Monday, March 31, 2014

I am where Spring lives

Spring break finally arrived & we packed up our little family and flew west to where Spring lives. I know you understand why I had to touch green, even for a little while, before I go back to our "SPRinter" season.

Wish me soft days.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes!

Saw something green emerging from the soil on the edge of a west facing garden bed today (not mine!), but thrilling just the same!

Although freezing temperatures are still ahead, spring is closer than she appears. I've already seen my first robin and a friend saw a Canada goose. Surely signs that warming is just around the corner here in the GWN. Two more days, people, then it's official!

Anyone else got that old Beatles song "here comes the sun" running through their head. :-)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Do you hear what I hear?

Happy New Year Gardeners! Are you, like me, turning your thoughts to the coming season? 

Last year was a big one in the garden for us. I realize I went offline as the going got hectic but I did peek in on you all. :) In a nutshell, I'll give you the good news, bad news & more good news. 

First, some very good: We removed all the gravel from our front garden, scraped down the clay and brought in top soil. Some may recall the entire front and back were gravel when we moved in 6 1/2 years ago--sans plantings except one rhubarb and some fine, well-placed, mature spruce and mountain ash. It now looks good. I can see where I will want to add more structure, but the difference between grey, sharp and weedy and green, soft and pretty is heart lifting. We are now entirely gravel free! 

     The parting view of colour in 2013

The bad(ish) news: This is a pretty big bad depending on how you choose to look at it. We are not comfortable with the placement of our stone patio in the back garden. It is too close to our neighbours' property and when our gazebo is up it blocks the sun to our south-facing bed. (My poor roses are flopping!!) It will be a huge job to move it, and undoubtedly will be costly and disruptive. So what's the good news in this scenario? Well, let me tell you (*she grins mischievously*).

We are going to move the patio over so it is more centrally placed and closer in to the house. What we lose in angles of vistas will be compensated for with increased depth of the sunny beds and more privacy. (Of course, those bigger beds will be crying for more plantings...;-))  The other good news is that it won't disturb existing plantings in our beds. Now, this all means more work, but I think we will be happier in the long run if we get the fundamentals down right. 

Oh, and the bonus good news? We loaded up on bulbs last fall and planted madly in anticipation of accelerating spring blooming time here in the great white north. Many of these bulbs I have been coveting so I am so excited. We also added to existing beds with the last of our tree purchases, a few new hydrangeas (love!!), some gorgeous ferns and much anticipated hellebores.

Some 2013 bulb purchases 

So, has the new year brought gardening fever with it? A resounding yes!!

I suspect I am not the only one with this winter fever--so all the best to you in your garden fever dreaming for 2014!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My new garden boyfriend

There’s a new man in my garden and he is a little fierce looking, don’t cha think? I mean, all that long hair and what about those teeth? I’m okay with it though. Because, really, he is quite the pussycat.

Since he appears to be sticking around we have named him Lionel (after a favourite character in the show As Time Goes By.) I have a bit of a crush on him actually. He is the strong, silent type and doesn’t ask for much besides a drink now and then (like many men).


He brings a certain ambience to the garden and soothes us with his gentle song after a long day. To be truthful, we don’t know how we lived without him for so long.

I find myself wanting to plant at his feet. First, I moved a languishing maidenhair fern from a too shady spot to his base. It will keep the ostrich fern beside him company. Next, perhaps a silvery fern like the Japanese Painted Fern?

I don’t want the spot to get busy and plan to stick with a pretty monochromatic palette with emphasis on texture and maybe one or two stunning plants that bloom in succession. How about something with some white candle-shaped flowers to contrast against his dark complexion? Off to his side is a Limelight hydrangea which I think will look gorgeous against him later in the summer.

I am open to suggestions from all you experts with such good taste. The bed is south facing but gets dappled light for most of the day. I know he will appreciate your efforts.

I think maybe he likes to be adorned, and, um, admired. :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

The plant that makes you go 'Awwww'

I know the Internet is full of cute kittens and giggling babies doing adorable things, but really, is there anything cuter than muscari? I think not. We planted 30 bulbs of the 'magic carpet' mix last fall in our flurry of last minute bulb planting and now these little guys are popping up in the cutest bunches.

They are a mix of white, blues and combos of various blues and/or whites together. I swear if you listen closely you can hear them singing joyful songs.

If I told you I got down on my stomach JUST TO LOOK AT THEM (not even to take their pictures!) would you understand? :)

Pretty much all thirty of them have come up but it is not enough. I need more.

There is something about their miniature perfection that delights me. They make me feel like a kid again (my dolls would have loved a bouquet of these!). At the same time they are terribly romantic and old-fashioned.
I will be haunting the garden centres at the end of summer to pick up more of these cuties. I mean, really, after a long winter, don't we all need a flower that makes us go awwwww... :)