready to welcome September!
At the same time I want to share a glimpse of the crazy giant frog who guards the patio! He appears to have a serious case of excema but he looooves his tin tub!.
Bruce’s planter full of succulents is making a good show as well. We have added some plants to the back garden and it is beginning to take shape. More on that in later posts.
Our big news, Garden-wise, is the completion of our fish pond upgrade. The whole project had become stalled due to our diminished abilities to tote and carry heavy objects. With the help of the amazing young men from Highway # 2 Landscaping Company, Trenton Ontario, the project was completed just before the celebration of my Mother’s 100th birthday celebration on July 30th.
The result was that we, and the garden, looked spic and span, when family and friends gathered to celebrate Verena’s most amazing accomplishment. Here we are about to cut the cake.Mother Nature has helped out by sending enough rain to keep everything green and lush and we send her our most hearty thanks. We do not forget that at this time last year we had learned to bathe in a tea cup and were saving every precious drop of water used in the house. We doled it out parsimoniously to all the fainting plants and apologized to those that had to wait until next time for a drink. There are those persons who are complaining about the amount of rain we have received but I am not one of them. Thanks to the Annabelles and the Lilies for showing up just in time for our celebrations!
Well, the garden has kept us very busy in the last little while. But before I get to that I am posting pictures of the paintings that have been piling up. The end of June saw the completion of a full six months of the challenge. That was my original goal and I MADE IT! I am taking a little break while I concentrate more seriously on getting Gladiola Sleeps In ready for the printer. Here then are a few more paintings that I completed for the Challenge.
Week 16 Experiment-
Week 17- Long haired Animal
Week 22-My Favourite Thing
Foxgloves have been a favourite of mine since I was a small child. They seemed so very magical to me. Why I could even see the imprint of the fox’s paws! When I got to make a recitation about foxgloves at Nursery school graduation our next door neighbour gave me a bouquet to carry for the performance. I realize that it is a long time ago and may all be part of my imagined past. However the fascination for foxgloves remains and the ones in our garden were particularly fabulous this year.
Playing catch up here folks. While my creative activities have been rolling along my computer wrangling abilities briefly sank to a new low.
Week 15 Thread and Week 24 Multi Cultural
Paper Collage and pigma pen.
Week 15 stumped me for a long time. I felt that I wanted to do a quilt-ish kind of thing but nothing resonated or took hold and rooted. So I just left it to stew in the back of my mind. Then Week 24 came around with the theme of Multiculturalism. I thought of all the wonderful benefits that accrue to our various countries by the addition of other cultures and then it came to me that a quilt is a perfect metaphor for our diverse cultures, all stitched together to make a new and richer whole. As I am a passionate scrap book-er, I have at my disposal a whole mountain of paper scraps. I took photos of a few quilts that have family history to put into the mix. Add to those things, an image scanned from one of my favourite tee shirts and then I was off to my sewing machine. She was up to the task. I find am pretty pleased with the outcome. It just took time for it all to coalesce.
Week 18-Rain Clouds
Downpour-Lake Opeongo, Algonquin Park, Ont.
This is a project that began with the challenge Perspective. An idea has taken shape that I will/can illustrate some of my childhood experiences and create a book for my grandchildren with stories of adventures of my past. This illustration comes from the memory of camping with my family, and being in an open boat, far from shore, when a violent storm struck.
Week 23-Texture -Version #1
In this version I approached the paper with no idea in mind at all. Over several days I just kept playing with the paint until I was sort of satisfied with the outcome. At the last moment the wee fish swam into the picture and demanded to be allowed to stay. Not sure if the whole thing really works to my satisfaction but the fish stays. I sense a story therein. He and I will spend sometime together and see what kind of adventures await.
Week 23-Texture -Version #2
My first effort at the challenge Texture was not completely to my liking and I let the whole concept just rest for a while. A visit to a local restaurant turned up an interesting installation of metal plates in the Ladies room. My brain grabbed it and ran! No story with this but I had so much fun with the colour and texture!
Week 13-Cinema, Week 14-Surprise (Catch up)
This week: a story from my childhood. A very rare foray to the drive-in-theatre with my family finds us at the end of the night driving off with the speaker still hanging on the closed window. Shock all around and a very quick exit deeply embarrassed and chagrined!
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
This poem was unknown to me until this week. It is amazing that I had not heard it before now. It is always difficult for me when the greening of the earth turns from the subtle profusion of tones and colours to GREEN alone. It all happens so very quickly and I am always sad when this precious time is over. The leaves keep growing as they should and must but I feel as if they seem to become too big for my space. For a brief time the world seems too full. The acid yellow greens and the lacy shapes of the tiny new growth quickly become a fleeting memory. Of course, I become accustomed to the fullness and the greenness of the world. The feeling passes and I welcome the bounty that full on Spring brings.
A car ride down the 401 this week found me musing on these feelings with a friend and she shared with me the Frost poem which says eloquently what has been in my heart for so many years. Gratitude to Marie and to Mr. Frost!
And so the rain and sun combine to accelerate everything. The daffodils that a few days ago were blowing in the wind are producing seed pods. Will I have time to dead head? Perhaps not despite my best intentions. Getting ahead of the grass is my job at the moment. Also the Garlic Mustard continues to be a scourge. More on that in a later post. The Canada 150 tulips have been a joy. Hope that they stay around for many years and do not fall prey to our squirrel hordes!
The magnolia was magnificent this year. It has almost recovered from the disastrous ice storm.
Is it just me or has the blooming time of things been really off this year? The progression of bloom that we usually see seems all mixed up. The Red Bud is in full swing and we are loving it. I had no idea that it was possible to have so many shades of pink in one garden.
As you can see by these shots, we have a magnificent crop of lunaria this year. Some know them by the name of Silver Dollars. We will certainly have lots to share when Fall rolls around.
A quick look around out to the west shows the apple blossoms about to burst and a few lingering tulips. That path leads to a diminishing rhubarb patch. There are so many trees now that I am afraid that the rhubarb does not get the light that it needs. There will however be enough to make a few small pies before the month is out. I hope that you enjoyed the garden tour. The flush of bloom is on with every day bringing more and more to delight the eye in rapid succession. Walk up the path someday soon and enjoy a walk. We will put on a pot of coffee or tea to share. We would love to see you!
(Late post)-#52 WPB
This is an illustration for Perspective-A View of a Granny’s Life-. In this painting the child (who is myself-no surprise there) is enjoying a few minutes listening to the radio before hurrying back to school for the afternoon. This memory occurred long ago when children walked home from school, enjoyed a Mom cooked lunch and got to spend some time listening to the radio. It was a time to let imagination take over and take her far away from her everyday world! Great days! Happy Place!
If you have been a follower of my blog you will have noticed that there has been a dearth of postings on the Challenge. The Challenge has become a challenge! Simply put, Week 11-Perspective, proved to be more of a challenge than I would have liked. I loved the concept that occurred to me. That was the idea that an old woman could sit at her dressing table, magically look into the mirror and have the years drop away. Her childhood self would appear and a story could evolve that included important aspects of her younger days. That was all fine and I created the painting to go with the story idea. Then the trouble began. The painting disappointed me. I stewed about it for a long time and finally stowed it on the bottom of a pile of work, where it has languished ever since. I thought that I would just go on with the next challenge. It was not that simple! I had good ideas but I just seemed stalled. That old lady kept creeping back into my mind! And so it has been for many weeks now.
That all turned around last week. I pulled the painting out of the pile and had a fresh look. Immediately some of the weaknesses became very clear to me. A consult with my friend, mentor, and illustrations expert, Peggy Collins, confirmed what I had seen and added more ideas for me. After that it was full steam ahead. So here is a picture of the truculent “Before” painting.
I won’t go into the changes that were made but the next version is much more pleasing in many subtle ways.
It is by no means perfect and there are more versions waiting to be created before a story book emerges, but I can live with the painting the way it is for now. It seems that I just needed a new PERSPECTIVE to get me going again!!!