Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wisteria I want you!

On one of my recent walks I decided to explore Rockland.
It is a well established area that was developed early on in Victoria's history.
Many of the lovely heritage homes occupied large tracts of land, which have, in more recent times been subdivided and infill houses have been built.
There is a magnificent canopy of mature oak trees, streets have wide boulevards and you need not look too far to see gorgeous gardens.
It is lovely to meander up and down the streets and never know what you'll see or who you will meet.
Be aware as there are a few very large bucks and families of deer living in this part of town.

This lush wisteria with it's delicate drooping clusters of flowers is stunning!

such a delicate flower

how pretty it looks against the blue sky

even more lovely as it drapes over the wrought iron railing onto the granite wall.

I am having a "greedy gardener" moment
"I want one!"

Lusting after plants is something that I do often.

Wisteria's require something sturdy to climb on and they can such vigorous climbers that can pull down a trellis...
I am considering where could I find room for one of these.
If I did find a spot 
then I would need to install 
(have someone install!)
something super strong for the wisteria to grab onto and grow up.

In the meantime, I can dream...
 I am imagining the scene will be set in soft mauves and vivid purple.

 Oh and that fragrance is exotic...sweet, almost a tropical scent.

Gardens evolve...
and change at the whim of the gardeners who work in them.

Some gardeners, myself included, are never quite satisfied with how their gardens grow.
We can always do better.
Find more beautiful plants and arrange them in a pleasing design.

Like a work in process 
a garden is always in flux.
We are plotting our next moves
our next acquisitions
how to make our little patch sparkle with beauty.

Books, lectures, garden tours, TV shows, 
all play a role in fuelling the creative process
that is felt deeply by gardeners alike across the globe.

"The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, 
always enterprising, and never satisfied.  They always look forward to doing 
something better than they have ever done before."

~ Vita Sackville-West ~

So with those thoughts on a sunny Sunday afternoon I will take my leave.
Until the next post from this Hostess of  The Humble Bungalow Blog

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, April 29, 2016

Seeing Red...

Red is a "high intensity colour"...
it grabs our attention and arouses the senses.

Wearing red lipstick or red polish always makes a bold statement.

Juicy ripe red tomatoes...tasty right out of the bowl.

One of my favourites...Red Shoes.

Saint James striped top with white pants
I think a pair of red shoes would complete this outfit.

Perhaps you prefer a red frock?

Paris vintage fashions in Didier Ludot  at Le Palais Royale.

Red door in Paris

Street sign Auvillar, France

Red is high up on my radar these days...yes I am seeing lots and lots of RED!

Finished reading a red covered novel...

Stop lights, post boxes,
alarms, telephone boxes,
fire trucks, brake lights,
lipsticks, shoes,
radishes, roses...

Tea tins...

luscious red frothy petals of a David Austin Rose

freshly picked radishes from The Humble Bungalow Garden

A few of my French books...which incidentally, all have red accents on the covers.

We chose red chairs for our new patio area...
now I am on the hunt for a large red pot to fill with red geraniums.

I am dreaming of full bright red accents
everywhere I go...

Are you partial to a certain colour?

Thank you for stopping by My Humble Bungalow Blog today.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

On going Maintenance...

How do you handle maintenance of home and self?
Do you write lists, schedule appointments, keep a journal?
Or wait until it is almost too late?

The on going maintenance of home and garden can be expensive...
and our modest arts and crafts bungalow is in dire need of some TLC.
Our bungalow is looking really shabby...I am embarrassed
as the paint is peeling and it is looking rather pathetic.

Exterior house painting is our current project...
the scraping and prepping required would take many many hours up on a ladder and neither myself nor Mr. HB have the inclination or stamina to do this job so we are hiring a company that we know will do a good job.

One cannot let things go too far or things would start to deteriorate...
it is after all, a slippery slope
besides she is looking her age...a ripe old 104!

As we age, new challenges arise...

aches, pains, stiffness in the joints
sleep issues crop up
our skin changes
waistlines disappear and our youthful figures blur
our hair turns grey
necks get saggy
skin wrinkles: laugh lines are pronounced
the skin on our hands becomes crepe-y

All these challenges are a normal part of aging...
we can attempt to ignore them or become obsessive.

This wee poppies freshness and beauty are fading...
the wrinkled petals are turning brown in the sun
past their prime
but still lovely.

These lilacs did not last long in the vase...
in 2 days they wilted and turned brown.
There must be a trick to keep them looking fresh...
I cut up into the stems and plunged them into cold water all the way up to the flowers
but that did not seem to keep them from fading...

This toiletry tray holds a few of my favourite things...
scents, and a few of the "tools" that I regularly use.
I love a quality brush when I apply powder, shadow and blush.
Aveda and Jane Iredale make great brushes and with care and maintenance they last for years.
I wash mine frequently in Aveda Shampure shampoo and let them air dry.

I use these two products once a week and give myself a facial 
which takes about 5 minutes.
Then I moisturize with the Eminence coconut lotion 
 my skin feels fresh and looks and feels softer.

I slather this oil on my legs after shaving.
Before I go for my walks I use it on my feet and I think it helps my heels from cracking.
It also smells lovely!

Each morning and evening I wash my face with Eminence Coconut scented Monoi Age Corrective Exfoliating cleanser
apply a few drops of the Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum 
and apply Coconut Age Corrective Moisturizer.

I don't think it really matters too much what brand of products that we use.
They could be drugstore or heath food store lines.
Many people are fans of regular olive or coconut oil.
Whatever you use I think the main thing is to remove your make up and to keep you skin moisturized.

Always use Sunscreen!
It has been added to many formula's and is easy to use.
I like the Eminence sunscreen with the built in brush.

I brush and floss my teeth at least twice a day.
This Sonic Care toothbrush has improved my gum health in 4 short months.
The dental hygienist was amazed!
She said if I kept this up for the next 20 years my gums would not deteriorate!

I love the idea of having healthy gums
as I read somewhere that gum disease is linked to heart problems.

Keep active
find something that you love to do and immerse yourself in it.

There are many things that we can do to maintain our appearance and stay healthy...
I have just touched on a few...
this post just scratched the surface of a very large topic.

Please feel free to chime in with your own hints and thoughts...
we are all in this journey together.

Embrace beauty in all it's forms...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, April 25, 2016

The raptures of Spring...

Our Humble Bungalow Garden comes alive every Spring.
So exciting to see after cool wet Fall and Winter seasons...

Dewdrops and raindrops look so pretty resting on these leaves.
Pots of pansies and tulips make for a happy marriage.

Tulips are a favourite meal with our local deer population do they have been relegated to the area of the garden that is protected by the fence!

I have not bothered to dig up the tulip bulbs in the front garden 
so the deer just happily munch on them as they stroll by...
our garden must be on "their feeding route" 
as other gardens on our street have masses of tulips and they have not been nibbled.

Spring has come early...

Muguet des Bois
we started with a small clump and these have spread like mad in the garden.
I love their scent and love to pick a handful as gifts.

Their fragrance dissipates shortly after picking 
but for a few days a wee vase filled with them can fill the bathroom with the most amazing scent.

Looks like a wonderland of white bobbing bonnets...

Ah and the lilacs...
such beauty and another intoxicating fragrant flower.

The bees are back and busy pollinating the flowers...
one does need to be mindful and rest.

I am enjoying
slow mornings sipping my cafe creme
a good book in hand
often stopping mid sentence and staring out the window.
appreciating the beauty of the garden
the blooms of Spring
and the sounds of the birdsong and of the bees buzzing.

I had my cortisone injection last week and it was not a very pleasant experience.
I must confess to being rather nervous.
I read up on the procedure at the Mayo Clinic website, 
the only one that I trust to give honest information 
so I had a vague idea what to expect 
but I had not really prepared myself for the sensations involved...
after three wee pricks for the freezing
a larger needle filled up the shoulder joint with what felt like goop...
thick play-dough like goop.

My shoulder is sore but I am told it should be better as time passes...

I am such a wimp when it comes to medical procedures.

How do people manage to find the strength and courage to deal with long term medical issues?
My utmost respect goes out to people who deal with disease with grace and dignity.
And there are many people out there who face these challenges everyday.

But for now I am giving myself permission to just be in the moment.
Allowing myself some moments to quietly contemplate the beauty of Spring.
Nodding as I embrace gratitude 
wait for the rest of the garden to burst forth with the raptures of Spring.

Take care and thank you for stopping by and visiting my humble blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Paris delights.

Memories of my trip last Spring to Paris have been flittering about in my mind...
by cultivating a few French habits this helps keep the feelings fresh and alive.

French Market Basket from Madison and Muse in the Cadboro Bay Village

Some things that help me recall my trip and french focus:

my morning ritual of a cafe creme served in a wide bowl...
the application of perfume
wearing pretty lingerie
nibbling a decadent croissant from time to time
walking in my neighbourhood and beyond
taking myself out for coffee and sitting outside watching the people walk by
reading about Paris in books and on blogs
perusing the produce and eating local fresh food that is "in season"
popping into a french charcuterie for lunch basics
harvesting our fresh home grown vegetables...our asparagus crop is amazing!
making a simple French vinaigrette
browsing in my French cookbooks

shopping in a French inspired store
I treated myself to a new French Market basket
a new linen apron
and a scarf!

a wee french inspired lunch
savoured at the table
with a large glass of sparkling Perrier
(if I was in France it probably would have been a glass of vin rose)

Heavy linen apron with large pockets...
great for cooking, cleaning and wearing in the garden.
(also from Madison and Muse)

I was on a roll and so why not buy a new linen scarf too?
Soft grey from Madison and Muse.

If you live in Victoria or come for a visit do yourself a favour and pop into the shop.
Margo, the owner, is very knowledgeable, has lived in France and her stock is sumptuous.
If I have a windfall I am heading straight to her shop to buy linen sheets...
happy shopping!

My Paris reading list has been getting larger 
especially after going to the library and Ivy's books on The Avenue
I have a few more on my book shelf waiting...

Our garden has a dedicated asparagus bed which is providing us with fresh picked asparagus.

We usually have this as an appetizer before our main course.
I pop it in a shallow pan with boiling water 
 let it sit in there bubbling for 5 minutes
drain and serve 
with a dollop of mayonnaise and a bit of salt and pepper.

Strange things are happening to the rhubarb plants.

flowers are emerging

We have harvested several pickings 
 stewed the stalks to enjoy with a dollop of fresh yogurt.

oh and there is another strange thing growing in the garden...
looks like The Jack in The Pulpit plant.
I do not remember planting this!

Could it have come into the garden as a hitch hiker with another plant?
My goodness I am keeping my eye on this one.

Life is never dull when one has a garden to potter about in...nature is full of surprises!
Hope your weekend is full to the brim with lovely things.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~
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