Sunday, July 27, 2014

Peace of History

Kelowna knows roses. We found this one in a city park rose garden next to beautiful Lake Okanagan and identified it as Chicago Peace, a sport of the French bred Peace rose. Aside from being among the most popular (and stunning) roses of all time, the Peace roses are WWII survivors.

The Peace rose, correctly Rosa 'Madame A. Meilland', is a well-known and successful garden rose. Over one hundred million plants had been sold by 1992. It is a Hybrid Tea rose with large flowers of a light yellow to cream color, slightly flushed at the petal edges with crimson-pink. It is hardy and vigorous and relatively resistant to disease, making it popular in gardens as well as in the floral trade.

It was developed by French horticulturist Francis Meilland in the years 1935 to 1939. When Meilland foresaw the German invasion of France he sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the United States to protect the new rose. It is said, that it was sent to the US on the last plane available before the German invasion, where it was safely propagated by the Conard Pyle Co. during the war.

As Meilland sent his cuttings just before the war, communication between the cultivators was not possible, which is why the rose received different names. In France it was called 'Madame A. Meilland', in honour of the breeder's mother. This is the formal cultivar name; all other names are selling names. In Italy it was called Gioia (It. for joy), in Germany Gloria Dei (lat. for glory of God) and in the USA, Peace.

The rose became known as Peace in the following way. In early 1945 Meilland wrote to Field Marshal Alan Brooke (later Viscount Alanbrooke), the principal author of the master strategy that won the Second World War, to thank him for his key part in the liberation of France and to ask if Brooke would give his name to the rose. Brooke declined saying that, though he was honored to be asked, his name would soon be forgotten and a much better and more enduring name would be "Peace".

The adoption of the trade name "Peace" was publicly announced in the United States on 29 April 1945 by the introducers, Messrs Conard Pyle Co.. This was the very day that Berlin fell, officially considered the end of the Second World War in Europe. Later that year Peace roses were given to each of the delegations at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco, each with a note which read:"We hope the 'Peace' rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace".  - Wikipedia

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Carol's Garden Grad Party

Here's what we saw on a recent stalk, er walk, down one of our favorite blocks.

It was  planted in the landscape along with the farm part garden art as if it had always been there.

That Carol! She's been up to being clever again.

This temporary installation of a  party and personal history signpost with arrows pointing to attractions of the day as a well as the grad's elementary and high school Alma Maters had to be her handiwork. So fun. Just like her!

Looks like a new frosh is headed to the U of W this fall. 190 miles! So far from Mom's cookie jar!

As his parents well know... You can't keep 'em down on the farm.

But you can send them off in grand style and welcome them and their dirty laundry home at Thanksgiving.

Good luck to all!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guess Who's Coming for Coffee?

If we had seen this guy before our first cup of coffee we might not have believed our eyes, but we spotted him as we went for a refill.

He looked right us, probably thinking, "I wonder if they have blueberry muffins?", and then ambled on headed in the direction of the beach down the shore. Perhaps bathing before breakfast is part of his invariable routine. Good on him, we say. Even bears need structure in their day. 

08:00 Wake up, snort 
08:30 Bathe, shake, sun self on beach
09:00 Check blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries for ripeness
09:30 Dig into rotty stump for grubs and ants
10:00 Small siesta

And so on.

It was a first sighting in our very own screen porch vista and kicked off an unofficial wildlife survey for the day. By sundown the list included: bear, deer (of course), loon, osprey, turkey, sandhill crane, garter snake, urban (Cable, WI) rabbit, hummingbird, bat, and the usual assortment of chattering chipmunks and squirrels of various colors. All happy we presume, that the vacationers' fireworks supplies have finally been depleted by being deployed off and on over the course of a 4th celebration that seemed to stretch all the way to the 14th of July. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

And That's How it Happened

The day began like any other day in 1964 out on scenic Lake Michigan. And then......

“All Passengers to the Life Boats!  Women and Children First!”
This desperate announcement came as a great surprise to the largely bored passengers, most of whom were staring out port holes at the dense fog.  Many chose to ignore it completely.  Some never heard it in the first place, for instance a fellow named Jack from Chippewa Falls who was below decks in a parked car whose windows were also obscured with dense fog.
But eventually some sense of urgency did impress upon the passengers, and it started with the upper crust of society.  Mrs. Astor and Mrs. Vanderbilt became concerned.

“Shucks, Dorleen, ya think they mean it?” said Mrs. Astor.  (Well, the part about being a Mrs. was a little debatable, Shari Sue Astor was not entirely sure that her divorce from a previous husband was in order, so she and Cletus Astor had never officially tied the knot.)
“Well”, said Dorleen Vanderbilt (nee Klumbowitz), “I suppose they might”.
A leisurely shuffle to the boat deck ensued as the Ship’s Orchestra belted out a polka version of 
“Nearer My God to Thee”.
With their need to balance Miller Lite cans, Marlboros, and a couple of squares of cheddar cheese on skewers, the Cream of Society arrived a bit late.  The last place on the life boat was just being taken by a spunky little girl with brunette hair and a no nonsense attitude.
“Move it punk”, proclaimed Mrs. Astor regally.
“No way, ya old bat.  I’m a lady and a child and you ain't either one!”
There was a brief scuffle during which Mrs. Vanderbilt acquired a nasty bite mark just north of her “Tramp Stamp” , and in which the pugnacious little girl received a wicked skewer scratch to her neck.
Fortunately further injury was averted – and just in time, the kid was winding up with a rusty marlin spike – when the crew of the S.S. Badger belatedly announced that it was merely a life boat drill, and that arrival at Manitowoc, Wisconsin would be on time.

Friday, July 4, 2014

This is the Porch Life

Spring finally came and the birds did their thing while we were away. We came back to a nest with three beautiful eggs in a wreath right outside the front door, and a very nervous mother robin. So we avoided the porch as much as possible even though we had waited all winter to enjoy it. 

By some miracle no naughty grackles or jays pushed eggs or babies out of the nest and these three little worm-eaters made it to fledgling state while effectively holding our porch hostage for almost a month. Then they left the nest and haven't even been back to visit or say thanks.

In the meantime...with the help of the queen of porch accouterments, Jerisew(s), we got to make a new accessory that says it all.

And we inherited heritage rocking chairs from another great West Hill porch when the longtime owners began the next great adventure.

Now all we need are some porch sitters. 

Y'all come by now y'hear?