A Day in the Garden

I spent most of yesterday afternoon helping my Aunt weed her garden. The horsetail always tries to take over the garden in the summertime and I figured she could use an extra set of hands.

I’ve played in this Sunshine Coast garden since I was a little girl. Every summer my parents would send my sister and I off to spend a few weeks with my Aunt and my Gramma. We’d muck around in the garden, making gunga din soup (a “tasty” soup consisting of leaves, grass, flowers and pretty much anything we could get our hands on) in a bucket.

It seems fitting I still find myself mucking around in the garden each summer.

This plant always captivated my imagination as a child. I have no idea what it is, but it always transports me back to the days when my sister and I would make up garden songs and sing to the dragonflies that hunt the expanse of greenery.

There’s an old washing machine in the basement; the kind with rollers. We always had to be careful not to pinch our fingers as we fed the machine clothing. I remember falling asleep as “quick as a bunny” when the bed sheets were fresh off the clothesline. Tomorrow my Aunt and I are going to see if the machine still works.

My Great Grandmother started these roses in Vancouver almost 120 years ago. Over the years, my Gramma and Aunt would cut slips and plant them in the garden here on the Coast. There’s nothing quite like the smell of an heirloom rose. In the heat of the afternoon when I stand in the middle of all these roses, I close my eyes and imagine my Gramma still working away in the garden, calling to us to “come smell this flower and that flower and isn’t it all just so delightful?”

This frog is just a taste of photos to come in a future post. I spent many a summer painting garden ornaments with my sister. There’s a whole army of gnomes, geese, bunnies, goats and a horrid donkey wearing a straw hat and pulling a cart. You’ll see soon enough. It all started in Vancouver and slowly migrated to the Sunshine Coast.

The Flying Antelope. The name pretty much says it all. Regardless of whether you keep an eye on her or not, she’s bound to get into trouble at some point. Don’t let her cute looks fool you. She’s a wild beast.

The past, present and future home of a long family line of garter snakes. My sister and I used to torment my Mother, who is terrified of snakes, with the ones we caught. One warm evening I caught a snake and held it up for my Mom to see. As it wriggled in my hands, she screamed and tore into the house where she promptly locked herself in the bathroom; refusing to come out for at least an hour.

Poor Bee. He looks alive, but he’s not. What a way to go, though—to pass away mid-pollination. I wonder if that’s the bee equivalent of dying in the middle of sex.

To view the entire “A Day in the Garden” set on Flickr, click here.

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