Sunday, June 16, 2013

Roses and Peonies

They are up near the top of my list of favourite flowers.  I would also put Stargazer Lilies on this list – and Lavender…  But I don’t have Lavender or Stargazer Lilies planted anywhere in my yard (yet!)
When I first took possession of my home I was thrilled to see there were some roses in both the front and back yards – they yards were way too overgrown for me to see if there was much else and last spring I was happy to see peonies coming up as well.  At that point there were two peony bushes at the front and about 5 in the back yard (some right in the MIDDLE of the back yard) and as I was whacking away at various plants in the back yard I came across a couple of other roses that showed some potential.  I dug out the back yard peonies and replanted them as well as a couple of roses into the front yard.  I wasn’t especially gentle with them and since not one of them was actually scented I wouldn’t have been especially heart-broken if they decided to die off.
They all flourished.  The dark pink peony did the best in the transplanting.  The surprise for me has been the rose bush that was cut down to the ground when the old maple stump was cut out.  That particular rose came back this year, has lovely pink blossoms on it and turned out to be an old fashioned rose. 
One of the peonies that started out front didn’t do much of anything last year – no blossoms at all – and I figured it was badly located (not enough water?) and it surprised me this summer as well – it has a tea-rose scent to it!
Eventually most of the unscented peonies and roses at the front of my house will be replaced scented ones, but for now I have some beautiful blossoms to enjoy!

Rose and Dwarf Russian Maple

Surprise Rose!

Happy Peony

More of the Happy Peonies
With love across the waters,

My Clever Kitty!

After supper last night I was relaxing with a cup of tea on my sofa.  Screen doors and windows open to allow for enjoyment of evening breezes. 
Jasmine was asleep on the living room floor, Missy somewhere outside.
The sound of a happy cat meowing drew me outside to see that my very clever cat (who last year caught quite a number of mice and shrews) has started hunting bigger things – namely rats. 
Missy was terribly proud of yesterday’s catch.  Me? I’m pretty proud of it too – she can bring home as many dead rats as she likes – I’m definitely OK with this!

"Look Mum - see what I caught?"

What a clever girl!
With love across the waters,

Fencing – Parts Two and Three…

A couple of days after my family came up and helped me with the first part of the fencing project, my neighbour helped out with the second part – pouring concrete into the post holes.  He didn’t just blop it into the holes though – they were poured and shaped – what he did (he works with concrete for a living) was to pour the concrete and then he rounded up the pour so that the concrete comes up the posts a little – this way, the soil will have hard work to pile up around the posts and with the creosote Dad painted on the bottoms, the posts will last that much longer and I won’t have to worry about the posts rotting away at the base any time soon.
Rounded concrete
Friday of this week, Mum & Dad came up for the day and we built the fence. Dad had had me measure up and down and across the posts at a number of different spots and I also held back about 8 boards from the old fence as he didn’t have enough spare lumber on hand to complete the entire section.  We got started by pulling out all of the needed tools (Dad brought almost everything needed up with him) and getting the boards piled and ready to go.  He pulled the braces off of the posts and we stacked the lumber on those as the grass was deep and a little wet from the previous day’s rain.
Dad had these really cool collapsible saw-horses he got from Lee Valley Tools a number of years ago (I need a pair!) and set those up as well.  And we got down to it!  The cross pieces went up first and then the boards went on and then the top pieces went on. Start to finish we were done in about 3 hours!
From the alley

From the yard
After we had lunch and packed things up, Mum & Dad headed home and since Jasmine was still at “Doggie Day Care” for another couple of hours, I opted to go over to Slegg Lumber, pick up stain and get the fence stained.
It looks pretty damn amazing if I do say so myself!
The fourth part of the back fence project will be a lattice panel on the top of both sections – for a little more privacy from the back alley. That part will, hopefully, be completed before the end of summer.
Tomorrow I will be taking a drive over to Slegg Lumber again – this time to price out the lattice and get more information about sizes and so forth.  The other thing I will be doing is getting some 1” x 6” cedar boards that I can make a raised gardening bed with – my plan is to lay a long skinny one out in front of the fence and plant raspberry canes. The bed will actually serve a second purpose – aside from producing raspberries, I mean.  The section of the fence that is at the corner of the yard sits quite high up off the ground – the raspberry bed will effectively prevent Jasmine from escape under the fence.

With love across the waters,