wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Remembering

In the fall of 2014, a blogging friend and I exchanged seeds through the mail. She sent me hollyhock seeds and I sent her poppy seeds. We looked forward to the spring when we would plant each other’s flowers.

I was sorry to hear that the poppy seeds didn’t sprout for her that next year, but her hollyhocks grew for me.

In November of 2015, she died of cancer. I was shocked because she had been such a positive person. I never would have guessed that she would lose that battle.

I planted the hollyhocks in my vegetable garden because I go there every day, rather than in a flower bed I might rarely visit. Year after year, I think of my friend fondly, yet sadly, almost every day  when I watch her hollyhocks grow, from the earliest leaves to the huge stalks loaded with flowers. It’s as if she’s saying hello whenever I go out to my garden.

If you would like to visit the blog of Barb Beacham, and browse back in time over some of her posts, here is the link: https://salmonfishingqueen.wordpress.com/ 

She was a wonderful person and I still miss her. I’m so glad I have her hollyhocks in my garden.


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Eating Local on Canada Day

On this Canada Day, what could be more appropriate than a basic Canadian meal made from local (very Canadian) ingredients.  The banana doesn’t count. It’s only there to give a comparison of size so you can be assured that the trout are not anchovies on a mini hors d’oeuvres plate.

Potatoes from the garden – first of the season.

Spinach and a couple of cucumbers from the garden will add to the mix of fresh veggies on our plates.

This bounty, among many other things, makes me very grateful to be living in Canada.

Happy 152nd birthday, Canada.

To our Americans neighbours to the south, your 263rd birthday is close enough to ours that I can wish us all a happy celebration of our collective good fortune.

Did you know that Americans are 111 years older than Canadians?


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Three’s a Crowd, or is it?

I’m not so sure that three’s a crowd, but it is cozy.

The two rhodos that are blooming just now in this photo are “rescue rhodos.” My neighbour had planted them next to the roadway but they were constantly being uprooted by deer who pulled them out, thinking they would be tasty. The deer left the plants lying on the soft sandy soil when they discovered the flavour was not what they had hoped.

I picked up the uprooted rhodos as I came along the end of our drive and brought them to the neighbour’s house so they could replant them (hopefully elsewhere). But they just flung them aside.

So after trying three times to give the rhodos a new life, I took the next ones home and tried to revive them myself. I stuck them in water and then found a good spot for them, next to an Alberta spruce.

Now, something over 20 years later these tiny plants have turned into giants. They have grown into each other’s space and the two rhodos and the spruce are huddled together. They stand together against the wind and the rain and cold. They are the survivors.

The Survivor Group

 

We once were unloved castaways,

Our time was numbered then in days,

But now we live, and love the sun,

We each feel we’re the lucky one.

The spruce has been our constant friend,

He braces us against the wind,

He keeps the coldest ice from us,

And shields us both without a fuss,

In turn we share our food with him

And water if supply is slim.

We’re all survivors in this group,

Which makes us such a happy troop.

We like each other’s company,

For friends we three shall always be.

 

Please take a minute to visit my other blog for a comment on Jill Weatherholt’s book, A Father for Bella. Click on the link: https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/2019/05/27/a-father-for-bella/


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Show Me the Money

Last year I took a picture of this ugly pole in order to catch the rainbow behind it, because the colours were so bright. A couple of days ago there was a rainbow in the same place but not quite as bright. I’m borrowing the old photo to make my point.

They say there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so I went looking for it.

I started looking on my back deck and found the pot. It didn’t quite have “gold” in it, but close enough. It had money in it. They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but it grows on the lunaria plant, otherwise known as the money plant.

When you look at the plant’s leaves and flowers, there is no money to be seen, but once the flowers go to seed, the plant’s stalks no longer carry flowers but their seeds, enclosed in pods the shape of silver dollars. This lunaria has been in the same pot all winter. Its seeds from last year have mostly fallen out of the dollar-shaped pods and have re-seeded the plant. Some of the plants appear to have come up from the old roots as well.

So, in a way, I did find a pot of “gold” after seeing the rainbow.

This particular lunaria is from plants that were grown by the people whose house we bought back in 1980. I brought a few seeds of those plants with me to every place we’ve lived since then and they are still going strong.

This is one thing I love about plants and gardening. There is a story attached to many of the plants in our gardens.

Do you have a plant story you’d like to share?


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The Tulip’s Story

Before any other tulips open up in my yard, still among weeds that I haven’t dealt with, here is the first of the season, just “born” today.

I’m surprised at how happy it makes me, after such a long dreary winter.

The name of the tulip is thought to have come from some connection to the turban, or to the fact that a tulip was sometimes worn on a turban as decoration.

Thought to be originally from Persia, the tulip arrived in northwestern Europe in the 16th century.

*****

A Tulip’s Story

It’s not because I have two lips that I received my name,

A sultan wore me on his hat so it would not look lame.

He put a turban on his head and wrapped it good and tight,

And then he looked into the glass, but something wasn’t right.

He said, “It needs a pick-me-up, a tad of fashion flair,

This tulip bright would do the trick, but oh dear, do I dare

To wear a flower on my head, what kind of man am I?

But I will show the world out there, I’m brave without  a lie,

The ladies will all flock to me, admiring my good taste,

And this is such a perfect chance, I simply cannot waste.”

And so he put me on his hat and strolled along the street,

Smiling at approving looks from ladies he did meet.

Perhaps this fashion disappeared, no longer quite the thing,

But I am famous everywhere, for brightening up the spring.

 

 


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Soon, Soon, Soon

Soon my rhodos will bloom and put a smile on my face, like they did last May when I took this photo.

But right now, the poor thing is suffering from yet another load of snow.  I took the broom after I snapped a photo of the snow covering, and swept off some of the clumps of snow.

Speaking of sweeping off snow, early this morning the heat pump made feeble noises as it tried to come on. While I stood there in my housecoat, waiting for the dogs to do their morning ablutions and other things, I swept about six inches of snow off the top of the heat pump. The feebly struggling motor suddenly blasted into action and blew the last load of snow up the sleeve of my housecoat. OH! BRRRR!  NOW I WAS FULLY AWAKE!

The little Toyota truck, 25 years old now, is still going strong, but before its next trip we will need to do a “search and rescue” mission for it. I think it’s under there someplace. Good thing it’s bright red. Yes, I think I see it there.

More snow is on the way, but today is supposed to be the last day of it and then, if we aren’t completely snowed in, we can try to get back to normal.


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Mom’s Mums

These chrysanthemums haven’t had the benefit of any fertilizers for all of their life. I guess I should have paid more attention. But every time I looked at them, I felt a bit sad and walked away. Why?

Over 36 years ago, these mums were in a hanging basket in my mother’s back porch. In 1982, when she died, I brought the hanging basket home to my house. I didn’t expect them to come back the next year and bloom, and when they did, the feeling was always bittersweet.

I took more care the next winter to cover them with a patio chair or some kind of loose plastic to keep the worst of the cold off them. It didn’t occur to me to add fertilizer even after I repotted them when they got too big for the hanging basket.

Now, after blooming for the 36th time since they came to live with me, I have finally come to my senses and have decided to give them some fertilizer next spring.

I am grateful for this plant’s tribute to my mother each year, and have been shamed into taking better care of it. Do you think it’s too late for me to get it together?