Of course, I need to begin with the most awesome flower you just saw
on my home page...The Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus!
There's going to be quite a few photos following this, so hang on tight!
I'll just show the photos and if you have any questions about any of them,
please ask away in the comments section.
Blanket Flower
Boomerang Lilac
The Boomerang Lilac was given to me on Saturday by my friend Nancy.  It will
bloom three times throughout the season and this is my first wee flowers on it.
Can someone tell me what this is?  I can't remember....that happens when you're
fifty!  hahaha!  It has these pink blooms as well as white and deep red ones?
Gerbera Daisy
This Daisy was a Mother's Day gift from Robynn!
My all-time favourite by far is Lavender.
Mmmmmm.....so relaxing.
If you know me, you'll know I started these Lupines from seeds I
brought back from Nova Scotia.
Mister Lincoln Rose (check out the antennae on that bug!)
Purple Catmint
This Lorraine plant is special to me because my friend "Lorraine" gave it to me.
I can never forget the name of the plant!

I'm sure I'll have more to show you in the coming weeks, but here's just a
wee peak at how I displayed the flowers in my powder room.
No one can miss them there, even if they came in the back gate instead of the garden!
Thanks for viewing!
with love.....from the flower child (at heart)
...and tomorrow I give my explanation as to "why" I've been riding on my
Gorgeous Garden Gate posting!

The flowers in my garden are gloriously blooming and I definitely
want to share some close up photos of the prettiness
and show you my photo frame I've done using some of the pictures!

Just this morning, my Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus bloomed in
full regalia!  I'm so excited!
My sister-in-law gave me this lovely cactus several years ago when we lived
in our old house and I was amazed then at the fact that we could even grow
a "cactus" in this Southern Ontario garden that would come back every year!
Since being transplanted here at our new house three years ago, it hasn't bloomed until
this year and I'm ecstatic!  Check out this close up!
This was the one and only delicate bloom from yesterday...the first one!
Although these flowers are beautiful and amazing, they are lethal.
When you work with them, you need thick rubber gloves, because not only do they
have wicked thorns, but also millions of horrid little feather-like hairs that
will prick your skin in barely visible groupings of 10-40.
Can you say OUCH?

Please click HERE to see my variety of beautiful blooms in a FLOWER PARADE!
It's my Happy Place!
Is this unbelievable or what?
I planted this Bonita Tree Rose two years ago.
The year before last, I did all the right things to put it down for winter.
I dug up one side of the roots, pushed the tree over onto the ground, and put
compost around it.  I spread straw all over it and covered it with burlap, staking
it all down onto the ground.
Yah...it was very pretty last year...but this past fall.  I was very, very bad.
I left it..........and can you believe this???  What the heck???
It's so healthy, it's ridiculous!
The bumblebees are running rampant all over it, so it must be as
sweet as it appears!
I haven't even done any pruning yet!
Enjoy the flowers
I'm in love with my Garden Gate!
After Dan & I finished hanging it, we crossed the road and sat
on the bench facing our house to admire it!
Our old garden gate, was broken - missing a fence board and the latch was rotted out.
I was telling Dan that I wished we had an old door we could use as a gate. 
That's when he went down into our dungeon and came up with this!
One of the original doors of the house from the 1800's.
I've got to tell you, Dan did the work on it....I just designed it!
Phew...that was hard work!
I remembered we had this old stove pipe flange I had purchased at an
antique shop a few years ago.  It was always getting put somewhere or other
without any real home to speak of.
We did nothing to this...the rust appealed to me!
I did help clean the door up with some TSP and scrubbing.
Then it was ready for paint!
Dan cut a hole for the flange to fit into as a window.
He saved all the old handle hardware and painted all of it brown.
Bought some new hinges and painted them as well.
We added our house numbers to the top and some flowers beneath the window
in a window box I bought for $1.99 at Value Village last year!
Our curb appeal has risen substantially!
I like that it has the feel of a Secret Garden...makes you want to walk up to it
and peek inside the wee window, doesn't it?
Coming in for a Garden Party?
I'll wait here....
Blissful and Domestic
Featured on:
Too Much Time On My Hands
Poofy Cheeks
         Once upon a time, around Christmas of 1963, there was a family consisting of five members.  Mother, Father, Son - 2-1/2 years old, Daughter - 1-1/2 years old and yet another Baby Son - 3 months old.  The Mother was from Nova Scotia where her two oldest children were born, but was living in Ontario (at the bequest of her Navy husband) with his parents prior to the birth of Baby Son and she was very unhappy.  So unhappy, she wrote letters to her two younger sisters of longing to live back home in Nova Scotia .   In personal anguish, she attempted suicide a few times with pills to escape the life situation she was in.
As a result of her deep depression, she succumbed to Cirrhosis of the liver on Christmas Eve of 1963 at the age of 23 - not the result of alcohol, but from attempting suicide one too many times.  She left her three children behind with their father who was only 26 years old himself.  He took an honourable discharge from the Navy and attempted to find employment to care for his children, however, it was the 60's and Social Services were not as helpful to the Paternal Parent as they are today and his skills were limited from having been in the navy for 10 years. 
        His three children were given over to foster care.  The Baby Son was adopted out
almost immediately, being an infant.  The Daughter spent approximately one year in
Foster Care and was then adopted by a family who had one son of their own, but could not have another child of their own, but wanted a little girl.  Unfortunately, the Eldest Son had a more difficult time of it because the Father kept attempting to take him back sporadically over a period of almost five years.  He was finally adopted into a family who coincidentally (but unknown to either until years later) lived relatively close to his sister's adoptive family.  All three children were brought up in homes where they were given the utmost in opportunities to grow into wonderful people.

        Back in the 60's the Children's Aid Society lied to the deceased mother's sisters when they came to visit the children in foster care and told them that "all three" children were adopted into the same lovely home.  The sisters were distraught and so were their parents because they had been working on a plan to raise their sister's children, but were eventually consoled by the fact the children stayed together.
        All three children grew up knowing they had siblings somewhere, but as is usually the case, the female child was the one to initiate a search first.  She registered with the Adoption Disclosure Registry and met her Birth Father first when she was 27 years old.
        He was a lovely, quiet man, who had lived a hard life until he met the woman he is still with and he's content.  The Daughter didn't keep up this relationship because there wasn't really a bond there after all the years (in her mind, she already had a father), but her curiousity was sated and she wishes him nothing but the best life has to offer.
        She next met the Baby Son when she was about 30 years old and connected with him immediately...there was definitely a bond there.  They stayed friends for a few years and because he was so far away, and had a family of his own, like her...that dwindled down to the odd phone call.  The daughter didn't meet her oldest brother until she was about 42 years old.  The bond was there as well, but he lived so far away...provinces no less and was just starting his family and career and she had her problems here, so they didn't see much of each other.  A few visits back and forth have been managed over the last 8 years.
        A most excellent thing happened for the Daughter in between meeting the two brothers.  She met her natural Aunts, who both lived in Nova Scotia.  She now visits them every year or two and they came to her wedding and helped with the preparations and laughed and loved.  She finally realized where her genetic being arose from because they were so much like the Daughter herself.  They even had some of the same pictures on their walls and loved to garden and paint.
        When the Daughter was visiting her Aunt's & Uncle's the first time, they took her to see the homestead of her Great Great Grandparents which was still standing and still being lived in by relatives.
        It was at this historical home, the Daughter's Aunt took a cutting of the wild rose bush and rooted it for her during her first visit and packed it lovingly, ensuring it stayed damp on the plane trip home.  When the Daughter returned to her home, she planted it immediately in proud prominance in the front garden of her home.
        Ten years later, the Daughter moved out to the River to a beautiful new home with her husband after all their children had left the nest and replanted a new cutting of the wild heirloom rose and it still has a prominent, welcoming place near her front door.
This always reminds the Daughter that
"Your History Makes You Who You Are"
You may recall the posting
"Grow 110lbs of Potatoes??  We shall See!"
from May 3rd last month?
Only one month ago, we decided to try out this idea we found
on Pinterest from tipnut.com and the results have been crazily amazing so far!

I know....holy cow!  Time to add soil and another level of framing!
The photo above was taken around the end of Week Three when yet
another level is required to be added....but we got so busy, we hadn't added it yet.
Finally, today, Dan just added whatever wood he could find hanging around and
it STILL seems to need another layer!
I'm amazed at how lush and healthy this potato plant is and can't wait to
start harvesting potatoes from it!
So far....EXCELLENT!
Because the progress has been so quick, I do believe you could go
and make your own in time to have potatoes still this year.
It sure beats "mounding" individual potato plants and weeding all around them!
I'll keep you updated later in the season.
I was in Home Hardware last week and browsing the garden section
when I saw this most awesome tomato planter, which by the way,
Mark Cullen (famous Canadian gardener) endorses.
Given the fact that it was almost $17.00 and I'd spent my budget last month
on soil and mulch, I passed on buying it...but couldn't stop thinking about it.

Along comes my friend Maureen, who gives me a unique tomato plant which her
neighbour gave her.  It's an Ugly Tomato from Italy.  Not sure if that's the real name
or not, but that's what she called it.  She said it was really ugly, but oh so sweet!
It doesn't look so ugly right now?
I thought to myself...what am I going to do with this ugly tomato?
I've already planted out my Romas and Beefsteaks in the veggie garden, so
where should I put it?  When, aha!  I'll make my own damn
upside-down tomato planter!

I took two hanging planters, one a size smaller than the other...
Almost everyone has some of these kicking around in their sheds right?
I then, cut out the bottom of the large one (the base).
Slipped my tomato plant through the opening upside-down, then
filled up this pot with potting soil.
I took the other pot and filled it with potting soil and quickly inverted it upside-down on
top of the filled pot.  (You may have to get someone to hold the bottom planter
with the tomato hanging out the bottom when you do this...I did.)
Attach the plastic hanger and voila...you can water through the top of the
smaller planter and grow your tomatoes upside down!
I didn't count on that happening when I watered the plant!
Thank god it landed against the fence instead of falling the other
way and totally falling apart!

Plan B!
You'll also note that the plant is already almost touching the ground.
I plan on putting some hooks placed strategically across the fence line
to swag the tomato plant over!
Cross your fingers it works for me!
I'm so excited today!
Not only am I revealing a large portion of our gardens out front, but also
I'm guest posting the reveal over at My 1929 Charmer in honour of Cathy's
"1st Blogaversary!"
Cathy is such a sweetheart and if you don't follow her or know who she is,
you definitely need to visit and check out her blog because she will inspire
you to create things you didn't think you could!
I'm pretty excited for you all to see the hard work we've put into getting
our perennial beds ready and hope you'll find the look as
soothing and blissful as I do!
Enough Said!
Please ENTER HERE to begin your tour of
Herballistic Garden Spring 2012!

I finally cleaned the garden soil off my hands and knees and
allotted some time to post something!
It's ridiculous this time of year how busy you get in your gardens and
the day flies by because you think...just one more section of weeds or
I'll just water these wee plants or perhaps I should transplant these.
If you're me, you end up having a day like today where I really "can't" do
anything because my mind wants to step outside into the sunshine and garden, but
my body isn't co-operating!  Is anyone else like that?

Okay, onward....
We purchased this wrought iron delight a couple months ago at an antique store for $47.00.  It might seem like alot for this, but I fell in love with it and knew exactly
where I wanted to put it....after I spraypainted it, of course.
You would have had a better idea of how gold/brown/black it was BEFORE, if I had
remembered to insert my memory card into my camera prior to doing a
big photo shoot and then spray painting one side of it already.
But...this is what you're getting!
These are the after shots....I simply love how this looks hanging from our porch beam!
What do you think?
I really like the simple elegance of it now!
Our front gardens are all coming together now and Cathy from My 1929 Charmer
has asked me to do a guest posting later this week in honour of her 1yr Blogaversary!
Come on over and see the unveiling of the completed portion of my perennial gardens!
I'm posting there on Friday, May 25th!
I'll meet you there!
I don't like Spiders and Snakes....
but the fact of the matter is if you are possessed by the Gardening Bug,
(talk about an oxymoron),
then you have to deal with them, right?

I thought I'd share my gruesome snake story with you today.
(Inez...don't read this)

One time (at band camp...no...wrong story) approximately two years ago, Dan & I were
clearing out the east side of our garden.  This entailed pulling out shrubs, weeding
and just generally stripping it for a clean slate.
It was beautiful when we moved in, however, the shrubs were placed so close together that it quickly became a little forest in the front yard we couldn't keep up with!
So, there's Dan getting rid of the Juniper bush in the middle of this space and
he is cleaning out around where the trunk of it was when he pulled out
a bunch of straw/hay, fluff, etc.
Dan says, "Hmmm...there must have been bunnies living under this bush."
I say, "Huh."
Off he goes to the garage for something or other and I continue to do my
part...raking, when out of the corner of my eye I spy a movement.
It was a SNAKE slithering up the stairs of our front porch!
Not your average garter snake....Oh nohoho!
This snake was like 3 "inches" wide by about 4 "feet" long!
Now picture this....
I'm standing about 15 feet away from it and saying tremulously,
"Da-a-an!  Can you co-ome quick?"
He saunters ever so slowly across the garden path in my direction, shaking his head
and looking at me with a sparkle in his eye and I know he's thinking,
"Oh...poor Wendy has found a little snake or spider...here I come....your hero
to save the day...don't be scared wussy girl."
He came around the corner by the porch and his eyes widened (I'm sure his pupils dilated as well) and I watched the shock permeate his being.
HAH!  Wussy boy!
photo from pawild.net
Unfortunately, I was not a blogger at that time and we were in so much shock, we
neglected to take a photo of our snake, but this is what it looked like....
With the help of our neighbour, Michael, they picked it up with a rake and
Dan then grabbed it with two hands and walked it down to the riverbank and let it go
into the brush.  We actually thought it might be a rattler, but it wasn't.
It's an Eastern Milk Snake common to Southern Ontario, however, none of our
neighbours had ever seen one quite so large.
To all the people who frequent our home....don't be scared...we haven't seen even a tiny
version of this snake since that day two years ago!

On to Spiders....
I posted about this last year, but in relevance to my title of I Don't Like Spiders and Snakes, I'll share it quickly with you again....just the photo!
Argiope Aurantia
Yup...found this baby on my basil last year.
If you want to know more about the Argiope Aurantia, please click the photo or name
to be taken to my past posting about this particular lovely.

Just another day in the life right?