This blog is about my garden and the outdoors. I am new to photography but I am trying to show some of the pretty things that grow here in Michigan. I love the wild things who visit me and I dont mind if they eat a bit here and there. I like it more if they let me take their picture. As time goes on I think I will try to show you around the beautiful area that I live in as well as my garden. I try to use my own pictures as much as possible but will also use pictures from the web. If I inadvertently use your photo or work without permission please email me and I will remove it or give credit if you prefer. I will give credit when I know who the owner is. I would ask that anyone using my pictures do the same.
... I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.......Psalm23:6
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Dad's Garden...........................

I worry about trying to keep the kids from wrecking my garden. Then I realized, my Dad had a nice garden. I never wrecked it. I was able to respect the work he did, and the pride he had in his gardens.
When we moved into the house on Bidwell Hill, I was about 4 years old. The garden was a wilderness when we moved in. The back was all Gooseberry bushes and the front was brambles. He changed all that into flower gardens. I don't have great pictures but will share what I have.
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As you see the garden is full of colour. Maybe the washing lines spoil the view but well that was a part of life back then. I think its because its England that he was able to have colour all the time. There was always something in bloom. Things did not just bloom once and that was it, they seemed to be in bloom all summer. Then again, the growing season was longer than here in Michigan.
He loved gardening, in his spare time he would work for others for some extra spending money. My kids enjoyed the lawn and the time spend with Granddad
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The other end of the back garden he built a garage, such as it is, but it is still standing and still being used.
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He also had a garden shed. He would repair his own shoes back then, he learned that from his Grandfather. On the garden side of the shed he grew some Japanese Quince, beautiful in flower. He had an apple tree that he espaliered. I learned many things I will never use from my Dad. He showed me how to manipulate the tree when young so that it grew that way, flat. He also showed me how to graft roses. When I was quite young I asked for my own garden. He gladly dug up a stretch by a fence and gave me stuff to put in it. Of course I didn't keep it up as well as I should so he often was caught weeding and eventually took it over and it all became a part of the back garden.
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My daughter Laura enjoyed the garden but has not inherited an interst in gardening.
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The front garden he set in crazy paving when he wanted to start a rose garden. There were two Beech trees and the garden was surrounded by Privet Hedges that he shaped. I dream of them because I would find birds nests in them. I dream I am looking for nests when in my dream I go home.
Here is Laura out in the front putting bird seeds in Harry's Folly. He built that himself. We were never really sure what it was intended to be but it became a bird feeder. Water would not stay in it so if he thought of it as a bird bath, that didn't happen. It has to be very early Spring in the picture because no Roses in sight.
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The side of the house (it was a semi detached) was the entrance to the back of the house. He trained a bush to grow in an archway and a gate went below. You will see many things in my garden that I have done to remember my old home. My parents both lived there until they died. Dad had been a POW in Japan and died at age 68 followed by Mum who lived to be 71.
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The side of the house in full summer was covered in Honeysuckle and smelled divine. The front was covered in Forsythia that looked brilliant in the Spring. The picture below is my husband and my son Jason. We stayed with my parents before we left for the States. I had lived there until I married. One Spring the Sparrows nested right under his bedroom window. Because they always kept the windows open the noise got on his nerves, haha.........well he cut down all that lovely Forsythia so that he never had to deal with noisy Sparrows the next nesting season. I was sad because it was so pretty and lush once the blooms had gone.
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So many things in my garden remind me of home. I just wish the soil was better and that I had more time and more to work with. I do not like the heat and winter is almost 6 months here. So my possibilities are limited by the climate. I am still trying to grow Roses.
His roses were for a time his pride and joy. Two other men on Bidwell Hill were avid gardeners. They would walk on by and look over the hedge to see how his roses were doing. When Mr Green the milkman brought around his horse and cart to sell his vegetables, there were at least those 3 men watching from behind lace curtains and ready with a can imagine why. Mr Miller lived further down and around the corner so for my Dad to see Mr Millers roses he had to take the dog for a walk. Mr Miller was more fortunate because he had to walk by to go down to the village. Mr Mole lived across the road so he could see easy enough.
My Dad gave me a love of gardens, of flowers, birds and wildlife among many other things. I hope he is a gardener in heaven.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Wild Flowers................

What is the difference between wild flowers, weeds or garden flowers (cultivated) Some garden flowers I see here in the US are wildflowers in England. I am sure thats true all over.
I love Wildflowers, they are hardy and bright and know their place. I mean, they know where they belong in order to thrive.
Here is a selection of pictures taken last week on our trips.
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The Poppies were found growing around the old farms and meadows.
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Some pretty flying flowers above. Woodland flowers and dunes flowers, and meadows too. I love them all.
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These grew by the old farm buildings
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So many pretty flowers
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Another pretty flower?
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This lovely lilly grew on the side of the Bluffs in very sandy soil
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Even the grass is beautiful
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The Rasberries will soon be on the vines........time is moving along. Today is the first day of summer and so it will be running down hill now
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I have to show this, some of the trees have eyes........can you see them?
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There are also many beautiful ferns in the woodlands
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Cow Vetch, beautiful when en masse
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I was taking pictures today and the Red Wing Blackbirds were not happy. One would hover over my head, trying I think to intimidate me. Didn't work. I took my pictures
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From the sandy dunes bursts of bright colour
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Beautiful shrubs too
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I do need to get a newer version of wildflowers to take along and identify those I don't know. I did that as a child. My dad gave me a small pocket book of English wildflowers. I need a good one for Michigan.
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This is just a small taste of the beauty that surrounds us and what makes our day trips so pleasant. More pictures next week we hope. It looks like it might be a nice few days and we have plans
sharing with A Dedicated House
also with Create with Joy

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Just a few blooms.......................

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I keep taking pictures of those Granny Bonnets that are not really the same as the old fashioned ones. They are so pretty.
Some of my flowering shrubs are beginning to bloom. I have some with green leaves and some with dark leaves
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I like the Poppies too, they are doing better this year. I am hoping they will continue to spread
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I do fill in with pots of annuals
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The Painted daisy is doing Ok in the spot I found for it. The others I will know soon if they survived winter
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I put this Clematis in next to the other one. That has not bloomed yet but looks as though it will soon. maybe they will encourage each other????
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The Iris are not coming out en masse but one at a time here and there
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So when a bloom breaks off I put it in a glass jar and let it finish off its life still looking pretty
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Well I can also supplement with ornaments here and there. A couple of new ones
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So day by day the garden will change and I will record it. I remember my Dad's garden. Mine is nothing like his. His seemed to bloom all summer things did not have to hurry like they do in Michigan. The growing season is so short here. They bloom and are gone in two days. I would love to find things that would bloom all summer. The closest to that is the good old Day lilly but they have not began yet.
So far we have had rain enough and cool enough to keep things growing and lush. Once it heats up that will change.