Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pink Tree


This is one of my favorite trees in our yard. It is a flowering crab apple tree and the spring blooms are pink and amazing. The summer foliage is lush and green. The fall colors are spectacular. And it provides food for wild life, usually at the end of the winter. I have heard that the crabapples get sweeter after they have been frozen. They sure are popular with the birds in late winter.


For now it is my Happy Spring Pink Tree ^^

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Saturday, April 28, 2012



Trees inside the pond
April sky slowly moving
White water lily
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More Biodome Pictures


A variety of Biodome pictures. Would love to write deep thoughts about them, but I have to pick up a kid from her high school play.

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Forsythia Musings

It is hard to live far away from family, so I always enjoy every visitor I get from the Netherlands.

A number of years ago, my mom and my cousin came to visit and we had a great time. We did a lot of sightseeing, and caught up on family happenings. Before she left, my cousin got me a forsythia and planted it for me.


Not only is it a great memory of her and her visit, but it also brings me back to the Netherlands, where I have always seen so many flowers in the spring (and summer). When I moved to the US, one of the things I noticed is that a lot less people here had flower gardens. Instead of flowers in their front and back yard, they mostly seemed to have grass. What fun is that???? A boring lawn?! That you have to MOW!!!?

By now I am more used to the American law habit, and I have seen nice flower gardens here too, but I am still a bit wishful about the Dutch flower abundance I grew up with. This forsythia helps me to deal with that wishfulness.


Fast forward many years, having a baby, getting divorced, trying to sell the house, transition to public school, yada, yada, yada. In between all that, my garden was not always the focus of my life.

The forsythia didn't care, and kept growing anyway, showering us with bright yellow flowers each spring.


This year spring arrived early, and the forsythia bloomed early too, and by now most of the blooms have passed. I vaguely remembered something about pruning it after the blooms are done, so I had that on my mental list to do soon. But when I actually looked at the plant, I realized that it had not suffered at all from my neglect, but seemed to be doing Very Well Indeed.


In addition to the main bush, there were tons of baby plants all around the plant and farther away! I decided to ask my trusted friend Google whether I could just take those and plant them somewhere else and found out that those baby plants are called offsets, that forsythia is the Easiest Plant Evuh to propagate, and that sure, I could take those offsets and plant them somewhere else.


My favorite forsythia quote in my search came from Gardenweb: "We enjoy the flowers in spring.. then hack the heck out of it after the show ... In your case ... it isnt much of a show.. so get to work .... You cant kill them .. so dont give that another thought ... "

Reading that quote gave me the confidence that forsythia is fine whatever I do to it, and it would be totally fun and acceptable to dig up some offsets and start a new bush somewhere else. I chose a spot next to me driveway and did just that. Let's see whether I can get forsythia flowers there next spring.


I had some left over mulch and started mulching a nearby flowerbed. I think these are peonies, I will have to get one of those peony cases for when they grow bigger. Adding it to my list right now.


I also want to find other spots in the yard where I want forsythia, I still have a lot of offsets left.
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Butterflies, Bonsai and Life


The free flying butterflies was one of my favorite expositions in Montreal. I wasn't sure till when it would go on, but it turned out we planned our vacation just in time.


Now that we are back from vacation, life is busy as usual. So many moving parts, all whirling around to get everyone to the right place at the right time. I sooooooo feel like a taxi driver!


The good news is that I started gardening, even although it was only one good day that I had time to do so, and now the temperature has dropped back down to polar levels. Today I briefly considered doing some digging for my vegetable bed, but the moment I stepped outside and froze my butt off, I changed my mind. I want spring!


On another good note, I started meditating again. Baby step meditating. Starting with 10 minutes, increasing it by a minute a day. Well, that is the days that I actually have time to meditate, but that is one of those common issues. The more I need to meditate, the less time I have for it. Still, I try to celebrate the times when I do it, instead of beating myself up over the days that I don't.


I have even started bread baking again! For quite a while, with the house on the market, it was just too much, to keep up Perfection At All Times and be a kick-@ss breadbaker was more than I could handle. But it looks like we are not going to move after all, so I can feel the pressure falling off me and I have time and energy for important things like bread making.


Yesterday I made my very first ever garlic naan, since my girls are totally addicted to those. It was ok, but not sublime, so will have to work more on that. I just took any old recipe on line and made a quick naan with short cuts, will have to do some more research and experimenting to make a good one. Still, it was nice to have our very own garlic naan. Even if it disappeared pretty fast, but that is the nature of anything bread related in our house.


I even restarted a compost pile, which makes me feel totally green and environmentally correct. And it will be nice to put on the garden, that is if I get those veggie beds dug out. I am sure it will be spring some day soon!


The kids were impressed by the bonsai in Montreal, which made me wonder whether we should start bonsai at home, but it didn't take long for my common sense to kick in and realize that that might be more than I want to take on right now. A vegetable garden will be just fine instead.


Will try to catch up soon, but no promises. Life has a way of happening when I try to get things done :p

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Sunday, April 22, 2012



In the middle of kicking kids to bed, so no time to write. Just sharing some Biodome pictures. We LOVE that place! We always go there when we are in Montreal, it is a way to see many different ecospheres and animals. It is especially good when there still is snow on the ground, and you can pretend to be in the tropics once you are inside the Biodome.

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