Tag Archives: garden

My garden in January – Photo Wednesday

Header photo above: rosemary plant in bloom, in January.

Right now, it is raining. It has been raining for two days, pretty steadily. But I don’t mind, because it is definitely better than shoveling snow, like back East.

Before the rain, three days ago, I checked out all the things that need to be done in my garden.  A lot of work awaits me. This post, however, is a visual report of what I found (not the jobs, just the beauty, life, and colours!)…


Pacific Calendula in bloom, January 2016 on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

First, the orange flash is a self-seeded Calendula (Pot Marigold), one of the great-grand-children of the original Pacific Beauty seed packet I purchased years ago. Very hardy plant, that one. It keeps giving back all through the winter (I have even found blooms under a blanket of snow, one particular winter!).


Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Among the jobs: replenishing the bird feeders (there are 8…). This Chestnut-backed chickadee (Poecile rufescens … had to look it up) and friends really enjoy sunflower seeds.


Snowdrop (Galanthus) abloom, January 1st, on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Naturally, it wouldn’t be winter in the Southern Gulf Islands without a batch of Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) blossoming in the lawn, between the rocks and even in the gravel driveway…


Red-breasted Nuthatch on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

One of my feeders is known as the “party feeder”: it offers assorted nuts, including cashews (they must be the industrial rejects of packaging plants for human party mix, I tell myself). All manner of woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches are regular visitors of the party feeder. Above: a Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis), one of a gang of very lively and argumentative little birds.


Crocus popping up, January 2016, on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And elsewhere, the first few Crocus are starting to come out, a little timidly, but all the rain is going to encourage them to blossom. And the weather is still decidedly above 5 degrees Celsius… so…


Winter heather, January in a Saturna Garden, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

The winter flowering heathers are also coming into bloom. Above, a close-up, with a little filter play to  make it more “painterly”…


Rosemary in bloom, January 2016 on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

This is a close-up of one of the larger rosemary plants in bloom – right now – on Saturna Island. The first winter after we moved here, ten years ago, I was amazed at this show of bright blue in the winter garden (it was a very large and old plant, about three feet wide and high, and covered in blossoms).

And finally, a reminder to all Gulf Islanders, and people on Vancouver Island as well: don’t forget the Anna’s Hummingbirds (Calypte anna), who are spending the winter in the area. One of them flew by my kitchen window, paused and looked me straight in the eye. Almost saying: “Hey, you forgot to refill the feeder!”…


Anna's Hummingbird male, January, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

No worries, my friend. Fresh mix of sugar water replenished!

And below, I found a video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that illustrates how a seemingly all-green Anna’s Hummingbird male can just turn his head, and flash you an extraordinary brilliant red colour!


The marvels of iridescence…

Jewelled Web – Photo Wednesday

A friend invited me to come take a picture of the perfectly-positioned web by her dining room window (pristine windows, by the way… crystal clear, unlike mine…).

Of course, I went over to play the paparazzo (paparazza?)

The Web artiste, with her jewelled creation. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Then, we got close and personal…


Spider in the rain, wet feet! Photo by Andrée Fredette

Wet feet!

And bonus, my friend had lovely Skimmia japonica bushes in her garden, which turned out very nicely:


Japanese Skimmia (Skimmia japonica) berries. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And here is another take on the same plant:


Japanse skimmia, another close-up. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Late Bloomers in the September Garden – Photo Wednesday

Here we are, mid-September, and the garden has cooled considerably. A few days of rain about a week ago interrupted a three-month drought in the Southern Gulf Islands. The soil is still not moist enough, but mosses are reviving.

Meantime, in my garden and on the deck, a few plants are joyfully blooming… a last hurrah.
Bougainvillea on the deck. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, the bougainvillea that “pouted” all summer long, after a serious clipping back, is now in full glory. That is a close-up of the blooms (the little white flowers) and bracts (the flashy fuchsia/purple “wings”). This plant livens up a corner of the deck… but should come back into the greenhouse in a couple of weeks or so.


Succulent Bloom in September. Photo by Andrée Fredette

This is one of my succulents’ bloom. It is an Echeveria, I am not sure which one, though. After a summer on the deck, it is finally blooming.  It also will have to return indoors in a couple of weeks, because it doesn’t like really wet soil.


Salvia Blue Angel. Photo by Andrée Fredette

True blue, that is my name for this Salvia “Blue Angel”.  That shade of blue is very noticeable as you walk to the front door. Took all summer, but is finally blooming its little heart out!


Hardy Cyclamen. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And above, a hardy Cyclamen. The previous owners of this house planted some bulbs 30+ years ago, and I never saw these little flowers until we installed a deer fence three years ago. Now, I spot these little angel wings all over the front yard! Very elegant little flowers.

Here is a close-up:

Hardy Cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium). Photo by Andrée Fredette

Poppies are red… or not! Photo Wednesday

I love poppies. In my garden, they finished their big show over a month ago, but that won’t stop me from bragging about their beauty. And individuality.

So today, I will overwhelm you with poppy gorgeousness. Prepare yourself.

Picotée poppy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, a picotée in delicate shades.


Dark picotée poppy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And its cousin, in dark shades. Note the hot pink near the center…


Poppy Drama Queen. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Isn’t this one the Drama Queen?  Complete with fringe, and high contrast action.


Deepest red poppy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

A beauty in deepest red… and hot pink. Absolutely shining in the sun.


Light pistil poppy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Hot colour, light pistil, in contrast with the one before…


Cutie pie poppy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I call this one the Cutie Pie. All pink inside, and deep red outside.


Poppy, up close and personal. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Up close and personal with the Drama Queen. Couldn’t resist.


White poppy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Then, there is the white one with pink heart and exotic pistil.


Poppy, aging beauty. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And the aging beauty, starting to show its wear and tear, but still showing some flash. Feels familiar!


All together now! Poppies photographed by Andrée Fredette

And this is the “all together now” moment. This is just a section of the poppy riot that occurs every spring in my garden for the past 7 years, because I shake the seed heads in late July, and I encourage a whole bed of them to flourish the next year. Best dollar seed packet I ever spent!