Thursday, July 30, 2015

But does it come in pink?

Yes, my girly-girl side must be asserting itself. Maybe it comes from being the only female in the house?(My husband's idea of a bright colour is navy blue and my son loves orange! What's a girl to do??) Whatever the cause, I'm going soft on pink.

I bought a pink rose once on impulse and every year I said I was going to dig it up because it simply did NOT go with my white floral palette, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. It just looked so darned happy. Then I got this Quick Fire hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Bulk') standard. Whoa. When that white lace begins its blush to pink, I am a goner. Unfortunately, it also blooms a month earlier than many of my other woody hydrangeas so there is no escaping its candy sweetness. Really, does it have to be quite so pretty? Hussy.

This is the second year I have put these adorable little annual petunias in a feature spot by the seating area. They are so cute!!! I fully expect they sing and dance the can-can at night.

Two summers ago I put this nodding beauty in the west-facing bed. She is Clematis texensis 'Etoile Rose' and this year she has gone all out in a dazzling display of bells, bells, bells! My poor trellis collasped under the weight of all the flowers and now I have it propped up until I can provide more permanent supports in autumn. Am I complaining? Absolutley not. Like so many other shots of pink I've recently added to my garden, she goes beautifully with all the white.

I've added a few Hydrangea 'Invincibelle Spirit' to fill in around their sisters, the glorious white Hydrangea 'Incrediball.' Hello-does anybody else see cotton candy here? OK, so it's just me then is it.

And finally, there is this bold patch of Veronica spicata ‘Foxy Lady’ at the front of the south bed. (I really must name my beds...they deserve better than being called by their orientation!!) I don't know if ever there has been a plant more aptly named. She sasses up that bed big time. I swear I want to break into song when I walk by her. I bet if you click on the link, you will wanna join me. I dare you.

Who knew my inner glamour girl was going to rear her head and bat her eyelashes? Next thing you know, I will be wearing fuchsia suits and sporting matching heels. Except I'm no good in heels. A new handbag will have to do. And not in navy blue.

Monday, June 29, 2015

When the rain is warm and soft

We finally had relief from the heat wave today. The morning started with a crack of thunder amid some odd curling clouds, and then settled into a slow, light, warm rain--much needed, I must add. 

A little rain has never stopped a girl from enjoying her garden. So, of course, after my son went to sleep this evening I wandered out amid the rain drops to enjoy the roses.

There is something about the first flush of roses that melts me. It's not the same as the first flash of bulbs in the spring. No, this is deeper, and a bit soul-stirring. Their beauty moves me. They are so beautiful that surely they are a gift. I have four bushes along the front walk so that passersby can enjoy them as well.

However, the ones in the back garden are all mine. Each flower is fleeting and I deadhead eagerly because I never want them to end. But then each year June comes and again they return, flushed and as beautiful as ever.They must sleep some kind of immortal sleep. If only winter were so kind to me.

This year I bought a long-coveted Claire Austin rose. I know it won't last here. I know it is only visiting. But we only live once and I had to have her, even for a while. Tonight, in the rain, was her first flower. I am smitten. Agog. Do, I have it bad? Yes, I don't even pretend to be sensible in the garden this time of year. I am rose drunk. Roses have the power to tap directly into whatever spirit it is that compels us to become gardeners in the first place.

Just to prove that roses aren't the only thing I noticed out there, I also made a point of admiring my potted Nikko hydrangeas, another fleeting visitor. They are the party girls, and I have them stationed at all the social points in my gardens....the front entrance, the deck, and the patio. They are the extroverts and put my guests at ease. But when the guests are gone and I sit in the twilight, it is the roses that sing to me.

You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery (The Little Prince)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

When Night Shimmers

"If a June night could talk, it would probably boast that it invented romance.”~Bern Williams

it's that time of year, here at latitude 53, as we approach the shortest night of the year, when it doesn't really get completely dark at night. I find that in June I barely sleep.

I think I just don't want to miss anything--the birdsong, the lilac perfume on the air, the soft, fresh green of new summer. Because our back garden is private, I like to sneak out in my pyjamas and soak it in--dozing in my lounger with a blanket.

June makes me feel like a teenager again going to a summer dance. The world is beautiful and everything is possible.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs...

We have double-digit days and nights above zero on the way according to the weather station. We are at least two weeks ahead of last year so I feel like this is a real treat. The crows landed in our 'hood yesterday and the robins are already here. A crocus even opened on our front lawn this morning!

Gardening in the Great White North is an exercise in patience and fortitude. Luckily, I did get to cheat these last days of winter with a trip to Victoria, BC. (OF COURSE I went almost directly to the Butchart Gardens to find my bliss!)

And, yes, Victoria was blissful....

We were outside all day, every day, and soaked up all the good sea air. We travelled up to Tofino for a few days of nothing but surf and seafood. Our lodge was right on the Pacific with gorgeous views.

Our little son (well, eight now and almost to my shoulder!) was thrilled when a local guide took us out in a boat to the pristine wilderness of Clayoquot Sound where we saw wolves, sea lions, eagles and a pod of grey whales feeding on spawning herring. It was actually quite moving to be in what felt their territory.

The nine days of spring break flew by, and now we are back awaiting our own spring.

In the meantime, this lone crocus, the bravest of the bunch, is getting a lot of love. :)

Let's all virtually hold hands and chant for spring to hurry up!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Some people looks for signs of the apocalypse, gardeners look for signs of spring. And that's why we rock. 

Last fall--a late, beautiful fall--we went a little crazy planting bulbs. The spring before was very late and the few bulbs we did have were the only thing that sustained me. To ensure my sanity this year, I really stocked up last September.

What keeps me dreaming...
Now, wonders of wonders, we are having an early spring. (Thank the gardening gods, I must have been a VERY good girl this year to get both a nice fall and an early spring!)

Signs of spring abound. A robin AND a buttercup were spotted about 100 km south of here (the buttercup even made the news!), Canada geese have been flying over our city all week, and snow piles are melting. Yesterday, I was almost sure I saw some greening grass on a southwest facing slope.  

So, yes, the signs are here. However, I am the proactive type so I'm going to meet Spring personally. That's right, at the end of the month during my son's spring break we are once again off to Victoria, BC, to visit Spring at her home. I can. not. wait!!! Now, hopefully, when I come back, spring will have arrived ahead of me. :)

I hope you are all enjoying the anticipation this season brings. :)