September 13, 2017

Summer's End

With leaves already starting to turn to deep yellows and shades of amber, paired with some cooler mornings, it's apparent that summer is coming to an end. It has been a long, hot, dry, crispy, smoky (forest fires) summer. I admit, I'm very much looking forward to cooler temperatures and some precipitation.
This guy will need to get used to going without his summer romps in the garden !

With all of the problems we've had with the William Baffin climbing rose being skeletonized by insects, we made the decision to move him into this corner. I did some research on insects and surrounded the rose with cat mint and sage. Some birch branches were also added to attract helpful insects. The final touch is this charming insect hut for garden friends to thrive.

So far, these changes have had a tremendous difference. Here's hoping that next year, the rose will be back to its former glory.

To welcome in the new season, I've switched our summer front door décor to something more late-summery, early-fall.  Are you ready for the new season ahead?

August 20, 2017

A Country Life

I've always been one part city mouse, one part country mouse; especially when it comes to the English countryside. So, the possibility of living in England in the years to come is quite appealing.
On our last visit in March, we did quite a bit of research and admired several lovely properties in Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire in their charming villages and hamlets. Their direct access to London is an added bonus. From updated workers cottages to barn conversions, or even a new build - we are considering all the possibilities! Some examples...

This last one is my favorite. These cottages are located on the Ashton Estate near a lovely village. One of the thatched roof cottages is currently for sale and  would be perfect for us!

~ Until the next visit - I'll be dreaming about my country cottage...~

July 29, 2017

Summer Gardening

It has been a difficult season for gardening this year. Our William Baffin climbing rose from 2014 is just not making it and has all but died. We added a second substantial bush of the same type but it has been ravaged by sawflies.  This type of rose was almost growing out of control at our last home, so, we're a little frustrated. Meanwhile, we have a zone 8 white rose from the grocery store (meant to be indoor decoration) that is thriving after we planted him in our west facing garden. I am determined to make it survive the winter!
Otherwise, our Virginia creeper has also been ravaged by sawflies, my containers are doing OK, but not great, and I can't figure out why, and one of my newly-planted clematis died after it climbed half-way up the trellis. I suppose there have been a few successes though;  our shade garden (pictured above) is filling-in nicely once again, and my first year 'Cheyenne Spirit' cone flower is finally happy and growing beautifully after relocating it a couple of times.
With several 50ft trees on our property, it may be difficult to believe we have planted two more trees. The trees are smaller decorative columnar 'Gladiator' crab apples that have gorgeous crimson flowers in springtime. We had a space along our east fence that had been overtaken by (the neighbor's) raspberries and looked somewhat barren and  lacked privacy. After removing the raspberry patch (if you know raspberries, you know they never really leave) and some grass, we added the two trees along with creepers and shrubs. The trees et al should grow in nicely and the trees will grow to be approx. 4-5ft wide and about 15ft tall.
Here is a 'before and after' of that area:


 ~  How's your garden growing this year? I hope you've had more success than I have! ~

July 9, 2017

Western Prairie Town

The Calgary Stampede, the 'Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth' is underway! Yaaaahoo!!

We drove to the charming western prairie town of Nanton, Alberta a couple of weeks ago in search of antiques and some new western gear for Stampede. Nanton is a treasure trove of antiques. The architecture is just what you'd expect to see in an early 1900's western town. Spend the day strolling main street and stop for lunch or a cup of tea. Don't forget to visit the Bomber Command Museum!

June 17, 2017

My Beauties

The garden is really filling-in now, and the first show-stoppers of the year are my purple and yellow bearded irises! 
Our next door neighbor passed them on last summer when she was thinning hers out.  

I love how they are reaching toward the south facing sun in this photo.

Is it just me? Or, do you think she's trying to say something?



June 4, 2017

Lilac Season


It's our city's Lilac Festival on 4th Street today! Perfectly timed for an abundance of sweet smelling white and purple-hued blooms to pair with the festivities.
I love filling the house with their fresh fragrance each year. I hosted a bridal shower at this time a few years ago and needed flowers for the event. I filled the house with large to small arrangements of lilacs. After all, the brides' wedding color was purple!
Be sure to stop and smell the lilacs today!

May 14, 2017

In the Mews!

It's been weeks since I've written a post! So much going on. We've been busy sprucing-up the garden and our deck, (more on that to come!), as well as planning a trip to Paris!
In the meantime, not sure if you are familiar with a 'mews' house. Essentially, the 'mews' house is where the chauffer used to live above the garage or 'carriage house' located behind the towering upper middle class to upper class townhouses of London.  I think this would be my preferred style of housing in London for many reasons: quiet back lane streets, privacy, and off-street parking - practically unheard of in London!  In my mind, the value is incredible. And for a cool 4 to 8 million GBP, one of these could be yours... :) Truly still a bargain in London.  



This last one is my favorite!!