Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Rainy Afternoon

The plan was to get groceries...

Drop Willen off at school. Go grocery shopping. Stop by the bank. Pick Willen up from school.

It was fairly simple.

But the rain was so refreshing, and the scent of the pines and the soil so earthy. Rows of benches lined with endless possibilities for the most beautiful garden. So my afternoon was spent walking the aisles of our garden centre in town, Rice Road Greenhouses. I decided to go there because 5% of my purchase would go back to Willen's school.

It was such a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

I was able to find a few perennials that I would like to add to our gardens once we've finished raising our beds.

I even had a handsome little helper who was really more concerned with splashing in the puddles than smelling the flowers.

Lily of the Valley would do wonderfully in the shade garden behind our garage.

I have some White Bleeding Hearts that flower in the Spring behind there as well.

This particular variety of Astilbe, which seems like more of a dwarf variety, is called Deutschland. I do love Astilbe. I find them dainty and whimsical.

I'm also looking for some ground cover in the front for amongst some Evergreens. I liked the Smoke on the Mountain and White 'Alba' Periwinkle.

This bloom on a Japanese Peony bush was the largest bloom I've ever seen. It was nearly the diameter of the 1 gallon pot it was planted in.

I also came across a few more varieties of Peonies that I don't have, each of which would fit in my gardens perfectly. The wonderful thing about Peonies is that they do so well in the full sun, and with our house being South-facing, all of our gardens in the front are in full sun.

'Duchesse de Nemours' Peony

'Sea Shell' Peony

'Primevere' Peony

'Lillian Wind' Peony

I also found two varieties of Anemones. This is actually the reason I had stopped! I had wanted the variety Honorine Jobert, which blooms in the Fall, but this variety, Snowdrop Windflower, is similar and blooms in May or June. I think I might try both.

I also came across a new (to me) variety of Lilacs, Mme. Lemoine French Hybrid Lilac. 

I think it's clear that I'm partial to a white garden.

The weekend the top layer of remaining sod will be scraped, and then we will order soil and raise our current beds. We decided to put in quite a bit more garden in the front instead of just sodding the entire thing. I think our house needs it esthetically. As well, by adding some large bushes, the view from the living room window will be much more beautiful, and the road will be almost entirely blocked out. We will also install a large Flagstone walk which will replace the crumbling brick walkway we currently have. The only grass left will be a small area among the gardens, which we will sod, and the very front grass, which is road-side. That will be seeded.

I'm eagerly waiting for the beds to be finished so I can get to work planting.

I may have also stopped by our Benjamin Moore store in town. Our garage will need to be repainted this year and I think I've finally found some colours that go well with our current siding. With a new roof, and a newly landscaped front yard, I can't afford to reside perfectly decent siding. So a fresh coat of paint on the shutters and eves, as well as the garage and front doors will make a big difference.

I can't wait to see everything finished.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day

 Every year, on Earth Day, our local garden center hosts a sale on all of the previous year's nursery stock. Each year I make plans to attend. I've always had luck finding a variety of Hydrangea or some other perennial for 70% off.

Some of the varieties I've purchased over the years at this sale are PeeGee, Bombshell, Little Lamb, Limelight and Annabelle.

This year I happened to find five more PeeGee Hydrangeas. They were on sale for $10.

While there, I also picked up another White Japanese Peony Tree, 3 Annabelle Hydrangeas, 3 "Snowflake" Oakleaf Hydrangeas (a variety I've been looking forward to adding to my garden) and a few pots of "Cheerfulness" Narcissus. 

I can't get enough of this variety of Daffodil. I'd love to go back and pick up more to plant for Spring next year. I don't have any bulbs in the garden and these are so beautiful. I think they would look lovely around the tree in our backyard, and maybe a few little clusters in the front beds.

For now, I planted them in my containers for outside our front entrance. They really are so cheerful.

Their soft green buds unfurl into white double blooms with bright yellow centers.

I was also thrilled to see that our Lilacs along the West side of the house have budded.

This is the West side of the house. You can see the Lilac bushes between us and our neighbors. Right now, my entire front yard is a mess. Late last Fall we decommissioned our septic tank, and hooked up to city sewage. This was an awful job. The crew did a wonderful job tying down my Lilacs so they wouldn't have to cut them out, so thankfully we can still enjoy them. The grass in the front on the other hand, was completely torn up. We're still unsure as to what we are going to do with it; sod or seed.

However, in an attempt to start to clean it up, I edged in gardens this afternoon. I still need to order soil to finish the beds, but in the mean time, I've come up with where I would like to place the PeeGee and Oakleaf Hydrangeas I bought today.

All in all, what better way to celebrate Earth Day than in the garden?

Monday, April 21, 2014

An Easter Egg Hunt

 After lunch on Sunday, the boys were each given a pail and ran around in the sunshine collecting Easter eggs. It was so fun watching each of them scouring the backyard for hints of colour. It didn't take long at all for Hudson and Levi, neither two yet, to understand the idea. Off they went, tottering around, peeking amoungst pansie bowls and amid the Lilacs.

"Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed."
Isaiah 53: 4-5

Happy Easter.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Weekend

We've been enjoying a relaxing Easter weekend so far.

We went to church this morning, and then came home and napped before going to my mother in laws. She made dinner this year and honestly, though I love entertaining, this year it was nice to just enjoy dinner. And I enjoyed every bit of it immensely.

I've spent a great deal of time thinking about Mary and Martha. For those of you who aren't familiar with them, they were two women who were very close with Jesus. One spent all her time busying herself while she cared for Jesus. The other, Mary, sat at his feet and took in every single word he said, completely enthralled by him.

I so often tend to be a Martha. And while Martha was serving her Lord, whom she loved, I think she missed out on simply being with Him. This Easter, I needed to spend less time busying myself with entertaining and more time just sitting. Resting. Remembering. 

Entertaining isn't wrong. Being hospitable is a gift. But for me, so often it takes over.

This weekend we slowed to remember. To remember the single, greatest act of love. To remember grace freely given. Grace to cover my sin. To remember that we who are in Christ are his treasured possessions. Daughters of the King. We are made new, washed clean by His blood. Pure. Restored. Made perfect. Declared Righteous.

And while it was good to remember his death, I'm so looking forward to celebrating his resurrection on Sunday. Praise the Lord, He rose!

I took home some Hydrangea cuttings from the store. They spent some time in the bath, re-hydrating. The water travels up the stems more quickly when they are laying down. Whenever they start to fade I simply snip a little more off the ends and let them rest in water.

And here are my beautiful boys. This photo reminds me of the one I took last year, however, I can't seem to get past how much they've grown.

They're such goofs sometimes.

My mother in law, Jackie, with her two crazy grandsons, whom she spoils.

It was nice that they could play outside for a while after dinner. They even spotted an Easter bunny in the garden.

Bremfield's: The Tour

Now that we have the first week under our belt, I feel like I finally have time to give you a tour of Bremfield's.

Welcome to the store.

Bremfield's is a combination of a floral market, cafe and bakery with some beautiful antiques tucked throughout the store.

The idea was to create a beautiful, inviting place to come in and sit down with a coffee and something sweet. To meet a friend for a simple, home-style lunch and browse lovely vintage finds. To take a cappuccino out to the cafe sets on the sidewalk and watch the boats go through the canal. To take home a pie made with local fruit, and while you're at it, a hand-tied bouquet for your table and a hanging basket for your front porch.

And this is exactly what you'll find when you walk through the door. 

And of course, the owners - my mom and dad.

Have I made how proud I am of them clear yet?

If you're able, pop in for a visit.