Archive for the ‘my garden’ Category

Mid-summer thoughts

Posted by: Heidi

August 9th, 2012 >> my garden, Photos

Not much work needs to be done in the garden at this time of year. This is the time to relax and enjoy the feelings of peace and calm that time in the garden can bring. On hot summer days or  warm summer evenings I often sit in a shady spot and listen to the leaves rustling in the breeze, the tinkling of the windchimes and the various bird calls and songs. As I sit quietly I watch as butterflies and other insects flit around the flowers, and the birds visit the feeders.

Our lives are often so busy that we don’t take time to relax. We rush from one commitment or activity to another believing that we don’t have a minute to spare. We wish for more time, yet we often feel anxious and guilty when idle. To slow down time we need to live as fully as possible in the present moment. Relaxing in the garden I am able to leave behind thoughts of the past or future, and can experience time more peacefully.

“Nature requires us not only to be able to work well, but also to idle well.” ~ Aristotle









Life is fragile

Posted by: Heidi

June 10th, 2012 >> my garden, Photos

Within the vastness of the universe our lives are more fragile and fleeting than each new flower that comes and goes in the garden. An abundance of flowers grow and bloom in my garden every year but each individual flower will only bloom once and then will be gone forever.


“That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.”
~Emily Dickinson

The birds keep on singing

Posted by: Heidi

May 29th, 2012 >> Birds, my garden, Photos

Sometimes life doesn’t seem to make much sense. Terrible things happen that change your life forever. And yet somehow, all around you things continue to go on the same as always. The sun continues to come up every morning, the garden keeps growing, and the birds keep on singing.

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”
~Chinese proverb

The first signs of spring

Posted by: Heidi

March 18th, 2012 >> my garden, Photos


In my garden, the crocuses are among the first signs that spring is approaching. Early in the winter I start to watch for the first crocuses to appear. Their leaves often sprout out of the ground long before the end of winter but the flower buds wait for longer days before they emerge. When I see them start to bloom I know that spring and the return of warmer days will soon follow. They only bloom for a short time and then they are gone again until next year. As with many things in life that are long-awaited, I am often a little sad to see the last of them fade away. But while they are here, these cheerful little flowers make me smile.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

~Theodor Seuss Geisel

Winter Garden Visitors

Posted by: Heidi

December 29th, 2011 >> Birds, my garden, Photos

There is much activity in my garden right now even though the soil is cold and most of the plants are resting dormant, patiently waiting for spring. Staying home from work this week, I have been able to spend more time watching the bird feeders in my backyard and they have been busy from dawn until dusk. The sun rises so late at this time of year that I have been up long before the birds each morning. As the sky starts to lighten, I watch for the first shadowy movements flitting among the branches and then over to the feeders. Throughout the day a multitude of small birds including juncos, chickadees, song sparrows and finches visit the feeders, eat the last of the berries and flower seeds on the plants, and forage below the feeders and between the shrubs for any fallen food.

Not as patient for spring as the plants seem to be, I often miss spending time in the garden at this time of year. But the garden is for the birds too and watching all of their activity from the window I see that they make good use of it all year long.

“I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Autumn leaves

Posted by: Heidi

October 30th, 2011 >> my garden, Photos

As the last flower blooms of the season fade away and I start to cut things back and clean up the garden in preparation for winter I often feel a little sad to see the season coming to an end. There is always one last brilliant show though before the cold, dark days of winter. These autumn colours remind me that every season has its beauty and there is always something to be grateful for.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus

The last buds of summer

Posted by: Heidi

September 26th, 2011 >> my garden, Photos

Each new bud that opens during the last days of summer is like a special little gift. As the days get shorter and cooler, most plants slow down or stop growing in preparation for winter. So, these late-blooming flowers seem to stand out in defiance of the changing seasons.

While spring buds bring the promise of brighter, warmer days to come, late summer and fall buds seem to symbolize persistence and endurance. Their tenacity, the force that drives them to bloom even in the face of adversity, is a reminder that life is not always about doing what comes easily, it is about being in the game.

Bees in the garden

Posted by: Heidi

August 29th, 2011 >> Bugs, my garden, Photos

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

I’m worried about the bees. For several years now I’ve been hearing about a shortage of bees all over the world and I have noticed fewer and fewer bees in my garden too. I have always enjoyed watching bees at work and have tried to entice more of them into my garden by avoiding pesticides and growing plants that bees like. But I’m not seeing as many of them as I used to.

We are hearing more and more stories about farmers losing their crops because of a shortage of bees. All over the world bees seem to be dying. Bees are the main pollinators for most fruits, vegetables and nuts, but there aren’t enough bees for this any more. They can no longer keep up with all the crops that need pollinating in order to meet our ever-growing demand for food.

The bees are not concerned about or even aware of the impact that their declining numbers has on our food crops. But we all should be worried about the future of the bees and what global issues their decline may be indicative of. We all share the same earth and in many ways the bees are viewed as an indicator species, like the proverbial canary in the coal mine. There are a number of different theories, including pesticides, viruses and parasites, but we still don’t know exactly what’s going on and scientists continue to investigate the causes of their declining population.

In the meantime I’ll keep planting things that bees like in my garden and I’ll keep watching and hoping to see more bees.

An insect view of the garden

Posted by: Heidi

July 18th, 2011 >> Bugs, my garden, Photos

Swallowtail butterfly
“Nature will bear the closest inspection.  She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.”
~Henry David Thoreau

Inspired by Thoreau, who encouraged close observation and contemplation, I’ve been watching more closely some of the insects that visit or make their home in my garden. Many kinds of insects are beneficial in the garden, like ladybugs and spiders, that are predators of garden pests, and pollinators like bees and butterflies. Not only are these insects helpful for the healthy growth of plants in the garden, watching these little garden dwellers more closely can also be beneficial to the gardener.

Time seems to slow down in the garden. Looking through the eyes of an insect, the past and future seem to contract and all of time exists in the present moment. I spent an hour one sunny afternoon watching the yellow swallowtail butterfly pictured above flutter from flower to flower, pausing frequently to feed on the flower nectar and bask in the sunshine. Not as flamboyant and obvious as the butterflies but quite easy to find when I look for them, many ladybugs also spend time in my garden, usually feasting on the aphids that take a liking to new plant growth. It’s easy to while away an hour watching these busy little bugs.

The butterflies and the ladybugs won’t be in my garden for long and while they are here they remain focused on their own immediate needs of food, water and shelter. They aren’t aware of their beneficial effects in the garden, and are unconcerned about their future. They live in the moment because it is all that they know while we so often stay focused on the past or the future and let the present moments slip away.

“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”
~Carl Sagan

Early summer blooms

Posted by: Heidi

July 3rd, 2011 >> my garden, Photos

I can’t help but smile each time I discover something new blooming in the garden.

“Earth laughs in flowers.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson