Monday, 29 July 2013

A little stitching and lots of gardening

It's almost the end of July. We've had about a month of sunshine non-stop. I've been off work almost two months. Wow, time flies! When my parents first retired, I remembered asking if they got bored. They laughed and said "not at all". I get it now! 

I'll start by showing you my progress on Jane Harris (slow, in my books!).  There is some universal law that the more you are near the end of your stitching, the longer it will take (or at least it will feel like it)!  At least I finished getting the borders to meet up last night.
Remember I mentioned my giant banana plant? Well, it has flowered this month. This is not an annual event. I think it's the hot stretch of weather that has given it this boost this year. First you get the pod (lower right) which feels like a giant corn-on-the-cob. 
Then the pod slowly opens. This is where it's like a movie featuring alien species from outer space...
Over time you see the little bananas starting to form. 

Two years ago, the banana started to flower in September but there wasn't enough heat for it to do much.  Then the cold and rain in October and that was that. This year we will hopefully see how this will work out to the end. We will see whether this is the edible variety or not!

Here is a shot of my son's garden that he started, as an experiment, last year. The artichoke was planted last year and this year we harvested two to eat. One was already starting to flower so we left it to bloom. 

The bees love the artichoke flower. They are buried right inside the bloom so I've learned to not lean in too closely! 
Here is where we've been spending time in the evenings. It's really blissful on the deck. Our neighbourhood is a lot quieter these last couple of years since a lot of the noise-makers have grown up and/or moved away.
 
The cats enjoying a breeze.  I love how Daisy has her paw on Julius.
  Thanks for your lovely comments from my last post. The burning question was about the public pianos - what happens what it rains? I have a link to an article about these public pianos here.  Basically the pianos have only been installed this month and we haven't had any rain (lucky!) but people are asked to help put a rain cover on should it rain. 

How has your summer been? As much as I love sunshine we need some rain here.The forests are getting to be fire hazards so if we get some rain for a few days that would be fine by me.  

Julius says " Mom loves reading your comments, especially the ones about me and the Daze." 
Thanks for your visits. Enjoy your week!

21 comments:

Melody said...

What a lovely patio. I can see why it's a favorite spot. The banana plant is interesting. You will have to let us know what happens.

Vickie said...

That banana plant is HUGE!

Maggee said...

Seems that everything grows big where you are! The banana AND the artichoke. We grew those as kids but they did not grow tall. We had plenty of artichokes from them... :) Your sampler is really coming along, and I am glad your border worked out in the end! I just finished doing the border for John Foster, and hooray--it came out too! Hugs!

valerie said...

Your Jane is looking great Melissa! I think you're getting pretty close to a finish! I love your garden photos. That banana plant is huge! I hope that it produces actual fruit...can't wait to see those photos. And the artichoke flower is so pretty!

Margaret said...

Your Jane Harris is looking so pretty! I'm loving it so much! The banana plant -- soooo cooool!!!! I hope you get some edible bananas! You have to keep showing pictures of it as the bananas grow! And of course, I love seeing Daisy and and Julius. They are so cute!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

You KNOW I love the colors in Jane!!! Gorgeous work, Melissa! I love sitting and stitching on the patio! The artichoke flower is beautiful!

Penny said...

Wow, I think you've made great progress on Jane! I really want to dig mine out of hiding and get to working on it. Such a pretty sampler! Your deck looks like such an inviting spot. Love seeing pictures of Daisy and Julius!! I have a soft spot for orange cats. :)

Chris said...

I think Jane is looking great. You will get her finished up soon :)
Lovely and exotic garden pics. Such happy cats too.

Giovanna said...

Nice going on Jane, she's really pretty. I've never seen an artichoke in bloom - cool. And watching the bananas develop must be fascinating.

Carol said...

What a cool plant, Melissa--can't believe you have it growing in your garden. I hope it does bear edible bananas--please keep us posted. And an artichoke! Wow! I never knew anyone who tried to grow them--the flower is so pretty.

I'd happily send you some of our rain--we've had much more than normal this summer...

Your stitching is coming along beautifully and Julius and Daisy are the sweetest. Give them a cuddle for me!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Lovely stitching, very much your colours. I enjoyed your Vancouver post, I don't know how I missed it last time. Pusskins look so relaxed and content.

Lynn said...

What a neat plant! This is the first time I see a banana plant up close. Keep us posted as to whether or not it bears fruit this.
Your deck looks like a very relaxing spot. I'd be out there every evening too.

Lois said...

Lovely to see your progress on Jane and all your garden pics (and the cats!). We've had a warm, settled spell here too most of this month and what a difference it has made to the plants. My cucumber plant is in overdrive compared to the one I planted last year. That gave me two cucumbers last year, this year? I'll have a ready supply of cucumbers for the next little while!

Karoline said...

Jane is looking lovely, great progress

Your garden is looking gorgeous, I'm in awe of the banana plant

Brigitte said...

This banana plant looks so very interesting and I'd like to have one in our garden too, but that would be impossible - not warm enough up here. Unless there's a heat wave but we rarely have temperatures over 30°C for a longer time. Usually - but this summer has already had a lot of these hot days and I'm always glad when a thunderstorm interrupts the heat as I can't stand the heat.

Enjoy your days in the garden and on the patio. What a great place to read or to stitch.

Andrea said...

Lovely stitching. Wow that banana plant is something else! Keep us posted on its progress. A great patio area too, it looks very cool and soothing.

Anne said...

Isn't it so satisfying to have the borders meet up?! Jane is looking lovely and I do see the end in sight. That huge banana tree is so neat! It has very alien looking pods! I hope the bananas grow to fruition!! Artichoke flowers are so beautiful and I love them full of bees!! But yes, don't put your nose to close to it. Well it looks like your little thoughts of rain worked. We have some today. I'm hoping it will go though as we leave on Monday. Love the photos of Julius and Daisy. So sweet!

Hugs

Grit said...

Your stitching looks so fantastic. And wonderful pictures from your cats and your garden.
Greetings from Germany, Grit

Elisabetta said...

Great work it is really a big pattern! I like your pictures of garden !

Elisabetta said...

Great work it is really a big pattern! I like your pictures of garden !

Catherine said...

Sounds like you are really enjoying your time!! Loved seeing your banana tree photos ~ there is one at Longwood Gardens, but thesis the first I have known about the pod ~ so interesting! Sweet kitties!