Month: August 2012

Images from a Summer Garden

Images from a Summer Garden

Having enjoyed one of the sunniest
and warmest summers on record in our
area, I felt it time to look back over
some of the pleasures to be found in and around our Chester gardens.


Perennial sweet peas are a delightful surprise every spring when they appear at the foot of a wrought-iron fence and soon send out massive tendrils and blooms that create a privacy hedge.  The yellow flowers above belong to a tall artichoke plant (a volunteer that sprang up under a cluster of lilacs). Seasoned gardeners may also spy a young goldenrod peeking out from the background.

Wisteria drapes gracefully over a pergola, providing a shady nook on a hot day.

A pale pink rose whose I.D.  tag was lost almost as soon as it was planted in June (sigh…) has produced innumerable blossoms now that it is encased in a net cage designed to foil the deer who had dined on the bush a few nights after I had planted it.  (Perhaps one of the deer also ingested the tag!) 

Of course, deer weren’t the only wildlife to appear in our gardens.  We’re home to raccoons, pheasants and foxes, as well as birds and bees. The bee below is finding nectar and pollen in a rose blossom  – the fragrant Blanc double de Coubert. 

In early summer, gardeners and tennis players alike were supervised daily by a pair of hummingbirds who liked to perch high on a weathervane where they could survey the action in all directions.  Although they drank from strategically placed feeders, they also had access to honeysuckle vines and many other natural sources.

The standard bird feeder was a busy meeting place for chickadees, goldfinches, song-sparrows and purple finches.  Larger birds,  like mourning doves, pheasants and crows, hung around the base of the stand picking up fallen seeds.   

A future project includes learning to shoot with a video camera so that I can capture scenes like the dance of the Monarch butterflies that were busy quenching their thirst on a Buddleia in full bloom.

As perennials die back, the old reliables –  annuals, such as nasturtiums and petunias  – continue to flaunt their bright colours.  But, as this newly harvested crop of peaches attests, summer is slowly but surely drawing to a close. 

newly harvested ripe peaches

summer sunset
On a positive note, the approach of autumn means the start-up of classes, clubs and workshops designed to energize us all during the cooler months ahead.  By coincidence, having recently enjoyed the presence of a large group of  beautiful “Monarchs” in our garden, we have just been advised that the first fall meeting of the Chester Garden Club will feature Roberta MacDonald,  who will give an illustrated presentation on  Monarch butterflies.  The  meeting is scheduled for September 17, 6:30 for 7:00 PM at St. Stephen’s Parish Community Centre. 

Tools Laid Aside for a Summer Party

Tools Laid Aside for a Summer Party

It was a hot and muggy day so gardeners were pleased to be able to exchange their spades and secateurs for a cold glass and a plate of luncheon treats at the Chester Garden Club’s annual summer party.

The potluck operation meant that a variety of delicious plates were on offer, once the wrappings came off.  Jeannie and Brenda perform a hand-off (above) while hostess Esther tucks in another plate  behind the centrepiece.  Below, a final survey shows that all is ready except for a few more dishes that still need unwrapping!

Having learned a new technique at a recent NSAGC District meeting, it was Jocelyn who created the striking edible centrepiece for the buffet table.  Alex played bartender as the party got underway.

Even Willie, offspring of a champion English Springer Spaniel, enjoyed socializing on the deck.  The photo below captures not only one of our cherished Life Members, Maggie,  in conversation with Myra, but also a reflection in the window  of  photographer Kay herself.
Of course, there were those who preferred to stay inside, close to the refreshments.

Refreshments included a “champagne” toast to mark a significant anniversary.

And now,  having presented a partial review of the event, it looks as though we have had a garden party sans fleurs.  So, the following photos of oriental lilies (grown locally, but in another garden) may add just the finishing touch.

Thanks to Kay, Herb and Robert for the photos.
Flower Show and Tea: part 3 – winding up

Flower Show and Tea: part 3 – winding up

This post concludes the pictorial review of Chester Garden Club’s annual Flower Show and Tea (see parts 1 and 2 in previous posts).  As the afternoon progressed, committee members rotated through a variety of tasks:  selling tickets, making up sandwich plates, pouring tea and serving guests. Those not on active duty found themselves moving about the exhibit floor, admiring the displays and greeting friends and acquaintances. By four o’clock, when Cynthia took to the podium to announce the winning entries, even some of the committee were seated for tea.  The following images are a random sample of the colourful displays as well as the participants and visitors, all of whom enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon.

Congratulations to all the club members who worked to make the afternoon such a success. And a special thanks to Graham and Cynthia for providing a slew of photos of the event. The hardest part of preparing this blog was the selection of representative images that offered a hint of the delightful atmosphere without overwhelming our viewers.

Flower Show and Tea: part 2 – admiring the results

Flower Show and Tea: part 2 – admiring the results

Choosing from among 350 photos of the floral displays, and the personalities in attendance, at the club’s annual Flower Show and Tea has been a difficult task.  To help provide as many images as possible on the blog,  we have resorted to the “gallery” format for parts 2 and 3. 

To view the picture in a larger format, simply click on the image. 

This post contains some of the floral arrangements and horticultural specimens that adorned the tables as well as some candid shots of the personalities who were responsible for running the show as well as guests who enjoyed the show and tea.  The next post (Part 3) will include the winners of ribbons and trophies.