Monday, July 14, 2008

Bonne Fête de la Bastille -- in the garden, after a Vancouver weekend

First, a message from Misstic in honour of Bastille Day:

Back on my island after a busy few days in Vancouver: I had lunch with my sister Rachel and my daughter Rhiannon at Griffin's at the Hotel Vancouver one day (such good memories of having lunch with my mom and dad there numerous times in the 90s) and with my sister Mary and same daughter at Aqua Riva another day. I also fit in a fabulous dinner at Boneta -- gorgeous decor, attentive service, delicious (and beautifully plated) food, altho the surrounding neighbourhood can be tough to walk through -- and the next day, a breakfast of crêpes with another daughter, Bronwen. I also managed to run the seawall and did kilometres of walking, to burn off some of those calories.


And Bronwen and I shopped together, picking up a few pieces at Aritzia where the young saleswomen, despite their obvious hip-and-trendiness, are always friendly, helpful, and honest. Indeed, Aritzia's become my favourite place for getting pieces that blend a classic base with a street edge and help me avoid frumpiness. Our latest choice (yes, we each got one) was a drapey silk-cashmere cardigan, just-below-the-bum length with something like a shawl collar (but not so pronounced) that followed down to the hem on each side of centre -- enough fullness to cross over and tuck under but fluid enough to leave draped. Mine's a dark grey, Bronwen's is pearl grey, and don't worry, we're very unlikely to be wearing them same time, same place. Hers is an early birthday treat from me, and I also got her a great little jersey tunic that drapes over her developing belly very cutely.
Finally, she helped me buy my last pair of sandals for this summer, I'm sure, really, a pair of flat, neutral leather, gladiator sandals that I'd considered before but decided to resist 'til the sales.

Back home, in the garden, I've decided that I'll concentrate on photographing my yellows and whites, the focus colours for Project Spectrum over June and July (element -- air). I used to avoid yellow in the garden, altho' I can scarcely remember why. Obviously, though, it's worked its way in, and I'm glad it has. Here's a quick sampling of yellows combined with whites, beginning with this Phygelius (whose name I can't remember except that it's not the highly-touted Moonraker, but a worthy imitator). You might also know this shrub as a Cape Horn fuschia. Here it thrives on neglect and has adapted well to the shade of the neighbouring rose, Darlow's Enigma, despite having begun its time here in full sunshine.
And can you say "cheap and cheerful"? -- this chamomile is typical of its many siblings, self-seeded all over the garden. I pull many of them out whenever I can, but I always leave enough plants to fill in -- I think their white and yellow is a charming reflection of the sun on bright days, and they spark up dark corners and dull days quite nicely as well.
This lonicera japonica 'halliana' might not look like much, but what a fabulous perfume! (and it's actually much prettier than this photograph allows)
A very favourite rose, Golden Wings, a climber with fragrant yellow blossoms, gorgeous stamens, and then great rose hips as a bonus for the fall garden.
Clematis tangutica with its sweet yellow nodding lanterns which will turn into silken, curlicued seed heads.


Some of the senecio greyii's flowers escaped my secateurs.
And this Graham Thomas rose, a gift from my friend Alison eight or nine years ago, is even more spectacular with the sun shining behind it -- it has a rich scent in which I find a hint of raspberry.
And here's Darlow's Enigma helping keep the bees in my garden happy -- I'm a huge fan of bees, and their sound is an element that makes a garden come alive for me.
I have a few more yellows and whites that I'll show you later this week. For now, I'm heading into the garden with secateurs and trowel to do some trimming and some weeding, and perhaps later, some sitting and sipping.



8 comments:

  1. I was just thinking this myself, as I returned after a holiday "its so wonderful to go away and so wonderful to come home again".
    We have terrible little scrawny bee's over here that make no sound at all - I adore the bumble bee, but alas have to fly overseas to see one!

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  2. Exactly so, Cybill, and going away helps us appreciate the coming home.
    And speaking of appreciative, I'll now be even more so of our charming bumble-y bees, knowing that you have to travel to see and hear them

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  3. Aritza there seems far more service oriented than in Toronto; a size 12 much younger friend was told by a salesperson "there is nothing for you here."

    How I envy your life with daughters!

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  4. Duchesse: I made a point of commenting to the young woman who was so helpful this weekend, and she said they're making a conscious effort to bring back or to keep their mature customers. As she said, "It's not all hoodies and leggings!"
    As for the daughters, yes, I'm lucky, although anyone who's lived through the toxins of female adolescents will testify that it's not all sunshine. My girlfriend with three sons is finally enjoying the benefits of daughters with her sons' wives and girlfriends -- maybe that's how you'll get daughters in your life as well!

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  5. Love the clematis, and your roses are stunning!

    Belated Happy Bastille Day!

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  6. Out in the garden last night Leyla and I counted over 7 large bumble bees on one of the shrubs. I recently saw a Bumble Bee the size of a small vole! Sadly less honey bees this year.
    I like to think of Yellow more in terms of shades of Buttermilk, sounds much easier on the eye. There is a lot of snobbery attached to the colour of plants, White is my favourite, but as you say the yellow creeps in. For me via Hypericums and a beautiful Kniphofia that has just flowered and Like you with the creamy yellow Lonicera.
    The clothes sound lovely too.

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  7. Beautiful yellows and whites. I haven't had a lot of yellows in the garden either although I love the way they catch the light. Perhaps it is time to remedy that. Yellow roses, in all variations of the shades from creamy to very deep yellow, are always my favorites.

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  8. Thanks, Pseu and Mardel.
    Alison: snobbery was definitely a part of my original avoidance of yellow -- but I'm growing more tolerant, and I've found some beautifully soft creamy yellows to do most of the work, and they tend to tone down their brassier cousins.

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