30 July 2012

July Begets Hydrangeas and Hosta Blooms

Hi there everyone!   It's official...we are moving.  We just got word yesterday morning that our house sold.  Possession dates are yet to be determined for the new owners and for our new home. Though good byes are sure to be tearful, our new home offers opportunity aplenty for this gardener.  There is a lot of landscaping to do...tearing out poorly planned deckside plantings, removal of a couple dead trees, and ultimately a complete makeover of the front and back yards.  Photos will come later, I promise.  In the meantime, lets take a walk around my current back garden while I psych myself up for the good-byes.

 The juxtaposition of Summer Wine Ninebark and Pink Diamond Hydrangea offers a pleasing contrast of colour and foliage.  
 This has been our favourite feature in the garden!!  Our son M installed it a few years ago and we still love to sit by the fire pit and enjoy the gentle tumble of water over rocks.  This will be missed the most!

 Pink Diamond Hydrangea  -  how I will miss you!  Just as you are coming in to your own, bushing out and blooming your heart out, I will be leaving you behind.  Hopefully the new owners are gardeners!
 Hostas at the side of the house have grown enormous!  Apparently this is the perfect area for them!
 This amur maple seeded itself so I potted it up.  I am still undecided as to whether it will go with me to the new house or not.
 Big leaf hydrangeas such as Endless Summer (above) tend to wilt in the heat of the afternoon sun, even as far north as we are.  And still no blooms!!  
 This planter will be situated on the front deck at the new house.  The nice thing is, the Karl Foerster grass planted here is perennial and it will be planted into the new yard at summer's end.

Memories....light the corners of my mind......

29 July 2012

Nasty storm spawns Alberta tornados

Nasty storm spawns Alberta tornados

Menacing Cloud Formations

 While our area of the city didn't receive heavy hail, nor torrential rains, we have received an abundance of rain in July.  Here are a couple photos taken recently of some of the cloud formations that loomed on the horizons here.

Parts of Southern Alberta received hail ranging in size from ping pong balls to tennis balls, causing damage to homes (including windows, siding, and eavestrough) and vehicles, many of which will have to be written off as damaged beyond value.  If you are cruising the net, look up photos of Cardston's hail storm of this past week.  The enormity of the storm and resulting damage is shocking!

13 July 2012

Storm of the Summer

Yesterday I awoke to quite the lightning event!!  Between flashes of lightning that brightened the skies every minute or so, to deep rumbles, there was no further chance of sleep.  Then at 4:30 am, the rain began to pour.  The south east part of the city received hail, the south west portion had flash floods, but we were fortunate to receive just rain.  It cleared off before 11 am and made for a sunny, warm, and muggy day.

A photo of a car caught during the flash flood below the White Mud overpass was floating around Facebook and if you'd like, you can see it on the  Edmonton Journal page.

I hope all is well with everyone out there.  Have a terrific weekend!

11 July 2012

What a Relief - We Got Rain and Ontario's Fire Rainbow

This morning I awoke to the sound of thunder.  Looking outside, as I let the dogs out to do their thing, I smiled in relief to see a heavily clouded sky, wet deck, and the promise of more of the same.  Yay!  We were in need of moisture and the cooling effect that accompanies it.

In other news, Sunday, July 9, Matthew Haskill, an amateur photographer, caught a rare spectacle in the skies above Toronto.  Dubbed a fire rainbow, his photo is growing in popularity with likes and shares across Facebook.  It is one of the most talked about phenomenon of late, as shared in this The Star article.

For two months of the year, here in Canada, the sun sits at just the right angle, 58 degrees above the horizon, to create a "fire rainbow".  Certain conditions must exist as well, including horizontal cirrus clouds in a wispy and high formation.  If the cloud contains the right kind of ice crystals, and the sun is at the correct angle, its rays reflect off the crystals creating the illusion of fire in the sky.

A fire rainbow.  Source:  National Geographic.

10 July 2012

Sunrise on Another Hot Summer Day

The highlight of this post is this gorgeous sunrise!!!  As I post this it is 31 degrees Celsius (35 degrees with the Humidex - humidity).  Yesterday reached 33.1 or higher, depending on where you were in the city.  Some areas reported 36 degrees.  With the humidity it was 39 Celsius.  No precipitation yet.

Escape to the basement with fans blowing full blast is necessary.  A trip to the store is more than welcome, just to enjoy the air conditioning!  By the end of the week temperatures are forecasted to be 25 Celsius.  A much more tolerable temperature.  Did I mention I don't handle heat very well?

Hope your day is going well for you. 

09 July 2012

33 Celsius and Brown-outs

It is 32 or 33 degrees Celsius here today and seeking a cool location is on everyone's agenda!!  A friend recently posted on Facebook that she was shopping for fans, both for work and for home, a total of seven fans, and another shopper attempted to take one from her cart!!  You know it's hot when people are fighting over the supply of fans!!!

On another note, rotating brown-outs have hit Alberta, with 90% of Edmonton being affected.  There is no indication of when this will end but luckily we have not been hit yet.  Tomorrow's another day, though.

In the meantime, here are some photos of the garden taken this evening.

 There are severe storm warnings for our area.  These clouds promise the warning is true.
 Hours later, though, the sky has cleared without any incident of bad weather.  Perhaps this evening it will rain, which would be welcome to help cool things off a little.

 The clematis on the left and the summer wine nine bark above are new additions this summer.

The delphiniums are beginning to bloom, above, the clematis behind looks a little sparse this year, while the magnolia (Royal Star), in front, looks full but short.  It died right back this past winter.  It's so odd that some plants reacted this way while others, my Jackmanii clematis included, prospered over the mild winter.
Above and below, carpathia bellflower is in bloom.

 Jackmanii Clematis above and below.  I don't recall ever seeing so many flower buds on it before!

 Delphinium, above and below.

 While Jackmanii clematis loved this past winter, the mock orange above has fewer flowers than normal.  This happens every so often.  Perhaps there is a direct correlation with blooms and the type of winter we had.  This past winter was terribly dry, so that may play a role here.
 One corner in the back yard.  From left to right:  peony, Rose Glow Barberry, Arctic Willow, Dwarf Gold Ninebark, Summer Wine Ninebark, Pink Diamond Hydrangea with a juniper in front, and to the right, a topiaried white pine.
 Side of house is flanked with three varieties of hosta.

 Above and below, front bed.  Includes: host (2 varieties), ostrich fern, astilbe, palace purple coral bells, astilbe, dwarf Alberta spruce.  In planters:  pansies (planter to the far right), and sprite astilbe with blue trailing lobelia and white ? (the name escapes me at the moment).

 Bird's nest spruce, rose glow barberry and a ground cover juniper share the raised bed with Schubert chokecherry.
 Above and below, Stella D'oro daylily.

 The littlest helper, in the loosest sense of the word, Lilo.

That's it for now.  It's way past my bedtime of 9 pm and I think I hear thunder.  Let's hope so!!!

Goodnight world!


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