Rosa Rugosa (Or, Pink Promise Peeking Through a Sepal Case) - theHumm July 2019
Rosa Rugosa (Or, Pink Promise Peeking Through a Sepal Case) - theHumm July 2019
By Susie Osler
There is a frantic energy to this time of year. The explosion of growth and green coupled with the energy and warmth of sunshine leads to a commensurate output of manic gardening energy that seems required to keep pace with growing grass, weeds, and the plethora of “visionary” plans one has made (in January) for the season. Typically at this time of year I feel more like the Tasmanian Devil than a graceful nymph in the garden, as I rush about like a bull in a china shop in an attempt to keep up. But of late I’ve been trying to just rein in that frenzied sense of urgency; to take a bit more care; to slow myself down enough to notice the small and often subtle miracles happening all around.
Each morning as I walk out my door, past gardens and wild patches on the thirty-second journey to the barn and studio, it is common for me to be lost in thought — preoccupied with the list of things to do, the newsfeed I just scanned, the state of climate emergency and its implications, everything but what is directly in front of me. It is easy to overlook what is actually here in the envelope surrounding me as I move — the chorus of birds, the sound of the breeze moving through the forest canopy, the arrivals of this week’s insects, the heading of the grasses, and the wave of ripening that is rippling through the landscape.
In spite of the mental noise going on inside my head, some things are hard to miss — like the giant red poppy saucers opening next to the swath of purple salvia, and the swelling peony buds that will suddenly burst open. These are show-stoppers to be sure — the high glass-cracking soprano notes of the opera that command immediate attention. But subtler tones are there to hear all around me each day as well — or, in fact, each moment, and each moment of these moments. One only needs to learn to stop and smell the proverbial roses!
Part-way along the path to the barn, a chair invites me to linger, which is in fact what I have been doing. Each afternoon I’ve basked, my back to the sun’s long, near-solstice rays, in the company of a rambling row of rugosa roses, waiting for things to literally unfold. My attention becomes scattered as nothing much happens — or so it seems. But the longer I sit the more I notice — the tiny white flowers of the chickweed like little stars in the shadows, the sorrel head burdened with the weight of bundles of seeds, a sucker of sumac poking through the ground, the spray of arcing bramble flowers in the dappled light under the willow. Gradually my senses open. I can smell the green and the sun, feel the warm breeze soft on my skin, and hear birdsong layered like horizons in a landscape painting.
But it is difficult to rein in my expectations! I’ve been sitting now for two weeks with Rose, waiting for her abundant buds to open. As the poppies explode and life continues to take off around this patch of roses, I wonder what is taking so long? When will Rose finally bloom? I’ve been waiting with anticipation, or rather expectation, for events to literally unfold, apparently more rapidly than she is ready for. I’ve been focused on two flower buds in particular. Yet the more intent I’ve been on witnessing the transformation from bud to full-blown blossom, the greater reluctance these buds seem to have had to “perform”. Day after day, while other rosebuds around them very slowly but surely open, these two have remained fat green teardrops, teasing me with the tiniest sliver of pink promise peeking through a crack in their sepal case. Clearly, they are in no rush to meet my gaze.
Unfoldings. Whether they be subtle happenings in nature, or our own “next chapter” in life, all require intangible yet apparently specific conditions to occur within equally mysterious time frames. Coercion, I’ve learned, doesn’t seem to work very well. Perhaps softer, more patient approaches, and gentler intentions may…
So, even as we move into the dog days of summer, you may just find me still sitting with Rosa rugosa, attentively witnessing her slow release of delicate bloom, and waiting for those two green buds to offer their heady scent and heart-warming gifts to the world… all in their own time.
By — Paul Joyce
It’s that time of year again, when the rattle of expensive metal is heard coming from car trunks and when spouses disappear for hours at a time, reappearing with sunburns, bug bites, and either smiles, scowls, or looks of quiet resignation.
Yes, it’s golf season.
For the final show of its 2018/19 series of plays, Studio Theatre Perth presents The Ladies’ Foursome, a Norm Foster comedy that will make you love the game, even if you, well, currently hate your game.
From folk-rock powerhouses to a third-generation country star, the 2019 Stewart Park Festival line-up is set to be an unforgettable one.
The Small Glories and Kelly Prescott are just some of the names performing at the 28th annual festival taking place in Perth from July 19–21. Festival goers will also get to see Connie Kaldor, Élage Diouf, Shakura S’Aida, Keith Glass and Andy Irvine on stage.
After months of crafting the line-up, Artistic Director James Keelaghan says he’s th......
A House of Good Taste - theHumm July 2019
By Sebastian Weetabix
Like many things related to food (or at least food in our part of the world), the term “restaurant” originated in France. It originally applied to the fare (it was “restorative”), but by the 17th century it had come to mean an establishment where one could eat a meal and pay for it. Eating “out” as a common practice for common folk has its roots in travel and the need for refreshment en route. Those who provided it were, rightly, termed restorers or restaurateurs. Their establishments came......
The Arresting Art of Fred Fowler - theHumm July 2019
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
It’s invigorating to meet someone who challenges your subconscious prejudices. I was surprised to learn that Fred Fowler, outgoing President of the Rideau Lakes Artists’ Association, is a retired Toronto cop. There’s absolutely no reason an ex-cop can’t be a good artist, yet meeting him and seeing his eclectic art definitely expanded my awareness of the influence the mass media has on our preconceptions.
Acrylics, watercolours, oils, monotypes, photographs — Fowler wor......
Who doesn’t enjoy looking at other people’s homes and gardens? What better way to spend a summer day and get inspired!
On Saturday, July 27 from 10am to 5pm you’ll be able to tour seven of Almonte’s most interesting homes and three outstanding gardens. The tour is a fundraiser for the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum and the extension of Almonte’s popular Riverwalk.
In the 1890s Almonte was a thriving mill town. Its six textile mills employed most of the town’s residents, with the ......
By — Pippa Norman is graduating from ADHS this year and will be going on to pursue a Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University next fall
Whoever coined the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” must have done so after attending a rehearsal for one of Almonte & District High School Drama Club’s plays. The village being Almonte, and the child being the play.
If you were to attend one of the rehearsals yourself, you would feel as if madness had descended upon you. Student actors fervidly run lines; community volunteers sew seams, drill screws and climb ladders; and director Jennifer Sheffield barrels around the room......
This year’s Ottawa Valley Midsummer HerbFest is being held on Sunday, July 28 from 9am to 4pm — rain or shine. The location is the Waba Cottage Museum & Gardens in White Lake, just an ho......
Festival of Small Halls 2019 Celebrating Big Canadian Music in Beloved Small Places - theHumm July 2019
More halls — check. Big music — check. Magical moments and musical memories — you betcha.
The Ontario Festival of Small Halls plants inspired, decorated and mind-blowing artists into rural h......
By Susie Osler
There is a frantic energy to this time of year. The explosion of growth and green coupled with the energy and warmth of sunshine leads to a commensurate output of manic gardening energy that seem......
By — Angie Arendt is the Director of Big Stone House: a Center for Courageous Living in Almonte <bigstonehouse.ca>
It was the middle of August and the middle of the day. The sun was shining bright, the dog was attempting to cool down on the tile floor, and I was chopping watermelon in the kitchen when the doo......
An interactive theatre experience that celebrates the Great White North and pokes fun at Canadian stereotypes will hit the stage in the nation’s capital for the summer.
The Oh Canada Eh? Din......
From Under the Umbrella Tree to Sleeping Rough… Valley Puppeteers Return to Music and Beyond - theHumm July 2019
Last July, the opera Sleeping Rough premiered at Ottawa’s Music and Beyond festival to standing ovations and critical acclaim. Composed by jazz guitarist Roddy Ellias and with a libretto by poet/......
By — Jeff Mills
Every now and then there are five actual Wednesdays in July, and 2019 is one of those years. The friends of Augusta Street Park are gearing up for their wonderful little music festival “5 Wednesd......
May 12 - Jun 18 Exhibition: Close to Home
May 26 - Jul 2 Exhibition: Gayle Kells' Rooted in Time
Jun 18 - 27 Art in the Garden
Jun 19 - Jul 4 Abstract & Landscape art show
Jul 3 - 4 Almonte Celtfest - Virtual Edition
- Frank Sammut —Fine Wood Working
- Warden Proclaims June as PRIDE Month
- Seeds(or, Tiny Bodies with a Determined Will to Flourish)
- Rural Root’s Comedic Double-Feature
- Pop Up Summer Theatre
- Gayle Kells:Rooted in Time
- Art in the Garden 2021 Event Allows for Social Distancing
- Destination: Downtown Smiths Falls
- Abstract + Landscape An Interview with Sarah Moffat
- Invasive Perennials — Buyer Beware!