My poor bed at the community garden is toast, thoroughly fried by the prolonged heat we’ve had this summer. Really, there’s not much left to salvage now, just a few surprisingly decent shallots and straggling zucchini (and perhaps some potatoes if I ever get time to dig around and check). Even the sunflowers decided they had enough of the sun, but before they threw in the towel, they yielded a few not-so-shabby blooms.
These are ‘Paquito’, a dwarf branching cultivar, and this was my first year growing them. (Those of you who are members of the Alberta Gardening group on Facebook will have already seen this pic, but it’s a sunflower, and therefore, it’s impossible to groan about the repeat).
What is your favourite bloom in your garden right now? (If you can’t narrow it down to just one, give me a list!). Hope your weekend is wonderful!
This is my first year growing ‘Baby Face’ sunflowers – they are amazing! They top out at just under two feet (about 60 cm) and have a ton of long-lasting blooms. I can’t help but smile every time I see them.
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!
I headed out to Nose Hill and Whispering Woods shortly after sunrise this morning and spent a couple of sun-filled hours meandering on the trails…I am so thankful I had the forethought to put my ice cleats on my boots or I would have had to turn back right at the gate to the Hill. Even with the extra grip, I was still skidding all over the place. (Who needs to go out to the mountains for an ice walk experience when there are such excellent opportunities at home?). 😉
Yesterday was humid and cold and so the trees were all caked in frost, but as I walked I could feel the warm air currents slip down into the valleys, and the sunlight quickly burned off the ice. The aspen were so strongly scented they made me think of spring thaw. And that’s a very pleasant thought, indeed….
Very green aspens in Whispering Woods
Thistles may be annoying, but boy, do they have winter interest!
The field featured is almost in Alberta – it’s actually in Saskatchewan, at a place called Alsask (fitting, if lacking originality). I initially thought that Alsask was like Lloydminster and Cypress Hills, and was partly in Alberta and partly in Saskatchewan, but apparently, only the former village’s cemetery is in Alberta. Alsask was the site of a military base between 1959 and 1987 but it no longer even holds status as a village; rather, it is considered a “special service area” incorporated within the nearby town of Milton. I rather wish we had stopped to explore; according to Wikipedia, most of the original buildings are gone, but one of the military radar domes and an indoor swimming pool (used in the summer to this day!) are still there.
Forest fires were burning throughout Alberta and the Northwest Territories at the time, so the smoky air lent an eerie glow to the sun. I just loved the way that power lines looked against the sky; there’s something vaguely alien about the landscape to me, it’s a bit like something out of a science fiction novel.
Speaking of novels, what is currently on your reading list? Anything that stands out for you – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, whatever? I’m dividing my time between several excellent cookbooks (including Karen Solomon’s Asian Pickles, and Small Adventures in Cooking by James Ramsden) and Kimberly Elkins’ debut novel, a fictionalized account of the life of Laura Bridgman called What is Visible?. (I’m barely into it but it’s captivating so far).
Even though canola fields in bloom are a common sight on the Prairies at this time of year, there’s no way I could ever grow tired of those brilliant swaths of yellow. I once had a summer job at the museum in Fort St. John, British Columbia, where I learned to work the till in the gift shop. With our location on the Alaska Highway, we were a popular spot for tourists to drop in for maps and other information, and I remember that the postcard I sold the most copies of featured a canola field under a stormy grey sky. “What are those beautiful yellow flowers?” was the third most popular question, behind “Do bears eat people?” and “Where is the washroom?” 🙂
Is canola or rapeseed a common agricultural crop where you live?