I didn’t quite realize it before we moved in last summer, but our new home is situated on a property containing a delightfully large number of apple trees. There appears to be several different cultivars. I have no idea what they are (it’s a bit easier to narrow the ID on them when they fruit!), but what a treat to see them blooming right now. The sight – and lovely sweet scent! – makes me smile each time I head out the door.
Which fragrant flowers in your garden are your favourites?
One of my favourite sights of spring: larch trees in flower. The upright pink ones are the elegant, showy females in their rosy party dresses – the males are the compact pollen-bearers, in tidy yellow-brown suits, clinging to the undersides of the branches. You can see a couple of females and a male in this photo I snapped late last week.
Another photo from our snowshoeing trip to Fullerton Loop, near Bragg Creek, Alberta, a couple of Sundays ago. The snow and cloudy skies turned the whole world black and white…with just a hint of blue. The silence was magical.
I don’t recall such a snowy February here in Calgary…we’ve definitely got good snowshoeing weather at the moment. The thing is, the risk of avalanches in the mountains is massive right now and sticking to safe terrain is crucial. Fullerton Loop, outside of Bragg Creek, fits the bill perfectly: it’s a no-risk snowshoe trek, fast and easy and short (just over 6 kilometres). It’s fairly heavily trafficked right now, so if you don’t have snowshoes, you can simply hike it (and at this very moment, you probably don’t need microspikes).
We headed out there last Sunday morning and it snowed the whole time; in fact, Highway 66 wasn’t even ploughed when we arrived at the trailhead, beating the crowds that arrived later in the day. For us, it was snow…trees…quiet. Blissful.
While putting away picture books at work this past week, I came across an illustrator I am now officially absolutely gaga over: Sonja Danowski. You can see some of the work she did for Michael Rosen’s story Forever Flowershere, as well as a gallery of other art she has done. An incredible talent!
Despite its name, the site American Literature doesn’t feature strictly American authors; it’s actually a great source of public domain short fiction, novels, and poetry from writers from all over the world. Enjoy!
Have you ever come across a dead tree with an odd spiral shape? I’ve found a few examples on our mountain hikes but unfortunately the only photograph I have of one was taken with a film camera way back in the early 2000’s and a printed copy that I can scan and post isn’t immediately at hand. Although the title of this article is sort of misleading, the explanation it offers is accurate. Another interesting thing to watch for during those walks in the woods!
My fave “new” recipe of last week? This sweet and sour chicken. (I didn’t make the fried rice; I just served it over hot cooked basmati. I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup, cut back the vinegar to about 1/3 cup, and used only one egg). Easy and delicious!
Jessica Walliser – Container Gardening Complete: Creative Projects for Growing Vegetables and Flowers in Small Spaces (2017, Cool Springs Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.)
If you’ve followed Flowery Prose for a while, you’ll know I recently moved and had to give up my in-ground garden beds. Besides caring for my hastily-planned and planted plot at the community garden in my new neighbourhood, I didn’t do any gardening this summer, but for next year, I’m hoping to set up a small balcony garden in our new home. Container gardening isn’t something I’ve done a huge amount of in the past, so I am particularly excited about Jessica Walliser’s new book. As “complete” as its title suggests, Container Gardening Complete is a goldmine of excellent information, from the design and sowing of a wide range of plant selections (perennials, annuals, vegetables, fruit, even trees and shrubs), to cultivation and harvest and dealing with potential pest and disease issues. Suggestions and detailed directions for the creation of themed and seasonal container designs are concentrated in the back half of the book and are guaranteed to inspire. A clean, attractive layout, beautiful photos, and above all, clear, precise, and useful information from a knowledgeable expert make this book a fantastic resource for anyone interested in container gardening – whether you’re just getting started, or have a bit of experience under your belt.
*Quarto Publishing generously provided me with a review copy of Container Gardening Complete, but my opinions of the book are 100 percent my own and honest.