Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Mixed Bag

The expression mixed bag usually refers to an assortment of unrelated objects. Today I am focussing on a mixed bag of natural events happening simultaneously: perennials in the garden are starting to bloom, as are wild flowers at the park and beach, and ducklings and goslings and other nestlings are continuing their cycle of life. 

In the garden the perennials are set to burst into bloom. Below the flowering stems of the succulent "Hen and Chickens"; neither a real hen or a chicken but a succulent that spreads when tiny versions of the parent plant, the chickens, spring from all around the parent looking like a mother hen attempting to shelter its chicks.

The last few Camillia blooms. This year we have had hundreds of blooms on our Camelia bushes.

The lilac is just flowering, a beautiful and fragrant addition to the garden.

The apple trees are covered in flower, hopefully leading to abundant apple crops this fall.

The wild lupins at the beach and in the park are just starting to bloom in beautiful blues, pinks and purples.

... and these insects have noticed.

The Horse chestnut trees are in flower with their wonderful, delicate blooms.

The buttercups are bursting into bloom too, beautiful buttery yellows shining in the sunshine.

When my Wisteria died back a couple of years ago, I was worried that it had died, but it has since regrown (from below the graft I believe) and is flowering robustly again this year. It provides a wonderful sweet fragrance at this time of year and then a welcome shade on our patio throughout the summer.

 In the park the Wild Roses are in bloom, so elegant, so understated, so beautiful.

At the pond in the park the Redwing blackbirds are busily looking after their nestlings; here I strayed a little too close to the nest and attracted the attention of both the male and female Red wings:

The Canada Geese float elegantly on the pond.

 This pair has five goslings to take care of and this morning all were catching a few winks when I stopped by with my camera.

Back at home this Downy Wodpecker is enjoying the suet that I have left out.

More succulents flowering.

The red Peony is always the first to bloom in my garden: the bud and then the flower.

The delicate Corn Flower bud and below the flower.

The start of the Day Lilies; as the name implies each flower lasts only a day.

The last spring and early summer are a wonderful and eventful time in the garden, and probably my favorite time of the year.

Here is a recently finished watercolour of a Great Blue Heron. I am donating this painting to the Brock House Summer Fair Art Sale.

Thank you for dropping by, and Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next week ...


  1. A beautiful selection of wonderful flowers. The lupins in the field are amazing. My mum grew lupins when I was a child, I loved collecting their seeds. I've not seen them since.

  2. beautiful painting, once again!

    loved this entire set of photos. just strolling along, enjoying the beauty of the blooms. LOVE lilacs! and your lupines are so beautiful!

  3. Love all your photographs of the flowers & nature! I am really enjoying my new surroundings here in Washington. Lovely watercolor are very talented!

  4. Just love the colors, and the flowers. But the Goslings stole my heart.....

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  5. Every time I visit your blog I find myself repeating "Wow!" a number of times as I scroll through your lovely photos. You sure have a gorgeous bouquet to share, this time. Those goslings are precious and your painting, as always is so impressive. Herons are among my favourite birds so this was quite the treat. Thank you for that.

  6. Your painting is without doubt, excellent. It's the best. I love them all.

  7. I absolutely love your great blue heron painting. Wonderful mixed bag of wildlife and flowers. Lupines are a favorite of mine and such a delight seeing the goslings as well as the other birds.

  8. Gillian, I enjoyed your lovely post and photos. The lilacs and lupines are some of my favorites. Your painting is gorgeous, a wonderful donation. Have a great evening.

  9. What a gorgeous selection of flowers you have in your photos. Wisteria grows here by the house, however, I am severely allergic to it. I will post some flower shots in the days to come on the blog. Love your work on the Blue Heron.

  10. Summer is blooming beautifully in your neck of the woods, I love your Great Blue Heron. They are such magnificent birds.

  11. I love your posts Gillian !
    so colorfull and sunny !

  12. Your Watercolor is wonderful. You are one talented lady.. So many great photos thanks for sharing..


  13. Such gorgeous shots. Love those wild roses!

  14. Oh, what a charming mixed bag!! I like this expression “a mixed bag” very much. I especially love unique flowers of "Hen and Chickens" and quiet wild rose. It is so good to hear your wisteria flowers are beautifully blooming. Wisteria season was over here in Nara, I miss them. All of your photos are gorgeous!
    Have a great week.

  15. Amazing photos as always Gillian - hope that you're enjoying your travels!

  16. A most delightful post filled with colorful, gorgeous photographs! Viewing this beautiful entry certainly brightened my day. What a lovely area you must live in! The lilacs and lupine are especially exquisite, though all are so very lovely.

  17. When I look through your posts, I get the sense that I need to show them to my students. So many colours, and impressions from different seasons.

  18. Beautiful flowers. I especially like the wild roses. I had a redwinged blackbird encounter, too. They sure are loud.

  19. What a beautiful mixed bag, Gillian! New life springing up all around you, and I think you captured it with sensitivity and awareness. Your watercolour is so realistic, it feels as though the heron is about to take off from the branch.

  20. The peonys are lovely as are all your blooms. There is something magical about a Great Blue Heron. I captured one in flight last week and it was spectacular. Hope your painting helps out:)