Photo Friday: In the Garden

Last week I partook of 'feel good' Tryptophan and Phenylethylalanine via (way too much - is there such a thing?) dark chocolate. This week I've added Endorphins* to my arsenal to dispel the gloomy funk set in after weeks of anxiety. And what better way to get exercise than pottering in my garden in an effort to catch up on several months of garden neglect? Here's to sunshine, fresh air and endorphins.

Front yard:

First, I pulled out a few of the self-seeded lavender to liberate a couple of rose bushes near the path from being smothered - and discovered some asparagus was still alive behind them. The path needed some serious clearing. The lavender hedge (and more errant self-seeded lavenders) had grown across the side path and needed trimming back...

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... as did the path for the postie, near the verge (below). There is oh so much weeding, to remove errant grass clumps in the vege garden and stone paths (I decided to leave the parsley for now and pull them out as we need them).

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The path from the verge to the house is now swept and the irises trimmed.

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I also pulled the multiplied succulents from the garden beds. The cuttings and removed plants waiting to be re-homed (I'm giving them away).

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Next, I set to clearing the footpath around the house (there was only about thirty centimetres to wiggle past) and cleared out part of the overgrown 'fairy' garden, where I discovered some long lost solar Christmas lights - just in time to put up for this year.

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Back yard:

I've also been hard at work in the back yard, doing a clean up for the inevitable Christmas parties. I did some more weeding, discovered some surviving strawberries, rejuvenated two potted bushes - a rose and the blueberries (replacing some of the old potting mix) - and potted a self seed tea camelia into a new home. Dearheart mowed the grass - the seed stalks stood over four foot high - and now we can access the garden beds and more of my roses.

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We're so fortunate to have healthy soil. I don't use chemicals if I can avoid it. Then I opt for ecologically-friendly options. Companion planting and using the natural predators helps also.

I took this photo before the grass was mown. I stand with the First Nation of Grassy Narrows in Ontario in their bid to have mercury removed from their land. You can support the youth of Grassy Narrows at Go Fund Me.  #standwithgrassy

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Sciencey Stuff:
*Endorphins are released from the pituitary gland (brain) during of strenuous exercise, emotional stress, pain, and orgasm. They aid in the relief of pain and induce feelings of pleasure or euphoria.
  1. The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC474733/
  2. The Exercise Effect: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx

Photos:©2016 Karen J Carlisle. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Friday: Roses for Remembrance.

bluetongue-161106It's spring. Already the native bees are swarming, the blue tongues are ferreting in the grass, the birds are nesting and the butterflies and dragonflies are flitting about. The smell of freshly turned earth and mown grass wafts through the back door and soothes the worries of the week.

A heady perfume follows on the breeze. My roses are in bloom and, frankly, I'm surprised; I've missed the annual weed, feed and hack (did I say 'hack'... I mean: prune) due to this year's health shenanigans and resulting surgery. I'm still not allowed to do digging or landscaping. Oh, the frustration!

But roses are hardy. They know I love them, even if I neglect them.

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I sit and contemplate my garden. It's Remembrance Day; the 11th day of the 11th month. At the 11th hour, we remember those who fought and died. Its been ninety-eight years. You'd think we'd have learned by now.

I choose to remember, not the futility or horror of war, but the coming of peace - when the guns were silenced.

I don't have poppies in my garden but I do have rosemary and roses. Lots of roses.

Photos: ©2016 Karen J Carlisle. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Friday: Winter Garden

I've been slack. I haven't touched the garden for months. Silly excuses - like no energy and being unwell. ha! A glorious sunny day enticed me out to the back verandah for a cup of tea. I was mortified by what I found there! Backyard_before_copyright2016KarenCarlisleIt is terrifying how fast the grass takes over (I'm certain it's an alien!). This horrific scene goaded me into (albeit short-lived) action. First: mow that lawn. My Dearheart did that for me. Bless him.mowing After some hand-weeding, I found some unexpected winter colour and managed to snap some photos before I destroyed a fingernal and collapsed in a heap.

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I even have some pods on my Camellia sinensis - perhaps I can grow some more and fulfil my plans to make my own tea?

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Photos:©2016 Karen J Carlisle. All Rights Reserved.

If you wish to use any of my images, please contact me.