Saturday, May 23, 2015

For the Love of Lilacs {How to Keep Cut Lilacs Last Longer}

Some people wait for certain season so they can indulge in their favorite seasonal sports or activities. As for me, I anticipate each season because of the flowers that bloom on certain time of the year. My spring is always highlighted by none other than lilacs. Although I appreciate the beauty of other spring flowers like sakura (cherry blossoms), tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, there is something about lilacs that make my heart sing. Its sweet fragrance reminds me so much of Sampaguita flowers from my beloved Philippines. 

In our previous home, my hubby planted a lilac bush for me (the Tinkerbell variety, here) which produced lovely flowers for 9 years. I was so sad to leave our lilac tree behind when it was time to move to the countryside. Imagine my surprise when I realized there are 13 {yes, 13!} lilac trees planted throughout the property of our new {old} home.

This is our first spring at birdsong {that's the name we gave our home} so when all the lilacs started blooming a week ago, everyday is like my birthday. These gorgeous flowers greet me every morning from our bedroom window and at night, we could smell its distinct lovely scent while we watch the sunset from our backyard deck. Simply divine!

Currently, we have 4 different varieties {photos below}: "Beauty of Moscow ", "Sensation", "Japanese Lilac" and  "Lavender Lady ". All of theme are equally gorgeous but I find the "Beauty of Moscow" has the sweetest scent. 

Unfortunately, lilac flowers last for only 2 weeks on the tree {cut flowers usually last for 3 days} Every year, I could not resist bringing some cut flowers inside the house to enjoys its scent and beauty even when I am indoor. Here are some tips from my favorite Doc Lilac to make the cut flowers last a little bit longer.

Using a sharp pruning scissors, cut/harvest the flowers early in the morning or late in the day as mid day heat will wilt them. 

As soon as you've cut the flowers, immediately plunge the stems into lukewarm water that has flower preservative in it.

Take off all foliage. If you leave the foliage on, the nutrients from the water will go to the leaves rather than the buds. {If you want foliage, cute separate stems of leaves and place those in the water.}

Then enjoy!

The "Lavender Lady" is now the centre piece of our dinning table .....

A combination of "Sensation" and "Beauty of Moscow" grace the spring table in our parlour ....

And a bunch of "Beauty of Moscow" add freshness in the powder room ...

Indoor and out, my heart sings with joy ..... if only you can last longer ....

Linking with Flaunt It Friday

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spring ..... Pass it On

What a wondrous time is spring when all the trees are budding ....

The birds begin to sing .....

The flowers start their blooming ....

That's how it is with God's love. Once you've experienced it. You want to sing, its fresh like spring. You want to pass it on ....

Monday, May 4, 2015

Pure Bliss Travel : Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia

When God creates and man embellish.... 

From downtown Halifax, I drove south for 45 minutes early in the morning hoping to cross off an item in my travel bucket list. 

Lo and behold .... a true feast for my eyes and a treat for my {iPhone} lens!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

After 19 Years .....

To my man, my partner, my lover, my friend, my pure bliss, thank you for 19 wonderful years.  
I look forward to celebrating  more milestones with you .....

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Birdsong Garden Chronicle {Part 1}

It started with our dream of having a small land to plant fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and flowers. We are on our way to see the fruition of our dream. It is not going to be easy. There's a lot of hard work involved. But we are fulfilling our dream, one day at a time. Sharing with you our journey.... Let the hard work begin!

A little back story....
I took this photo at the beginning of Fall 2014 when we started planning the organic garden. The land behind the wooden fence that used to be the home of turkeys, goats and lambs will be converted to an organic garden.

On a closer look, this is what the space looks like. this piece of land is divided into 2 areas by wooden fence. The right side of the land {which is behind me on this photo} will be the vegetable garden and some shade loving plants. This part is near the chicken house. So hopefully,we can create an environment where the girls can forage for insects and worms.

Day 1 
The day started gloomy, cold and foggy. Definitely not a good start 
frown emoticon
By mid morning, the sun was out and the geese started flying back home from their journey south of the boarder. If they are working hard, why can't we?

So here we are on day one! Smiling and excited {I wonder how long the excitement last. LOL}

This is the bird's eye view of the vegetable garden. I am the first one to say that when we were surveying the area, we were overwhelmed! There is no way we will be able to fill this land with vegetables and herbs this year. It will take some time and money {which we don't have much!}. Dear hubby said, "lets fill what we can and add some more when we can. First things first. We need to remove the dead leaves". That's why I love him! We raked and raked and raked until I can no longer stand up straight. 10 bags of leaves and we are not done yet!

After clearing the earth with fallen leaves, dear hubby started re-staining the small barn that used to be the lambs' house. He wants to use this for this garden tools and a place for the chicken and ducks' feeds.

Since it is too early to plant anything {it's still cold in our neck of the woods}, we have to wait for a couple more weeks. While waiting, dear hubby built 4 raise beds for the veggies and herbs. We will start preparing the soil next week.

I on the other hand was busy with the girls. Their coop and garden needed a serious spring cleaning.

Meanwhile  our feisty Effie Trinket was seriously observing hubby while was working outside the girls's garden. I wonder what was she thinking?

Day 2
Now we move on to the left side of the land. This space used to be the goats' area. One day, hubby wants this place to be filled with apple and pear trees, flowers and other plants that will attract birds, butterflies and bees. As it is, you can see blue jays and cardinals here early mornings.

Dismantling of the goals playground started hubby's day. While he worked with a crowbar. I continued raking this part of the land. Another 10 bags of leaves! Maple trees are beautiful in the summer and fall but when the leaves start falling, start calling the saints for help!

When the play pen was finally dismantled, now you can see another small barn that used to hold the hay for the goats. This will be converted to my potting shed! I can't wait to embellish this with flowers and pots and make it my own space! The enclosed area beside my shed will be Muning's play pen. I will fill it with cat grass and catnip {which she loves to death} so she can also enjoy the backyard while we work in the garden.

I also got busy re-staining my potting shed with dazzling barn red!

Near the pond, Katniss and Peeta were debating if they will take the plunge because the water is still icy and filed with winter debris. But they missed the water so much so they did it. Here's Peeta after he took his first spring bath! 

When we can work no more, we feasted on this delicious spring veggie tart and refreshing strawberry and lime sangria from my kitchen. After day two, we were both tired to the bones but still excited. Tomorrow is another day! 

Until next time .... come visit us again for the continuation of our journey .....

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