Location, location, location

This is what the real estate shows talk about endlessly. Location, location, location.

I was thinking about that today while I was outside for lunch in the Queen’s Garden at RUH. It’s such a sweet spot for lunch with plenty of sunshine and zero wind.

Which is why that location has peonies that are a foot tall and about to bloom while the irises have already bloomed.

I have a location that I love but man it’s a tough sell when it comes to plants. The wind is brutal in the winter and takes away the snow which leaves the plants exposed. Then when the plant finally grows the wind whips it like crazy. Add to that mix the fact that we can only water sporadically and you have a recipe for plants that must be hardy. They are, regularly, about 3 weeks behind city plants as this picture will prove. The first picture is of my one little piece of the peony that is popping up. The second photo is the irises which are just coming through last year’s growth. I cleaned it all up last week but despite the warm weather and the bit of rain they are just starting to show signs of growth.

The garden was tilled today while the raspberries were cleaned last weekend. They are all looking quite perky and filling in the holes in the patch quite nicely.

I’m extremely pleased to report that, as of today, there is finally some new growth of both the rhubarb and the asparagus. It seems like they are on a 10 year get established plan. It’s been 4 years and we’ve yet to take more than half a dozen stocks off the rhubarb in one year while not a single asparagus spear has graced our mouths. We live in hope every year!

The location is what drew us here. We knew that homesteading a yard wasn’t easy or quick. We will see trees that eventually provide some wind break. The down side to that is they will be in the way of this stunning evening view!

Location, location, location. I love it!


Something from Nothing 

There is a wonderful children’s book called Something from Nothing. It’s by one of my favourite Canadian authors of that genre, Phoebe Gilman. I was reminded of this book recently when I decided to create something from nothing. Once the Continue reading

NHS Fort Walsh

The wide open sky and the huge rolling hills alongside the cattle grazing filled my soul. The setting of this National Historic Site pulls at my roots.  Continue reading

NHS — Bar U Ranch 

The big rolling foothills of Alberta is home to a ranch with deep roots. So deep that floods, fire, blizzards, politics and markets did not change its essence in over a century. Continue reading

Simply Mootastic 

This is the artistic pastoral side of having cattle on your property. But you should check out what else they provide and take away.

The grass around my favourite fence is being mowed. The down side is they keep turning the horizontal posts around and are using the posts on the ground as field makers?? I have no idea why they keep moving them. They also keep turning the bench by the big pond upside down. I’ve given up on that one as it seems like a game to them and it’s heavy. 

The year started out quite dry but we’ve as a fair amount of rain in the last 3 weeks. 75% of the cow patties have mushrooms. This could be tasty or deadly and we aren’t sure which so we aren’t going there. There are some super cool looking ones that’s for sure.

Less wild flowers this year but is that because it’s dry or because the yearlings are eating them? I’m not sure but I do miss the colour on the prairie. So when I see new ones I’m all excited. 

Here is the biggest downside. Turns out that yearlings like Saskatoon bushes and berries. They are not clean eaters and are apt to destroy undergrowth as they crash through the bush. There are 19 of them and they have all day to eat while I only have a few hours here and there to pick. The good news is they do not have arms nor hands so can’t get at all the tall ones. 


Shortly after this picture the lead yearling tried to eat out of MY pail! They are very friendly and inquisitive but since the “cow” incident my dogs aren’t reciprocating. Breeze is right by my leg and Lucky gives them a way wider berth than he used to.   

The yearlings are quite content for me to walk through them. This one wasn’t the least phased that I was talking and quite close by. They often came by to watch Ron put the siding on the tractor shed; he felt it was for the “moosic”.  

Now momma cow and baby are quite a different story and we all give each other a wide berth. The calf did come  up to the fence line to check out the cat the other night. 

It’s been a year since we made the decision to employ cattle as lawn mowers of our native prairie. The pluses far outweigh the negatives. The fence line is now part of the landscape. The cattle are a source of entertainment and are earning their “keep” so to speak.