Four grown kids, five delightful grandchildren, constant, long-time partner. A retired academic, I'm adapting to life in a Vancouver condo after decades in a waterfront home on a very small (Canadian) West Coast island. Keen to discover what new priorities emerge, what interests persist, in this urban life after 60!
Some serious weeding and trimming is needed at the home front, but the lush wildness was a welcome contrast to the ultra-urban last week of our holiday.
The choisiya blooms spill rampantly into the pond by the guest cottage, the saxifrage's pink flowers frothing nearby, the bed filled in by grasses, chameleon euphorbia, and anchored around the back and sides by viburnum, rhododendron, and a favourite Japanese maple.
What may be my favourite clematis ever for the way it has finally fulfilled my imaginary projections, the Jersey Cream climbs the trunk of the arbutus that forms the core of our central bed.
A huge fern, certainly decades old, sprawls at its base while the cornflower centaurea cyanus calls to bees from miles around. The cornflower stems are all flopping drastically after recent rains and will have to be lopped right back, but their blooms were a pleasant welcome nonetheless.
The purple sage really must be replaced, its woody stems breaking off in its old, old age -- probably 15 years old now -- yet every year it rallies and I just can't bear to dig it out.
Especially now that its deep shades are so nicely echoed by the giant allium globes. These bulbs have naturalized spectacularly, and have spread themselves around the yard to the point where they're looking suspiciously like weeds. But dramatic, pretty weeds, so they get to stay as well.
You may want to click away from me now. I understand. I'm going on and on, showing view after view. But I just can't resist. I was so happy to be breathing my garden in again that every shot seemed perfect, every image a joy.
Sadly, it hasn't been warm enough since we've been back to sit outside, but there's too much tidying up for sitting to be a good idea anyway. . . .
The roses are just coming up to bloom time here, a huge relief to me as they bloomed throughout our time in France and I worried I would miss their glorious performance in my garden.
This hansa (a hardy rugosa rose) blooms on a rather scrubby plant, but its colour, shape, fragrance, and, above all, hardiness and healthiness, make it a real boon, especially now that Pater's learning to prune properly and has brought needed air to all my roses. This particular plant has a sister at the front of the yard, seaside -- the seaside plant was the one we bought so many years ago from a wonderful nursery on Hornby Island. Our last Golden Retriever broke it, as a very new planting, in her rambunctious puppy-ness. I took the broken stem and stuck it in a decent rose hole -- and it took! In fact, this rescued plant is now much more substantial than its parent, thanks to a more protected location.
Here's the view we saw as we walked into our yard Thursday morning, except that Pater has mowed the lawn since then -- enough grass to feed several cows!
In a few weeks, the Royal Sunset will be blooming in tandem with the pink spray of this dark elderberry bush -- a riot of purple, pink, orange, and green. A two-week festival I look forward to avidly!
By the seaside, Mother Nature harrumphs, showing what she can do without any gardener's assistance, thank you very much. Well, not quite true -- we do prune back the Nootka roses a bit, but these honeysuckle, probably remnants of our predecessors' planting some 20 years ago, are left alone, and the white-flowering brambles merely get trimmed to stay out of the regular garden. Mother N does well, no?
There you go -- a little tour of my garden. We're off, now, to run the nearby Island. The paths through the woods and along the sea will make for a much different run than we did along Bordeaux's Promenade Fluviale . . .