Saturday, October 01, 2011

I wake this morning, and it is October.
Wild October, with its beautiful russets and transparent greens
the sunflowers, small suns against the laden apple trees
glowing grasses, delicate and sun blown

Mary Cassett 1880

the garden on the hill glowing with intense purples

And down here in town my hundred square feet of transplants that look like nothing more than sticks, thirsty for today's rain that gathers any lingering summer energies and deposits them around the newly planted roots of peony and delphinium and daisies and one lovely potted rose in the centre of it all - the Abraham Darby that was waiting for me at the garden nursery.............

I love October, - I wait in eager anticipation for vivid sunrises, fiery sunsets, scarlet rose hips, misty mornings and that wonderful feeling of quietness, - the hush of autumn as the earth prepares herself for sleep.

"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd and plump the hazel shells
with a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
and still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er brimm'd their clammy cells.
John Keats
Ode to Autumn

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

ABC Wednesday

The letter this week is K

and K stands for the Kootenays

Kootenay, which is the name used for the south east corner of British Columbia, comes from the Kootenay First Nation, a group of linguistically distinct Native people who occupied the eastern part of the Kootenays, and whose territory extends into northern Washington, Idaho and Montana.

The western portion of the Kootenay district was also occupied by Interior Salishan Natives,  related to the Coastal people, or by Thompson River-Shuswap Natives.

About 100 years ago prospectors came to the West Kootenays, attracted by its rich ore deposits, and mining and ghost towns haunt the area, silent relics of past treasures.

Ghost town of Slocan Mines

Geographically the Kootenays are spectacular.  Four parallel mountain ranges march successively across the southeastern B.C. landscape, - the Monashees, followed by the rugged Selkirks, and further east the Purcells, and then the Rockies.

Kootenay Lake , which is 65 miles long, runs in a north south direction, and the Kootenay river joins with the Columbia near Castlegar.

The part of the Crowsnest Highway east of Grand Forks is called the Skyway, and it is the highest elevation paved highway in Canada.  The stretch between Salmo and Creston, where avalanches are a fact of life, is infamous for dangerous driving conditions in the winter.

The Salmo Creston Pass

The Kootenays are a marvelous part of British Columbia.

There is skiing and hot springs, wildlife and parks. wonderful backroads
to travel and all those mysterious ghost towns
to investigate.

Here is a pictures of the caves at the Ainsworth Hot Springs
and below it a picture of the famous Cody Caves, which heat the springs at Ainsworth.

The Kootenays are a super place to spend some time if you are celebrating the letter K
and for more interesting K's visit here at ABC Wednesday.

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26th, 2011

"A late summer garden has a tranquility found no other time of the year".   Wm. Longgood

Well, I am busy trying to beat the clock and the calendar.   Up early, once again filled with Monday morning zip!

Breakfast over and the bread machine busy making its own peculiar noises as it kneads the bread, I leave it to its own devices and am off up the hill.  The SUV is stuffed with odd pails and pots and plastic boxes.  Overhead dark clouds loom ominously (have you ever know dark clouds to loom any other way?), a west wind blows, and I am aware that this is going to be a fast trip if I am to beat the the storm home.

I make my way through the overgrown garden, coming first to the Oriental peony. which is surrounded by ranunculus running rampant through the iris.

 A delight to dig the peony, - the soil is moist and crumbly and I find about a dozen lovely brown tubers that look like small sweet potatoes.  I will be able to make a whole row of Oriental poppies, I think to myself.  With great enthusiasm.  Until I remember the scope of this new garden and my determination to keep it within bounds.  It is such a lovely plant, and has a history of being moved, - first from David's garden, then to the old lost garden, - from there up to the hillside and now it will flourish as a townie.

Not too far away is the red Bleeding heart, that looks like a real push-over with all its stems cut back in preparation for the move.  It comes out nicely, as does the bergamot....the wind comes up a little, but I ignore it and go to tackle the big peony plants, which I suspect may request more brawn than I have......

But I persevere and eventually I have two large clumps of peony tubers in my plastic pot. and I heave it into the back of the SUV.  I like that word 'heave' - I did literally heave it, as it was much too heavy to lift.

Now to find that beautiful rust and gold iris that I posted a couple of weeks ago.  I know which bed it is in, - but which particular tuber might it be????  I dig up the one I think it is, and two surrounding it, and hope that if I am wrong whoever cares for the garden next year will be generous.....

The clouds are lowering and looking rather mean, so I quickly dig up a small shrub we planted for our anniversary last year, - pop it into a pot, and just then I feel the first drops of rain.  Off down the hill, - I arrive just as Charles is disappearing into the garage and closing the door!!!!!  Nevertheless, I quickly unload and hope I waken with the same cheerful, energetic spirit tomorrow morning, so everything can get replanted!

"Spring flowers are long since gone.  Summer's bloom hangs limp on every terrace.  The gardener's feet drag a bit on the dusty path and the hinge in his back is full of creaks".   Louis Seymour Jones