Last night lightening, thunder and rain knocked out the phone and internet connections here at the hostel. It was foggy, chilly and wet at 9 am this morning. But an hour later after the short ride down the dusty, bumpy, puddle-filled road to Pond Cove, the bad weather had blown away and the day was sunny and gorgeous.This is where I set up my painting table. I worked with acrylics fighting against the drying, strong winds.
I have a blog post about painting on Brier Island coming up on my Art website. If you subscribe here, I’ll be able to share that experience with you.
My painting buddy Helen and I walked down to the shore at the end of our 7 hour painting session. Those 2 dots at the top of the hill are our cars. The whole day we saw just 3 other people in the distance on ATVs.
These have a leaf like a wild rose. I wonder what they are?Miniature wild iris are blooming all over the island.The beauty on Brier Island is so varied. All day long we listened to the laps of water on the rocks and the sound of birds and wind.
I’m on Brier Island for a few days, painting with friends.
This is one of my favorite spots in the whole wild world. These are some photos I took this afternoon. They are meant to tempt you to come and visit here.
I’m staying at the hostel again…20 bucks a night with sounds of the waves and seagulls lulling me to sleep. Check it out.
Yup! It’s planting season again. I love the idea of it, growing our own food, but I am always surprised at the amount of work that’s involved.
Today I planted climbing beans, chard, spinach, lettuce, beets, leeks, carrots, edamame, bush beans and celery. Whew! I had previously planted broccoli, snow peas, zucchini and pumpkin.
The asparagus is producing and the redcurrant and raspberry canes are doing well. The garlic is tall and green.
Most years I’ve had to replant the zucchini up to 3 times as it got eaten down by who-knows-what. This year I grew little squash plants from seed first and I’m hoping that action will save me from having to replant.
I haven’t had much luck in the past with lettuce or spinach….it gets eaten by slugs or critters. I’m trying to out-smart the wildlife and we’ve been eating ‘premium’ salads out of the greenhouse for a few weeks now. Still, hope springs eternal and I planted seeds out in the garden today.
It seems crazy to be planting so late – June 4. But the season has arrived late this year. My peonys aren’t in bloom yet and the lupins just started to colour-up today. From photos of friends in Ontario, I see that we are 2 weeks behind.
We’ve had lots of rain and my two enormous water collectors (4′ x 4′ x 4′) are full…a good thing to have at the beginning of the season.
Tomorrow is the final push when 45 tomato plants go into the ground. Maybe this will be the year that I will finally grow enough of them to can for the entire year.
It is a lot of hard work and I am sore, but it also feels wonderful to be so close to the soil and to handle living plants, and to smell the fragrances of the lilac and to enjoy the chirping of birds.
On my hands and knees today planting my 6th garden here it occurred to me that the message of Spring is that we all get a fresh chance to get everything right or at least to tweak our approach.
Oh yeah, and then there are the plant sale flowers that are still patiently waiting for their turn.
The growth cycle is back and I swear, if you stood still outside you could hear plants growing and reaching and stretching to celebrate another green, green spring.
It is miraculous that such beauty and lushness can return after such extreme depths of snow and cold. But gardeners tell me that this year the perennials are so juicy because that steady melting snow provided a constant supply of moisture and insulation.
Like January, spring brings a real sense of new beginnings. For gardeners, it’s another chance to “get things right”. I have a list of things I want to be more attuned to in the garden.
Reassess the amount of flower beds EVERYWHERE. Reduce down to only flowers that I love. (And saying that, I dragged home another 10 from our village plant sale last week)
Be more vigilant with weeding. One of my favorite flower beds is riddled with goutweed and although I can never get rid of it, I can at least make spaces around the plants to hoe it and decapitate the goutweed!
Spend time everyday checking in with all the beds. Last year I lost all the zucchini plants from squash borers laying eggs in the strong, healthy stocks and eating their way out. I had innocently ignored the insect activity that preceded the disaster. One week later these healthy plants keeled over one-by-one.
Plant twice as many tomato plants as I think I’ll need for when we have a sunshine shortage this summer. You can never have too many tomatoes. I canned them last summer and was sorry to run out of this more-delicious-than-anything-canned ingredient for sauces, soups, casseroles or just plain in a bowl.
Make an effort to get rid of duplicate flowers. Why do I need a dozen clumps of the same sibierian iris? (OK….cause they are spectacular, I love the colour, I can’t paint it enough………..)
Plant a few fast growing trees to get some shade happening.
Get rid of the stump from Cordelia the weeping willow who blew over in 2011. It’s time baby. And I planted clones of her all around the pond which are really taking off.
Tighten up the flowering area and let 1/2 the lawn grow wild.