Sunday, June 30, 2019

Fern Garden Underway

Eoin (L), François and Walnut in Jay's living room where we
had dinner the other night.

I am definitely better—physically. Mentally I wonder about myself; I had two strange dreams last night. In one, I was an agent of a lawyer working Khloe Kardashian; in the other, I was on the phone here at home and looked out the window to see the forest on fire. Why I would dream about a Kardashian is horrifying to ponder.
This morning at 7:00 I hung the laundry out (my bedding) and afterwards, when I was in the spa, life felt perfect. It was a wonderful 20° already, birds were everywhere and it was quiet, quiet, quiet. There was something about the laundry, though, that made it perfect. It’s a powerful image, bedding blowing gently in the wind. As I watch it float in the breeze, I reveled in the thought of the smell and joy of climbing into bed tonight.
I began working on section three where I left off, but as soon as I got started I uncovered another mountain of gravel that I’ll have to dig out and schlep to the driveway. It’s the worst part of this project. So, instead, I switched to working on the Fern Garden (FG). It made sense because clearing that land gives me a place to transplant Ferns and Digitalis that I remove as I work on section three. Plus, working in the FG had me in the shade on a hot day.
And guess what? I found some wild Orchids growing in the FG! Imagine my joy! It was apt compensation for slow, dreadful work. It’s one-weed-at-a-time tedious! However I’ve no option if I want to leave behind as many “baby” Ferns as I can. 
The FG is small. Regardless, it will take several days of earnest work for me to bring order to it. And because it is lopsided, barren on one side and thick with four large Ferns on the other, I may buy myself a nice Japanese Maple.
While I was working, Paolo Pietropaolo played music from the opera Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin. It was the Polovtsian Dances and it is obviously the source inspiration for the popular song, Stranger in Paradise,  that’s in the musical Kismet.
I first heard Stranger in Paradise sung by Canadian singer, Giselle MacKenzie, and this small boy and soloist in St. Anthony’s church choir immediately fell deeply, deeply in love.
The Orchid.
I'm creating the Fern garden in an area where some Ferns are thriving even
though the area gets little sunlight. It's right off the east end of the deck.
This is the area I've cleared of weeds, one at a time, leaving every "baby"
Fern I find and adding others from the yard where I'm tilling.
This is the side I haven't done.

If you’re a regular reader here you’ll know that a market employee, Robin, and I resuscitated a gentleman a few months back. I later discovered that the man we recued is a neighbour of a friend here and she said the man was rather nasty.
Well here’s what I discovered today on the dog walk. That man went into hospital; I stayed with him until the ambulance arrived. He was kept in hospital for a fair while and then, when he was released, he took the ferry from Nanaimo back here to Gabriola, got in his truck that a friend had left at the terminal, drove home and died sitting behind the wheel of his truck.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Casual Labour

This is what my bed looks like almost every late afternoon.
Fred, looking evil and Ethel looking divine.

I could barely talk with my dog-walking friends as we began our walk on Friday, and that’s not normal. And as Regina recounted her story of a neighbour’s dog, I started weeping. Something’s not right, and it still isn’t. But I’m functional and I didn’t nap all day—whereas on Thursday I spent the entire day sleeping.
I took it easy all day on Friday and lit a nice warm fire. One lovely thing was Jay dropping by with some plants—starters from his garden (Calla Lilies, Boston Ivy and Lavender). 
It’s been cloudy today and only 18° but it’s a nice temperature for working. Today I’m addressing the many, many things I’ve ignored whilst concentrating on the landscaping project. I’ve already been shopping, to the recycling centre and transplanted all my Raspberries.
But best of all, was planting the Lavender. Jay gave me three plants and I had one of my own. The ones at his house are huge billowing clouds of blue, so I planted mine in between the fruit trees where they’ll get lots of sunlight. I could not be happier; I think my backyard is going to be gorgeous. 
By mid-afternoon, I was beat. It was time to have a soak in the spa and chill for the evening with die kinder. (I watched a rather wonderful film called “I Love Berlin” last evening; it’s more a collection of short films really; it’s not one long narrative and I quite loved it.)

Friday, June 28, 2019

Rain & Pain

Wednesday I was back at yard work, knowing that Thursday would be a day of rain and rest. I worked relentlessly, all the while looking forward to my spa at the end of the day. 
Since beginning with section one, I’ve been throwing rocks into one place. Yesterday I placed the largest of them around the edge of un-edged gardens and put the rest in the forest. I dumped maybe eight wheelbarrows full today. 
When I finished I felt pretty satisfied—proud of the day’s work and happy to see much more of section three looking ready for seeding. Good weather settles back in on Friday so I’ll be back to it again then.  
My spa was lovely thanks to the sweet, sweet fragrance of the blazing bloom of Ocean Spray. And then Sheba and I had a lovely warm and bright summer drive to Jays for dinner with him and Fançois and Eoin—and their Whippets and Sheba.
It was a truly heavenly evening. It was a warm summer night and I was eating a delicious dinner with three excellent friends and residents of Gabriola.
The the sound of (welcome) rain pounding on the roof woke me up and as soon as I was rational, I realized I felt awful and would want to spend the entire day in bed. Then I heard the sound of Fred puking his guts up in the kitchen. 
I got up, cleaned up Fred’s mess whilst my head pounded walked Her Highness nearby and spent the rest of the day lying down shielding the light from my eyes and waiting for bedtime. At 7:30, I was fast asleep for the night.
Today I feel better but I’m not certain I’m up for yard work. It may be a slow day. It’s sunny, but this early morning, it’s only fourteen chilly degrees outside! This morning’s small community dog walk my revive me.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Progress is Slow.

I got back to work on the yard in earnest on Monday. I started early and the weather was ideal—sunshine with clouds and not too hot.
Section three is huge and in the middle of it there’s a circular brick “patio “that the previous owner used to host a fire pit. The bricks were laid on gravel and the people who built it spread the excess gravel in the yard. The worst part of the day was discovering five wheelbarrows full of gravel under the surface of the weeds and Fir needles where I want grass to grow.

I dug all the gravel out and schlepped it to the driveway; the loads were so heavy I could hardly push the wheelbarrow. But when I was done, the section I worked on had a lovely smooth rolling surface that really pleased me—as with other sections I’ve done. 
Monday night ended early as my days always do after many hours of physical labour..
This plant is a stunner. I have two of them.
Look at those leaves!

Tuesday also dawned beautifully. I took Her Highness for a short walk and then got back to work on the yard before heading into the village to have my teeth cleaned and shop. When I got home, it was time to water all the gardens and my reward was discovering that my Peas are blooming and that my (few) Cherries will soon be ready to eat.

Today’s another lovely day so I’ll get lots more yard work done.
It’s going to take me for f’ing ever to finish section three. I figure I’ve done maybe 20% of it after four days of work. But when I look at the yard and see all I’ve done—sections one and two finished and a great start on section three—I realize I took on a huge project. At my current pace, it could take me three more weeks to finish this final section.
Today will start with a community dog walk and it’ll end with dinner at Jay’s with François and Eoin and all our dogs.
I heard Hozier’s song, Almost (Sweet Music),  so many times on the CBC, it’s grown on me. Now I watch it on YouTube every day. The dancing in it, referencing the early days of Jazz, is spellbinding (especially the unmatchable young couple dancing in their apartment!). I’ve become a massive fan of the Irish troubadour.  See the video here.