Garden journals.

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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?

Foliage Friday: Autumn leaves.

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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.

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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.

Alberta snapshot: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary.

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My brother, my hubby, and I had the incredible opportunity to take a guided, interactive tour at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary near Cochrane, Alberta a couple of weekends ago.  The sanctuary is a permanent home for several rescued/surrendered wolfdogs (and one coydog), all of which would probably not be alive today without this amazing facility and its staff.  (The Sanctuary also rehomes adoptable wolfdogs).

Education about wolfdog behaviour and correcting the unfortunate misinformation about their breeding is the focus of the talk that accompanies the tour, and the highlight was the ability to feed treats to some of them (and get in a few pats if willing).  The high content wolfdogs such as Zeus and Kaida in the photograph above, are of course not receptive to touch but they were certainly keen on the chicken we offered!  If you want to learn more about the Sanctuary and its work (plus see photos and learn the histories of the other wolfdogs), check out their website here.

Flowery Friday: Senator Patrick Burns Garden.

A little red and white for Canada Day!  I came across these blooms last week while at the Senator Patrick Burns garden here in Calgary.  The garden is adjacent to Riley Park, which boasts some pretty lovely formal mixed perennial/annual beds this year, despite the drought.

And early best wishes to those celebrating Independence Day in the States!  Enjoy your weekend, everyone!