Posts Tagged ‘summer’

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Bikey, bikey

June 28, 2011

School is now over and my focus has shifted. This summer I’m all about cycling! Not that I won’t be doing prep or the usual hiking and climbing, but cycling is at the top of my list.

Back in my university days I loved to ride and even after breaking my wrist, it was hard to keep me off the trails. Back then, mountain biking was the only thing for me and I even raced for a season. It was such an adrenaline rush and so Much FUN!

As I got more serious about cycling I started thinking about getting a road bike so I could train more. I had such a hard time finding anything that would fit and then a whole bunch of other things changed. I moved around, was introduced to new sports and re-introduced to backpacking, climbing and hockey 5 nights per week. And I started breaking bones…

Mountain biking was still part of my regular routine (albeit at a lighter pace) until 6 years ago when my crunched up wrist stopped being able to handle my aggressive position on the mountain bike. It was a painful number of years before I could even handle a couple of km’s of riding. Thankfully those days are over and for the past 2 summers and this spring I’ve been steadily increasing my riding. I’ve also had some help to make my trusty old mountain bike fit better and equipped it with slicks.

It’s been so much fun to be able to get away from school stuff and ride with new friends nearly every week. Bring on summer!

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flowers

June 1, 2009

This yard… it’s rather blah.  If we weren’t planning to sell it soon we’d probably do something about the blah but everything I seem to come up with requires a substantial amount of money and work.  Repainting the deck and boardwalk are likely as far as we’ll get this year but I digress.

In our front yard we have a little garden against the house.  It’s a weird space.  The window is so high above it so it would be nice to have something tall but at the same time, the garden isn’t very deep so there aren’t alot of options (apart from rejigging the whole thing).   Plus the previous owners (who said there weren’t any perennials around) stuffed the whole thing with short flowers.  I couldn’t seem to find a suitable solution so two years ago I picked up all the native plants I could find (it was slim picking) and finally we have flowers!

06 front of house

Last month I was surprised to find that the anenome in that front garden wasn’t only alive – it had even flowered FOR THE FIRST TIME.  Oh, it made me so happy as it opened and closed every day for more than a week.  It has since passed its peak but today I got another surprise – the white mountain avens (dryas) has now flowered too.  Another first!  I know I still have some work to do this summer to make this garden space work but knowing that I haven’t killed these ones yet is certainly making me feel better.

06 flower dryas

In the backyard, things are coming along a little better.  We only have one fairy ring (and at 8 ft diameter its small compared to the ones in the front).  We back onto the treed side of a pathway and slowly, we’re starting to see some red osier dogwood come over onto this side of the fence.  Now if I could just coax it to start on this side of the fence we would be set.

06 flower back trees

With so many trees our yard feel like an oasis, especially now that most of the trees have leafed out.   The downside of course is that the veggie garden is in the shade more as a result now.  It didn’t hurt production last year but we do harvest a little later than most folks we know.  Oh well.

Over on the other side of the yard we were blessed with chives… and aphids.  I tried growing dill the first year but it was hopeless – what those little bugs didn’t eat I was afraid to touch.  I thought maybe we’d get less without the dill but last year the aphids attacked the  columbine (another perennial that came with the house) so badly that it never even flowered.  I’m not sure what Fortunately the three flowered avens (sold as a native plant but I’m not so  sure), geranium (so close but clearly not quite like the native purple sticky geranium) , native-looking columbine, thyme and lemon balm have done better.  And while it’s not native, I’m really glad we started growing woolly thyme.

06 flower back house garden

What started as two tiny plants now covers a lot of our garden, reducing weeds and making the space seem so much nicer.  We’re not so keen on lawns and since we don’t water this one we get a lot of weeds – not to mention fairy rings.  When we first moved in we talked about making a flagstone patio near the aphid garden and using wooly thyme between the cracks or possibly across the whole yard.  If we were going to stay we would definitely do it.  Friends of ours inhereted a patio like it and the bugs leave me alone.  I love it but I do have hesitations because of the environmental implications not to mention the cost!

For now what we have works.