June 2009

While May had its moments in terms of rain and temperatures, June's off to a rip-roaring start. The last week of May as a matter of fact was sunny and warm and it has surely helped with the boom of flowers we're seeing now. Here we have a lovely Bearded Iris we suspect is Iris 'Sultan's Sunrise'. We got this from one of the garden volunteers from the home Waita's Mom spent her last couple of years in and it would be too much to ask for them come up with the proper name for it. We do know the name of this next one though: 'Champagne Elegance', a variety we've had for a few years now and it's doing quite well this year.

The usual suspects in Tulips, Daffodils and Scilla have all faded and are being replaced by the first of the Lilies, like this 'Tiny Bee' which is new to us this year and has been making a showing in the backyard for almost a week now.

Earlier in the afternoon of June 2nd I noticed this cluster of baby spiders that had suddenly appeared on the edge of a small Echinecea in our potting area. By the time I got back to it with my camera around 6PM the lighting had changed, a fair number had dispersed already and I was reminded yet again that when you see something that visually speaks to you it is best not to delay getting the camera and the picture. They were this nice, tidy ball of yellow bodies, but now they're scattering about and going out into the big world. Still looks kinda neat though with a few of them appearing to be suspended mid-air.

Just around the corner from there we have an unidentified Hosta -sometimes referred to as a NOID- that is well on its way to blooming. The leafy bracts on the scape along with the serrated blue leaves ought to be enough for the cognoscenti to figure out what it is, but no-one has come forward with the proper name thus far, in spite of me trying it on a couple of different on-line forums. Interestingly enough, the serrated leaves that were such a stand-out earlier in the season as they started to unfurl, have been virtually non-existent with the second flush of leaves, there's hardly a serration to be seen on any of those...

For the past 2½ weeks or so we've been working on changing the ceiling in our family room to a configuration that would allow for continued access to services like wiring and plumbing without having to rip out the whole ceiling, again. We had started to convert the small ceilings in the laundry room and the hallway downstairs to a similar style you see here and it only made sense to continue in the same vein in the family room.

What see here that looks like tiles in place are actually fixed pieces of drywall that have to permanently hide and/or anchor things like lighting fixture enclosures, the heating plenum and the center joist to which the whole 2x4 sub-ceiling is attached. The tiles that drop in the openings are made from standard drywall, cut to size, covered with anaglypta and then painted in a matte white finish. The anaglypta makes the tiles look like bead board. On top of these tiles we will put additional Roxul Safe-n-Sound in addition to what you already see in place tucked between the upstairs floor joists, that stuff's great for killing sound, it really helps deaden a room.

Where you see that dangling light socket in the left of the picture there will be a ceiling fan to help increase creature comfort in all seasons.

The ceiling construction was finished on the 12th, all that's left to do is install the fan and that will wait until the walls have been done. Over the weekend we spent a fair bit of time showing various friends and neighbours not just the fruits of our labours but also to get input on the colour scheme for the room. The last thing we want is for the room to look out of step with the rest of the house and Waita ended up painting large patches of paint on the kitchen wall of the colours we have on the wall in the living room and dining room, as well as the colour of both the wall and trim we have used in the downstairs hallway and laundry room.

First thing we noticed is how different the same colour looked on the walls of the dining room and living room, a function of the amount and kind of light each of these rooms sees. It looks different again in the family room and we both felt it was too dark to use as the wall colour. But it looks great for the trim of the cove that's going in, with the walls being the same colour as we've used for the trim in the hallway and laundry room. We've gone back and forth on this quite a few times and came to the conclusion that the wall colour of the adjoining hallway was too bright and did not do justice to any artwork you'd care to put up against it, whereas the trim colour used for the walls nicely pops artwork.

A question asked quite frequently is 'where did you guys see this' and we didn't see it anywhere. When all's said and done it boils down to one of Waita's brain waves we started to work with when we were trying to come to grips with the need in a couple of areas in the back of the house where continued access to services would be highly desirable and neither of us liked the idea of using the typical t-bar suspended ceiling. Yes, it's a lot more work, a lot. And quite a bit more costly as well, but I think you will agree though that the end result warrants the extra time and money.

June of course is when we start seeing the annual flurry of Asiatic lilies in bloom. Here we see 'Orange Beauty' in the background and in the foreground is an OT called 'Yelloween', I think.

Here you see them from a different angle. In the foreground you may see quite the number of Hosta scapes, they're on a couple of Undulatas. In the background you barely see the last of the flowers on the Weigela.

Though a good deal of the colour you see here comes from an annual, Lobelia, we are starting to see more and more of the perennials we planted come into bloom in the baskets, as the pink flowers will attest to.

June of course is also Honeysuckle month in our yard. The sweet scent of the flowers permeates the neighbourhood it seems, one of our neighbours was telling us she gets her daughter to open her bedroom window so they could enjoy the scent, particularly in the mornings.