These are a few of our favourite things.

September 10, Port Medway A tangle of bottle brush grass and echinacea in the pollinator garden. Dear Lynn Time to go back to the big city for a bit. Things to do, people to see. Lynn, you asked if there were any particular images I would take back with me in my mind’s eye. One …

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The Meadows

Port Medway, September 7 Monarch in a sea of knapweed in the first meadow, July. Lynn: Philip, I know you’ve wanted me to write about the meadows and I’ve been procrastinating; no reason except perhaps I’d expected more of a “show” in the meadows (there are three of them, behind the cottage, past the apple …

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Uprush of Growth, Dog Days of Summer

August 15, Port Medway I’ve been reading “Heat Wave” by Penelope Lively. It’s set in the English countryside during the summer. This passage caught my eye: “The year has turned. That uprush of growth is done with. The place is full to the brim and somehow static. The trees droop over pools of shade. The …

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A Pollinator Garden (courtesy of some grubs)

P : It was four years ago that Japanese beetles destroyed the turf under the cottage kitchen windows. Do you remember Lynn? I bet you do! A government of Canada website says, “The first Japanese beetle found in Canada was in a tourist’s car at Yarmouth, arriving in Nova Scotia by ferry from Maine in 1939.” …

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This Ain’t Versailles

Our gardens in Port Medway? Cottage gardens. This ain’t Versailles. The famous gardens at the Palace of Versailles “convey the might of France, through their taming of unruly nature… The design harnesses water, earth, flowers, and trees to create vistas that stretch all the way to the horizon and seem to encompass the entire world …

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A Glossary of Terms

Common vs Latin botanical nomenclature Allium, Salvia, Delphinium, Baptisia and Verbascum in the “popping” seaside garden. I’ve used mostly common names for plants in the blog but practice the Latin as more of a personal memory challenge which I employ on my walks with Philip who has a mind like a steel trap and whips …

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At Last

June 23 Finally, in Port Medway… Two months later than originally planned. The flight from Toronto was a ghost flight – a pandemic plane with a handful of masked, sepulchral, passengers scattered through the rows of seats. Halifax airport, empty, half-lit…  Persicaria, cottage garden with viburnum, barberry etc and seaside garden with meadow sage, false …

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On Woodlands and Wetlands

Beach Meadows, June 8, 2020 Dear Philip, As promised, I’m sending along photos of the woodland gardens along with a gallery of the butterbur: marvel, nemesis. Once again, it is encroaching on the gardens so I guess I’ll be yanking some of that up in November. Nothing like a garden which can be at once a mindful …

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Paging Philip Slayton: The PG-13 Edition

Beach Meadows, May 30, 2020Dear Philip,Thanks for the  NY Times piece on weeds: T’is the season and I had  made a point of photographing as many as I could when I was shooting in the gardens, thinking it would be a good blog post (and an excuse for me to finally research and learn the ones …

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Weeding a garden as antidote to chaos and hard times

Beach Meadows April 23, 2020 Dear Philip, I started this blog Sunday before I heard about the  tragedy that was unfolding while I was weeding away in Port:  If I thought the idyll of a country garden was a blessed antidote to a virus, I don’t think there is  any pursuit, anywhere, at anytime that could …

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On pruning, delights and joy in troubled times

Beach Meadows, March 29, 2020 Dear Philip,Thought I’d drop you an end of March update: We live again!  No sooner had I shot off that mid-month report about the sleeping garden when lo and behold, signs of life! The daffodils were poking through the soil and then in the next few days that “Day of …

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“Spring Will Come Again”

Beach Meadows, March 18 Dear Philip,The morning sun is pouring into my room as I write to you about our gardens and maybe spring and it all belies the presiding tenor of dread and anxiety that is everywhere. Let me just start this off by saying that I hope you and Cynthia and everyone in Toronto …

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