Earth Day in Baie-D’Urfé

I got myself involved in organising the town’s Earth Day events this year … and it has gone very successfully. We based ourselves in the Red barn near the lakeshore, the sun shone, free trees given away by the town for gardens got people out (lines were forming shortly after 8:30am to claim the best) in droves. There were information tables from local environmental and conservation groups such as Bird Protection Quebec, the Garden at Fritz, the Green Coalition and several others and well attended illustrated talks were given on home composting, native trees and wildlife in the town. At the end there was an official launch of the town’s new programme for collecting green waste and diverting it from the landfill (another initiative that has involved me as chair of the environment committee).

Very successful – and the sun shone too.

(click on any thumbnail below to view the pictures at full size)


Walking around the Town

I realised today, walking around our town (Baie-D’Urfé) that we really have come a long way from the northern council housing estate in England that I left for college about 49 years ago … for those who have not yet visited us (do come) here are some fairly typical views of the town about an hour before sunset in late autumn. Important that we don’t take this for granted. In sequence, these pictures are a regular walk we take when we need a half hour leg-stretch.

Click on any thumbnail to see the images in full size.

“Change and decay in all around I see … “

Nearing the end of October and we are gradually putting the garden to bed for the approaching winter. Leaves are being chopped for mulch/compost, dahlia tubers are being lifted, over-wintering pots of lilies have been sunk in a holding bed and shortly the vegetable bed will be dug over and top-dressed with compost. The garlic is already planted.

But even though plants are dyeing back they still have a visual appeal …

Garden redux

After many months of playing the part of a builder’s yard, the garden is finally starting to return to its former shape (not glory yet, but we’ll get there in time). It’s amazing the effect a bit of decent turf – or sod as Canada calls the stuff – and some warm rain can have in July.

A new canvas to paint on.

Yesterday we were talking to our neighbour who commented that our garden is incredibly “English”. We hadn’t planned it that way at all, we just garden the way that feels right to us and which attracts birds and butterflies and keeps the rest of the world out of sight so I guess the Englishness of our style must be inbuilt after all these years … the Canadian style, by contrast, is more minimal upkeep.

(click on any thumbnail to see the image full size)

Building is completed … we can sit back and enjoy it.

24 June (Fete de St-Jean Baptiste … a big day in Quebec)

Finished … well all but for the guttering which will be sorted in a few days. Everything signed off and accepted. Denis and Thomas have done a really superb and careful job.

All we have to do now is to put the garden back to rights. Now that’s going to be a lot of work.

** If anyone is interested in how we got from a snowy lawn a couple of months back to this, we have kept a photo diary of the various stages of construction – you can enjoy it here.

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