Friday, May 30, 2014

Flower Power..powerful memories.

From what I gather with that last post and all your comments on "Yes or No to hose" (and shorts)
It sounds like I am not alone in this rather tricky area!
In case you are wondering the black Capri's will stay for now...
I am so glad that I have a few skirts and dresses ready for summer wearing.

As I type this post it is hot outside and I am wearing a black bamboo dress by Gilmour which is very cool and offers enough coverage...

Can you imagine a world without garden flowers?
From a simple daisy to a heritage rose flowers add immense beauty to our day.
Whether you pick a bouquet and bring them inside arranged in a vase or tend a perennial garden like I do admiring them in place where they grow...

I don't know when I decided that I loved gardening but have a hunch it was when I was a young girl of about 6 years old. I used to spend lots of time with my grandmother and would often spend the weekend with her.
We'd do all kinds of fun things, regular domestic chores, but for me they were extra special because I shared them with her. We would bake pies, make jam and bread. Her house always smelled wonderful!

I remember that she had a Victory Garden and we'd go outside and pick our greens before supper.
If the vegetable on the menu were peas we'd sit on the back steps with bowls and shuck them...
I'd pop a few sweet peas in my mouth when she wasn't looking!

She let me help her plant vegetable seeds.
They were planted in wax coated milk cartons that she had cut in half. (waste not want not)
We filled them with fresh soil, popped in the tiny seeds and then gently watered them before placing them on the window sills of her Edwardian home.
Watering these daily and then seeing them sprout and grow was fascinating.
After they matured we moved them to her veggie patch in the back of her house.

One of the crops that I remember harvesting was watercress...we made sandwiches with her freshly baked bread, slathered them with salty butter and popped on a handful of the watercress. We ate these for lunch with a pot of freshly brewed tea. Gran Gran introduced me to tea and I have loved this daily ritual ever since.
The peppery flavour of watercress to this day transports me back to that wonderful time of my youth with my beloved Gran Gran. I think of her often and miss having her here in my life...thank goodness I that I was fortunate enough to have spent so many days with her and hold so many precious memories of her close to my heart.

The view from my laundry room looking out at The Humble Bungalow back garden.
Our Foxgloves and roses are blooming brightly.
I like to sit here and listen to the sounds of the birds and the bees as they flutter about in the garden.
The bees love flying deep into the foxglove trumpet flowers....
their buzzing takes on a vibrational sound when they are inside.

I like to take my lunch outside when I am gardening.
Egg salad and pea shoots on Silver Hills Little Big Bread with some carrots
(WW 1 point for two pieces of this fantastic sprouted grain bread)

I work up quite an appetite when I am outdoors pottering about among the beds!

I took this photo at Zanatta Winery when I was there a couple of weeks ago.
Planters are so great that you can place them in the perennial borders
 they can fill in those spots that need a shot of colour.

I'm about to start this novel...

after a long soak in the tub with Epsom's salts!

"For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair."

~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Yes or No to Hose?

Summertime brings warmer weather, sunshine and an array of wonderful outdoor activities...
garden parties, teas, barbecues, picnics and boating.

I look forward to wearing summer dresses...but do not feel the same about shorts.

A pair of black Capri's are hanging in my closet.
I don't own a single pair of shorts...the closest thing I have to shorts is an off white golf skirt by Liz Claiborne.

You may wonder why...honestly it's my legs.
They work just fine and have carried me for 59 years and I really appreciate them.
Unfortunately they are dotted with scars and are pale and blotchy.
They look much better tanned but I cannot bring myself to use that self tanning lotion so I press on au naturel.

Have you met Olivia?
The wee little piglet created by the children's author and illustrator Ian Falconer.
I am smitten with these books.

Isn't she adorable?
Can you imagine Olivia trying to get her little piggy legs into these tight hose?
I'll bet she was rolling around on the floor grunting and huffing and puffing.

Speaking of panty hose...
they are a veritable minefield if I do say so myself.
They cover up veins and blotchy legs but they also look terribly "Mumsy" if you get them wrong.

I own a pair of black footless tights which I have worn with a few dresses...
 but for summer they are probably too hot.

I have opted for fish~net versions of hose and hope that I am not looking like too much of a tart.
The Fashion Police have not issued any citations but it is early days...
Maybe I am getting it right or maybe just dodging the tickets!

So readers I am curious what you will choose.
Hose or bare legs?
Do you wear shorts?
(I see by your comments that my black capri pants are now out of fashion!)

Hope that you are having a great week and hooray the weekend is almost here!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014


We are walking in my neighbourhood today...
I took my IPhone with me and took some pictures of some of the sights.
Hope you'll enjoy what you's a wee thank you to you all
for your kind and thoughtful comments on my blog.
I have not been able to respond individually to all your comments because I have so much homework due for my French class which requires my immediate attention.

There are many beautiful gardens in our community.
When I was growing up here Victoria was known as "The City of Gardens."

The colours of this iris are quite lovely...
burgundy and purple with a splash of yellow.

Purple and mauve with orange...
artfully painted by Mother Nature herself.

This home was used in the series Gracepoint which has been filmed here locally for the past few months.
When I sauntered by the crew were removing a lot of their props and tidying up.
I wonder where the owners have been living for all these months.
Perhaps they flew off to the south of France or Tuscany Italy!

These Lands' End trail shoes have seen a lot of pavement and should be replaced sometime soon.

I've always loved this grand home.
It has recently been sold to a young family.
 Several generations of the same family lived here until the woman who was born in it had to move into assisted living...she is 97!

The Cook Street Village is our wee shopping area.
Locals refer to it simply as The Village.
The used book store is a wonderful place to spend time perusing the shelves...

The heritage chestnut trees line the street.
Many are old and in need of removal which the city is doing and replanting younger ones.
They create such a vast canopy overhead.

Mercedes Lane is a woman's clothing shop.
They sell hats, fashion jewelry, shoes and a few pieces of shabby chic furniture.

The market has been here as long as I can remember and is owned by the original vendor.

The view looking south on Cook Street towards the book shop.
There are 4 or 5 coffee shops and a pizzaria, a bank, 2 hairdressing studios, a pub, pet shop, wine merchant, pharmacy, doctor's office, 2 grocery shops, an optical store, a second hand shoppe, a senior's centre, another woman's clothing store, and Rainbird a shop that sells Hunter boots, rain coats, jackets and umbrellas.
If I were to have my druthers I'd like to see a fabulous gift shop open up.

The book I am currently reading...
after I finish my French homework I plan to brew a pot of tea and read a few chapters.

I'd love to know what you are reading.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tip toeing back...OOTD

Life events have contributed to unhinge my mood somewhat...
and they have influenced my confidence with regard to writing The Humble Bungalow Blog.

We have had our share of general strife in the past... both financially and in the health department.
Like most families cancer has struck several it is not as if I don't know what it is like to experience stress.
I just don't usually write about it here on the blog.

Day to day things don't get me too ruffled up unless I am sick or tired.
But these past few weeks have been different.
Mother's health has been a concern, she has some medical issues that have cropped up and she has been depressed.

Our grandson has been hospitalized for a post pneumonia respiratory issue and he has been on oxygen.
Our son and wife were at his bedside during his stay.

We were worried, naturally, of course, and I felt so very helpless.
Yet to pace the floor all the time felt odd so I got busy in the kitchen and prepared some food for them. It was the easiest thing that I could do...and it helped me to keep my negative thoughts in check.

Thankfully our grandson is home now and things are settling down...along with my blood pressure.
I really like it when things are calm and I'd take boring and mundane if given the choice.

I took a few days "off" and went up island to visit a girlfriend.
Girlfriends are such a gift...they understand and do not judge.
My friend  L has retired with her husband to a small island that we usually visit when we are on the boat.
More about our visit later in this post...

On the long weekend in May we cruised over to Pender Island and moored at Port Browning Marina.
I took this photo from the back deck of our boat looking west so you cannot see our Sea Ray.
We had three idyllic days in the sunshine and slept comfortably in our bunk.
I came home feeling quite rested...I gained 3 pounds!

The cats came with us...they got their sea legs (paws) right away!

This wind sculpture is at Zanatta Vineyard in the Glenora area of Duncan.

The tasting room and restaurant are located in this farm style house.

The charming covered patio was a perfect place to dine as the weather was warm and sunny.

A "selfie" of my OOTD
taken in the washroom 
I wore a Lands' End scarf (new this season)
white tank top, black Pure Knit sweater and dark wash skinny G21 jeans with my black ballet Mee Too flats.

My friend ordered the roasted beet salad which looked amazing.

I decided on the crab and shrimp cakes which were done to perfection.
We sipped wine, of course...I opted for a glass of Zanatta Ortega.

I have enjoyed their Damasco which is a light summer wine and their Pinot Noir is delicious.
I purchased two bottles of Ortega to take home.

Over the next few days we had nothing but fun.
(exactly what I needed)
We went for walks, watched a movie on Netflix, did some shopping at a consignment shop, had massages, 
drank tea, planted a shade garden on her acreage, cooked together in her ultra modern kitchen, 
researched Paris flights, looked at the map of France, 
 we chatted...
it was a calm and easy time just to be.
(just what I needed)

The wee trip was over after a couple of days and there was a ferry to catch.

Mr. HB said that the cats were "out of sorts" without me...
I got such an enthusiastic greeting from them when I arrived home you'd have thought I had been gone for weeks!

 My friend will be coming here to visit in our Humble Bungalow...
I am already planning our itinerary.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting...
my Humble Bungalow Blog.

I try to be honest and upbeat
 but life is not always a cake walk 
so you might find yourself reading some posts that might surprise you...
you get real life here at The Humble Bungalow.

I have been thrift shopping so fasten your seat belts as a post is in the works...
and thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your comments.
They have made me so happy...
I think it feels good to be back!


Friday, May 23, 2014

Humble Bungalow Blog thoughts and a few Blooms to brighten your day...

It's been a few days since I posted and I have been on a short break.
The Humble Bungalow Blog is going to undergo a few changes in the next while.
I am not sure what the changes might be or even if I am "talked out."
It has been 5 years and over 1,035 posts so it is not surprising that things are in limbo.
I have seen other bloggers go through periods of drought and some have just up and quit.

Not wanting to waste your precious time by posting ho-hum posts and watching you all turn away in boredom.
Suffice to say writer's block has settled in and I am not fighting must be here for a reason.
I need to explore these feelings and see where they lead me...

The garden is putting on a nice show this month so I feel this might be worth sharing...

If you have been following my blog for some time you'll already know that I adore roses and grow quite a few in our Humble Bungalow Garden....I think roses should have scent and I am partial to the David Austin varieties.

Climbing Royal Sunset Rose putting on a spectacular display this May Day.

Here's a close up...I just wish you could sniff this beauty.
The fragrance is divine.

Madame Gregoire Staechelin a prolific bloomer.

Big and blousey blooms...
not sure if blousey is a word but I am using it just the same.

Not a heavy fragrance to this one and I rarely pick them for a bouquet.
I like that she lights up this area of the garden.

Graham Thomas, a David Austin rose, positively glows against the cedar fence.
The petals are perfect and the cups deep.

A heritage rose, perhaps a musk, unfortunately I have forgotten the name.
The scent is out of this world...the stems are very prickly covered profusely with prickly thorns.

Take some time to stop and smell the flowers...
Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Abkhazi a gorgeous garden walkabout...

Here's a little sneak peek of the Abkhazi Garden in all it's glorious and vivid beauty.

The signage by the entrance directs one up the drive towards the house where the Tea Room is located.

China tea cups of various patterns are beautifully arranged on the white linen tablecloths.

We ordered crab cakes on a bed of organic greens and there was a tasty vinaigrette served on the side.

My lunch companion is a friend whom I met through blogging.
She writes the lovely blog Pondside.

I snapped this pretty orchid inside the washroom before we went on our garden walk.

The garden is set in a Garry Oak Meadow.

Some new wooden sculptures have been placed throughout the garden since I my last visit.

The pond is stocked with goldfish and we saw four "painted" turtles sunning themselves on the rocks.

The colours of the azaleas and rhododendrons are magnificent.

The original wee garden shed is painted a salmon pink and you can just see it by the orange azalea at the top.

A wooden sculpture nestled under the canopy of trees.

A vibrant pink bloom the size of a dinner plate!

This urn was quite tall and makes a real statement.
I'd love something like this is our Humble Bungalow Garden.

We took this photo so you would get an idea of the size and scale of the plantings in the garden.

The weather could not have been better and we had a delightful visit.
I hope that you liked this little jaunt and walkabout.
If you ever find yourself visiting Victoria I'd highly recommend that you visit The Abkhazi Gardens.
The best time to see the blooms in all their glory are the months of April and May.

Hope you've enjoyed this wee peek into one of my favourite gardens
 tucked away off the beaten path at Oak Bay's doorstep.

We have had a lovely 3 day holiday weekend and the weather has been sunny and warm.

I'm going to take a bit of a blog break...

I have a bunch of things that require my full attention...
 I get distracted writing, taking photos and generally maintaining The Humble Bungalow Blog.
See you in awhile!