Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Two weekends behind

Sorry, sorry... let me catch up.

The 20/21/22 weekend was the first long weekend of the summer in Canada, celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday. We're weird that way about the Royalty in Canada.

On saturday, we went to the first camping SCA event of the year. Neil and I just dropped in for a day to teach some Arts and Sciences classes and I got a tad fried by the sun.

Nina asked me to help her out with a class on hedge-row dyeing. I brought some madder for one dyepot....

...and we picked dandelions for the other dyepot.

After a few hours of simmering on the fire, while the people simmered in the sun, we felt like we weren't really getting very much colour out of either pot. Neither of us had remembered to bring a mordant to add to the pots.

So I suggested to Nina, who was camping that weekend, that she keep the materials in the pots overnight and take it out in the morning. I'd hoped the longer time in would give the dyebath more time to leach metal from pots - one copper and one alum.

I've seen the madder results, but not the dandelion ones yet. I'll have to take pictures of both soon.

This most recent weekend, we went up to the Wareham Forge homestead to visit our friends, Darrell and Vandy.

Darrell's goal: enlist big, smelly menfolk to build a semi-permanent smelter and smelter cover in his backyard.

Karen and Vandy's goal: escape from the boys, and go visit some pretty shetland sheep being sheared. Come home with fleece for dyeing, spinning and weaving.

Both goals were accomplished. Details in the next post, when the pictures are ready. They're off the camera, but not yet disseminated, thumbnailed, or put up on the web. Soon, I hope.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Okay, so what now?

I've been having a difficult couple of months with the sinuses, and I'm at the maintenance level of the allergy shots. Things are supposed to get better when you get to the maintenance level, not worse.

Cats and dogs, btw. And as you know, I have one of each.

So... I went back to the allergist recently to be retested. I thought perhaps after a few years of a growing gardening hobby, that I might be becoming seasonally allergic.

The results?

Nadda. Not a damn thing. Not even the cat and dog allergy that I'd previously been diagnosed with.

So...I guess that's a good thing. That the previous allergies are dying back. That I haven't developed new ones.

But I gotta ask (and I did, believe me) - what the heck is with my sinuses then?

Tests to follow.

The allergist thinks it's anatomical - effectively a deviated septum. I think I've got a sinus infection. A coworker thinks my voice sometimes sounds like I have asthma.

If it's a sinus infection, I'm never ever going to trust my GP again. I've brought it up in the past, and she asked me a few diagnostic questions. Apparently, I didn't give the right answers so she blew it off as an idea. Without any tests, or even physical examination.

Funny thing is... I had to stop taking antihistamines a week before the retest, and ...I've been feeling better without them. Strange, huh?

Anyway, in the garden today we have - alpine brain coral. Not it's real name, I don't even remember it's real name except that it's an alpine something.

Drawf Irises

Japanese Quince

And because I still completely adore this flower, another view of the pink and white tulip. :)


Sunday, May 14, 2006

conflict of interest

Honestly, I can't decide whether to be completely bummed out that West Wing is now... done. over. finito. Forever. What can possibly come close to it?

Or just plain... tickled pink.

This is absolutely, by far, my favourite picture this year.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

You know...

You know you've been gardening too much lately when....

1. You walk by the perennial gardens on the campus and are tempted to weed them.

2. You start to think about all the space on campus that could be used as community gardens.

3. You close your eyes to go to sleep and all you can see on the inside of your eyelids are dandelions.

4. The dandelions start to talk back to you.

5. The dandelions take over your husband's brain and make him turn the lawn mower on so they'll be chopped back only a little and not actually yanked out completely by the roots.

Feel free to add more....


Monday, May 8, 2006

For no other reason......

....then I have a liking for these particular photos today.

I call this one "my maple beats your church steeple".

More tulips.

One periwinkle flower.

There are actually hundreds, maybe thousands.

We inherited this patch. Like forget-me-nots, lily-of-the-valley, and most of the mint family, there are some plants that I have a hard time believing people can ethically sell. Rabid growth is an understatement.

The tree in the forefront, btw, is one of the many squirrel-planted chestnuts. Something else that is in rabid abundance in the yard.


Sunday, May 7, 2006

T is for Tulips

I have no inspiration for words today, so I'll let the pictures do the talking instead. Today's theme is tulips.


Friday, May 5, 2006

F is for....

Fritillaria Imperialis, "Aurora"

And close up...


This is the little garden between the fence and the sidewalk. I call it the Fenceline Garden. We have 7 different garden 'areas' - the Front Garden, the Fenceline Garden, the (former) Veggie Garden, the Triangle Garden, the Round Garden, the Tree Nursery Garden and the Back Fence Garden.

From the firepit, with my back to the green shed, out to the front fenceline. This garden area is new as of last year. I got tired of mowing in circles around the fruit and wedding trees and the grass next to the fence on the right was in terrible condition, being in shade for most of the day. So we added a HUGE amount of newspaper and mulch. By the time the newspaper breaks down, the grass and weeds underneath are largely dead, and the area becomes prime garden space.

And finally.... the Front Garden.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

picture fest to come! and allergies

I've been sick again. I think it's my allergies playing havoc with my sinuses.

In 2003, when I was last tested for allergies, the results said I was allergic to cats, like my pretty Ginger, seen here being unhappy about being indoors while I am out...

...and on a lesser scale, to dogs, like the bundle of energy friend that is Leif the Licky.

In the last 3 years since that allergy testing, I've been having this growing passion for... growing things. Gardening. I think I may be becoming seasonally allergic as well. I'll find out on May 16, when I have an appointment with the allergist for re-testing.

Anyway, since I was home from work yesterday with a raw throat and massive congestion, I wandered around taking nearly a hundred shots of the gardens and house. In between taking out what feels like hundreds of dandelions, the hard way, before they start to self-seed. And just as many mini maple trees, just because.

Instead of my usual post once a week or more with a ton of pictures, I'm going to try to post 2 or 3 new pictures every day for the next couple of weeks... so hang on.

Here we see apricot blooms closeup, from a few days ago....

And in perspective...

And yesterday...the blooms are going away, while the leaves are coming out.

Now, I'd like to say that soon we'll have apricots growing, but sadly that isn't true. I think this is one of those fruit trees that need a partner tree to cross-pollinate with, and we have only one of them. This is a tree that we inherited from the previous home owners and they either didn't know that, or just wanted the tree for it's Pretty factor. It's not a big deal, since apricots aren't high on my list of fruits.