“Then followed that beautiful season . . . summer.
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.” (Henry Wardsworth Longfellow.)
“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon;
to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” (Henry James)
Summer and the perfect time to become a flaneur and wander the streets in this old Toronto neighborhood. The gardens of stately homes heavy with the fragrance of old fashion flowers.
The lovely lupine … a graceful wand of colour.
A whisper of lavender … the soul, the scent of Provence.
Graceful irises like pieces of the deep, blu sky flung into the garden.
A slender rope suspended between sheltering trees. To walk barefoot in the park on air. Summer is a glorious time in Trinity Bellwoods Park
SUMMER AFTERNOON … THE TWO MOST BEAUTIFUL WORDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
I dream of gardens.
Camila petals soft and seductive.
I dream of roses. Roses warm against an old brick wall.
And, splashes of violet. I would gather these stars and weave a robe to wear in the moonlight.
The whitest peonies I would hang from a crystal chandelier.
I would braid garlands of irises and create a throne.
Then sit in the gloaming and listen to a weeping violin.
A crimson tulip would light my way into the night where I would close my eyes and dream of joyful gardens.
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt creep in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a day, you shall begin it well and serenely.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Blackberries grow wild and unruly steps from my kitchen door. Fat bumblebees hum happily as they flit from delicate white blackberry flower to flower. Wearing a heavy shirt to protect my arms from attacking thorns I can cheerfully spend a glorious afternoon plundering the blackberry vines.
I return to the kitchen my lips and fingers stained black from the ripe, warm fruit and sprinkle blackberries over homemade vanilla ice cream. Pure heaven!!
Blackberries freeze well and I fill my freezer for baking during the winter months. Tonight for dessert I am making a luscious Blackberry Cobbler. The aroma of baking blackberries will fill my kitchen with the smells of summer.
Just be sure you put your baking dish in a pan or on a cookie sheet when you make BLACKBERRY COBBLER.
Simplest of blossoms, to mine eye
Though bringest the summer’s painted sky;
The maythorn greening in the nook;
The minnows sporting in the brook;
The bleat of flocks;
The breath of flowers;
The song of birds amid the bowers;
The crystal of the azure seas;
The music of the southern breeze;
And, over all, the blessed sun;
Tell of halcyon days begun.
This beautiful poem describes summer so perfectly. (The Harebell – David Macbeth Moir) The floral photographs were taken early this morning July 15th in the front garden. The ocean photograph is The Good Husband enjoying a beach a short drive from where we live. Summertime, oh how we love the halcyon days of summer.
A torrential rain storm was forecast for today. My neighbor, Angela and I, rushed around the garden saving the peonies from wet destruction. Arms loaded with flowers we looked skyward. The best blooms had picked. Bring on the rain – one more time.
It’s a gray, gray morning.
I long to sit outside. The sun on my face.
I am remembering a summer morning.
Good Husband is bringing me my café au lait.
My dear friend Jill has just returned from Paris. She’s dropped a paper off for me to read.
I’m in my garden.
Lavender is blooming.
Perhaps I’m in Provence. Or in a secret courtyard in the 7th Arrondissement.
This morning I am longing for summer.
Summer in the garden.
Our home is in the country. The quiet air is filled with bird song. I can hear the distant whinny of the horses in an equestrian centre down the road. The horse next door answers.
I sip my coffee. Rustle the newspapers energetically.
There’s no place like home.
Even when it is raining.
This summer the hydrangea have been a never-ending source of blooms. For months it has been an explosive show of colour, beginning with shades of pink, then changing to mauves , purples and rust-tinged greens.
You cut the flowers, arrange them beautifully, then one of the little darlings droops its heavy head and sulks.
Poor baby. This is how to prevent your hydrangea blooms from wilting. Take a bucket of water out to the garden. As you cut your flowers immediately plunge them into water. Back in the kitchen boil up water and fill a one- cup measuring cup with the boiling water.
If you need to trim the stems do it now, preferably under water. Now plunge the stems into the boiling water for 30 seconds, then into cool water. If you’ve cut the stems quite short wrap a tea towel around the flower heads to protect them from the steam.
Unlike most flower arrangements, hydrangea like lots of water. Right up to what ever leaves you have left on.
If you have alum (used for pickling) in your kitchen cupboard you can simply dip the cut stem ends into the alum and then into your vase.
Flower pictures taken in my garden, at noon Wednesday Sept. 14, 2011