Post-Flowery Friday.

fpcwccanormandeau

The autumn-sunlit seed heads of Clematis occidentalis, growing wild among the aspens at the Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area south of Calgary, Alberta: so fascinating!

Flowery Friday.

img_1887

‘Autumn Joy’, indeed.  As always, I am delighted by this ubiquitous Sedum (I mean Hylotelephium) – it is seriously the very last plant blooming in my garden, bravely weathering multiple heavy frosts and more than one snowfall.  But this might actually be it for the year.

Do you grow any Sedum spp. (ahem, Hylotelephium)?

October blog fun.

oct

It’s been a snowy, blustery, busy autumn so far!  I hope things are a bit quieter (and warmer) in your neck of the woods and you’ve been able to enjoy the changes of the season.

I’m playing it short and sweet on the link front this month:

These examples of typewriter art are fantastic!   Did you learn to type on a manual or an electric typewriter, or have you never used one at all?

Alberta-based macro photographer Adrian Thysse recently posted some stellar images of fungi found in our province.  Take a close look (see what I did there?) here.

Many of you may already be following the excellent blog Garden in a City – Jason’s post about not cutting down perennial plants at the end of autumn is both timely (for those of us in the northern hemisphere) and valuable!

And here’s another great post about end-of-season garden clean-up.  What are your thoughts?  Do you wait until spring to do these sorts of tasks?

Thousands of lantern slides from the 1800’s and early 1900’s have been digitized and posted online at various sites – you can check out the databases via this link.  Incredible examples of an early form of photography.

Check out these amazing photographs of bird’s nests and egg specimens, collected over the past two hundred years and exhibited at several zoological institutions.

Stuff I’ve posted elsewhere:

A book review for Alberta author Eileen Schuh’s latest novel, The Shadow Riders.

Plus…a couple of my articles have been recently published:  “Four Centuries of Gardening” in the 2017 Old Farmer’s Almanac, and “Fall Cleaning Hacks with Herbs” in the Fall issue of The Herb Quarterly (both on newsstands now).  And…upcoming…my short story “The Beauty of Mount Sagitta” (featuring pterodactyls!  And rare plants!) will be a part of the super-toothy anthology Sharkasaurus! from Fossil Lake.  Yes, all those exclamation points are absolutely necessary….

!

Clip art credit.

Garden journals.

img_1880

Although I’m still waiting on a super late bulb order that I hope makes it to me before the ground is so frozen I can no longer dig, I’ve pretty much packed in the gardens for the year. (The snow has certainly helped to expedite my work). Before things get too busy and I forget, I made a bunch of notes in my garden journal – a list of things I want to accomplish next year, plants I want to either avoid or repeat, doodles of potential layouts for my raised veggie bed, etc..  Prior to this year, I had a gorgeous 10-year bound paper garden journal that my parents had given to me, but I stretched it out beyond ten years and it is so crammed with notes and lists of plants that I no longer have any room to write more.  For 2016, I’ve been using a Word document and writing dates, tasks, and notes – but it’s not as refined as I would like (or as lovely as that paper journal).  One tweak I will make right away is to keep a separate list of the plants I added this year – just so they don’t get lost in the notes when I want to quickly refer to the cultivar name that I’m struggling to recall.  I am waffling on the creation of a map, however – I used to make little crude, not-to-scale-but-sufficient-for-my-purposes diagrams of my flowerbeds but I haven’t done so over the past couple of years. Recently, I have performed quite a few changes to the beds (and intend to make more), so a map might be useful.

How about you?  Do you keep a garden journal, and if so, what format do you prefer?  What types of information do you keep track of? Do you include diagrams and maps of your gardens?  Do you save plant labels, seed packages, and other information about the plants you grow?  Have you ever moved onto a property where the previous homeowners kindly left you with a record of the plants in the garden?

Flowery (foliage) Friday.

leaves0003

Leafy fun with the scanner on my printer….

The leaves haven’t all fallen from the trees yet, but I’m not sure we have much more autumn left in store here on the Prairies – we’re headed straight into winter, it seems! Plenty of snow in some parts already and, as I write this, the white stuff is accumulating on the ground here in Calgary.

Early wishes to everyone in Canada for a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

Alberta snapshot: Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.

gbrfpnormandeau

The leaves are turning so quickly this year!  (And falling, too). I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise…we had summer-hot weather in April and May, and the whole growing season felt completely accelerated.

Hope you have some time to get outside and enjoy someplace beautiful this weekend!

 

Art: Outfit for the Afterlife.

A former co-worker of mine is currently holding an art exhibit at the Glenbow Museum here in Calgary and I finally managed to take it in yesterday afternoon (it ends on 5 September). Beyond the significance and meaning of the work, anyone interested in textile design and beadwork would be captivated by Pamela Norrish’s “Outfit for the Afterlife,” which features half a million glass beads.  There isn’t a stitch of fabric here – the garments are created entirely from beads, painstakingly strung together with nylon thread. Not a single detail is missed – from the frayed, worn knees, rivets, zipper, and durable seams on the jeans, to the pocket and label on the t-shirt. To say that it is incredible is a massive understatement…and that’s even before you read about why she created it and how long it took her to do it.  The piece was surrounded by works from other artists that reflected a similar theme, among them the black garments of a Victorian widow, an exquisite bead-and-embroidery velvet vest created and worn by a Ukrainian-Polish girl who had been imprisoned in Germany during World War II, and several beaded birth amulets made by indigenous North American peoples.

To read a review of the exhibit and see photos of Pamela’s “Outfit,” click here.

The curator of the exhibit wrote this piece for the Museum (unfortunately, I fear this link will not be permanent, but you will be able to read it until the show ends): click here.