Harvesting Lavender

harvesting lavender

For many years I had dreamed of the day when I could walk out to my own little herb garden to harvest my very own lavender.  I would envision myself harvesting lavender, filling baskets and baskets full of this sweetly aromatic herb. While thumbing through a magazine one day I came across some very impressive pictures with fields of lavender, no doubt they were lavender farms!  This prompted me to begin planning, not of fields of lavender for myself, but at least a decent sized border row all along one side of our property. You know, much like a farmers tree hedge row, only with lavender.

harvesting lavender

 Fast forward to today and here I am ladies harvesting lavender!  Yes, my very own lavender. It’s not a row of lavender yet, but hope does spring eternal that someday it will be. My figuring was that if I didn’t kill these first two plants this year then I’ll buy a few more every year until I finally have that row of lavender.

harvesting lavender

 I harvested  two plants of lavender and this is what it yielded.  Admittedly it doesn’t look like much. But I am hopeful that I will be surprised by how much it actually amounts to when it is dried.

harvesting lavender

harvesting lavender

harvesting lavender

To make a simple drying rack for the lavender just paint an old picture frame. Next replace the glass with utility wire fencing or even chicken wire could work.

lavender harvesting

I have hung my drying rack in the kitchen out of the direct sunlight. Not only is it pretty, but it smells fabulous!

harvesting lavender

Within hours I realised that the lavender was drying fast so I added a t-towel to the bottom of my frame to catch what had already dried.

harvesting lavender

Within one day I had already harvested a half of a pint of lavender. I am so excited that I now have lavender to use for sugar scrub and sachet that I want to make for gifts. I hope that this inspires you to add lavender to your herb garden. It is so fragrant, so pretty and so easy to harvest!

Blessings to all-Kimberly

harvesting lavender

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Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May

Gather Ye Wildflowers While Ye May

Robert Herrick 1591-1674-Gather Ye Rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying. The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he’s a-getting, The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he’s to setting.

Oh my, I could not have put it any better. Yesterday as I wandered about my surroundings capturing just a few last shots of the flower blooms before they turn to seed, this quote swirled through my mind. I am not ready to relinquish summer just yet! I can see that many are already embracing Fall. I am not there yet.

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May

Living in the North it takes many of our flowers much longer to bloom.

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May

And there life span is way too short.

gather ye rosebuds while ye may

gather ye rosebuds while ye may

gather ye rosebuds while ye may

gather ye rosebuds while ye may

Tell me, are you yearning for Fall already? Or are you, like me, hoping Summer will not give in so soon to Fall’s clutches?

To see one way that I like to display my roses view here.

Northern Ontario Wildflowers

Northern Ontario wildflowers
Northern Ontario Wildflowers-Aconitum Napellus and Fireweed

Little did I know that I had so many Northern Ontario Wildflowers right outside my own backyard. Early this morning I grabbed a glass of iced tea to take a moment to relax in my screened-in porch. But when my eyes feel upon the wildflowers peeping out over the top of my creek bridge I knew now was the time to get my best shot of these lovely ladies, so back into the house I went to get my camera!

northern ontario wildflowers

All of the Northern Ontario Wildflowers featured here are growing along what is now my dry creek bed banks.

Northern Ontario Wildflowers

We have had exceptionally warm weather this summer, which explains why we have so many more of the Northern Ontario Wildflowers growing this year.

Northern Ontario Wildflowers
Scarlet Lychnis and Goldenrod

My creek bed bridge borders with the woods at the edge of our little village. The black bear have recently been crossing it and using my backyard as a path to go scavenging into town. I’m not easily scared but I do have to admit that I did turn for an occasional look over my shoulder to see if there were any bear lurking there!

Northern ontario wildflowers
Purple Aster

I remember this Purple Aster from my childhood days in Missouri. It was prolific along the roadsides there as well.

northern ontario wildflowers

One of my favourite of the Northern Ontario Wildflowers is the dainty Forget-Me-Not. Maybe you remember the recent post that I wrote here on the Forget-Me-Not.

northern ontario wildflowers

The Joe-Pye-Weed hasn’t opened completely yet, but it appears to be close.

I’m just so glad that I made the decision this morning to leave the dirty dishes in the sink and the floor not swept and make my way outside where I had opportunity to smell the roses wildflowers! I only wish you could have been here to join me…

White Lake Provincial Park Ontario

White Lake Provincial Park Ontario
White Lake Provincial Park Ontario

The weather was so beautiful last Sunday that Tim and I decided to get out of town for a hiking adventure at the White Lake Provincial Park Ontario. It is just one of the several Ontario Provincial Parks located on the Lake Superior Circle Route. This was our first visit to the White Lake Provincial Park Ontario even though we drive past it several times a year and also live less than an hours drive from the park. And boy am I glad we finally stopped! Now I want to make it a goal to visit all of the Ontario’s Provincial Parks along Hwy 17 North.

white Lake Provincial Park Ontario
White Lake Provincial Park Ontario

There are several hiking trails to choose from at the White Lake Provincial Park Ontario. Since this was my first time out in the woods this summer I thought I should ease into it-chuckle, chuckle. I voted for the Clearwater trail to start, but frankly it was too easy,  even for someone who was a little rusty.

white Lake Provincial park Ontario
White Lake Provincial Park Ontario

The water was definitely clear on the Clearwater Trail!

White lake Provincial park Ontario
White Lake Provincial Park Ontario

The woodlands were littered with all kinds of magical fairy stumps.

White Lake provincial Park Ontario
White Lake Provincial Park Ontario

And there were giant shaggy bark trees.

White Lake Provincial Park Ontario
White Lake Provincial Park Ontario

Still full of energy, we decided to hike the Deer Lake Trail too. It is a 4.5 km trail, but after going 1.5 km the trail was covered with water and unless you have rubber boots on you would be walking through water mid-calf. Besides this fact, I heard some very distinct snapping of tree limbs and was thoroughly convinced it was a bear!

White Lake Provincial Park Ontario
White Lake Provincial Park Ontario

I spotted several Lady slippers on the Deer Trail.

White Lake Provincial Park Ontario
White Lake Provincial park Ontario

There were many fallen fungus covered trees on the woodland floor and some that looked like they had been just recently cut to clear the path for walking. All in all it was just about as perfect a day as one can have! We passed a moose on the road on our way out of town, spotted a beautiful red billed sand crane on the road back home, and then while watching TV we spotted a big black bear running across the road into our neighbors back yards. There have been nine bears spotted in town so far this spring and they have had to put three of them down I have heard. I am hoping that the berries ripen soon so they will return to the woods where they won’t suffer anymore harm.

Now I’m off to the sewing room for the next couple of days to put my new embroidery machine to the test! I can’t wait to share my projects with you on my next post.

Blessings Kimberly Signature

Forget Me Not Flowers

Forget Me Not Flowers
Forget Me Not Flowers

I had to quickly get out today to pick the Forget Me Not flowers before they disappeared.

They are really the most delicate and prettiest of flowers to me.
But they don’t seem to last long enough.
I bet they are already long gone from your yards.
Foget Me Not flowers
Foget Me Not Flowers

I hadn’t showed you yet, but the day of the Mother’s Day tea there was also a church sale at the local St. Paul’s United Church.

I was so thrilled to find two Forget Me Not flower teacups there.
They are both bone china and I was able to purchase them, along with several other items, for just a twenty dollar donation.
forget Me Not flowers
Forget Me Not Flowers
 I couldn’t resist getting a shot of the Forget Me Not flower teacups along side the real thing.
The sun was bright on the yard at that time, so there are many shadows showing, but I like the photo just the same!
Forget Me Not flowers
Forget Me Not Flowers
Of course now that I was on this whole Forget Me Not flower theme, I remembered that I had bought a necklace that reminded me of Forget Me Not.
I quickly retrieved it from the drawer, double wrapped it around my wrist, then called to Tim to come out and take a picture of me picking the flowers.
Even though none of this makes any sense to him, I’m sure, he was still good about going along with my craziness!
Forget Me Not Flowers
Forget Me Not Flowers
Lastly, here is my pretty ……
What? I don’t know what it is.
Maybe a sugar dish?
It’s another pretty Forget Me Not  flower piece I found and it had to come home with me.
Forget Me Not Flowers
Foget Me Not flowers

Just one more shot.

As you can see I could be a ‘before’ candidate for Jane Seymour’s special tissue paper hands cream.
 If by chance you are reading this, Jane, just e-mail me and I will send you my address.
I am more than ready and willing to be a guinea pig for your new tissue crepe paper skin cream!
~Until next time-Kimberly~

I found a review here-http://amominredhighheels.com/crepe-erase-review/

Wildflowers of Northern Ontario

A Collage of Spring Flowers
Last week was an unusual one….
We had several days of warm weather and sunshine followed by a drop to freezing temperatures and snow!
The last two days were warm again-27C (78F).

wildflowers of northern ontario
wildflowers of northern ontario
Yesterday we made a quick trip down to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. While there we always do a bit of shopping.
However, now that the exchange rate makes our Canadian dollar twenty percent less than the US dollar, it isn’t a whole lot cheaper to shop across the border any longer.
We can still get dairy and poultry products for less in the US, so we bought milk, cream, eggs, and cheese.
When passing through customs this trip imagine our surprise when the border agent ask us if we had bought any eggs or chickens.
After the usual “Do you have any alcohol or tobacco to claim?”, “Are you bringing any firearms across?” “Did you purchase any produce while visiting the states?”
He ask, “Did you purchase any eggs or chickens while visiting the states?”
“Yes, why?”
No answer.
“See that green disposal bin over there (he points to one), throw all of your eggs in it.”
We reply “okay” not wanting to hold up a whole line of cars that were behind us with more questions and also knowing that the news is just covered with the tragic bird flu outbreak happening in the US, so this must somehow be related to it.
Well, to make this long story short…
As Tim was disposing of our four dozen eggs (nearly ten bucks worth), he spoke with another border patrol who said that the eggs had been purchased from an Indiana egg farm (one of the states that has been hard hit by this bird flu) and therefore is not allowed in Canada.
I am reporting this as a warning to any of my Canadian friends who may occasionally do grocery shopping across the border.
I wish I could have been forewarned.
I am just so grateful that Tim changed his mind about purchasing chicken or our loss would have been so much greater!
wildflowers of northern ontario
Wildflowers of Northern Ontario

Before I wrap this post up for the day I have a question…

Can anyone tell me what this perennial plant is?
It has a very sweet fragrance to it.
I am wondering if it isn’t a herb…
Please let me know before I poison myself by trying to make a tea from it.
Just kidding!
I have an announcement to make tomorrow, so please come back to find out what it is.
It is very important!!!
Until then-Kimberly

Black Bears in Northern Ontario

black bears
Black Bears in Northern Ontario

Today was a Beary Good Day!

I spotted Mother Bear back with her cubs on the ski hill behind our home this morning.
The cubs were babies last year. They say that they will remain with their mother for this year.  Then when they are two years old, next year, they will go out on their own.
I brag that I am an expert on bears now because I devour any nature program that pertains to these beautiful creatures.
You may remember that Black Bears were fairly regular visitors when I lived on Lake Superior. If you would like to see a video you may look back to one of my older post
I don’t believe that I told you that this last Christmas I bought Tim one of those nature cams. He, just last week, mounted it on a tree  facing the creek that flows in the rear of our property.
I am hoping that while we are sleeping Momma Bear may pass by so we can have a good close up of her. I had to use my zoom  for the above photo, but it doesn’t begin to capture her true size and beauty.
This is all I have to report today, ladies.
I’ll be back with those photos if I’m lucky…