Kenauk from above

Keen followers of this journal, of whom there are there are “several”, may have noticed that every September we return for a few days in the Kenauk reserve and you will have seen more than enough scenic photographs of the place by that we have taken over the years. Brace yourselves, there will be more in a couple of months … however, the property has recently been on the market and fortunately fallen into the hands of Nature Conservancy Canada. As part of the sale and purchase deal a sales brochure was produced that included the following two photographs of the area around the cabin we rent (Hidden Chalet) taken from an aircraft – a point of view we never see.

Can’t wait to go back.

Hidden Chalet and dock

Hidden Chalet and dock

"Our" lake with the passage to Lac Hidden leading off at the bottom of the photograph

“Our” lake with the passage to Lac Hidden leading off at the bottom of the photograph

Canna perching birds

The first of the many canna lilies has now been flowering for a couple of days. It’s the one in the largest Whychford pot alongside orange dahlias and placed near the bird feeders … the Grackles, of which there are many noisy teenagers around the garden these days, seem to think it makes a great place to perch on while waiting their turn at the food station. Fortunately the stem seems able to support them but it does whip about a lot.

A hummingbird was feeding at the flowers last night (see our other blog for photographs)

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Summer begins

We seem to have crossed another important seasonal time point in the garden with the first decent displays of lilies appearing in the borders and Balthazar-the-Dahlia (an old faithful variety, perhaps the first dahlia we had and thus the start of the interest in them) putting out an excellent initial bloom.

It’s also raining today – proves it’s summer-time.

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Balthazar

Balthazar

Mid-June flowers and shrubs

Very hot and steamy today – opportunity to photograph some of the flowers we have at the moment. The roses are starting to bloom and the peonies are showing wonderfully. The small vegetable patch is filling very well and there are going to be pounds of blackcurrant.

Click a thumbnail for a full size slide-show.

Flowers and insects

First week in June and things are going strong. Yesterday was a day of extreme rain and thunder around here so the mosquitoes are about this morning and roaming gangs. All that rain and a bit of heat today though has really spurred plants into growth. The vegetables are sootting up – first lettuces will be eaten shortly, peppers and jalapenos are setting, the sour cherry tree is laden with small fruits (won’t the birds be pleased) and it also looks like a bumper crop of black-currants to come.

A bumblebee you to be identified (Bombus sp. anyway) attends to a dandelion.

Not a bumblebee, as first thought, but (thank Chris) a Syrphis fly mimicking a bee.

The gallery – click thumbnails to enlarge

Full steam ahead on the garden front

It’s amazing just how fast “summer” comes to Quebec. Temperatures in the high 20s and more than somewhat humid is causing plants to go mad everywhere. J is planting out dahlias in the back garden at the moment while at the front of the house this gorgeous iris just unfurled.

On the downside, our planted in 2002 and now huge and lovely pagoda dogwood has suddenly succumbed to golden canker (caused by the fungus Cryptodiaporthe corni) and has had to be sent to the chipper. It leaves a bit of a hole and denies our bids one of their favourite perches. Such is gardening.

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Summer is upon us

It’s always amazing to us how summer suddenly arrives in Quebec after a fairly short and concentrated spring. Certainly it is here today and we have been labouring outside trying to get a head start on things.

Dandelion flowers needed strimming off before they can set seed (how I love doing that – nasty little plants), J has been setting out canna lilies that have overwintered, the vegetable bed needed weeding and watering, special fertilisers applied to the blackcurrant bushes and the sour cherry tree and just generally lots of gentle pottering about.

What passes for a lawn here is looking really nice at the moment. Purple ajuga has spread into it from the flower borders in recent years and does mightily well – at the moment it is putting up its purple flower spikes which go well with the self-set forget-me-nots that are also all over the place. Once they have flowered they will be cut back to normal lawn height but at the moment the purple and blue drifts of colour are very appealing indeed.

Planting the canna lily pots

Planting the canna lily pots

Beyond the rose arch is the new vegetable garden

Beyond the rose arch is the new vegetable garden

Molly's Dell

Molly’s Dell

Today in the garden – things are getting underway

After a day spent birding yesterday (http://sparroworks.ca/wildlifing/?p=1541) this day, Victoria Day in Canada, has been a day for baking sourdough breads and gardening. We have had some serious rain the last few days but finally it is warm and sunny and you can almost hear and see the flowers growing. This is what it’s all about.

Sour Cherry blossom

Sour Cherry blossom