Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Bit of Gardening Colour

These days filled with fall colour don't last long.  And with this weird autumn weather, some trees are still fully green, while others have turned colour and dropped all their leaves!  You really have to be watching to capture the changes as they whiz by in a flash.  This morning the rain has held off, but the clouds are still heavy.  I tip toed out with my camera in a bit of a misty morning with the neighbours watching from their kitchen, snug with hands wrapped round coffee mugs and enjoying watching the strange lonely lady next door on knees and hanging upside down taking photos ... what a nut.

But hopefully you'll all understand what you have to go through to get close up and personal with your garden. It's not so nice though when everything is damp and cold.

First off is my favourite burning bush in the front yard.  This is such a beautiful bush, and if you can grow it in your area, I highly recommend it.  It doesn't require trimming, loves full hot sun, and in the fall it comes into it's own with spectacular deep red.  Yesterday's non-stop rain is still clinging to the leaves.

I never did get to planting a border of bushes along the lot line with my neighbour this summer.  It's still something I want to do though.  I'm torn between adding more burning bushes, or some bridal wreath.  But being more of a fall person rather than spring, I think I'd prefer to see a nice row of crimson along the border in fall, rather than a row of white in spring.

I thought the soft autumn colours were nice from my front door ... 

There are still a few surprises in the garden this week.  Although most of my coneflowers are looking pretty worn, there were three dahlias looking bright and cheery, even after the deluge of rain yesterday and the cold temperatures.  Aren't they pretty for this time of year?

The lavender is just about finished too.  There wasn't too much to harvest this year, but I'm hoping to see a big change next year with all the plants I put in for my lavender hedge.

A small bed of begonias are going strong too.  I've noticed begonias are actually quite strong and last longer than most flowers in my garden.  You'd think they'd be quite tender with their fleshy stems.

My mossy stump looks fantastic in the dark wood chips and browning ferns.  I'm so happy with that little experiment and if I can find another stump, I might make another one ... there's lots of moss growing thick on the north side of my garden shed.

The ferns themselves look beautiful as they fade from green, to yellow, to brown.  I really like the dark brown pods(?) that come up in the centre of some of the ferns.  Not sure what they are exactly, but they look so striking against the other softer shades.

This last photo is for my friend Stacy.  You see my friend, not only did I take a few photos this morning, but I also dug up my pretty pink petunia (which I've kept going for two summers now), and it's ready to come indoors again ;)  Thank you for that last bit of encouragement you gave me recently Stacy, it was just the push I needed to get this simple task done!

Now all the plants that I wanted to save are indoors, and the rest can come to a graceful end outside because I don't have room for any more in here!  The patio furniture is packed away, the shed is organized once again, and the pond is was drained (but is now full of rain water again ... but that's my son's job), and my little gurgling fountain which the birds loved so much this summer is put away till next year. Time to get some birdseed for my winter birds.  The thistle seed eaters seem to have all flown south now.  I've seen herons and turkey vultures migrating away from us too.  It's coming.  Wish us luck!

Thanks for stopping by today!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Mosaic Monday

Today is very rainy, grey and cold.  Not so nice, and not good for taking any photos!  I did want to get out there and take advantage of some fall colour happening in my yard (just small stuff), but the weather wasn't in my favour.  These are from last week ... some fall colours and fading blooms.

Linking up with Judith at Lavender Cottage for her Mosaic Mondays.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Burning Candles

I know I'm not alone when I say I like to burn candles in the house.  Now that fall has arrived (even though we're still sitting at mid 20'C these past weeks!), it gives us all the excuse to light those tapers once again and create a warm ambiance in the evenings.  I light a couple of pillar candles during supper each night to give a cozy glow round the kitchen table.  Even though the temperatures remain warm outdoors, the light is fading fast by 5:30 p.m. here.

But with all this candle burning, eventually the candles won't light anymore once the wick is far down a hole of melted wax.  I've saved the unused portion of candles with the intention of melting them down into new candles eventually.  I recently tackled that business using a tin can set in a pot of boiling water, a waxed milk carton for the mold, some purchased wick and a lot of masking tape.  I ended up with four square(ish) candles just in time for our Thanksgiving dinner.

I don't like having candles sitting directly on wooden funiture, so off to the thrift store where I found perfect clear glass holders for my square candles at only $2 a piece.  I believe these were originally used by florist's shops for small bouquets.  And once I put the candles into the holders, I thought maybe I should get some of those glass beads to add round the bottom of the candles.  But then remembered I had a lot of small collected stones sitting on the patio (I'm a self-confessed rock hound and have rocks and stones all over the place here).  So I rinsed off the stones of bugs and debris and brought them inside and this is what graced our Thanksgiving table ...

I really like the natural stones because they're all from our area and just remind me of sitting by lakes in the summer and fall.  

My daughter and her roommates burn a lot of candles at their house too, so she asked me to make her a candle to take back with her.  I had just enough wax from one last candle to make another for her.

I find the scent is a bit diminished with reusing the wax, but it still casts the same glow.  I also melted several different scented candles together since they were all fairly similar, and they came out fine. With only the cost of the glass holders, I had everything else, and saved myself about $30 by making these myself.