Saturday, June 18, 2011

it's a rosebud in june

It's June, and that means ... it's time for flower pictures!
Here's one of the first blooms on the garage-whelming alba, just opening from fist to spread palm. I'll put up a more recent pic soonish, showing it spotted all over with white. The arched trellis we shoved in between the two bushes is completely hidden now.
The cold damp spring that we've had means not all the roses are going to bloom, but the Dortmund and the albas are showing off, and the Blanche Double that I planted last year has taken full advantage of its nice sunny location and bloomed like heck.

After three months or so of trying to dedicate every weekend to wordcount, and ending up burning myself out after a few hours and going online to look at lolcats or whatever, I decided to accept that Cost of Silver was going to take longer than I hoped, and let myself do other things on weekends.
Last weekend I drove the Malahat twice, once to visit my brother and his family, and once to visit my friend Anna.
The weekend before, Mark and I took the ferry to Vancouver and visited Chris and Shannon (which would be, for those who haven't made notes, our son and his girlfriend).
This weekend a much shorter drive into Saanich to the farmers' markets, with a last visit to Babe's Honey Farm for its last sale. Very sad about this. Babe's was founded in 1945, and went strong until Babe died a few years back. Then it was bought up, and kept going, but the accountant(?) stole about a million dollars, so now it's going under for good, and I don't know what's happening to the bees and so on. Hang on, I'll find some news stories for more accurate information.

While I was at my brother's, I dug up a row of the raspberry plants he's giving away (to replace with blueberries, a decision my husband strongly approves) and got to see his pictures of their bees swarming in the summer. Pretty amazing - a cloud of bees leaving the hive, settling on a tree branch nearby, then Pete and Laura cutting the branch off, and shaking the bees into a cardboard box, then tipping them back into the hive, where they settled again happily.
Sometimes I wonder about setting up a hive in our yard. We've had bees crawling in and out of the front porch roof, last year, and this year into the roof by the back door. I see them bumbling about the sweet rocket and the comfrey in the back yard. But I'm not sure how much attention they need, and I'm worried about pests and disease.
My plum tree, which I've mentioned before, is suffering from caterpillars (I hate caterpillars. Lots. I don't care how fluffy they are, they're evil.) and from what I fear is bacterial canker. I've been up on the stepladder trying to reach the diseased branches and cut them off, which is breaking my heart because some have plums on them. Last year the plum harvest tanked, after a few bounty summers, so every plum lost hurts. Worse, there's only a poor chance that this pruning will save the tree.

In cheerier news, I scored a free rocking chair from UsedVictoria, and passed my 20 yr old jade plant on to someone who'd just lost her 30 yr old jade plant, so that karma should be nicely balanced. I have now a rocking chair on the front porch, and have sat and read there on a few mornings already, and in the back yard I have my hanging chair, ditto. The hanging chair is becoming a lovely Secret Hiding Place as the sweet rocket grows up around it and the grape vines begin to spread over the posts.
This pic was taken at dusk, because I liked the effect, so you will just have to imagine it in full daylight.

Cost of Silver is nudging 130k at present, and I'm not at all sure I'll be able to wrap it up under 150k. I've had some plotty stuff that made me happy, so I'll post about that next time, maybe.

Photo credits this time are mine. The previous cat pic was by Mark Shier, and I should go back and add that info.


Terri-Lynne said...

You and I are in the same place in our manuscripts. I'm at around 130K, figuring on needing about 150K to get it to THE END. I'll be able to trim some, and though I have a bit of leeway with this manuscript, I still want it as lean and tight as I'd make it if I didn't have a publisher waiting for it!

Your roses always make me want to go out and buy a garden's worth. I miss my fairy garden in the old house. Encircled by roses and lavendar, centered by lilies, bordered by a half acre of briar roses, the fragrance alone is sighworthy. Ah--roses. I might just have to break down and try a small rose garden out here in the back of beyond where the deer and japanese beetle play. ;)

batgirl said...

We have deer too, but no Japanese beetles. Just aphids and caterpillars. Your fairy garden sounds lovely! But you do have woods right beside you now, that's pretty cool.

I'm really hoping I can get this tied up within 150k. I'm betting yours is much leaner and more tightly constructed than my sprawly narrative. Should we race, do you think?