Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Friendship Garden

If you want to break the ice with a Canadian all you have to do is ask us about our weather. There are parts of this world were the weather is a fairly predictable thing but not in Canada. If you go west to Calgary its not uncommon to have snow in July and be wearing your shorts in January. Flooding seems to be the norm in Manitoba now of days. Whenever I talk to family down east it seems Nova Scotia is in the middle of another storm, be it rain or snow. In Southern Ontario where I live, we have had a cold spring. My family has still been using the gas fireplace at night to take the chill out of the house and as of yet we haven’t even bothered taken the cover of the air conditioner. Usually by this time of year the kids have been in the pool numerous times. I don’t think my husband has even finished opening the pool yet. As much as I am ready for the weather to warm up my gardens are enjoying the frequent rains and cloud-covered days.

This morning I went out to putter in the back yard. The lupine in the corner of the yard are blooming, it’s a sea of pale pink, fuchsia and purple. I walk over to another flowerbed and the poppies are just starting to bloom, I would estimate there are about 30-40 buds on them. Both the lupine and poppies I started from seed a few years ago. I have about eight clematis growing on a chain link fence and they are all doing well and are full of buds just waiting for the Sun to peak through.

About nine years ago Cathy gave me a clump of the palest purple iris I have ever seen. The second summer after I planted them I saw something odd and went out to investigate and noticed that in the middle of the clump of iris was on strong straight dark purple iris blooming. Since that time the iris has moved gardens when we moved houses and I have divided it many times. I still get the pale purple blooms and when they are spent the darker purple starts its blooming. Two springs ago I moved some of the iris to the front of the house. When I moved it to the front I was trying to keep to a purple and white theme, so I figured the iris would work nicely. And just like in the back the pale purple blooms first. As I type this, the second bloom has started, but it is not dark purple as I would of expected but instead is a pale yellow! I don’t even bother to figure it out anymore obviously this iris has its own agenda.

The ‘little one’ and I planted a vegetable garden. Back in March we started cherry tomatoes from seed in the house and they are now in the garden but are pretty small, don’t know if they will produce anything. The ‘little one’ had fun planting swiss chard, lettuce, orange and purple carrots, brussel sprouts, snow peas, and sun flowers all from seed. The problem I have is because everything is so small I cant tell the weeds from vegetables. And since I am not sure just where she planted all the different seeds in the vegetable garden I am afraid to pull anything.

I head over to the Herb garden and my sage bush (yes it is massive) is almost out of control. Again I started it from seed about six years ago and every spring I cut it way back and it seems to love it, as it grows back bigger and stronger. Beside the sage is some oregano that Louise gave me. I have to be strict with the oregano because it likes to spread everywhere. Whats funny is I don’t use much sage or oregano in my cooking, but I have massive amounts of it. The parsley is growing wherever it can find an open spot and fortunately it keeps reseeding its self. I have a big metal tub that I also grow herbs in. The tarragon is close to three feet tall and comes back every year but my basil is missing the sun. Again I started it from seed in March but it is only a couple of inches high and not looking the best. As you can guess I use basil a lot, and so far I still have to buy it from the grocery store.

I am going to have to move some things around as Cathy mentioned to me, I could have her rhubarb plant. I do enjoy a strawberry/rhubarb pie. About four years ago Sunshine came over and we spent the day making stepping-stones. I have about ten through out my front and back gardens. We got huge rhubarb leaves and laid cement over the wrong side of the leaves. Then we added a layer of metal mesh then more cement. We shaped them like the leaves. I would water them each day (not sure why but that’s what the instruction said to do) and after a week they were ready. In some cases I was able to peel the leaves off, and in other cases we left the leaves on and let nature do the work. It was a fun day and fun project and the stones look amazing, specially now as some of mine have started to get that green mossy colour to them.

When I walk through my gardens I admire the beauty God gave us in the simple flower. But also when I walk through the garden it reminds me of my girl friends. Every herb, shrub, flower holds a special memory of these three women. It seems it doesn’t matter what the weather is my garden adapts and bless me with beauty. The same is true of the us 4 women, we never know what tomorrow will bring but we seem to be able to adapt and together our beauty shines for all the world to see.


  1. Carolin, that was one of the most beautiful things I have read in a while!


    by the way - the rhubarb is ready for cutting, then I'll dig it out.

  2. I wanted to post a picture or two from the garden but couldn't figure out how to do it. Tomorrow I will try to remember the camera and could you show me how?

  3. No problem, just remember to bring the usb cable.

  4. What was a wonderful view of your garden. Made me think I was there.
    I saw some poppies at the island today and they reminded me of your garden.
    I have a basil plant for you if your plant does not make it. Save me some of your herb plants. I will keep them on the window sill.
    You ladies have fun tomorrow.

  5. The day that we made the stepping stones holds a great memory for me. I remember that our husbands thought that we were crazy. When they were done Mr. Sunshine dug up the grass in the shape of the stones and we placed them in the front yard. The kids used them as sort of a hop scotch every day when they waited for the bus or when they were just playing. Thanks for the great memory.