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Showing posts from January, 2010
I thought I would share my blue mosiac in two memes this week. It was surprising to find there were quite a few blue items around the house. Mr. Crow sits upon a branch under a cloudless blue sky, the table cloth presently on the dining room table is blue and beige with the blue and beige runner that my friend Jennifer made me, Hamish is the little sock doll brought from Scotland a few years ago by relatives, my Mother in Laws blue china, my indispensible wireless modem and one of two blue chairs in the living room. For more mosiacs and blue photos visit Mary at and Smiling Sally at  Thanks for stopping by.  Leave a comment if you can. 

Straight out of the Camera - Teasel

Teasel orDipsucus sylvestris is a common weed in southern Ontario.  I love the seed heads.  They have short, stiff bristles and are conical in shape.  I took this yesterday at the Guelph Arboretum.  See other photos straight out of the camera at

A visit to the Orchid Greenhouse at the Royal Botanical Gardens

Do you ever have one of those days when you can't seem to think of something fresh and new to say on your blog? This morning is it for me. I have been busy this week writing the newsletter for my HORT society (Mt. Albert Garden and Horticulture Society).  It is done now and sent out.  But, upon reflection I thought I would go back a couple of months to before Christmas when a group of Garden Writers were invited to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario.  At the time I was mesmerized by the Christmas wreaths that were featured on doors in the lobby and not on the flowers.  I posted the doors as it Christmas themed.  So, now that I have time to show you what I saw at the RBG I decided to show you what else I saw there.

I went on the tour of the Orchid Greenhouse. The two orchids above are Cattleya.  The white I have no name for but the pink one is call Little Susie.  The star of the show that day was the Vanilla Orchid that had just begun to bloom.  The pods of this orc…

A January Kind of Mosiac

It is the end of January already.  How time does fly.  My mosiac this week is some of the photos I took this month.  More mosiacs can be found at Mary's Dear Little Red House.  Join her and others at

The Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is just one of our little feathered friends in winter. The Downy,  Hairy and the Piliated like the suit cake that we purchase and also the peanut butter/suet mixture we make at home and place in the holes of the big bird feeder. This little fellow is so brightly coloured with his coat of black and white and his little cap of red. I am posting this to two memes today Camera Critters at and Straight out of the Camera Sunday at

In Preparation for Spring

It is already the end of January 2010.  Memories of Christmas seems so far away for me now.  Now is the time for the seed catalogues and the magazines all about gardening ideas to come pouring into the mailbox.  I have started on my soapbox about the fact that 5pm in the afternoon it is still light and the birds are beginning to be more vocal.  I heard the Black Capped Chickadees the other day calling fee-bee.  That says spring is coming to me.  I know that we will still have two months of harsh cold weather but I can spring in the distance.  Happy Days!! 

This is my pile so far of inspiration for gardening ideas 2010. 

Some important wording for my part of the world.  If it likes well drained I got it.  Sand is just like a sieve.  Zone 4b  is the area I garden.   Moist is not something I know about.  We are dry in summer except for soggy 2009.  

Need to purchase some tomatoe seeds to start under the lights in the basement.  Oh there is nothing like the taste of a fresh tomatoe right…

Sepia Scenes -Daylily Days

I grow many daylilies in the garden as they don't seem to mind the sandy soil. This photo was taken last summer. It seems to lend itself to a sepia photo.

This one was easy to do in Picassa.  Go to edit and effects and select focal black and white. 

Let me know if you think so also. For more sepia wonders visit Sepia Scenes at

A New Bloom on Straight out of the Camera Sunday

This lovely yellow phalaenopsis has begun to bloom.  It has three buds on it that will open up over the next week.  This is the newest addition to the tiny collection of orchids.  My husband bought it for me for our 39th Anniversary last October.  It had blooms on it when it was purchased but, they did not last more than a month before they began to drop.  I am happy to know that it has settled in and has begun to bloom again.  The blooms are so delicate looking.  For more fabulous photos go to the Sunday meme "Straight out of The Camera Sunday at    Valerie

My Furry Grandchildren

Our youngest Son has two dogs that we babysit while he is away on business.  The lab is Jordon who is 5years old and the pug is Gizmo.  He is 4years.  They are great pals. They love to go for walks.  After looking at all the great photos of pets that are on the Camera Critters meme I thought I would share these two with you.  Please visit the site of Camera Critters at  Valerie
There is nothing growing in the Sandbox at the moment.  Everything is taking a nap for the winter.  Inside the house I have been watching a violet that I started as a leaf a year ago or more.  I did the unthinkable and nipped it off a plant that had been left behind at a flower show.  It was so beautiful.  My Grandmother started me off growing violets.  It is a good place to start if you wish to encourage a future gardener.  Violets are easy to grow and give you much enjoyment when they bloom.  Of course it is usually when there is nothing else growing and so the sighting of a bloom is a happy sight.   This little darling (I have no idea what its name is) has a frilly edge (so it must be a girl) and a pink interior. 

There are more blooms to come.  If you haven't tried the tried and true violet give it a try.  It will make you happy too.   To see what offerings are available today Bloggers Bloom Day go to

A Frosty Sepia

Jack Frost was doing some artwork on the window. I took a photo of it. He is creative isn't he.  Vis Sepia Scenes  for more creations.  

Colour in the Conservatory Mosiac

I couldn't help myself I had to make my mosiac from just some of the photos I took at Allan Gardens.  Join Mary at the for more marvelous mosiacs.  Valerie

A Conservatory Beauty

A beautiful pink cyclamen with pale pink edges is another beauty I photographed at Allan Garden Conservatory in Toronto.  Join others for "Straight out of the Camera Sunday" at

A visit to Allan Gardens on a Wintery Day

Allan Gardens Conservatory is a gem in the middle of Toronto.  It has six greenhouses with 16,000 square feet of seasonal plants that supplement the permanent plants. There is the Tropical House, Cool House complete with a water fall, the Palm House and my favorite the Cactus House.  During the Christmas season which ended January 7 of this year there was 40 different varieties of poinsettia planted with thousands of other flowering plants that bloom at this time like cyclamen and amaryllis.  My husband and I with my friend Jennifer packed up our lunch, cameras and tripods for a visit this week before the Christmas displays were tossed for the next seasons displays of spring bulbs.  We took hundreds of pictures because it is a feast for the photographer.  You just can't stop taking pictures.  I thought I would show you a few of them today.

This one is called Poinsettia "Monet Twilight".   I loved the variation of colours in it.

This one is called " Snowcap"  Not…

Sepia Wednesday

This photo is of a lovely paperwhite bloom. I received the bulb just before Christmas in a thank you gift from my Horticulture Society President. It included a small bulb vase and some decorative stones. I inserted the bulb into the vase and filled the vase with water. It took only a few days before I saw the signs of roots emerging from the bulb bottom. Before long the roots filled the vase and the stems appeared from the top of the bulb. Within three weeks the metamorphosis of bulb to bloom took place. The flowers are lovely. The perfume is not. I remarked one day to my husband that I thought something was burning before I realized that it was the flower emitting its perfume. The flower is a welcome sight now in the land of snow. Hope you like it. I am always happy to hear your comments. Join the other sepia photos today at Sepia Scenes for Sepia Wednesday.  Valerie

Brrrr...its Cold Out There

It has been snowing here for the past two days.  Not anything too heavy but mostly the big fluffy flakes.  The temperatures have been in the minuses Celcius so not too crazy to go outside.  My mosiac today is photos taken in the last week.  My husband gave me a new telephoto lens for my Canon.  It is huge and heavy.  It needs to be on a tripod at all times.  We took a drive one day to try it out along the Lake Simcoe shore.  There were a few birds out in the water.  The other photos were from the yard.  Please join our host Mary at the Little Red House for more Mosiac Monday entries.  Enjoy.  Valerie

Snowy Sunday

It is a snowy Sunday in East Gwillimbury. The little goldfinches make endless forays to the niger feeder. This bag type feeder  that holds more than niger seed is not so busy but the niger-only-feeder that sits right next to it is a silo type and all day long the perches are full of goldfinches. As it is closer to the house we can watch their movements. At this time of the year the goldfinches have lost their bright yellow colour and are a more dull green-gold colour. This photo was cropped to give you a closer look. For more right out of the camera photos please visit Murrieta365 for Straight out of the Camera Sunday. Valerie