I don’t want to jinx it, but this winter has been relatively mild. I’ve yet to haul out my heavy winter coat for those frigid snowy days. Why? Well, there’s hardly been any snow to write home about and the temperatures haven’t dipped as low as they have in years past. This is February for crying out loud, and we’ve flirted with temperatures in the high 60’s- 70 degrees F (20-21 degrees C) for several days. I could easily live with winters like these. As a matter of fact I haven’t been whining to my husband as much as I have in the past about escaping to a tropical island.
With so many eye-catching Christmas posts out there, I thought I’d reflect on saying goodbye to autumn. Autumn is my second favorite season, after spring. It signals an end to the long dog days of summer. It’s a season where everything transforms in the garden. The season also known as “fall” in North America, is a time of year when the deciduous trees shed their leaves, but not before displaying a fiery exhibit which illuminates the sky.
At the end of our street, lies a local treasure behind a stone wall. Gibraltar Gardens is an urban oasis featuring landscaped walkways that wind through Italian statues, stone archways, rambling gardens, wrought iron gates, a curved staircase, a water garden and a dilapidated mansion. Very often I stroll through these gardens or just sit on a bench and meditate. Being right in the city, it is hard to imagine how much peace and tranquility exists behind these stone walls. In 1998, Gibraltar was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sadly, the mansion is now in disrepair, but the gardens have been maintained by volunteers. It is open to the public, but a lot of people are not aware of this precious gem that exists right in our city. So for now, I’m keeping the secret to myself 🙂
I have this song crooning in my ears as I write this post. I love Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald’s version. Slow, sleepy, dreamy and conjuring up images of summer. “ Fish are jumpin, and the cotton is high”.
I just can’t seem to get enough peonies these days. Everywhere I turn these brightly colored fusions of fluff and majesty grace the gardens. Their fragrance fills the air with a sweet scent luring not just the bees, but also people like me to their delightful blooms. Peonies come in an array of colors and are native to Asia, Europe and North America. Peonies are outrageously beautiful in bloom, the foliage stays lush and green all summer long. They are known to live long lives, some as old as 100 years. The plants require little maintenance so long as they are planted in the right way and get established. I’ve found out the hard way that they do not respond too well to transplanting. They are strikingly effective when planted in groups, they also pair beautifully with columbine and irises.
It’s that time of year again when all the flowers are vying for attention. Every which way you turn, there’s a splash of color here and a profusion of blooms there. Ever since spring has sprung around these parts, the temperatures have fluctuated from pretty warm in the 80’s to fairly cooler days with clouds and drizzle. I guess the latter has it’s upside as it makes spring last that much longer. There’s nothing worse than going from winter to summer with no spring-like weather in between. I have a pretty small urban garden since we’ve downsized, but I spend a lot of time trying to make it a more welcome patch for us, the pollinators and our fine-feathered friends. There’s nothing more satisfying for me than to sit on the back patio and watch the birds dive-bomb to the feeders. Recently, a pair of mourning doves have set up home in our space, they seem unperturbed as I work around them. Come with me, won’t you and take a look around at some of what has been blooming since March in our city garden.
I have a couple of posts on the gardening section of my blog featuring a beautiful garden where I volunteer about walking distance from home. If you did not catch the actual history behind this hidden gem, do please click on the link and read all about it. Typically Goodstay Gardens open around March and is probably the busiest time of the year. The garden comes alive in the spring. We have a group of about six volunteers with a leader who is pretty savvy with the horticultural scene and just an amazing person to work with. We volunteer once a week on a Wednesday from about 8.45am-2pm. I love working here and look forward to Wednesdays with much anticipation. Our peony patch is a sight to see, we’ve just staked them all and in a few short weeks, it will be a profusion of color and scents.