Spring – plant seeds, save bees!

Spring wild flowersThere is a whole world of living, thriving life that is so easily missed unless we pause and pay attention.  These snow drops were peaking up among last Fall’s discarded and dying leaves.  It was only when I got closer to take a photo that I noticed the bees on the petals of the tiny flower.

Did you know that our bee population  is declining? According to an article in the Globe and Mail  and information shared from the David Suzuki Foundation, almost one-third of the food we eat is pollinated exclusively by bees including apples, peaches, cucumbers and coffee.  If the bee population continues to decline, this will have a significant impact on agriculture and ultimately, world food production.  Scientists remain unclear as to the reason for the decline although there are some theories that pesticide use is a contributing factor.

Canadian Gardening  described some strategies that scientist and environmentalists are adopting to address this issue including filling our gardens with pollinator friendly plants.  Personally, I like the guerrilla gardening strategy that a friend recently shared with me – she and her partner plan to, under the cover of night, secretly scatter pollinator friendly wildflower seeds throughout the city.  (You go girls!!!).  So folks, save the bees, take up seeds and scatter.

Inspired by WP Daily Post Photo Challenge, Spring and Where’s my Backpack travel theme, Close up.





Siberian squill flowerThe new spring growth of blue flowers contrasts with the old dried growth from last summer.  Although the early spring flowers are blooming, Mother Nature is having a hard time letting go of winter temperatures here in Southern Ontario. 

For more contrasts and flower photos, visit Where’s my backpack?

My backyard oasis…shattered

I delight in my peaceful backyard oasis.

It’s a small garden but over the years I have filled it with statuary and perennials that bring me joy and contentment.

I sit on my deck, reading, blogging, sharing a meal with friends and simply enjoying the beauty around me.

And then it happened.  My One and Only and I were sitting on the deck, enjoying a lovely summer evening.  The wind gently rustled the leaves of the large black walnut tree overhead.  The birds chirped cheerily.  The pond fountain gurgled. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a  flash of black charge down the trunk of the black walnut.  The underbrush shook violently and we heard hysterical chirping.  The streak of black emerged from under a large hosta with a slash of red in its mouth.  It took me a moment to register that it was the neighbour cat with a cardinal in its mouth.  It took me several more seconds to realize that the cat had grabbed the cardinal that lived in our backyard.  The cat looked at me triumphantly and then before we could to react,  the cat  took off across the yard, leapt over the fence into the neighbour’s yard and disappeared.  We sat shocked and somewhat traumatized. 

I know, I know – it’s what cats do.  But still.   So now we sit on our deck,  less peaceful, with a broom at the ready, to chase that damn cat away if it even thinks of stepping foot in our garden oasis.  So far, the cat is winning. 

How does your garden grow?

This year, My One and Only has decided to plant a vegetable garden.   Except for planting some herbs (usually two kinds of basil, parsley, and maybe some mint) she has never really shown any interest in gardening in the last 15 years or so preferring to support me from the deck, sitting reading a book, cold drink at hand, while  I planted, weeded and generally managed our flower garden.  She was always encouraging and willing to offer advice but really couldn’t tell a weed from an annual from a vegetable.   Each year she excitedly picked out herbs at the beginning of each season and then somehow forgot about them once they were planted in their pots.  Sometimes she even forgot what kind of herbs she had picked out.  So this year, when she told me she wanted to plant a small vegetable garden, I was a wee bit skeptical but after much discussion around who would be responsible for this garden  (her), we agreed.  She had to strategically pick her vegetables given the limited space and finally decided on three tomato plants (two heirloom and one cherry), a yellow pepper plant, a cucumber plant and a watermelon plant (planted in a planter on the front porch).  She has lovingly tended her plants and even bought velcro garden ties to gently stake her plants.   And mostly she has remembered to water her plants daily.  I have to say, I think she has a natural green thumb.  Her plants are doing beautifully and starting to bear fruit, so fingers crossed, we can soon eat our own freshly grown vegetables.

Cucumber - Just planted

cucumber - growing beautifully

Yellow pepper - newly planted

Cherry tomato - newly planted

Cherry tomato fruit