Late summer flowers come into play and with cooler night temperatures the garden has recovered. Oranges, reds and yellows are the prominent colours from heleniums, rudbeckias, sunflowers, gallardias and the remaining zinnias.
Late Summer Flowers
There has been a second blooming on several of my roses including my pink miniature rose in the front container. Love the double crimson climbing rose that is filling the blank spots on the front rose arbour.
Most importantly though I have been well rewarded in the vegetable garden. An abundance of tomatoes including cherry, roma and beefsteak. I can’t keep up with the cucumbers (both english and pickling varieties). The zuchinni and various sqaush are forming as well as peppers. It’s great when you can just step out the front door and pick basil, rosemary and oregano. The peaches have done well too despite some leaf curl earlier.
This month has been interspersed with camping trips and an unexpected getaway to Bowen Island. After living in Canada for over 42 years this is the first time I have ever visited. With only a 15 minute ferry ride from the mainland you are suddenly integrated into Island life. Quaint stores and in particular a small garden nursery and florist that I fell in love with. The motto outside says it all “Live Simply”. Plenty to choose from eating wise and I admired all architecture and flowers along the way.
After exploring and before returning to the mainland we spent some quiet time on the beach watching a group of sailing boats. All in all a great day’s visit. Now it’s back to reality and spending time on my neglected garden.
We escaped to Skimikin Lake for a few days despite the smoky skies. We had our daughter’s dog Rufuss to keep us company. Earlier this year we checked out this area and could not believe the devastation. This was first caused by flooding followed by some severe wind storms. The site operator and volunteers did an amazing job of cleaning up. There is still more work to be done but they will have to hold off until later in the year with the constant threat of fires.
We were fortunate to get into our favourite camping spot which is shaded on three sides by cedar trees and opens out to the lake.
When we first arrived the lake was very much engulfed in smoke due to the Mt. Chase fire just 10 km away. Luckily though the wind changed direction and we had periods of blue sky. The first evening the sun was bright red which created this hazy orange glow across the lake and surrounding hillside.
As the water level is still pretty high there were only a few wildflowers to photograph. I was entertained by a trio of ducklings that were happily perched on a log. Of course, I always love to see the loons; their call always reminds me of the film “On Golden Pond”.
We certainly welcomed the cool breezes from the lake and enjoyed kayaking. My husband was not too successful with fishing; the water was too warm so he says! Camping always gives me an opportunity to truly wind down and actually read a book. We also spent time with long-time friends remembering special people in our lives who sadly are no longer with us. Rufuss of course enjoyed the many walks and cooling off in the lake.
Another successful camping trip. Hope it will not be too long before we can come here again.
As we reach the end of July, the bright summer blooms come into play including helenium, sunflower and rudbeckia. Despite the intense heat over these last few weeks parts of the garden continue to flourish. In particular as ever my hydrangea paniculata bush is putting on a good show.
Hydrangea Paniculata (Limelight)
The rockery garden has definitely peaked now with just the odd flower here and there. The sedum heads are starting to form already which seems a little too soon.
Over in the more shadier area of my front garden the cool colours of the various phlox work well against the silver leaves of the perovskia.
This is when it has paid off sowing annual seeds earlier in the year to add extra colour to the garden. The zinnias have really done well. Sadly the long spell of hot weather has taken its toll on the hanging baskets. The geraniums continue to thrive and I have begonias starting to flower. The basket stuffers though are pretty much done.
With having a lot of company this past month, the vegetable garden and greenhouse has been of great benefit. I have harvested most of the lettuce and have already seeded another batch. Tomatoes and cucumbers are ripening and plump peaches are forming. We will be picking them within the next few weeks.
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and reaping the benefits of the garden.
After our delightful trip on the Sunshine Coast we travelled over to Vancouver Island on the Powell River ferry. Luckily I remembered at the last minute that there is another ferry at Earl’s cove you have to take before reaching Powell River. Again…I am glad I made a reservation.
Our next airbnb was located just north of Courtenay in Merville. (www.airbnb.ca/rooms/446153?location=Merville%2C%20BC&s=wLfQlpWc) This was more in a country setting and our hosts Hilary and Steve made us welcome too. Each day there were offerings from their garden including garlic scallions and raspberries. It was such a quiet peaceful retreat.
This trip we tended to do more beach time and found a lovely spot 5 minutes from the airbnb – Williams Beach. It was great having a picnic lunch there taking in the sunshine and ocean breezes. With new picnic basket in hand and a bottle of wine we were all set. Little did we know on our second day there we would have a helicopter land right in front of us and a bride and groom step out. When we first arrived, we noticed what looked like bridesmaids on the beach but I did not pay much attention. So how surprised were we when literally we were entertained by the arrival of the helicopter and the bride and groom connecting with their bridal party. Sadly I only had my 50 mm lens so I could not zoom in. At the same time, I did not want to encroach on this special celebration as they had their own photographer.
Unexpected Wedding Party on the Beach
Just shortly after this, we were surprised to see a horse galloping our way. This rider from Alberta brings her horse down twice a week to the beach.
The last stop on this summer vacation was in Qualicum Beach – a place that I have always been fond of. Many years ago we promoted Qualicum Beach to old neighbours of ours. They ended up moving there while we ended up in the Okanagan. I am always taken in by how well the shop owners do up theirwindow boxes.
We were able to spend a couple of nights with our friends catching up with news of family and friends. A perfect end to our vacation.
An unexpected trip to the Sunshine Coast and Beyond.
My husband and I decided to do a last minute trip to the Sunshine Coast and then onto Vancouver Island (separate post). We normally do not travel in the height of the Summer, however we were able to book some airbnb’s at the last minute. We also made sure to reserve the ferry from Horseshoe Bay. We tried to simplify the trip by taking Murphy B. My husband had picked up an old suitcase to fit on the back of the MGB a while ago . This in the end worked out perfectly for packing our clothes giving us extra space.
We lucked out too with our airbnb “Passiflora”. (www.airbnb.ca/rooms/11041247). A lovely suite with ocean views from the back deck. It was situated just north of Sechelt. A good location not far from amenities. Our hosts Luba and Maurice made us most welcome. I zoned in of course on the shrubs, roses and flowers in the front and back of the property including a palm tree.
We only had two nights stay here but having booked another airbnb near Courtenay on Vancouver Island we sadly had to move on. Next post – Vancouver Island – Courtenay, Qualicum
Highlights of the June Garden. As we come to the end of June I always like to look back at my photos to see how the garden has progressed. This is a time when we start to reap the benefits of all the hard work that has been put in during the preceding months. Towards the beginning of the month we were threatened by high waters in Shorts Creek located a short distance away from our home. Thankfully this has subsided but now residents along the waterfront have struggled for a long time now with high lake water. During my walk though this morning through Fintry Provincial Park I was pleased to see that there has been some subsidence and there is a glimpse of the beach again.
One of the first perennials to bloom in June is the oriental poppy. I have slowly been spreading these throughout the garden so that there are splashes of pink/peach papery flowers. Some of the flower heads are quite large.
Next on the list to bloom are the purple alliums along with my first crimson peony.
Meanwhile the rockery garden is ablaze with colour. Creeping veronica, campanula, dianthus and yellow sedum have definitely taken hold and cascade over the large retaining rocks.
As we progress through June the first of my roses to bloom is the double apricot one. This variety has a subtle fragrance so I love to bring the cut flowers into the house. Sadly due to the harsh winter I lost a number of other roses. In particular my arbour rose was severly affected. I have underplanted with two new climbing roses (Climbing Blaze and High Flyer) which I am happy with and hope that at least next year it will fill in all the gaps where the dead wood was pruned.
With continuous fertilizing with miracle gro and watering the hanging baskets are filling in really well and I am very happy with the results.
Now I can look forward to the next wave of flowers including the annuals I grew from seed. We will also be starting to pick produce from the vegetable garden. I already have harvested a good amount of romaine lettuce.
Wishing all my followers a very Happy 150th Canada Day
(I was hoping that my red and white zinnias would be in bloom. They are still only in bud. Instead a photo of a container of white geraniums and red petunias taken on my recent Kelowna garden tour will have to suffice).