Not every day is a bundle of fun. Yesterday my mom’s nursing home called that she had been taken to emergency. When I got there, I saw two traumatized ambulance workers and my eighty-nine year old mother strapped tightly to a gurney, her sheets bloody. Due to advanced Alzheimer’s she fought the paramedics bravely with all her might – ripping out her IV in the process. The cause of all of this was some facial paralysis that the doctor could do nothing about so she was sent back home within an hour. Her paralysis almost disappeared today but she still has severe muscle pain from hitting the paramedics. On days like this it’s good to come home to a garden.

Shade Loving Pinks!


I can be a little lazy when it comes to gardening and sometimes throw weeds and deadheaded plants into a shady corner of the house where nothing grows. My “plan” is that they compost. Imagine my surprise when this mound of ugly, dead matter grew into a crimson flowers. Not only that, these are pinks –  sun loving plants.They are flourishing in a spot they can’t possibly like according to gardening books. It just shows that life is much too complex for science.

Salvaged Pinks


I was passing by the abandoned house next door and saw one or two flowers poking out between weeds. These old-fashioned flowers must have survived for many years. An elderly lady told me that the last person who lived there about twenty years ago was a piano teacher. I like to remember that these flowers were once cared for by her. Now I , a fellow gardener, have given them a new life.


Garlic Scapes


This has been a great summer as far as art projects go but a terrible one for gardening. Weeds have sprouted everywhere as I am too tired to pick them after climbing ladders all day. However, I summoned up just enough energy to pick these garlic scapes before the flowers open. (According to my daughter’s boyfriend, garlic scapes are very fashionable in Montreal.) Tomorrow I will make a pesto and freeze it for winter months.

A simple pesto recipe is scapes put in a blender with some oil and lemon juice and either toasted almonds or pine nuts. (I never follow exact amounts for pesto.) This is tossed with pasta and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.



Martagon Lily


When we moved into our house five summers ago, I found some creepy looking lilies in a shady corner along a fence. Their foliage drooped down like spider’s legs. I was about to toss them but, at the last moment, decided to give them a chance in a sunny area. The next spring they grew… and grew… to over four feet. Finally they bloomed in a mass of salmon coloured flowers. They now grace our house as a feature plant at a time when the garden is mostly green. There is a lesson in there somewhere about not discounting ugly duckings.