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Bruce's Blog || Just sayin'. . .

Eating Hosta, Antidote to Loneliness, and Music Galore

Posted on June 09, 2018 by Bruce MacNaughton

Good Morning Friends, 

I enjoyed reading your thoughtful and heartfelt comments you leave on my blog. I am happy to read how you feel and how the words give you a connection to PEI, and so I will continue to write about the Island’s goings on. This month, there is much to share!

We had some late frost last week (and we even had a bit of snow!) that seems to be slowing things down a bit in the garden, but hopefully, that is behind us now. The lilacs are finally unfurling their beautiful scent in the air surrounding the property. They really are intoxicating!

We’ve been able to harvest some rhubarb and asparagus from our gardens, which has been a real treat. I heard recently that hostas are edible! Hosta la Feasta!

I’m tempted to cut some from the garden and give it a try, probably best when you can harvest the young shoots. I might try adding some of the little purple flowers to my salads when they appear later in the season. Have you ever eaten hostas?

Yesterday evening, we hosted a book launch for John Sylvester and Stephen DesRoches. What a lovely night it turned out to be. So happy for John and Stephen to have such a successful launch with a few hundred enjoying tea and biscuits in our Garden Theatre. 

Shirley and I plan to take part in as many events as we can during this year’s Small Hall Festival and happy to be a silver sponsor. This is a wonderful festival that takes place here during the month of June. Prince Edward Island has many small halls speckling its landscape throughout our rural communities, and in an effort to revitalize them, the annual Small Halls Festivals fills these halls with musical events, storytelling, and more. It really is wonderful if you have a chance to check it out! Celebrating 10 years!

It is a wonderful way for neighbours, friends, visitors to share the joy of music. Which leads me to think about all those who are shut in during the winter months and unable to get out and about. 

There have been many stories about loneliness in the press recently, including Britain appointing a Cabinet minister to the Office of Loneliness. An interesting article posted in the College of Family of Canada Physicians. Read here. I love the fact that Olive Bryenton was one of the founders of the PEI Seniors Active Living Centre. What a wonderful organization designed for fellowship and an antidote for loneliness. Read more here.  

Inspiring hope in a cynical world might be the most radical thing you can possibly do. Hope may not feed us, but it is hope that sustains us.

This morning, as I write I am listening to Ola Gjielo, sublime, spectral choral and instrumental works by this Norwegian composer. Sample listen here. 

Wishing everyone an interesting and happy weekend and a great week ahead. 

With Love from Prince Edward Island, 



Hummingbird Season is upon us!

Posted on June 10, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

I have some wonderful news about Lucy! You may recall, I wrote about this special Island duck a couple of weeks ago and how she returns to the Charlottetown Superstore Garden Centre each year to lay her eggs. (If you missed it, you can read that story here: )

Well, Lucy’s eggs hatched last week, and it was time for this little family to leave the Superstore and head back home. The Charlottetown Police Department gallantly stopped traffic on the busiest road in PEI, so the family could safely cross on its way to a neighbouring pond.

You can read the story and watch the video here:

The police help Lucy every year. It makes us curious about how the police department decides which officer gets the privilege of helping Lucy cross the road. Any ideas?

Speaking of birds, we’re so pleased to welcome the ruby-throated hummingbirds back to Prince Edward Island for the season.

We have feeders hanging around the restaurant and throughout the gardens, both to provide these little birds with an extra source of food and because we just love watching them!

Did you know there are roughly 330 species of hummingbirds in the world? We generally only see about a dozen of those in North America, above Mexico.

It’s so easy to attract hummingbirds. All you need is some sugar, water, and an inexpensive feeder. We use a ratio of 1 part sugar to 3 parts water when we first hang the feeders, and then after more flowers are in bloom for the birds to feed from, we gradually change the ratio to 1:4. There’s no need to put red dye in with this mixture, as the birds are attracted to the colour of the feeder and the red dye may be harmful to our feathered friends. So, save your money and don’t buy that hummingbird food you see in stores. Just make your own.

Do you see hummingbirds where you live? I would love to hear about the varieties of birds that visit your gardens. (And I’m serious about finding out about the Lucy crossing guard duty … in case any Charlottetown police officers are reading this!)

I went to a muscial event last night in Brackley Beach to see the family group Clan Hanigan at the North Atlantic Tionol. What a night of music. The place was packed with traditional music lovers and musicians. 

If you love music, storytelling, and dance, the next two weeks on Prince Edward Island is the place to be! The annual Small Halls Festival has started and I am looking forward to taking in 3 or 4 events. For more info click here: