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20 Jul

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A Morning View

18 Jul

I was up early this morning. Something about the heat and the summer sun has me sleeping like junk!

But there was (seemingly suddenly) a colourful view out of the kitchen window that was just for me, as not a creature was stirring, not even a groundhog. :)

kitchen window view




Have a wonderful Friday!

Diane :)

#1 Pie in July

16 Jul

Ohh, this is my favourite pie to eat right now.  I know not everyone loves these black caps. Too seedy, too dry, too whatever.  Like any other crop it too depends on conditions.  A warm wet year results in plenty of these favourite berries. The best part is that I have two sometimes three little people who will happily pick everyday as much as they can just to see how many pies I can make! haha.  Making the pie is the easy part compared to fighting brambles and bugs- but don’t tell the kids.

blackberry pie

Adding a little bit of apple to a basic blackberry recipe makes for less seediness and more ooey-gooey berry goodness.

Blackberry Apple Pie 

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/8 tsp salt

2 cups chopped Gala apples

2 cups fresh blackberries (blackcaps)

Combine sugar flour & salt. Add sugar mixture to black berries; toss to coat fruit.  Fill a pastry lined 9 inch pie plate with berry mixture. Adjust top crust.  Seal and flute edge.  Cover edge with foil. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove foil – bake 25-30 minutes more or till golden. Cool on a wire rack. 

This pie also freezes well uncooked- Bake from frozen at 375 degrees for an hour and a half.


What’s your favourite kind of pie?

Diane :)



I’m Pissed

9 Jul

As you know, probably by now, I do not like Groundhogs. I don’t like them one bit. Uggg.groundhog

They piss me off. I do not know how they keep finding their way back here. Is there a sign under the pavilion that says ‘Welcome to the Quality Inn’?

Ben and I went to Montreal last week and before we left I saw the ground hog out in the flower garden eating the leaves off of my hollyhocks.  I tried to trap him that night so I could take him with us for a little ride on the way to the train station but no such luck. There was no evidence of them being in my vegetable garden at the time so stupidly I wasn’t worried.

When I came home though, I had not a single cabbage left or broccoli. They ate all of my lettuce and the tops off the kohlrabi.  That’s 10 cabbage plants that were seemingly bug free and growing well plus 10 huge broccoli plants.

I’m pisss.e.d.

Not to mention all the other critters around here the skunk, the black and white stray cat, the mangey orange stray cat that just left a huge runny poop by the patio door, and the squirrels that run around like rabbits in the chewed up pavilion ceiling, plus the mice and rats in the hen house.

I am going to loose my MIND!



In a Vase on Monday: Tiny & Pink

7 Jul

Mini pinks in a teapot

I love this cute little toy tea pot. Isn’t it the cutest thing ever?

It’s filled with pretty ‘Miniature Pinks’ from the border.

Thank you to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting “In a Vase on Monday”, which challenges us to find flowers for cutting from our gardens… it is a very enjoyable challenge too! Take a look at some of the others this week linking in to her site here.

Iris is The New Black

2 Jul

I just enjoyed my new Black Iris in bloom, a division from my sisters garden and the only full sized Iris in my own garden.  This was my first spring enjoying its rich dark colours. I loved watching it open up, not knowing fully what to iris

When I received the division I didn’t know where to put it.  There were irises on the property when we acquired the house but they never really bloomed and I decided they weren’t worth the hassle, so out they went.  However now my mind might be changed!

It was a pleasant surprise that they bloomed where I set them in the front border, and at nearly the same time as the assorted Columbine and the Red Valerian. 

 Red Valerian and black iris

front border black iris  Red Valerian


 It was quite nice and it made me happy.  A happiness I look forward to again next summer! 

What are your feelings about dear old Iris?



In the Vegetable Garden (Week 8)

27 Jun

The vegetable garden is going quite fine generally.  It’s strange but it is hard to remember to eat some of the things out of the garden.  It seems like our dinners have been rushed and quick.  That should change now that school is out, unless the heat makes me lazy. haha

veg garden week 4 2014

(WEEK 4)

This year I mulched the whole darn thing. As there is no shortage of mulch here right now from the trees being cut down and I have been trying to follow the advice as I go.   The mulch helps keep the soil a bit cooler on really hot days and helps to retain moisture.  Raised beds can dry out so fast.  I have also been watering since the garden went in.  My notes from other years have complained about realizing a little too late that things were not getting enough water.  It has been raining quite a bit here though, and I had to stop watering because the leaves on some of my plants were turning yellow.  They were too wet.

square ft garden week 8 2014

(WEEK 8)

Potatoes are going crazy (middle long rectangular bed). It was probably a crazy idea to even plant them in this raised bed which is only a few inches deep.  I keep dumping mulch on them. I have no idea what I am doing.  lettuce and potatoes

(The potatoes are providing shade for the lettuce)

I purchased some new rhubarb plants also, hopefully next year we will have a useful amount of rhubarb again!

I ate all of the asparagus that grew this spring raw and it was amazingly delicious!! I didn’t even share.asparagus

(Asparagus at the bottom right. My long term plan is to put them in raised beds also)

Now it is time to succession sow a few things like spinach and lettuce and cucumbers.  There are some squares coming available so I should try to keep them full.

There is always lots to do in the garden isn’t there?

Have a great long weekend!



In a Vase on Monday: Look what you made me do

23 Jun

I have such a hard time picking flowers. I admit that I was shocked to see any roses in my garden this year after how bad the aphids were last year. Not only that I cut them right down to the ground this spring.  Cutting them down to the ground has indeed made them bushier plants even though they are still not really all that ‘bushy’.  There was a storm coming, with strong winds and possibly hail so I HAD to cut them! Once I did, I was really happy that you made me do that. They were saved from the weather and instead put together in a combination that I could enjoy for days in the house. Happiness is Roses.

Dear Diane, I love you. Here are some roses as proof. Love Diane (yourself)

garden flowers

Coral Bells, Deep Red and Pink Roses with Hosta Leaves.


Thank you to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting “In a Vase on Monday”, which challenges us to find flowers for cutting from our gardens… it is a very enjoyable challenge too! Take a look at some of the others this week linking in to her site here.

Fabulous Threesomes

18 Jun

I love these Early Spring Woodland flowers. They are native to Ontario and pretty fun to hunt for each spring.

I couldn’t believe how many of these were in the woods this spring, and how tall they were! They are quite rare to find. I have never seen so many let alone so big.  It must have been just the right conditions for them this year. They are called Jack in the Pulpit because the stamen looks like a preacher delivering a sermon at the pulpit.

These umbrella looking plants have a single amazingly detailed bloom underneath. Mayapples are poisonous, but extracts from the plant are used for topical medications and for some skin cancers. I like how they huddle together to create a domed world that you have to crouch down to look under and into.

The Solomon Seal seem to take over the woodlands. The smell is fantastic when they come into bloom together. I look forward to it every spring.

All three of these woodland flowers could be grown in the right conditions in your garden too. But I myself enjoy going on a hunt in the forest to find them.

Do you have any of these growing near you?



In a Vase on Monday: The Last of Spring Colour

16 Jun

 This is the last of the spring colour as we are less than a week away from the first day of summer.  

This assortment actually comes from the garden of my mother in-law.  Such a pretty handful. I am always in awe of the striking combinations she puts together, leaving me to think I should really try harder to put some flowers in a vase- which is why I NEED this challenge! hah

spring vase


grape hyacinths spring vase


Thank you to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting “In a Vase on Monday”, which challenges us to find flowers for cutting from our gardens… it is a very enjoyable challenge too! Take a look at some of the others this week linking in to her site here.


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