Focus and composition

This is a lesson I learned from Prairie Poppins. (click through and read that post, I’ll wait)

I’ve been talking to some online pals about clutter clearing and whatnot and raised that point — that we can choose where to put our focus. We can look for the beauty and focus there (and build it outwards) or we can see all the mess, beat ourselves up, and totally miss all the beauty.

Today I took some photos of my horribly overgrown garden (check the Flickr stream in the sidebar for the complete set) and I thought I’d share 2 of them here.

Aren’t hose colours beautiful?!

I love wild roses. Actually I often prefer flowers with just one row of petals over the really flouncy ones. So simple.






If I zoom out, the scene is very different. There are those rain barrels we forgot to take in 2 winters ago, still just lying there cluttering up the space.

And yet, the composition with the split barrels, the overgrown rose bush, the split rail fence and the log barn in the distance is somehow pleasing.

You get to choose what you see and how you interpret it.

I highly recommend getting your camera out to help you see your space (indoor or outdoor) differently.


Insert swearing here

broken spade by JoVE/Tricotomaniac
broken spade, a photo by JoVE/Tricotomaniac on Flickr.

Dear Garden Tool Manufacturer,

I like a beautiful tool as much as the next person. However, you cannot sacrifice function for beauty. Ever.

This spade was being used to split peonies, a relatively normal gardening task that a spade really ought to be able to cope with.

The metal split. And then the blade bent at the angle you see in the photo.

This is not good.

Our new (small) farm

We’ve talked about it for ages and now we’ve done it. We own a 24 acre farm (just over half is wooded). I picked up the keys on Friday and we went out there today to look around, make plans, measure bedrooms, etc.

We will move at the end of the month.

House & gardens Barn chicken shed

As always click for bigger images. (Yes, I’ve been playing with Comic Life again.)

Extra special treat: there is an asparagus patch. A weedy asparagus patch but an established asparagus patch none the less.

And we introduced ourselves to the neighbour who seems very nice.

Groundhog Day

Yesterday, we had the first meal of broccoli and beans from our garden. This evening I looked out the kitchen window and saw something furry in that patch. Our cats were both indoors. I went to investigate.

groundhog damagegroundhog damage 2

The little varmint rushed back into his (her?) den but peered out at me from the doorway and didn’t seem bothered when I spoke to her. At that point I wished I had brought the camera because I could have got a photo. I went back in and took those shots. I waited for her to appear in the doorway but she didn’t so you will have to imagine her little nose peeking out of here:

groundhog den I’m not sure what the long term solution is but for now I’ve blocked that particular door (which is less than a metre from the broccoli).

door-blocked.jpg I have no doubt that there is another door to this den. It is under our shed, by the way. I suspect we’ll have to trap her and take her somewhere else. I’m not sure where, though. And I have no idea if groundhogs are tasty. Nor how to kill her if they are. They are certainly not endangered.

Peas and beans and barley grow

Well, not barley but you get my drift. More photos of the garden. The weather has been a bit odd. We had a real hot spell and now it is coolish again (well, the English folks in the house don’t think so, but I left England for a reason). Lots of rain so stuff is growing. Today you get to see the broad beans and the peas.

broad beans June Nice flowers, eh? They grow all up the stalk like that. And lots of flowers means lots of beans eventually. I think the plants are still getting taller, too. And they’ve filled out enough that Blitzen doesn’t even try to sleep between them. Smile

Peas Junepea blossoms The peas are going a bit crazy, too. And they are flowering. Aren’t those flowers pretty? I’m not sure but the colour of the flowers makes me hopeful that these are the purple peas we acquired from the gardener at Upper Canada Village last summer. (There are real advantages to chatting to the gardeners.) He gave us permission to pick some purple peas and suggested we dry them and plant them next year. So we did.

The cucumbers and zucchini are also flowering. Mat even saw and actual zucchini the other day. I suppose I should go check that out before it gets too big. We are eating strawberries though there are lots that would appreciate a bit more sun. I also went out the annex at J’s place to weed the other day and came home with spinach, beet greens, and some spring onions. The potato plants are looking very happy.

Front porch — sun screen

I mentioned my honeysuckle the other day and I have finally taken some photos. Our front porch is mostly shaded by a Norway maple in the front yard. But in the late afternoon we get sun shining right on us from the west. Last year, I came up with a solution. We bought a bit of white trellis (to match the white railings) and started training the honeysuckle onto it.

honeysuckle  This year it is large enough to make a nice shaded corner on the porch there.

We planted that honeysuckle a few years ago. Last year we planted a clematis in the corner near the house to fill in the blank spot. It isn’t big enough yet, but it’s almost to the point where we can train it onto the railings.

clematis Maybe later in the summer we’ll have blooms and everything. And next year, it might be really nice on the porch when the hot sun is coming from the west.