Tag Archives: gardening

October Garden

bow river autumn

It has been beautiful here. What a luxury! This river shot was taken on a stroll after work. My prayers have been answered for an Indian summer and I am grateful.

The days are noticeably shorter, yet sunny and warm with cool nights foreshadowing the inevitable. Last night’s rain was cleansing to the spirit, and soothing to fall asleep by.

The lilac trees, and I raked some leaves. Still a bit more yard cleanup to do, but I still have flowers blooming including wildflowers, sweet peas and sunflowers. I cut down some stuff, and I intend to bring the dahlia bulbs in.


They cannot stay out over the winter, and those were beautiful plants which grew to around five feet with yellow and pink flowers at least the size of side plates. They continued to bloom after the first frost and still are blooming, though the leaves are tinged.

The inner garden has required a lot of tending these days. Clearing, and many preparations to take me to the work I have intended. Planning winter projects contributes to good mental health is the darkest days of the year. That is a trick I learned early on, during my twelve years in the Arctic.

I am trying to clear emotional blockages, some have been resistant to my efforts thus far. I am deep breathing, stretching, taking homoeopathic medicine and trying to be patient. I have stepped up the self care which is a full time job, which no one else wants, by the way! I can see the universe is lining things up and I am working to align myself. Autumn is a perfect time for new beginnings.

Autumn Blooms


I found this lovely blue peaceful pool at the Reader Rock Garden. Though it was near the end of season, still some things were in bloom. It is adjacent to a cemetery.

This garden was built by William Reader during the twenties. He was superintendent of parks in the early 1900’s. It has been restored within the last few years, and a replica of his house on the property is now a restaurant, which is on my list to go to next year for their offering of high tea.

Dahlia Yellow

This is one of the yellow dahlias, the first one to bloom. It is over five feet tall! I am amazed at how large these are, and I must admit, I am now addicted to dahlias.

Somehow they seem like a cross between peonies and chrysanthemums. The groupings of three shown in the leaf pattern is like the peony, as is the centre of the flower. The tips are like the chrysanthemum.

In the fall, they must be dug up, and the bulbs saved in a cool dry place until spring. It may be worth the extra effort since the blooms are so lovely, that is if the ground is still unfrozen.

Earlier in the week when I snapped this photo we had one frost warning, which did not materialize. But tonight they are resting comfortably under sheets and burlap, as it is to go below freezing. My sweet peas have not bloomed yet either, and so I covered them. My neighbour has sheets over his tomatoes.

Sunflower Tall

For tonight, the sunflowers have little plastic bags protecting them too, the tallest being seven feet. We have not had much bright sunshine, so blooms are slow.

Talk about eternal optimism, an absolute must for gardening at this altitude. The growing season here is short. Sometimes I think by exerting concentrated effort, I might encourage an extra couple of weeks which would be divine. I never tire of flowers.

More clearing is taking place here, getting things in order for winter. I have not delved into my painting yet though preparation has begun. It feels good to clear things bit by bit, leaving breathing space for new things to come in.

Every time I clear another niche, I can feel the chi energy flowing and it feels great. Letting go of all that is unnecessary, and is not a match for my life anymore has to go. The doing is much easier than the anticipation.

September Song

amazing clouds

Look at this landscape I captured in my travels. Taking pictures is therapy for me, as well as a wonderful excuse to go for a walk, get fresh air, sunshine and vitamin D.

The clouds were spectacular that day, an assortment of every type imaginable. Downloading pictures from the camera is one of my favourite things to do. A little background music sets the mood, while I open my keepsakes.

magenta dahlia

September rains have come. This is one of my dahlia blooms. I grew them and many more are yet to come. The dahlia bush is almost five feet high, the blooms are slowly opening. I have my order in for an Indian summer reprieve, and I may see sweet peas too!

Birds are plentiful at the feeders. I saw a beautiful chartreuse green finch yesterday. The greens are fading on the trees and the trunks are dark from the rain. Leaves have begun to litter the gutters.

Now is my time for regrouping, taking stock and setting intentions. Still doing some clearing, and I will soon be offering a clearance on some of my fine art pieces on Facebook. If you are on Facebook, please join me on my Facebook page to keep up with the latest developments here.

Buds & Woolen Socks

dahlia bud

My Dahlias, grown from bulbs, are about five feet high. I hope they will bloom soon. A fall flower, I hope for a long Indian summer so they have a chance to reach fruition.

The toadstools show evidence of a cold winter to come, I am told by a gardener friend. Soft rain is falling today and the peacefulness is magnificent. I saw a flock of birds this morning in formation heading south. That is the sort of thing I usually associate with Thanksgiving.

healing garden pond

Today is rainy and cool. A chilly wind blew in this week, cooling things off, though it has not been a particularly hot summer. Weather was decent enough for performing at Priddis Valley Gardens last weekend. This is the pond, in the healing garden, my view from the stage. Kelly’s gardens are such a magical place.


This is the first time I have grown calla lilies. What a treat to see them sprout, though they are not as tall as I thought they would be.

sunflower bud

Some of the sunflowers are six feet high, and buds are forming. Everything is about a month late this year, by nearly one month, except for the birds.

crepuscule rays august

Just this week, I noticed the sun is setting earlier now. These crepuscule rays caught my eye.

I wove my way through construction ridden paving zones to get to an unobstructed spot on the west side to get a shot of the sunset. By then the light had changed, but still it was worth the trip.

Time to regroup for fall. My twelve year stint in the Arctic taught me how to make the most of the long dark months. It can be a productive time for creative pursuits. Anything is possible with warm woolen socks!

Prevailing Flow


Well here we are in summer, despite the random golf ball sized hail, summer prevails. Perennials are shorter this year, with fewer smaller blooms.

I do have a patch of sunflowers out back by the garage, planted from seed that are doing well, as well as a patch of dahlias and callas started from bulbs. Sweet peas are coming up near the front porch.

This is a challenging area for gardening, and I have noticed many have turned to container gardening, which they can bring in if the weather is too severe. It was at least a week into June before anything could go into the ground. Once again I have been relying on the gardens of others for picture taking. My hollyhocks never did reappear.

pale pink

The truth is I have not had much energy for gardening, or other things as well. Turns out my thyroid has become under active. I began homoeopathic treatment for it two and a half weeks ago, and I feel some difference already. It takes time to remap the body.

Apparently hypothyroidism is one of the problems that can be corrected with homoeopathy. It was a tremendous relief to find out the cause of my symptoms, and to be on the path to wellness. Clearing my body, and clearing my space. I am on vacation, a stay-cation, finding time for relaxation, neglected tasks, and to set some new patterns. I will do some shorter day trips, including Banff this weekend. I hope to have some interesting experiences to share.

I may have to move within the next six months. I have become attached to this spot, having been here almost six years. Part of me wants to stay, but I feel a slight excitement of having new digs, which may be therapeutic. My vision is more light, French doors, and everything on one level. I have begun the clearing process, which will make room for new things to enter my life. Shifting is constant, reshaping our lives moment by moment.

Random Thought; ♥ “A seed has it’s own will,
encouraged by the wind, it repositions itself where it can best
flourish.” ~ moi ♥


This piece has been on my easel since before the art show. I was frantically working on it the night before the show was hung, and my friend came by to assist in the show set up, and said, “Deb … Deb … put the brush down! It’s over.”

Her words did not sink in, initially (not the first time that has happened), yet, as the glaze over my eyes started to clear, I could see she was serious, and right. It was time to pack up the brushes and paints, and transport what I had. It is a good thing I do not paint in oils, or I would be transporting wet paintings all of the time!

Now I am wondering can I get back into the flow. I thought it could be inspirational and motivational to post this work in progress. What I love about this painting so far; the contrast, the light, the water is almost heart shaped, the tree branches are almost bowing to drink, and there is a pathway from the heart to the light. Now tell me, did you see all of that in it’s early stages? Should be interesting to see what prevails.

May Daze

Flow in CompassionMy paintings are safely back home, minus the one which was sold. This is one of my faves, as I really enjoyed painting this.

My plan is now to regroup. I will paint, without the pressure of an upcoming show, and rethink my art business plan.

Gale force winds are pummeling us for the second time in a week complete with a rain-snow mix.

Still the temperatures have not plummeted, so I suppose this still qualifies as an early spring.

The magpies had to take refuge in the lower branches. The nest they built in the top of one of my trees was not serving them well in this wind.

My yard was sculpted by the arborists, readying the palette for gardening. And my bathroom was redone, which will allow for pleasurable soaks after playing in the dirt. Dreaming of sunny days! My kitty is recovering from a terrible abscess, and she was ill for over a month. I am so relieved to see her on the mend and we are thanking our lucky stars for homoeopathic remedies, l-lysine, and calendula infusion.

gallery-spaceOur artist run centre, ARTPOINT, is in the news presently. You can read about it HERE! Since the city doubled our rent to 64,000 per year, our resources have been drained. We have a motion to restore our rent to the previous amount, retroactively.

The building is slated for demolition, and really is not up to standard for any other use. A strong possibility exists that the building would sit empty, if we were not utilizing it. We are one of the largest artist run centres in North America. Makes you wonder, if we cannot make it, how will anyone else. Our organization has an excellent history of fiscal responsibility, and interactions with many other arts groups in the city including Theatre Calgary, Alberta Printmakers. We house the Heritage Weavers and Spinners Guild, and host the Unseen Artshow, which supports emerging artists, to name a few.

Calgary Art Blog gives a clear interpretation of the issue, and the surrounding climate. This is not just about ArtPoint. It is about buildings slated for demolition, that could be affordable for use by arts groups to sustain culture in the community. We could certainly use your support. Community Support is ESSENTIAL!

If you are in Calgary, the best way you can help is to contact your alderman before the vote on May 11, 2010. Or you could attend the meeting on Tuesday, May 11, at 9:30 a.m. in a committee room at City Hall. IF you can attend this meeting, this would be extremely helpful. It’s hard to say no to a gallery full of interested supporters!

Early Spring Remnants


The show is in the main gallery at Artpoint, and runs until the end of April. If you are in Calgary, and get a chance, stop down on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday during Gallery hours, or contact me for a private viewing!

Some of the pieces were rather large for this show, the largest being 48″ X 72″. This is Grasslands, a common sight in southern Alberta. Our gallery now has a blog, and created an article about my show! You can see a few more pieces there.


I think this one is my favourite.It is the one piece I find myself most intimately connected with, Quan-Yin, Goddess of Compassion. If you would like to see the show set up as well as other tidbits, check out my Facebook page.

I intend to do some gardening this summer. The arborists were here and did a fine job of sculpting the trees complete with yard cleanup. The seven huge pines were beginning to block out the light. It now feels so spacious. My gardening palette is ready!

Besides existing perennials, I have a vision for dahlias, hollyhocks, bleeding heart, callas, as well as some large sunflowers. A river trip is in order to find some smooth stones enhance and buildup my rock garden, which has been suffering neglect for the last two years.

I have my eye on a new digital camera. It seem my current one has almost run it’s course, thanks to enthusiasm and planned obsolescence. I have taken more than 20,000 pictures with it, so it has served me well.

This weekend is spring cleanup! Out with the old and into the new. Then I think a celebration will be in order to commemorate the months of hard work.

More Expansion

day lily

Belated Happy New Year Everyone! A fresh decade is off to a busy start. Has anyone noticed how the days seem to be moving rapidly, and seasons appear to be interchangeable.

First painting of the new year!
Day Lily- Acrylic on Canvas 16 X 20. This was done from a photograph I took of the day lilies I grew in my garden. Speaking of gardening, I am already thinking up some ideas for the coming gardening season, with faith that this year will be a good year for horticulture.

More hollyhocks, and some sunflowers along the side of the garage. This is a year of transformation, and the remaining old paint will peel off and be sanded, making way for fresh paint.

I have received a promotion at work to Music Academy Director! I am enjoying the work and the people there, and grateful for the opportunity!

Things have been busy, and I must have some new paintings for my April Art Show, as I have reserved the main gallery at ArtPoint. I will try to keep you posted on my progress. For now I will post this, because I started this post one month ago exactly!

Summer Blazes

Hollyhock BudsLate afternoon breezes graze the hushed hotness of the day offering small relief. It is another scorcher! Restless, not wanting to budge, I am enveloped by the throb of the summer heat. Woolgathering thoughts hover like the predaceous wasps, relentless. Muffled flutter of a bird’s wings like rustling taffeta breaks the monotony.

Pink Hollyhock

Hollyhocks are plentiful this year. This is the first variety to appear in my garden. I have a family of white lady bugs living on a red bee balm bloom.

What fascination nature offers! Sleepless hot summer nights continue.

Porch lights dot the neighborhood deep into the wee hours. This was not always the case. People are on edge here. An arson spree went on only about eight blocks from where I live on Friday night. What an alarming precursor to the full moon and partial eclipse. No suspects are in hand, so I and the neighbors wait breathlessly, hoping for a faint sign, a clue to who was responsible. I confess my sleep is scarce since this. Here is a haiku I am fond of.

Barn’s burnt down
I can see the moon.

Sunflower WatercolourSpeaking of burn, I am sunburned from painting out of doors yesterday I went to a little workshop at a community garden.

Yea I actually got outside to paint-next time I will bring sunscreen. It was fun experimenting with watercolors again, which is the medium I started with.

Sometimes it is good to go back to the very basics. Simplify, reconstruct and reinvent.

Nice Place to Work

Face Paint TableThis lovely setting is  a nice place to work. It is the upper terrace at the Banff Springs Hotel where I had my face paint table.

I was there doing face painting for a private party last weekend.

Also involved in the party was Buddy the Clown A BBQ with fancy foods and a jazz band for the adults.

Here is the action at the face painting station. The kids really enjoyed it. I am convinced-children are the best customers especially when it comes to face painting. They were thrilled. What fun.

Face PaintingFace Paint

Tablet PCAnother nice place to work is on this new toy-a tablet pc laptop. This will be a trade for a painting. First thing one has to do is get used to the touch of the pen. The tablet PC involves writing directly on the screen with a special pen.

The pen, used somewhat like a mouse is very sensitive. The touch takes some getting used to. On the screen is the crossword puzzle program. I will be doing digital art and other things with this tablet PC. I will share some finished works when I have more time to experiment.

Day LilliesThe day lilies are beginning to bloom in my garden. Berries and blooms have been scarce. Those which have appeared have been sensitive to rot.

The summer has been cool and wet, with a few hot humid days thrown in for good measure. But I am not giving up just yet, as hot and sunny weather is on it’s way. Soon we will have hollyhocks.

Dog Days of Summer

The Farmer’s Almanac states

The Dog Days of summer (a period of 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11) are named for the Dog Star, Sirius, which is visible with the rising Sun at this time of year. Ancients associated this sky picture with the hot days that coincided with it. Sirius is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Greater Dog).

Sultry hot wind under blue skies and sleepy eyed cats staying cool under the cedars. Lovely hot Canada Day long weekend, with only a touch of rain to my delight!

clouds tracksContinuing along this super highway called life, not a day goes by that I don’t see something awe inspiring. This sky shot under tracks melding into the horizon was taken on a drive to High River.

Great time for some summer reading. I am reading The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine, which is incredibly empowering for a ‘Jill of all Trades … Master of Some’ like me. Summer Read

Grateful for the support and love of my friends, family, and fellow bloggers, I am plodding through the resistance with determination for the moment. The journey has brought me far enough that it makes no sense at all to give up now.

Grab yourself some summer reading and a good lawn chair, with a glass of something cool. The pitcher you see here is water with fresh mint and lemons, a real thirst quencher. The dog days of summer are nearly upon us. Sweltering heat with no sign of relief, warm winds tossing seedlings in the air skimming lazy bees. Tonight the sky was a deep powder blue with rosy pink. Twilight endures until nearly eleven pm.

I saw something super bright in the south-east sky a few nights ago, so bright at first I thought it was a plane or satellite. From what I have derived from various sky maps on the internet, it appears I was viewing Jupiter. Unfortunately the attempts made to capture it digitally were not successful.

Sometimes seen secretly slipping through the neighbourhood, I capture photos of flowers, while investigating other gardens. Mine is off to a late start. Yet with the tall pines in my yard, I am always somewhat behind the others, allowing the luxury of plenty to enjoy late into the promise of Indian summer.

mauve irispoppies vase rootsPink Peonies Two


Baby Robins







With the increase of the light, things are expanding around here. I managed to capture feeding time. This proud Mom is very attentive, as is the father. They take turns tending the babes, and feeding. Fascinating to watch, as the cats can attest to.

The house painting continues, but may be delayed by rain. I sure hope the forecast is wrong as rain is called for all week. Loud chatter of the sparrows, a harbinger of rain, diminishes my hopes of sunshine. It would be nice to get it done, so work can commence on the garden.

Bee BalmUnfortunately ladders and gardens do not mix well, and so my garden has taken a beating, due to heavy traffic in the wrong areas.

Despite heavy guarding, two out of the three peony plants I put in last year have been damaged. However this is coming up on the other side, which I think is bee balm that I planted last year.

Bamboo Cutting SupportProgress continues on my wall hanging project. I have cut the support to size, and have taped it to the wall upstairs, where I have high enough ceilings.

The subject is sketched out and paint set out on the palette. I begin marking in with paint. This is blue bamboo, a variety which originated in the Himalayas. What a lovely subject to work on!

Bamboo is a symbol of expansion and abundance.

Bamboo SketchedBamboo WalhangingBamboo Blue Beginning