always the roses

It's That Time Of Year / It's the time of year when I show you my roses. I know, I know, every damn year I ram these babies into your feed. Their blossoms are so heavy right now that the stems are bowing, the red so vibrant and vivacious that my little phone camera struggles to capture their luscious beauty. I want to devour them. They are velvety soft as I push them into my face but the thorns draw blood, which is fitting because they demand a blood sacrifice in blood meal at their feet to look this good. They remind me, as they bloom twice every year, that the world is a good place. With the injustice we see, the assholes on the news, the angry feelings that visit us as we to witness fear and evil, that there IS good. We can do good. Others are doing good. We just need to look closer. Listen. Watch. Their bloom is my favourite time of year. I need this reminder more now than ever as the struggle is harder, as emotions seem to be always overflowing, as working from love rather than anger and frustration is a bit tougher.The roses are "Hope For Humanity", created to honour the Red Cross. That the Red Cross was core to their creation, and that these roses do better with blood meal on their roots will never stop thrilling me (thank you Denise @poppyyarnandfibre for connecting those dots for me!)They bloom twice every year and don't mind neglect. I had to ignore them last year yet this year, they came back gangbusters. Their leaves gave me a gentle reminder that they could use some greater attention, but they are perfect fancy roses for our chilly fickle climate. And they never cease to inspire.What's meaningful in your garden, friends?#yycroses #roses #hopeforhumanity #yycgardening Posted by Intagrate Lite


hope roses, hope rises

My Hope for Humanity roses are in full bloom. The bush stands eight feet tall, with foliage heavy with rich blood-red roses. It is a remarkable presence in our yard. This rose has bloomed twice per year since it joined our garden. This year holds the record as the earliest that they’ve ever bloomed, early June, and I’m wondering if we’ll see three sets of blossoms this year. Every time this bush blooms, I think of what I have hoped for in the past, what I am hoping for, and what I might hope for in the future. For a plant, it sure inspires existential musing. We have family members healing from injuries and illness, friends wrestling with the lagging economy and branching into new endeavours, and I’m thinking of them and the amount of hope they need to continue forward. On the home front, we have new house-mates adapting to change, Jason has a new part-time job, the first full-time year of school is ending for The Kid, and I’m working hard again at trying to find care to wrangle my post-concussion headaches.  It is a time of great hope in our home as change continues to sweep us all up in a whirlwind of the unknown. Change brings excitement with tinges of hope, worry, and fear – but today, let’s focus on the beauty that is the hope.


mother o pearl

The Mother of Pearl on this vase is hard to capture but there’s a subtle shimmer of pink and blue in the light. Paired with our garden roses that are a day away from dropping petals. #ceramics #lustre #yyc


The Garden

My garden was carved from the unlandscaped clay around our house. The house was in a great neighbourhood but the house itself was a blank palette, the ten year old walls still white with original paint primer. The yard was covered in pea gravel and slate by a previous owner that hated mowing, leaving no soil to turn, no grass to lay upon when one needs to lay down to watch the clouds pass by. I’m not sure we understood how much sweat it takes to turn a graveled yard into a garden. My brother and his wife visited and we cleared gravel, creating the first flower bed, edged with the slate that had also been removed. Over the next six years, we worked steadily but slowly. Jay cleared a sick poplar tree, and we brought in soil and sod. We wanted a tree for birds, and the excitement of the anticipation of flowering perennials every year. The pear tree was brought in through the narrow walkway with the help of our neighbours, and it has delighted the local birds (and the squirrels!). Note: Ure Pear trees have very long, very pointy thorns. Our neighbours have forgiven us for their injuries, we hope. Our large composter came from friends that no longer wanted it, so I placed in a sunny part of the yard, and a neighbour supplied a bucket of his warm bacteria-loving compost to help kickstart mine. We love lilies and roses, and we prefer both rooted into the ground rather than cut and dying in a vase, so we began to scrounge for varieties that might survive. Jay’s Alberta Wild Rose greets our visitors at the front door, while my Hope for Humanity red roses greet those on our deck. The asiatic lilies are in every little nook, and we host Saskatchewan’s flower, Tiger Lily, to remind us of our prairie roots. I also desired to have parts of my garden host to my mother’s daisies, my grandmother’s columbines, my uncles’ poppies, and so many more. I wanted to look around at the garden and see everyone that we love in each bud and bit of greenery. The plans evolved year after year as I discovered that many of the plants that I love do not love the Alberta climate. The photo above is one of the first plants to bloom in my yard every year, a Lily of the Valley that my friend Teri and I dug out from her yard during her last summer in Calgary. She was needed by her family Far Away, and she needed to leave. Every spring, she may be 4500 km away but she is also here, in our garden reminding me of love and friendship. Karin’s Irises have just blossomed as well, surprising me this year with their early start. Karin is kind, laid back, and always ready to visit. Our neighbourhood brought us a home, a garden, and also new friends that we treasure. Her irises bloom and I’m reminded of “The Village” that we have here now, caring for each other’s children, gardens, and each other. Walking through the garden to get to my studio often leads to a few minutes of trimming, tacking, or simply enjoying the changes to our little ecosystem.  It’s my inspiration during the dusky evenings, and I long for the blooms throughout the cold winter. As the familiar blooms emerge, I’ll share them here.