Friday, May 30, 2014


So I am pruning away all that dead wood, and trying to be as careful as possible, but I tend to plant heavily and love how the boundaries of plants get blurred, when I realized I had just knocked off the head of an allium, just opening to flower. Oops. I took it inside and put it on the scanner, and it wasn't until I came to work on the scan and wondered how the scanner bed had gotten so dirty, that I realized that the stamens were covered with pollen. Some time later the pollen was removed and I was amazed at the color variations in the petals. Quite wondrous.

allium, 2014

the gorgeous colour variations of the alum, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I Surrender

Well I've been putting it off but yesterday I started to hard prune. I had hoped that if I was patient enough life would creep back into the bare limbs of so many of the shrubs in the garden, the roses, berberis, burning bush and rhododendron. So many of these were big structural plants so needed to anchor the space. In a few days the garden will have a very different feel as I enter another waiting phase; will they recover, what will the space look like, what other changes will be demanded. Today though, I am mourning; that was a hard winter for the garden.

water drops on a hosta, 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Lily of the Valley

Today you can walk out the kitchen door to the soft, sweet scent of lily of the valley, a nostalgic scent for me as my grandmother used to wear it. So all morning that old song has been running through my head; you remember the one some of us leaned around campfires, "White coral bells upon a slender stalk, Lillies of the valley deck my garden walk, Oh, don't you wish, That you could hear them ring, That will happen only when the fairies sing." A magical morning.

the bells of lily of the valley, detail

the stems are so beautiful, detail

lily of the valley

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Green World

The garden is at its most demanding, lots of rains and some warm sunny days and the growth is staggering. So is the winter kill, it's been a rough winter on the shrubs. The peonies grew a foot in 2 days and so has the wicked weed, [Bishop's weed] where I have been waging battle for what feels like weeks. So on my hands and knees, trying to loosen the soil and not break the roots, my view of the world has changed. The tiny becomes large and the large doesn't exist, other wise the task is too daunting. It's times like this when I think the garden might be too large. And then I watch the ferns unfold.

Watching the fern unfold, 2014

these ferns uncurl their fonds from a tight little ball [center of the photo] amid a sea of violets, 2014

love the pattern of these leaves unfurling, 2014
detail, tightly bound leaves about to unfold, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dreaming Blue

The blue dream continues to unfold, roots in blue earth wander about, entwined in space.Some feel like pages of a book . The roots can not be contained and wander off the page. By this time the dream is a memory faded and I still continue.

bule dream line play 2,2014

towards the edge of the blue dream, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pond Life

At the pond everything is bursting with life, the clouds of frog spawn seem to be breaking up into single cells with black specks in the middle which I hope mean they are ready to hatch into tadpoles. The shapes of the jelly like clouds are thrilling, some submerged, some forming bigger masses; while at the other end of the pond the tiniest tadpoles are sunning themselves on a shallow rock.

jelly like sacs of frogs eggs

tadpole hanging about, waiting for their brothers and sisters

tadpoles sunning themselves, they are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Beautiful Decay

While cleaning up my mess from all the pruning I reached down to put old leaves in the tarpaulin to haul away and found this beauty; barely there but the structure is still holding though very dry and brittle. It will make the best compost. Lovely pondering the great cycle of life as the sun warms my body and clouds drift by, a gentle spring breeze blows and the budding increases its pace.

the heart of a leaf, 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014

While Pruning

For the past 3 days I've spent all my time in the garden pruning. It's always a big job and with the ice storm last winter there was a lot of damage, so I've had to be a bit more brutal than I would wish. One of the great joys of pruning is bringing out the shape of things. It always gives me pleasure; that and finding the surprises, like another small patch of trillium. They don't self-seed easily in my garden so this was a huge treat. And the fiddleheads, still wearing their furry coats, are popping up everywhere. I love spring.

trillium, 2014

fiddlehead, still wearing its' furry coat, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Blue Dream, Part 2

I'm still trying to tease out that dream. And I sense the titles are telling me as much as the image.

blue flight map, 2014

the river, 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014

More Blue Dreams

In between rain showers I come back into the studio to see if I can capture a fragment of a dream from a few days ago. It was one of those dreams where you say to yourself "I'll never forget that" and sure enough the next morning all that is left is that uneasy knowing that you have forgotten something important. And at times throughout the day you get a glimmer, and you try to ease it into consciousness.

2 lines, ink on paper, 2014

towards blue 2

towards blue

Thursday, May 1, 2014

That Blue

Every spring I eagerly await what I call "that blue",  the scillas.  Their intense colour is a wonder and one that I have never felt I captured with the camera. So I tried scanning them and against the black background they are almost iridescent. More how they feel in the garden, especially in the rain. They are so tiny [probably 3 in. high] that every year I look forward to see how they are spreading. I have dreams of swaths of them, blanketing the woodland gardens. [link here] And the 1st daff bloomed, complete with a leaf from last fall pierced through. That for me is another garden wonder, how those tiny, frail shoots of green can rise through the blanket of leaves and become.

lovely scillas, 2014
the 1st daff, about to raise its' head,  2014