As you most likely know, she was the the Duchess of Devonshire, and youngest of a large family of remarkable siblings. In this memoir she describes her life right up to her 90th year. Several things stood out in my random fly-paper mind - the sadness of losing so many of her friends in WWII, the responsibility of all those homes (Chatsworth, etc.), her friendship with the Kennedys, her love of everything Elvis - including Graceland (an excellent representation of the decoration of the period), much to the horror of some fancy American journalists, and last and most importantly for this post, her love of wildflowers. She owned a book called "Handbook of the British Flora" by Bentham & Hooker that described every wild flower in Great Britain. Each description was accompanied by a line drawing. When she (and others as you learn later on in the book) came upon a particular wild flower, she would colour it, noting when and where she discovered it. Wouldn't you just love to come across one of these old books? Perhaps I'll have a chance when I'm in England this spring.
Back to the northern side of Lake Ontario - if ever a place on earth could use a little colour these days, it's here in Oakville as you can see below. Thank goodness for Christmas lights and decoration at this time of year, they're a tonic to the dull and grey. I convinced Kevin that rather than the Royal Botanical Gardens, we should try to go for a walk on my wildflower trail. Like almost every other trail in Oakville - it was closed - dangerous conditions - but took our lives in hand and scurried under the police tape to see what we could see in honour of this last Wildflower Wednesday of the year.
I know I'm a little further along the path here, but I hope that no one "harvested" the evergreen on the right….. (photos from this fall to compare)
A family with their big dog went out on the ice to test it out. Remember in Quebec, they used to drive their cars onto the ice …..
When you're out walking in this sea of beige/grey/black, you're struck by the beauty. When I compare it to the fall photos - it really is so very bleak.
Good for the garden designer in all of us seeing what stands and what falls down in the ice - and the importance of shape and structure.
So many of the seeds and berries are encased in ice - wish I'd brought a couple handfuls of birdseed.
Lovely old teasel.
The birds would really have to peck to get to these.
After one short lap, it was back to the car bringing this "Wildflowers Would be Growing Here, if Only it were a Lot Warmer Wednesday" to an end.
Hope you have very Merry Christmas! And while you're nibbling at your chocolate - visit Gail's blog at http://www.clayandlimestone.com for her wonderful Wildflower Wednesday Review for 2013.