Saturday, June 8, 2013

Triumphs and Tragedies

It's been too long since I've posted and there's so much to cover!  Things both good and bad so.... triumphs and tragedies seems like the right kind of post.

There's been a lot of stress lately.  I came down with a miserable cold right before my first exam.  I forgot how stressful school is for me, and what that does to my immune system.  Add in some tight deadlines at work and a garden neglected... a few tears have been shed these last weeks.

Despite a few setbacks there is always a positive to be found.  Flowers have begun to bloom in earnest.


It's a relief to come home at the end of the day and spend a few minutes walking around my garden.  I haven't always got the time to do the garden work I would like (sadly my vegetable garden still isn't fully planted) but walking through and watching the trees leaf out and the flowers bloom makes me feel so much better.

New trees were added to the garden this year including this Copper Beech
Tragically some blooms that I normally look forward to each year have been a huge disappointment.  I'm talking about apples.

This photo is from last year when blooms were abundant
The buds were visible last week and I was expecting the annual explosion of blooms this week but nothing happened?  A closer inspection revealed blooms on the lower branches but all the buds on the tops of the trees are dead.  I hadn't inspected the higher buds previously so I'm not sure if there were problems to start.  The first reason off the top of my head was frost but we haven't had a hard frost recently that would do this kind of damage.  The other option is the drought we had last summer could possibly still be affecting the trees.  It certainly put a strain on the apples and it's entirely possible this could be the result.  Either way, our apple crop will be a poor one again this year.

On a positive note, you might recall our community hosted it's annual Plant Sale on May 25 (was it really just 2 weeks ago?).  Despite heavy rain, resilient gardeners donned their best raingear and came out in droves to gather up as many garden goodies as they could fit in their cars.


Luckily the venue has plenty of space undercover so there were dry spots to congregate, socialize and shop for plants.  I swore this year that I wouldn't take home any plants as I haven't the time to plant anything.  However, despite my best intentions I started gathering up new plants for the garden before the sale even began!  The week before several of us gathered at a neighbour's house to help dig out some plants for the sale.

It was a beautiful afternoon to do some digging
A couple hours digging, a plant sale later and now I have numerous pots sitting in a shady spot next to the garage waiting for me to plant them.  Culver's root, native purple iris, siberian iris, false solomon's seal, and delphinium are all new additions for the flower garden.

Another positive to keep my spirits up came in the form of an email from Jennifer @ Three Dogs in a Garden.  I was the lucky winner of Jennifer's contest for the book, Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener by Joseph Tychonievich.  It's the perfect gift as my columbines are starting to bloom and I have spent more than a little time analyzing how this permiscuous plant has cross bred to produce an array of different sized and coloured blossoms.  The only downside is that I haven't time to read it right now.  I've set it aside to read in July when my course is finished.

One last bit of great news came this week.  Walking through the grocery store I spied this on the shelf.


Saltscapes magazine is published in the Canadian maritime provinces and features the musings of fellow garden blogger Jodi Delong.  Jodi asked me to participate in a garden series regarding young gardeners a few months ago.  I'm happy to say the May/June issue is on stands now and features yours truly in the article "Growing a Green Thumb".  I'm incredibly flattered to be in a magazine but even more flattered that Jodi thinks of me as young!

Here's hoping this post finds you all enjoying a bit of sunshine, covered in dirt and smelling of lilacs.  take care ~M

22 comments:

  1. Hang in there Marguerite. You have a lot going right now. You will get through it and you will be so proud of yourself when finished with your schooling. Your garden and of course the book will await for your attentions. Congrats on being published. Jodi is a great gal. I love reading her blog and I know I would like the mag even though I live land locked.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. Some moments I just feel so overloaded and feel the need to be in ten places at once. I am starting to settle into school though, remembering a bit of how to do this. Has been a shock to the system though.

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  2. Some pretty impressive triumphs -- congrats on being featured in the magazine! Your garden and your new book to read will give you lots of refuge while the pressures of work and school come at you.

    Too bad about the apples. Could it simply be age? Your orchard is old, and perhaps the trees are in their natural decline? It could be frost -- even though you don't remember one, a few hours overnight at just the wrong time can do damage.

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    1. Laurrie, funny you should say that. Jody was talking to someone in the area yesterday who said there was a frost this past week! Only for a few hours very very early (if you weren't up at 5am you missed it!) but it was a hard one (they had to scrape their car windows). I just find it odd that the rest of my garden hasn't shown any signs of it and only the tops of the trees were affected. Guess I have a thing or two to learn about frost.

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  3. That's very exciting you were featured in a magazine! I can relate to the stress you are feeling. Going back to school as an adult is very difficult, I've done it and I know. For me, it was important to accept that everything was not going to turn out perfectly, some stuff was going to fall short of what I would like because there was a limit to what I could do. If that makes sense. Anyhow, I hope you will be able to enjoy your summer. The plant sale sounds fun, but did you honestly think you could go and not bring back some plants?

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    1. Jason, thanks for your thoughts. It makes perfect sense to me. I'm learning a lot about my limitations these days :) Luckily this course only lasts another couple weeks and then I have July and August off before I go back for another round. There just might be time to garden after all! and yes, I was a complete fool to think I wouldn't buy a single plant this spring!

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  4. My vegetable garden is not fully planted either ... life is just too busy. Relish in your triumphs and don't beat yourself up over the other stuff. Life is busy but also too short!

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    1. so glad I'm not the only one. Usually the veggie garden is done by the beginning of June around here but I just can't manage this year.

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  5. SO glad to see you back! I've missed your posts. How awesome that you were pictured in a magazine!

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    1. awww Keith, thanks I've missed you too!

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  6. Hoping school becomes a bit less stressful for you. I applaud you for going back. Your daffodil a few posts back is really pretty, like the pale white/yellow with the yellow cup.
    Hope your house painting is done by now. Interesting find that someone carved the alphabet into the sideboards.

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    1. LOL Janet, this is a busy summer all around here. Jody still has plenty to do on the house but he's been working (elsewhere) every day and won't get to it again until July. I'll definitely post an update when we start some painting around here.

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  7. Congratulations on your published article, Marguerite! It sounds like you have been very busy; keeping up with school and work, I'm amazed you even have time for the garden! Sorry to hear about your apple trees; I hope they recover next year. We have a few shade trees that seem to have been affected by the drought of the past two years; I'm hoping all the rain we've had this spring will rejuvenate them next year.

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  8. Love the sentiment expressed in your final good wishes for us all. The lilac bush out the front happens to be perfuming the air beautifully right now. I am sure it must be stressful to juggle work and school and see the garden waiting in the background for some attention. Congratulations on the magazine article! It must be exciting to see your words in print. I am glad the book you won counts among the pleasant things in your post. I hope you find an afternoon later in the summer, when it is too hot to work, to sit down and enjoy reading it.

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  9. There's something about school -- somehow it seems more important than everything else when you're in the middle of it, and that's stressful! Congrats on the magazine article. Wonderful that your garden provides some refuge at the end of the day even though you can't spend as much time in it now as you'd like.

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  10. Sorry you have been feeling so under-the-weather, a little like your poor apple tree, but gardens and the blooms do have the habit of giving one a boost just when one needs it. Though I'm not sure many things could beat the boost of starring in an article in a magazine! Hope school life becomes a little less fraught, and hey, you are not alone in the "late planting out the veg patch" stakes. If I don't get a move on I'll be buying beans instead of picking them...

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  11. How wonderful to be featured in the magazine and hey take all the compliments you can :) Sorry to hear about your apple blossoms. Mine have been decimated by billions of tent caterpillars for the second year in a row.

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  12. This person above is a spammer - I would not click on that link. That comment has been showing up on every blog in blogger this morning!

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  13. Oh my goodness Marguerite you have way more triumphs than tragedies girl ! .. Sorry about the illness, I too have those problems. But congratulations on being featured in the magazine and winning Jennifer's draw on the book.
    You will get over the hump and feel better soon plus having to look forward to when the course is over is a neat little mental trick that will drive you on to do well and finish that first major step !
    You go girl !!
    Joy : )

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  14. Good luck in your studies. It is wonderful you have gone back to school, learning never stops. Congrats on getting in Jodi's magazine and winning Jen's contest too.

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  15. Taking classes while working full time can be a killer. I've done that before and it's tough so go ahead and cry! Your new plants are beauties. Culver's Root gets really tall but is so pretty. Just think of it like this: your columbine are helping fill in any empty spot in your garden for free. What an eager plant! :o)

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  16. It is tough indeed, taking classes while you are working full time. Just always think for the positive side of every situation that you are facing with.

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