Monday, June 21, 2010

Another Summer Solstice...

Today marks the longest day of the year, our third summer solstice up north. It has been feeling like summer already for the past few weeks and the kids and I are already brown (Hubby is pink)! We have been having weather in the mid twenties, which feels much warmer up here, again probably because of the dry... it is very dry. The little bits of rain that we have had haven't added up to anything, they haven't even wet the pavement, just made speckles. But I am not complaining!! It has felt heavenly, we are thoroughly enjoying this summer weather and are ready for a few summer storms that are likely to come our way over the next few weeks.

We are very excited to have the kids home for the summer, we can have them to ourselves again for a while. They have already finished their music recitals, their soccer tournaments (in which Maria received a special medal for being always eager, smiling and fun), and all that is left to finish up is school... I can't wait!

But today is the solstice and it is celebrated around the world by so many different cultures and religions, it feels as though there should be a bit more "celebration" here... but there isn't so we can just quietly say... Happy Summer!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Don't Feel Tired...

Yet I am not going to bed lately... well not until it is quite late! The days are so very long right now, and we have been having such beautiful weather... it feels wrong to go to bed when the sun is still shining! Last night it was still bright out when I made myself go to bed at 11:30... Next week is the solstice... I think my body is gearing up to watch it!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gardening in the North.

Gardening up here is a MUCH different thing than gardening on the south coast. When we moved from Squamish to the Island, gardening changed a little bit. In that there were MORE things I could grow. The weather and climate on the Island are extremely temperate and mild and there are very few things you can't grow. In fact the main problem I had on the Island was over-growth... whether it was in the form of invasive weeds (blackberries, horse-tail and morning glory were the worst) or in the form of the plants over growing their areas.

The rock-wall garden hubby made and I planted in Squamish, with a cute baby Maria and some container gardens too!

When we bought our house in Saltair there was an absolutely fabulous garden. The plants around the deck were all colourful and scented so that when you sat out in the evenings it was heavenly. There were beautiful, lush, varied species throughout the whole yard.

The beautiful garden in Saltair... just after we moved in. Notice the size of the pine tree on the left hand side of the picture.

We bought the house from a couple who had no children and one of their main hobbies was gardening. Then we moved in... Hubby was working Monday - Friday and I had a two year old and a baby. Let's just say the garden wasn't quite what it was when we left! I tried to keep up with it, but the weeds and the plants themselves were vigorous!

This picture was at Allan's 3rd birthday... so two years from the previous picture... look at the pine tree on the left. You don't have to be good at growing things on the Island, you have to be good at weeding and pruning!

Up here, I am having the opposite problem. We are now beginning our THIRD year (holy cow, how did that happen!) up here. The first year I let the garden just happen so I would know what was in it when it grew... turns out there was nothing in it so I threw in some annuals and had containers plants! Last year out front I planted annuals again, but planned this time so they looked good and lush. Well they eventually did after they recovered from the May long weekend snow and frost we had that nearly killed them! We also dug up a portion of the back yard to plant trees and shrubs to try and make it less sterile back there.

The sticks and dirt are the garden we built... this picture was taken last year, just after we planted it. It looks pretty much the same this year, except now the two trees on the back fence don't have any leaves on the top branches!

We planted six trees, one of them didn't make it at all. It was dead before we started as it had been in a bucket and moved with us from the Island. The other five were healthy, we had a weeping crab-apple, a hawthorn, a cherry, a pear and a Pea Shrub. So far this year the Pea Shrub and the Cherry look good, the Crab-apple has leaves and flowers but it looks sickly (except it seems fine where it is growing out of the shoots on the bottom of the tree). The Hawthorn and the Pear both look dead, except the shoots at the bottom are healthy looking... I don't know what happened to those poor trees... the winter was a fairly mild winter, but we did have people moving dirt a lot behind us, which created a bit of a swamp behind our back fence. We also have horrible clay soil, but I worked a lot of peat-moss and coconut husks into the soil, as well as adding a bunch of soil, around the trees.

In the front yard this year, the little lilac bushes are also failing. One is dead and two have only a few branches with leaves... and this year I decided instead of annuals in the front garden bed, I would grow veggies. Why not?! They are pretty, annual and tasty! So we have carrots, radishes, lettuce, spinach, kale peas, beans and zucchini! We also have a few marigolds that hubby's grandfather planted before he passed away...

So I think each year will be a challenge and things will have to be really planned out. I think I am going to stick with native trees from now on and beautify with shrubs... they aren't as heart-breaking when they die!

Friday, June 4, 2010


You dress for what looks to be a rainy day and wind up sweating in the beautiful, cloudless sky that emerges 10 minutes after you leave the house...

This is while you are walking with the kindergarten class from the school to the gymnastics club for a field-trip...

This is after the teacher, the other parents and you have made sure all the kindergarten kids have on their jackets and sweaters so they are all sweating too...

I could not be a kindergarten teacher, I was far to tempted to tell them to suck it up. If I am going to sweat, so can they!