in the meantime —

Away to Ottawa for a few days to help Forrest and Manon build a trellis over the deck we helped them build last May. It was our great fortune to have the company of Angelica, Brendan, Cristen, and grandbaby Kelly too during our stay. Here’s the trellis in its infancy:

beginningsAnd here it is three days later, in use:

in useThat little vine in front is a rooted cutting from the wisteria John’s mother brought from her mother’s garden in Suffolk in the 1970s. We have three huge vines from it and I am so happy to know that it will live on in other gardens, providing shade and memory, along with its spectacular blooms and fragrance. It survived its first Ottawa winter so the future looks promising.

Here’s my granddaughter helping me to weed garlic:

P1110932And here’s my beautiful daughter and daughter-in-law and granddaughter at brunch on our last morning together:

P1110920And here’s Kelly’s granddad:

P1110951And our hosts Forrest and Manon (who will have a baby of their own in October, a welcome addition to future family gatherings):

P1110924I loved seeing what a doting father my son Brendan has become, patient and loving:

P1110949In the meantime, at home, things grew:

P1110982P1110988P1110980Now I have to go tie up tomatoes which have already begun to bloom.

waiting at home

Yesterday we returned home from a week in Ottawa, a week during which a deck was built, many walks were taken, large meals were indulged in, and some explorations were conducted at the Museum of Civilization. I kept seeing wildflowers I wasn’t familiar with (near Calabogie Lake), and trees. A pine with very long soft leaves. Oaks just coming into leaf, the leaves themselves almost frilly, with red margins. (I brought back an acorn and will try to grow one for myself.) On the Eagle Nest trail, there was a small toadlet and amazing views and I brought back memories of those stored in a safe place.

Coming up the driveway, we were so thrilled to see that the wisteria framing our patio (on a long cedar beam taken from a tree we took down years ago and had milled into lumber, a process described in Mnemonic: A Book of Trees) was in full bloom. When we left last week, it was in bud, the leaves opening but not yet fully out. Friend Jeffrey, who stayed here for a couple of nights while we were away, took this photograph:

wisteriaThere are two more of these beauties around the house and I took a root to Forrest and Manon for their garden. (John has already been booked for next spring to help them to build a pergola over one end of the new deck.) The wisterias came from John’s mother who brought them in turn from her mother’s garden in Felixstowe, along with mint, perennial geranium, honeysuckle, tucked into her suitcase after summer visits. I took kale to Ottawa and a tiny mountain ash; and I brought back violets, the ones growing like weeds in the grass and which I carefully dug up from the place where the deck was going to be built.

And it looks like one of my novellas has found a home. A publisher who is enthusiastic about the form has written to say she would love to publish Patrin in the spring of 2016! More on this as things develop but this news is too good to keep to myself!