You Can Go Home Again

Bellus Animus is where it all began back in early 2002, and it’s time to return to my proper home.  I didn’t even know what a blog was when my daughter presented me with that first one, but she was convinced that I needed one, and wouldn’t be dissuaded.  As usual, she was absolutely right.  The considerable time and effort put into designing and setting up that first blog was much appreciated, but the best part of the gift was the name.  Definitely one of the nicest compliments that  I’ve ever received!    She eventually changed my blog name when she bought a domain and hosted my blog with hers, and there have been numerous changes since.  However, I clung on to Bellus for sentimental reasons, and it’s my handle pretty much everywhere else online.  It has become as much a part of my identity as my actual name is, so registering it as a permanent .com home for my blog rounds the circle.

Alex wanted to do the setting up and prettying up of this new space, just for old times’ sake.  But of course now her minimalist tastes don’t clash with my own preferences.  Ahem.  Clutter is exhausting, and I’m all about stark simplicity these days.  Who’d have thunk it, eh?!

As for content, it will be a return to my blogging style of yore, kind of sort of.  Rather like the modern equivalent of a commonplace book, with some personal history and snippets about daily life thrown in for good measure.  Probably the odd portion of navel-gazing, too, as it wouldn’t be a blog without at least a bit of introspection, right?

Good grief, but it’s nice to feel comfortable writing a blog post again.  Sometimes you really can go back home, and absolutely should.


Mid-July Fleurs

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Philadelphia fleabane

Philadelphia fleabane

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Swamp Milkweed

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More phlox

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Daylily, the parent plant of which Alex bought for her dear old mom at a nearby church fun day when she was 6 years old.  The first of many Mother’s Day additions to the garden!

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All photos kindly shared by my daughter, Alex.


July, A New Prince, and More Garden Colour

Right, that’s better.  The hot, sticky weeks have given way to breezy days with temps in the low 20s, so life resumes again.  I’m not greedy enough to begrudge heat lovers their weeks of bliss, but I’m definitely glad that it’s my turn to enjoy summer for a bit.  No doubt the heat will return before it’s all over, but for right now it’s absolutely perfect for all members of our household.    Summer is a short season in this part of the world, so it’s a sin and a shame to wish it away.  Heat exacerbates CFS symptoms something awful, though, and former heat lover Richard is also suffering this year because of his cardiac situation, so we all needed the respite.

Of course the heat and humidity have been great for plant life, both good and bad, so garden maintenance and picking of ready vegetables have used up my energy for the past few weeks.  So much for thinking that I’d get a small crop of everything this year, having planted just about half of what I normally do.  Ideal weather has made everything produce wonderfully well, so the harvest is about the same as usual, from half the plants.  I still refuse to do any preserving in jars, but it’s a good thing that I had lots of freezer bags left over from last summer!    Flowers have flourished, as well, so I’ll be adding some photos at the end of this post from early July, and will do a separate collection another day from mid-July.  We’re still aiming/hoping to be out of here before the next gardening season gets underway,  hence the abundance of photos this summer.   We’ll always have an apartment balcony or patio in future, but container gardening will never be the same as gardening in the traditional sense.  It will be much more manageable, though, so that’s definitely something to look forward to in a big way.

On a completely different note, I’ll freely admit to being just a tad excited about the arrival of the new Prince of Cambridge yesterday.  It might seem a bit odd to be so pro-social justice, yet supportive of the Monarchy, but there it is.  It makes sense in my head, and that’s all that matters.  I’m all for changing the things that need to be changed, yet firmly believe that a certain amount of tradition is necessary for stability in any society.   While waiting for the announcement, I chuckled to myself as I remembered the day on which Prince William was born.  It was very early in my nursing career, and I was working my usual evening shift that day.  By happy coincidence I ended up right outside the room of a Scottish lady,  dubbed “The Duchess” by her long-suffering son, just as the news of William’s birth broke on our local TV networks.  This lady had been the social climber of all social climbers, hence her nickname,  so one soon came to expect the airs and graces.  However, that day she really took her delusions of grandeur to a new level.  I was actually watching the news report from the doorway of the next room, but The Duchess heard me and shouted, “Nurse, Nurse, come quickly!   The new prince has just been born and I’m a great-grandmama!”   Of course you are, dear.    I carried on with the medication round, and when I passed her again some time later, she was holding court outside her room, announcing the news to all passersby, while saluting them with a perfect King George VI wave.  Her evening of triumph ended with her being passed out cold,  having done a rather excessive job of wetting the new baby’s head with the bottle of sherry from her bottom drawer.   Being “royal”  is clearly taxing when you’re in your nineties.    Ah, memories.

Now I’ll leave you with a few shots of the garden from the first week in July.  All photos were taken by Alex.    Those of you who also read her blog will be seeing some of these for a second time, but that’s unavoidable.  She’s a better photographer than I, and has a better camera, so I ask her to take certain shots and we share.  Enjoy!


Adelaide Hoodless

Adelaide Hoodless

Scarlet Lychnis, or Maltese Cross

Scarlet Lychnis, or Maltese Cross

Morden Sunrise

Morden Sunrise

Morden Centennial

Morden Centennial



Torenia fournieri (Wishbone flower, Torenia)

Torenia fournieri (Wishbone flower, Torenia)

Angel's Breath

Angel’s Breath


Portulaca, and a rogue Johnny jump up (viola)

Harebell - a native prairie plant and very pretty, but it's an invasive monster in a garden, and very difficult to eliminate.  It's my number one target when I weed!

Harebell – a native prairie plant and very pretty, but it’s an invasive monster in a garden, and very difficult to eliminate. It’s my number one target when I weed!