Monday, September 22, 2008

Puppy Flower Arrangement Fun

My sister, Rose, emailed me these wonderful photos of very creative flower arrangements in the shape of puppies. So delightful! I searched, and found lots of references to these flower arrangements on the internet, but no mention of the artist's name. I would like to give her due credit. It wasn't obvious which, if any, was the original posting, to provide a link back. So here goes, with just the photos (click any image for a larger view):
Florist with puppy floral arrangement
Adorable animal flower arrangements
Puppy flower arrangement

I was so inspired by these arrangements that on Sunday afternoon, when the sun broke through, I went out in the garden looking for flowers to try my hand at my own arranging. My dahlias would be perfect for creating the shagginess of the puppies. Here was my first attempt, with the center of a purple coneflower as the nose, and late-season (small) spikes of butterfly bush for pointy ears, the stems wrapped in wire to keep them together:
Dahlia puppy flower arrangement
Hmmm, the eyes would be better if a bit more noticeable, such as with these black-eyed susans:
Puppy flower arrangement second try with dahlias
Hmmm, I like the butterfly bush ears, and how about a mature dahlia flower for the mouth? Yep, that's a "keeper":
Cute puppy flower arrangement with dahlias
Now my son was inspired also, he joined in with his own arrangement:
My son's floral creature
Here is a closeup, showing the perennial sunflower eyes, green nose from a bud, and messy hair from geranium leaves (the green variant of Victor Reiter which pops up like a weed everywhere in my garden):
Cute flower arrangement
So far so good, my turn again. This time, I left some petals on the coneflower, as whiskers, and tried a blue hydrangea as a head, and the butterfly bush ears. I don't know what it is, but it's cute, too. My son claimed this one for himself.
Animal flower arrangement
Hmmm, what about the bright shaggy yellow of perennial sunflower, and the yellow black-eyed susan for eyes? That's a good combination, too:
Sunflower flower arrangement in shape of puppy
So by the end of our fun, we had three little flower "pet" arrangements, to keep:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Garden Surprises to Cheer Me

It is my faith in God and my sweet kids who give me hope and perspective in times of despair, but it is my garden which really helps to cheer me, with its unexpected surprises.

Lately I have not had much time to spend in the garden, being quite overwhelmed by my work, overwhelmed by my husband being so overwhelmed by his work that he is seldom around and when he is, not available for conversation, and starting to be busy with kid's schedules starting up also. But whenever I have a chance to spend even 10 minutes walking to the compost and back (yes, it really does take that long, since the path is never a direct one), I always come back feeling refreshed (albeit longing for more).

On the weekend, I tackled a small weeding project, trimming and pulling some lemon balm which has taken over too much of an area behind my italian plum tree. The tree finally showed blossoms this year for the first time, but I had been disappointed not to see any fruit follow. But while down on my knees in the dirt, I looked up, and saw 5 beautiful blue/purple fruits hanging in the tree. They were just hiding under the leaves, that's all. My 7 year old son, on hearing the news, climbed in there with me, and spotted a 6th fruit. The two I took inside to sample (one because I had accidentally knocked it down, and the second I had picked) were a bit too tangy to the tastebuds, but very sweet to my imagination.

Today, while visiting the compost, I passed by the raspberry patch, and my golden raspberries (I have the name of them somewhere) were showing a great second crop of fruit. They have done this consistently in the past, but each time it is a sweet surprise, to get raspberries in mid-Sept and beyond. So I picked this small basket for the family to sample:
Golden Raspberry Surprise

The blackberries which are sending long thorny branches over the fence in a continual assault, also sent across two bunches of ripe black fruit, which I enjoyed on the spot.

I also picked one more of our asian pears on the way inside, to share with the kids after school. The top row of our asian pear espalier has borne us 3 ripe pears, now. The second row is heavy with fruit, but that variety is not quite ripe (I've already sampled). The bottom row shows no fruit this year (and I can't remember if we had any last year, either - I'll need to look back in my blog!).

The espalier apple is full of beautiful red fruit on the top row (I think it's a Liberty), but not quite ripe yet. Would make some nice photos, when I get a chance. The middle didn't bear, and the bottom was stripped clean by the squirrels this year!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Fairy Discovery at Whytecliffe Park

The other day, we were exploring the scenic seaside Whytecliffe Park in West Vancouver with some friends, and I noticed it was unusually quiet. I wandered back along the trail, and was surprised to see my daughter and her friend Justine chatting with fairies. I was able to take this photo before they noticed me and flew off (click the image for a larger view):
Fairies in West Vancouver, BC
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