Friday, May 29, 2020

Five On Friday: In The Garden

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

" Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh,
how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade. "

The perennials are up and we're hovering, watching, waiting for the first blooms of the season. Most spring bulbs have come and gone—tulips are nearing their end. The peonies are setting buds and the Peace Rose has one bud about to burst open. Two shrubs did not make it. And, like anxious parents, we've been especially hovering around our newest tree, the lovely Linden, hoping its still barren branches are only a sign of deep delay, not demise. After all it's been a cold spring. Surely that tiny bud looks a wee bit bigger today, and isn't there the hintiest of hints of green on that branch? But I begin to think I'm imagining it. And we feel sad; we were so looking forward to the Linden giving us some lovely shade from the west sun as we sat on our deck this summer.

For a moment I rail against the harshness of life, of our harsh winters, and dream of a living in a warmer clime. I think of Sandra who is already cutting baskets of peonies from her garden in West Virginia; of Barbara in Cornwall, UK, whose roses are blooming, and of Lorrie on Vancouver Island, whose garden is already in full bloom. I yearn.   

Then I shake my head, put on my lipstick, and head for the garden centre. Because our gardening season is short in comparison, we always know we have to make the most of it. And we all do. So I popped out to get my flowers. Well, popped out isn't quite the phrase to use these days. With line-ups to get in and self-distancing still part of the current Covid-19 protocol, one never just pops in anywhere. I was on the hunt for vines to run alongside our garage wall. Having found well established pots of sweet peas and lophospermum vine (happy discovery of a plant new to me), I now dream of sweet peas on one trellis, becoming a daring tangle of tendrils and pastel sweetness, with the lophospermum, with its pink tubular blossoms, spiraling up the other trellises.

We came home happy. We found not only the sweet peas and lophospermum, but big pots of Spanish lavender, verbena, dahlias, hydrangeas, scented stocks, alyssums, geraniums, pansies, and zinnias. Herbs and baskets in riotous colours to set in my two indigo ceramic pots. Many more people seem to be gardening this year, and so there's been a rush at many garden centres. I learned quickly to leave favourite lists at home; because there was the good chance that we wouldn't find all we wanted, why not let a congenial profusion of spontaneity prevail? Which then made me think of what Robin Williams once said, 'Spring is nature's way of saying, let's party!' Yes, let's....

"Lophospermum Vine"
Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life


" Each garden has its own surprise. "

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life


" Everything that slows us down and forces patience,
everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature,
is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace. "

"Scented Stocks"
Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life


" The greatest gift of the garden is the
restoration of the five senses. "

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life


" I think this is what hooks one to gardening:
it is the closest one can come to being present at creation. "

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life


" My extravagance is my garden -- it's the first
thing I look at every morning when I wake up.
It gives me so much pleasure. "

* * *

Wishing you a beautiful weekend.

Heart Hugs,


  1. Such beautiful photos, Brenda. Your flowers are lovely. Garden shops here are very busy and we must distance. There is little time for browsing or for asking for help. It's a get in/get out experience because there are others waiting. I've been experimenting with planters on my newly finished east-facing balcony. I'm not sure what will thrive. I finished reading Life in the Garden by Penelope Lively. You would enjoy it.

    1. I ordered the book this morning. Should arrive in a few days. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Lohospernum is a new one for me. I think it will look lovely with the sweet peas.
    Beautiful flowers, Brenda.

  3. Smiled throughout and I'm with you, all those bloggers who live in far more bloom friendly territory can make me feel a bit left out. From the way you describe your corner, I'd say that I am a week or two ahead of you as my peonies are very large buds now. The lilacs are going by.

    I enjoyed all the quotes...each so true and some also so humorous. Lists left at home...yes, that is actually good advice in this particular time. So many adjustments to be made to our standards and desires.

  4. I am finding a life lesson in your garden musings today. Oh, how we yearn . . . how I yearn . . . sometimes for different circumstances. For smooth sailing. For peonies out of season, if you will. But God has given us so many generous and beautiful gifts and the thing is to cherish them rather than longing for what we cannot have. So, like you, I will put on my lipstick and get on with it!

  5. Pink seems to be a favourite among your lovely photos. Mine too. I’m sorry about your Linden. But I love how you shake your head and put on your lipstick. We all need to do that once in awhile, don’t we? Another lovely read.

    Thank you!

  6. Pansies are such a friendly-looking plant. Have you ever thought that?

    I've never heard that Ina quote. Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa show is so calming and charming. Her show and Giada's several shows are my favorites.

    1. Merry,

      Yes, I have thought of that about the pansies ... they have such cheery faces. :)

  7. Beautiful flowers. I just covered my plants, in case that frost warning is real. Well, the warning is real, but I do hope that it won’t freeze.

  8. What beautiful flowers, just love those purple colors. Your vine is my favorite. Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

  9. Brenda, I love this post. And I often think of your short growing season. However, from what I have gathered from a few other gardeners in your lovely country that due to your cold you don't fight the bugs, blights and other issues we do. True or false? Anyway, yes I have been cutting peonies by the baskets. They are really pretty this year and this is when I begin to miss them, even before they are gone. I had to chuckle at your last quote by Ina Garten. When I retired, my retirement gift to myself was $500 of various peonies. My garden in Virginia had over 200.
    I love all the pretty colors and plants you selected for your garden, they should be stunning as they grow. Can't wait for your Peace rose, it always makes me happy. Enjoy your weekend, Brenda.

  10. Always such a joy to read your posts Brenda. I love your descriptions, beautiful photographs and quotes. I laughed at the Robin Williams quote.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo