Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Little White (and red) for Canada Day

Happy Canada Day!

In honour of our red and white Canada flag, here is a one of my favourite Canadian whites, the Morden Snowbeauty rose. This sweet rose was bred here in Canada as part of the Parkland series at the Morden Research Station in Manitoba.

This is year three for this shrub rose for me and it just keeps getting better. It is tough with practically no winter dieback, the leaves are glossy and mildew resistant, and this year it has more blooms than it ever has. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Love it!

It is hardy to zone 2b and is said to grow to about 5 ft high and wide. Mine is at about 3 1/2 ft high this year and about 4 ft wide with a nice low rounded form.

My shrub is absolutely covered in buds this year - too many to even count. After this first flush I expect it to bloom intermittently throughout the summer. I don't give it any special treatment other than the usual deadheading, which results in a later second flush at the end of the summer. The buds have the palest pink veining in them that absolutely enchants me.

So here's a salute to my favourite plant blooming in my garden on Canada Day.

Oh, and as for the red of the Canada Day red and white? Just look at those gorgeous red thorns on the snowbeauty. Big and well-spaced enough to be easy to avoid, they add a lovely contrast to the creamy white blooms.

Have fun where ever you are this Canada Day and think of us northern gardeners keeping it beautiful in the GWN! xo

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I don't know how to make this post not sappy

This is a post about rainbows and wishes. Just shoot me now. Really, does it get any sappier? I fink nottle. Stop reading now if you can't bear it. I warned you.

It was a dark and stormy supper hour... ;)

And then the west sky broke open and light streaked through to the east. We had a gorgeous rainbow - a double rainbow. My four-year-old boy jumped up and down on the front stoop, enchanted by the ribbon of colours that arched across the sky. He ran up and down the sidewalk in the rain, giddy and whooping. I explained to him that he could make a wish on the rainbow. He was dazzled by such an offer from the sky.

Finally, he determined what he wanted to wish for. Wait for it.

His wish was that the colour orange would come down out of the rainbow. He loves orange like nobody's business. All his favourite clothes and toys are orange. I know him and I know he wants to hug orange and probably rub noses too. So, Orange, did you hear that? Come on down anytime. You have a little fan waiting to meet you.

And the song below? That was the song that kicked off our wedding reception. I can't help myself today. I'm just a ball of mush. *sigh*

I hope you are finding some rainbows in your downpours this strange summer. Oh, and if you see orange, send it this way, won't you?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rainy Day Mystery Game

Anyone up for some gardening mystery fun? Is is raining where you are? Because it is raining so hard here I feel like it must be raining everywhere. :) What does a convalescing gardener do when her garden is turning to mush? She pores over her garden photo files. Of course!

I found pics of a couple of mystery plants I have been wanting to ID and I thought this might be a good time to ask all the wise gardeners out there for their help. Both of these plants are in my back lane here in zone 3.

This first one I photographed early last September. It was about 5 ft tall and covered in these pink and red flowers. The flowers themselves are about one inch in size. While the plant was a little scrubby in nature, I think it was a perennial, not a shrub. Any ideas on this one? (BTW, you can click on any of these photos to make them bigger)

Now this second one I discovered only the other day, although I noticed it last year too. It is a ground cover, 2 - 4 inches high, and runs rampant along some properties in the back lane. It looks like an ajuga but I am not sure. If it is one, which one? I like it and am thinking of nabbing a piece from the lane for a little project I have cooking. Before I do that I want to know just what the heck it is. If it is aggressive like goutweed, then I will have to put an icepick in my forehead if I bring it into the garden. (Kidding! No icepick, but please, don't let me get started on my neighbour's rogue goutweed!)

I appreciate all possible id suggestions. And I wish you sunshine in your gardens very soon. Lots of warm, golden sun. (And a cool glass of wine to enjoy out in that sun!) Thanks muchly!!

UPDATE: Many thanks to Ann and Laurrie for their quick identification skills. Wow, you guys *are* good! And this is why I love the garden blogging community. :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Healing Garden

So, my busy life has come to a standstill. In June. A few weeks ago I finally got the call for a long awaited surgery. Nothing serious, but it does lay me up for a month. And that month is June. Yeah, so I won't be doing much. The good? It is June and I can go outside. In the garden.

My husband set up our gazebo for me and I have an outdoor wicker chaise lounger with cushions. So I have been taking a blanket, music and reading stuff and dozing outside in the afternoons.

I'm actually getting to enjoy watching my plants grow. Who knew it was so fun? Well, some of you, I know.

My columbines (Aquilegia "Biedermeirer') came through the winter beautifully. I hope they self seed and spread the love around.

The irises (name unknown) my Dad gave me are just starting. I've realized my garden is shadier than I thought as everything seems to be a little behind sunnier gardens in the neighbourhood. I'm good with that.

I only got one tulip (tulipa 'Spring Green') from my small patch by the back door. The rest are suspiciously picked and trampled. I could blame the crazed magpies guarding over their fledglings or perhaps a certain enthusiastic preschooler who frequents the garden? :)

My maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum) is just unfurling and dances in the light. Hard to believe how tough this delicate looking little plant is. I highly recommend it for those who garden in the GWN.

My Eared Lady Fern (Athyrium Otophorum), that I thought was a goner, made her appearance today. She simply glows in the shade and I am so pleased to welcome her back.

And finally, a sure sign of the nearing summer, my very first rose bloom of the season. Thérèse Bugnet is covered in buds and promises to delight me all week.

I really believe the garden is keeping me sane during my imposed time of rest. It is also giving me lots of time to think about my life, my plans for my garden, my dreams for the future and what is really important to me. It's amazing how inspiring quiet time in the garden is. (If I make some big shift in my life in the coming year blame it on this June in the garden!)

In the next week or so we have some guys coming to help with some major planting of the garden. Should I lay on the chaise like a garden princess and observe (and probably feel guilty - or worse, bossy) or should I keep to the house during those days? What do you think?

I hope you are all enjoying some quiet, restorative time in your beautiful gardens.

Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~ Henry James