Archive for the ‘The Urban Jungle’ Category

Spring in Ottawa is a fleeting experience. Too soon, the cold of winter melts into the heat and humidity of summer, leaving a few short weeks of warming days and cooler nights.

The Springs of my Nova Scotian childhood were longer, damper, and a gently unfolding discovery of emerging bulbs, new leaves, violets and a hidden world slowly coming back to life.

Spring, in my mind, has a scent — wet mud with a tinge of cut grass wafting on a warm, salted breeze.

The aroma of Spring holds a high note of violets and lilac blossoms, and a bottom note of farmer’s fields.

Spring in Ottawa smells like this, too, for about a week.

It’s sandwiched between the “melting stage” (dog poo, vehicle exhaust, and skating rink) and the “cook an egg on the sidewalk” stage (chip truck, hot parking lot, splash pad chlorine).

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My favourite thing about June, other than the approaching end of school lunches, is the explosion of roses in my garden. Depending on the fickleness of Ottawa weather, they can last for most of the month or be gone in a week.

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My backyard was long ago nicknamed “The Urban Jungle” by our friends — possibly because I loathe yard work, so all of my shrubs are ecstatically unkempt, but also because it is so sheltered from the usual city sounds I can fool myself into thinking I’m in the country by closing my eyes.

I can’t get enough of the colours and textures the garden throws at me. Right now, with my farmhouse roses entering full bloom, there is also a lingering sweetness in the breeze. I’m going to let some of those colours and textures speak for themselves:

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Who doesn’t love a touch of vintage flair on a summer patio? Taking something old and re-purposing or re-envisioning it is a style technique as old as time. Cheerios is doing it with their classic staple of childhood past and present, by introducing their new Honey Nut Cheerios Hearty Oat Crunch — my kids couldn’t wait to open the box and try it, and give it their full endorsement!

Backyard entertaining is a summer must for us — our small house makes indoor events a challenge. Here is a simple candle lantern you can make yourself to decorate your breakfast nook or your backyard gazebo:

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