Cardinal in the lilacs

I know you can’t see him. She appeared too, a moment later sitting right in the middle of the gate for just that moment before I got the iPad ready. You’ll have to take my word for it. The other picture  is just to show off my pink lilac bush. I took the last bunch of lilac as a hostess gift last night. They are finished now, the mauve ones drying off into little brown annoyances and the pink fading away. For their annual two weeks of glory they were intoxicating but this week they will revert to their tree-weed status. 

The garden is poor. For the first time I am plagued with squirrels. I will ask my grandchildren for a surplus water pistol. I have no pity or mercy upon them. The birds are wonderful this year, probably fattening up on the many snails that have appeared. 

I count on the peonies that are almost there and the irises who never let me down. They are of a watery blue, an ink blue and a deep almost black. My indigo plant is growing inches every day and the clematis doing its best to recover from some O’Henry type pruning. You know, The Gift….look what a disaster I have wrought, my love, for you. 

If anyone knows of a way to make hydrangea bloom please tell me. Having inflicted coffee grounds, egg shells and ground up banana peels on my little darlings ( and subsequently learned these things do nothing to help) I really want to help this faithful climber to put forth a bloom or two! It’s been growing vigorously for about five years and last year there was one flower!

This was meant to be about consolations. Those birds? Bustling around and calling or fluttering excitedly early in the day is a beautiful beginning. They don’t care about anything except what their own natures call them to do. Their single-minded purpose is a good point of meditation. 

Keep the Faith



Remember that saying from way back?  Too far back for some you, right?  How about, “Hang in there!”  Persistence, I guess that’s what it boils down to.

I cut this branch of lilac from the tree in my backyard on a dismal and grey day when the mist looked suspiciously like tiny snowflakes and a brisk wind convinced me that Spring just wasn’t going to show up.  The buds on the little tree were there, alright but they were firmly shut.  I could hardly blame them.  Nothing encouraging going on in the sky or in the cold ground.

After two days in a little vase from my grandmother’s house they are opening up.  The scent is faint but unmistakable.

The weather has turned.  It is sunny, still a little cool but with a forecast of warm days ahead.  The other blooms on the tree will come out, unfurl, open and spread their fragrance down the little city lane for birds, cats, dogs and people to enjoy for a few moments.

A nice metaphor that I will not belabour.  Leave things alone, Isobel.  All will come right.

Pink Lilac


Everything is  early this year.  Here comes the pink lilac.  Remember when we were supposed to wait until Victoria Day ( oh, sorry, a British Queen shouldn’t be mentioned ) I mean Dollard Day ( oops, he turned out to be a rogue and we mustn’t talk about him) so let’s say May Bank Holiday ( banks !! More bad ones). So, the old idea was that 24 May was the earliest one could plant spring flowers.  Now everything is early, everything is racing ahead.  My wonderful tulips lasted exactly one week.  Darwin was quite right,  ” Adapt or Perish” .  Nature is called upon to adapt to us now, though. Thunderstorms on May 10?  Well, it cooled us off and meant I don’t have to water the garden.  It filled the birdbath and made some birds happy.  Accept, don’t complain, find the joy in what comes.  Happy Mother’s Day to Mother Earth first and then to all the Mothers ( and Fathers standing quietly not quite knowing what is going on)   Love from the pink lilac.