Friday, June 29, 2012

At The Pond

Yesterday while I was checking out for damage after all the rain and high winds of the past few days, I wondered over to the pond. The lilies are happy and what is a patch of water lilies without some frogs hanging out. So these shots are especially for my sister. She will know why. I think the one in the third photo might want to think about a diet. The water lily pad he is sitting on is underwater.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Low cloud, drizzle, downpours, cold. Needless to say working inside trying to wrestle back control of the house and studio after cheerfully ignoring them for weeks. Garden has taken a bit of a beating. Catnip lying flat, ladies mantle a puddle of chartreuse, but all that can wait while I make friends with the studio, after neglecting her for the garden. Actually hoping for a few more days of rain. There are thing to finish and things to start in the studio.

Storm coming
The storm front lights the garden turning the air a silver blue

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Light

One of the great gifts John has given me has been another way of looking at light. We would be sitting, talking, and I would notice that his eyes had strayed. Hmmmn, J, what are you looking at? How the light is hitting the wall he would reply and so it goes over the years, as I try to see what he sees. And I can't do that but I have learned to be much more observant of the qualities of light, the power of light. On his studio wall is a wonderful quote by Edward Hooper to Andrew Wyeth. "Andy, as I get older the only thing I want to paint is how sunlight hits a white wall."

Summer Light, Liz Davidson, 2012

Her Bed, 2003, John Ballantyne

Saturday, June 23, 2012

For My Darling

He adores poppies. The orange ones that sing out in the garden "I'm here". And because the last one dropped it's petals yesterday and today is his birthday, these are for you. A big bouquet of poppies. Happy Birthday darling. Pretend that the poppies are like candles on your birthday cake.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Summer

Summer is here; steamy, sizzling, humid, panting [that's the dog] hot. Time to take to the sofa for an afternoon nap, definitely time to water newly transplanted plants. It's this kind of weather when  I realize I could never live in a tropical climate. It's almost enough to make me long for fall, but not quite. My brain turns to mush and I slow down to almost a full stop. I'm in a trance [yesterday I blamed the scent of peonies], I can't focus. The photo is a reflection from the TV of J's feet [the camera was on automatic so I know it wasn't my eyes out of focus]. A great way to spend a hot summer afternoon; feet up, a good book, and a swim later. Happy summer everyone.

Feet up on a summer day

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Patterns of Dew

The patterns that dew makes on the peonies has me fascinated. Partly I figure it's the slight sparkle that captures my eye and make me look more intently. Some times the droplets seem evenly spaced and about the same size, but then the pattern alters. Sometime the dew beads the edge of the petal, sometimes it doesn't. My problem is that I am not photographing a flat surface so some parts are sharp and some parts are soft focus. As always you can click on the image to see a larger size.

Dew on the peonies

Sunday, June 17, 2012

And The Clematis Draws Too

Can't bear to stay inside these days, perfect weather. Cool nights, clear, hot, dry days. So I decided to extend the studio garden. Wandering about, looking for plants to move into the new space, in a daze from the scent of peonies, I came upon this clematis which I planted a while ago, forgot, and found blooming on an old honeysuckle. Tricky to photo it's tiny tendrils in a breeze. Often, the world becomes a water world with the macro lens, and while I love that and it, I do wonder what reality I'm in.

Drawings from clematis tendrils

Either Ramona or General Sikorski

Friday, June 15, 2012

Oriental Poppies

Really cool over night, so heavy dew in the morning, for which I am ever so grateful, especially when I went out and saw what age and dew had done to the pink poppies. While there are a few still to bloom, [I love the halo on the opening poppy] most are on there way out. Their petals a lovely semi transparent crepe paper. Dew and age make beauty.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Pot bound was a good description for these nepeta that I planted last week. Having given up on lavender, [there are 4 out of 20 plants left after 5 years] I am replacing it all with what we call Quebec lavender or catnip or nepeta. I had to score through the root ball and split it before planting but I was mightily impressed with the profusion of roots. I like their pattern and especially like the hairy bits on the smaller tendrils. [Click the photo to enlarge] If any of you have cats and don't have this in your garden do your cats a favour and plant some. My cats used to spend all summer curled about the catnip with a blissful expression on their face.

Roots of Nepeta, 6 Hills Giant

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Peony Time

I love anticipation, I love promise; perhaps this is the major factor in my love of spring. Well these are definitely going to be peonies, lovely voluptuous peonies. Most of my peonies are over 40 years old. They were well established when we bought the house; the only problem was I didn't realize that the rather large clumps in the middle of the grass were peonies and chopped them down with the lawn mover. Good thing there were more in a bed, and those have been divided several times over the years and are my favourites. They look and smell divine. Tomorrow...

Anticipation, as you can see there was a lot of rain last night

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Exuberant Hops

I cut these back really hard in early spring and did they ever like that. It was as if I had dared them and now it's all grow, grow grow. Tendrils fluttering in the air trying to grasp any thing in reach. And in the grasping the tendrils make the best garden graffiti. Marks, letter forms, they are some of the best artists in the garden. Some other posts that I have done on hops, [you can tell I love them] are linked here; And More Drama Queens, Getting Closer, Secret Places and Drawing.

Exuberant hops

Alphabet hops

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Iris Leaves

Every spring I thrill to the emergence of the iris, especially the old fashioned bearded kind. The flat, sword shaped leaves are a wonderful gray green and always seem to have a halo of white about their edges. At this time of the garden season I usually tend to ignore the leaves as I bury my head in the scent of the flowers and only later, when I cut the dead flowers do I remember the beauty of the leaves. One of the things I love about the iris is how all their disparate parts come together. The tough scaly rhizome that you plant; the flat, triangular, tall leaves; the round stiff stock that supports the blousey flowers. It looks like it was designed by a committee. And I just read that it is considered a perennial herb. I never knew.
Iris leaves

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Space of Hours

Wet, cold, windy; find petal. Have breakfast, do messages, eat lunch. Read, snooze. Still wet cold, rainy; find same petal.

Rosa Therese Bugnet petal, 7.30am
Rosa Therese Bugnet petal, 6.30pm

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Naming of Roses / For Rose Lovers

A friend sent me a card the other day that had me convulsed with laughter. It's a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt.

"I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was nor pleased to read the description in the catalog: 'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.'"

Agnes  rose, but for today we will call her  Eleanor