Sunday, July 12, 2009

Garden Fairies

Come.  Come with me for a walk around the garden.

It is early in the morning...if we're really blessed, we might...I say might, now...see one of the Garden Fairies still up, before she lays her head beneath a blossom in perfect slumber for the day.

It is, as yet, a tiny, quiet garden. Here, in the Cariboo, with the dry climate and harsh Winters, I have set out plants which will withstand the dry and the cold...and most of them are not choice, highly bred ones. You know the ones I mean...the plants which require more nurturing, more water, more fertilizer. The ones who fade at the first sign of an Insect...those are the ones I did not choose for my garden.

Instead, I chose Daisies, Foxgloves, Sedums, Poppies, Grasses and tough shrub Roses.  Hollyhocks and Digitalis grow well here. And Birds have helped in the planting...there are many rogue Sunflowers everywhere. Snapdragons, Marigolds and Petunias fill in those bare spots forever there between perennials.

During the last week Thunderstorms were the order of the day. Rain fell in sheets. It was difficult to remember the Dry or the days where I hauled the garden hose from border to border, attempting to give aid to those plants which withered from the heat and the dry, dry soil.

This morning, Sun is out, shining once again upon this small garden, all those Storms a distant memory.

Our walk begins at the seedling bed, which hides the well pipe. This bed is full of Tithonia, Nasturtiums and Sunflowers...none of which are in bloom as yet. But aren't they flourishing! So full and lush...Rain has given this bed a huge boost.

Nate loves to chew on Sunflower leaves.  Last week, I despaired of ever seeing them bloom in this bed...but the amazing amount of Water which fell from the heavy, dark Clouds has revived them. They will grow well now; Nate doesn't bother with the older, bigger leaves.

Let's wander over to the border against the fence line. Poppies leap and bounce with strong, colourful energy in these beds.  They were a little ragged from the Storms; yet even the flowers which were torn by Wind and Rain are picking their heads up off the ground...a little dirty, a wee bit lacerated...but still shining strong orange and yellow.

Do you see this strange plant here which came out of nowhere? This one is a gift from the garden Gods...I don't know how it settled here. It is a wild Strawberry, I gather, and very fragrant. Crush a petal...can you smell Strawberry's intense fragrance?

And now, let's open the gate and meander over to visit Rose. Hasn't she bravely weathered those Storms?  Her petals are strewn here and there...not as pristine as she once was, still her lovely scent lingers strong.

Oh! Did you see? That sudden movement over there must be Lady Rose, a fairy with a delightful countenance! A flash of her loving, gauzy pink is all she awards us with this morning...

But never mind, it is still good luck even to catch a glimpse of a fairy!

Let's carry on, now.  I understand you do not want to leave the area of a fairy sighting; yet she will not return. Searching for a fairy is rarely must pretend not to be interested at all in fairies. The idea is to outwit them, you see...

Mind the Pebbles and Stones on the drive, now...some are loose and could trip you up.Our intention is to finish the driveway with gravel, after all the heavy trucks finish delivering the goods for the woodworking Shop. 

Yesterday, son Scott helped us build a new garden bed by the front door. I couldn't believe the whole bed, Boulders included, was done in a couple of hours. Youth and was amazing to watch.

Do you know there's nothing I like better than fashioning a new garden bed? Do you see the borders on the other side of the driveway? I made those beds last year, when I was not really too sure how much Sun they received.  There are plants in those beds which will be moved to the new one...Ferns, Hostas and even some of the Begonias will be moved to the shady side.

There are no longer any  good nurseries open where I might find some plants, so I will transplant from my own garden...and before you know it, the new bed will no longer look so empty.

We're in a construction site now...mind your feet.  Graham built the Shop during his vacation. There were times I had to help hold walls up as the building went up...I won't forget those times easily. I've discovered I'm not a builder.

But isn't it a lovely building!  I will look forward to beautifying it next year, although Graham is not very interested in having it beautified. Petunias don't really do much for him. But he will like it when it's done.

We must now attempt to go down the slope, on the bank behind our house. It is very steep; we need stairs in various spots, but we haven't had the time, as yet. So, take my hand, and follow my steps...

There. Now you can see the beds under the big Trees up close. Do you like the colour combination here?  I'm not too sure about the deep, deep purple Petunias...I think they are too deep for this darker space.  Next year, I will keep this in mind...

But I do love how the old Stump has become such an icon in this spot over here. I have planted Vinca here...I am hoping it will ramble over the old, gnarled Stump.  And the Marigolds...haven't they filled out! In the beginning of the season, they were just stalks with an orange pompom flower on the top. They looked rather rigid and unforgiving. I am glad to see there are many more pompoms now.

Oh and over here! We cleared this area out in the Spring, and left the Wildflowers. It was lovely earlier in the season with all the Lilies that bloomed, but after that hot spell...oh yes, that hot spell! they went to seed...

No. That is not another is a Bumblebee, as big as any I have ever seen. They grow them big around here! I don't believe, as I told you before, that we will see another Fairy this morning. Time is moving on.

From down here, you can see the shrubs I planted on the bank. They mooched about a bit,  some not immediately appreciating the slope they were being planted on. But after the heavy Rains, they've settled in.

Up the other side of the bank, now, and here we are at the Greenhouse.  It is not heated; yet it will give us so much more time at the beginning and end of the season. The Tomato and Cucumber plants look as if they will take over the whole inside space, but each is producing well.

Oh, shhhh!  Look over there! Don't move.  Do you see Lady Parsley grooming herself just over there? Oh, she is so beautiful, with her long, gauzy green robes...and her wings are transparent! Look...I believe she's watching us as well. 

Lady Parsley has visited me in my dreams.  I am very pleased to make her acquaintance again during waking hours!

A blink of an eye, and she's gone.  One must be extremely aware and awake to see Fairies...and we saw two this morning!

Well. We've finished our walk...and now, would you like a cup of Tea? And some scones? They would be good with the Strawberry jam I made last week.

If we sit quietly here in the shade, one never knows who might appear.

A walk, Fairies and then a reviving cup of Tea...what can be better?


  1. Lovely garden, Marion. I like your choice of plantings too. I chose many of the same ones even though I live where it (almost) never freezes and spring comes in February.

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Marion. I'd forgotten what a sheer joy it is to read one of your beautiful posts. I've read back through a few of them, and you seem to be very active now. I hope that means your health is doing as great as you sound!


  3. Thanks for popping by. Sorry I haven't visited much this year, just never seem to find time these days to pop into my favourite blogs regularly.

    You garden sounds wonderful. Would be lovely to be there and see all the wonders you find. Sorry to hear that you have a climate problem with lavender. I grow one of the dainty varieties in a pot. In Winter I put it on a sunny windowsill and in Summer I move it where there is lots of light but no extreme heat.

  4. My heart happily spilled over with your words and photographs. My own garden became overgrown and the sheep helped themselves to the wild buffet it had become while I was away for all those weeks with the baby. Your blog entry made me smile with delight knowing that I will have to start from scratch next spring, but it will all be worth it. A place to seek the fairy folk. Thank you for your inspiration!

  5. Jan,

    What truly amazes me is most of the plants I chose are supposed to live through this long, cold winter we have. I guess I'll just wait and see! Most of my plants are of the old-fashioned variety...the kind people find in old homesteads.


    Thank goodness for the strides made in controlling pain. I am on a new drug which (for me) has few side effects, and is fairly good at managing the muscular pain I have. Some days, not so good...but on the whole, I am very grateful for it.

    Congratulations on your continuing weight loss!


    How nice to see you! I have to say I'm the same...just can't find the time to visit as much as I'd like.

    I'm glad you can overwinter your Lavender. I tried this last year but it totally dried out, even with misting, etc. and died. I think I will wait till I return to the coast before I try and grow it again, as much as I love Lavender!


    Well, with a new baby, I can imagine how difficult it would be to also begin a new garden! But there is one thing that aids a gardener ...and that is there's always next year!

    Your baby will love to garden with you, when the time comes.

  6. Anonymous5:21 p.m.

    Hello Marion,

    Thanks for the tour of your magical garden; I love its elegant simplicity and the wonder of ordinary wild flowers. I was reminded of a beautiful little book of poems and paintings: Flower Fairies of the Spring by Cicely Mary Barker.


  7. Those stones appear to be glacial leavings; possible?

  8. Miruh,

    Thank you for wandering in the garden along with me. I am in awe of the plants here; they seem to grow as I watch. There is more daylight and I guess that might be why. I have rarely seen such huge leaves on the tomato plants and everything is a riot of bloom. Hard to believe, when just a couple of months ago, I despaired of ever seeing the garden bloom!


    We live on glacial till. There are too many interesting boulders and stones here to count! Some have holes worn right through them and there is much quartz here as well.

    Some of the boulders on our land are so huge, our excavator couldn't move them, when he was here. He used his bucket to move them along into place.

    So with all those free stones and boulders right here, I used them to edge all the garden beds.

  9. Lovely garden! WILD STRAWBERRIES!!!! Totally awesome to see a strawberry blossom in the wild, which I've only seen maybe once in my whole life.

  10. The garden is looking great Marion, you have worked hard. All those clours must be a welcome sight after the long hard winter and provide you with lots of inspiration for next year. Thanks for the walk around. Dave

  11. Daisy,

    I will post a photo of the tiny strawberries, as soon as I can get one! The birds seem to love soon as a strawberry starts to show, it's gone. They have a lot of seeds, however, but are very sweet. This one plant seems to be taking over its spot...I'm going to have to transplant it in the Fall to a place where it has a lot of room.


    Exactly, Dave, you hit the nail on the head! I craved colour in the garden, after that long white Winter! I usually plant a lot of moody blues and purples...this year, I planted loads of oranges, yellows and reds...really bouncing colours! And loads of sunflowers...the birds really helped with those, they are everywhere.

    Even though every day spent is one closer to Winter, I can't wait for all those sunflowers to bloom...the place will be a riot of bloom!

    Tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers are producing in the greenhouse, although none are close to ripening yet. Yummy!

  12. Oh wow. The place looks positively lovely, and probably very relaxing to take a stroll through on a lazy afternoon.

  13. Prozac,

    Thank you for visiting! The place is getting there, and in the summer, it is lovely for lazing about on the deck.