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*This morning's ramble...


has given me some new items to show and tell.*

Thanks to goY friends I’ve had a breakthrough in my search to identify a local wildflower. The plant in question is Viper’s Bugloss, or Wild Echium…Echium vulgare. I love the pics I’ve seen on Sandra’s page of the Echium pininana(sp?) she grows in Wales. These wild echiums are much smaller but just as exotically pretty. Thanks Sandra and Libet who observed their similarity in my last blog.

This lovely thing took me by surprise…it looked like a maple shrub! the leaves are similar, five lobed, conspicuous, but the stems are fuzzy with red hairs on them and the flowers look like roses, and the buds are also red fuzzed and look like hazelnuts! It is totally new to me, because this plant is not a tree, even though it’s about 5 ft tall…it’s a Raspberry! Rhubus odoratus, it is of the Rosacae so that explains the blossom…but compared to other raspberries it’s huge! The common name is Thimbleberry.
The whole lower story of one hillside is populated by these interesting fruit! They ripen in July, and I can’t wait… hope the birds let me have a few berries!

The last two pictures are of the first Rhubus plant which I discovered while clearing brush in the early spring..and the last is the Raspberry with a gorgeously huge Thalictrum polygamum…growing to at least 6 ft tall! This area is rife with ash seedlings and I need to do a major cleanout of the ash to let the sun in and so that I can walk into the area without feeling like I’m heading into the amazon rainforest! …it’s densely foliated…so much is growing…and I need to restore a modicum of order. I’m going to be selective…don’t want to destroy anything just make room for movement through the area.

Also…I had posted a picture of a mystery plant and even asked a question here on goY to try to find out if anyone knew the name of a very strange purplish/gray/green plant with red flowers that I’d found growing in the bush….It is Caulophyllum thalictroides…Blue Cohosh. Cohosh is an herb which many women of late middle age will recognize…as it is an herb used in native medicine for female complaints especially during menarche.
It’s been a while since I’ve had time to do any research on the plants I’ve been finding everywhere…and it was raining this morning when I set out.. Three days is just too long for me to go without a ramble…so off I went.
Missed my Mandy sniffing along with me…seeking out all the points of interest as if to check them off the list…
it was exciting to find the Rhubus…and I found myself telling her about it..(I am strange, I know)
The list is very long now, of the wildflowers/shrubs/ferns/mosses/trees that reveal themselves every ramble. Someday soon they will be catalogued and put into my garden list …will need about three days to accomplish that.
Started framing the greenhouse and the weather changed for the worst…it’s still standing despite the thunder and lightening and wind…so hopefully it will hang together until I can get back to it.

The deck is now on and useable…planning the trellises, planting the planters..(as soon as it dries out enough)…things are generally moving in the right direction.

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Very interesting lorilyn and your decking is looking good!

29 Jun, 2011


Hello Lori! I didn't know, you didn't know the name of your Echium, it really is a gorgeous colour, I think probably one of my favourites, well, that and yellow! That 'uber' raspberry is huge, are the fruits as big in proportion to the leaf? Have you ever tasted them before, or is this going to be a gastronomic adventure? I'll wait with bated breath! ;0)
I'm so sorry you're missing Mandy, it's all still very new and raw, and until you've gone through all your old routines without her, things like you going on your ramble alone, will feel strange, and dredge up a lot of your old memories, which I'm sure will all be happy, as you've always spoken of her with great fondness. The raw edges will heal up in time, meanwhile just take it a day at a time.
You seem to be going great guns there a far as I can see, the decking is looking fab, hope the weather improves so you can at least sit on it for a wee while! Oh, and get your pots planted, and get another bit of your greenhouse built! The list goes on and on, doesn't it, but it'll all get done sometime, you have only yourself to please! Take care Lori, until your next wonderful blog, and I promise I won't ramble as much the next time!

29 Jun, 2011


Great ! I'm pleased you could identify those wild flowers.

30 Jun, 2011


I like the decking and the greenhouse is looking good Lori.

30 Jun, 2011


Thanks all! No probs, Libet....I'm a good rambler myself and I quite enjoy it when others do the same!
I haven't had the pleasure of tasting a bunchberry yet...but I'll be watching and waiting til they ripen...and when they do, I'll post the big thumbs up or vice versa lol. Thanks Sewingkilla, Mavis and Libet..the deck is now the repository of my house plants under a very high tech sheet of lattice! The end of the shed, which now holds the wood pile, will soon be cleared and that's where I plan to make my shade house for the orchids and epiphyllums. I think I may connect it to the deck with raised wooden walkway so on dewy mornings I won't get my slippers wet!
Thanks Hywel...I love a mystery as well as the next person but it's a relief to know what I'm dealing on to the next

30 Jun, 2011


such lovely photos Lori
i bet you miss your Mandy, however better to miss her now than never having had her, love and pain usually meet somewhere..
your garden must feel emptier, will you think about another dog when you feel ready for it?
your garden is coming on a treat, you certainly dont hang around in the planning stages for long ...more of a doer??
i am looking forward to seeing how you're going to tackle your raised walkway for those dewy mornings and satin slippers!
then you could have your musli with freshly picked uber raspberries and blu/black cohosh on your new deck after picking them without getting your tootsies wet LOL, oh no i see it will only go to your orchid house, never mind just rambling , you'll just have to change into your wellies for those and probably put on an old jumper over your silk nighty
i'll stop now
enjoy your day in the garden

5 Jul, 2011


Wow...that's quite a scenario, Resi! The walkway idea was a brainstorm I had when thinking about access during the winter...when the snow is deep. They'd be on sturdy timbers raised about 6" above ground level and bridging a depression that fills with deep snow leading to the pathway into the maple bush... so I don't have to wade to my hips when going out to tap trees in the very early spring,( and having a little offshoot that would take me to the shade house without getting my tootsies wet in summer!) winter wood that is frozen and soaked becomes very slick ...footing can be tricky...hmmm. always a fly in the ointment! And you are right about the cohosh...the black is the var that is in the herbals...I gather that the blue...(why it isn't called "purple" baffles me) cohosh is a var. common to this particular part of Ontario.

5 Jul, 2011


Very behind with blogs're getting things pretty organized there on the old homestead :) Great to see the wildflowers....they are nature's gift for sure.

Now about those silk slippers....maybe snowshoes would be a more appropriate choice? lol

9 Jul, 2011


Bless Resi...she has me in Silk nighties and satin slippers! LOL... and she's got you doing it too, Jacquie! You would both chortle to see what I wear to bed! Thanks for your comments, ladies... I'm rethinking the walkway. Snowshoes are definitely what I

9 Jul, 2011


When we used to go back to Bowen Island just for the weekend (when we had moved back to Vancouver) we would wear some pretty unusual gear to bed too...the beds would feel damp and the prize bedwear was a thick lumberjack shirt and men's worksocks :)

Can you beat that, Lori? lol

10 Jul, 2011


LOL..I think you take the prize, Jacquie...I've worn work socks to bed but not the shirt...I remember my Dad's bush shirts; they were very heavy flannel, seemed about a 1/4 inch thick, red and black check... can just envision you all decked out! heee hee.... sounds like you had a great childhood.

.I also remember that could get into your bones! my brother-in-law used to describe the "rainforest" areas of Vancouver Island...and hubby often talks about the Vancouver rain...If you are out in the rain here you'll get soaked but he says that when he was a kid back in north Van you could play out all day in the rain and never be wet when you came home!! lol...

10 Jul, 2011


Lori, I'm not so sure about hubby's memories of Vancouver rain...I can certainly remember getting very wet! lol There is a lighter rain that sometimes falls that is almost a mist/rain combo so maybe that's what he recalls.

That's the lumberjack shirts you describe....heavy flannel with red and black check....lovely and warm....can be used as a jacket too....very adaptable :)

Bowen Island certainly did give me a wonderful time in my childhood...I would cry every time we had to return to town (Vancouver) after our weekends and holidays.

10 Jul, 2011


Tongue firmly in cheek there, Jacquie. The light rain/mist that you referred to is what he meant too. I remember the Fraser Valley town of Langley very well, as that's where I was for about 8 months at a school not far from town. I wrote my Mom complaining that it rained every day and cleared up at night! We actually had one day of snow...just a skiff, before Christmas and I was sooo homesick. I carped like that all winter and when the parents came out to visit me, and my sister who lived in Sydney, she saw the best of it. They arrived by train at Ft. Langley on the 20th of Feb. and the weather turned on a was sunny and about 70 degrees! My mom saw the nice green grass of the library lawn and she sighed "well dear, this is lovely!" I'm sure she thought she had raised a liar! Odd thing was the weather stayed that way until they left for Ontario after about a month...then it returned to the old rain pattern! Fickle finger of fate strikes again!

11 Jul, 2011


Yep....that rain sure can fall....for days and days and days! I have a theory that it hits the coastal mountains with the heavy rain clouds and can't get past until the clouds are all emptied! Probably not a very scientific conclusion, but there you have it, for what it's worth....zilch! lol

My grandfather owned property in Langley so we visited there when I was quite young until he had to go into residential care. It is unrecognizable now as it's hardly rural anymore....very dense population these days!

You would notice the snow in Langley would be quite heavy compared to Ontario I believe your snow is normally quite 'airy'....I didn't enjoy snow when we had to shift it...very heavy on the old shovel!

11 Jul, 2011


I'm not a meteorologist either, Jacquie but I believe you are there are areas on the eastern side of the rockies which are high desert areas...the rain can't get over the mountains!
I'm sure things have changed to unimaginable proportions. Langley was a sleepy little town with a fantastic Cantonese restaurant on the main street and miles and miles of countryside between there and Tswassan (That's my best guess at spelling)... where we caught the ferry for the island. Don't think I'd want to see it today...I have my lovely memories of 42 years ago!! OMG!!!lol....
And you're right on the money again...the snow was mostly rain and very heavy and slushy...compared to the dry cold of Ontario it wasn't really cold at all! I loved the lower mainland climate. But that's the way of it... would love to go back in time for a few hours to walk down the road to the Fort and speculate about the progress of the snow on Mt. Baker! good memories!

12 Jul, 2011


Just for the record, Lori....Tsawwassen....before moving to the UK in 1983 we lived in the neighbouring town of Ladner. I've been back there and it's changed almost beyond recognition. I think it's best to hold onto our memories of days gone by too :)

12 Jul, 2011

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