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!!


Clayton said...

Well Happy New Year. I seem to be taking anew interest in my blog and the connections I have had for the last few years. I have missed reading posts of most of my Blogger friends.
Nice to hear of exciting times in the garden and yard for you!
I am trying to reduce the work load here on the acreage so not sure what spring will bring. All the best as you continue to build a little paradise for your family there.

Anna said...

It's great to see your post. I've was wondering where you had disappeared to and have been thinking of launching a search party after reading about all the snow you've had over there! It's coming over here as band after band of gales and torrential rain :( Hope that 2014 treats you and the garden kindly. Look forward to seeing photos of all those lovely bulbs come spring.

sweetbay said...

I have you have some time to keep us updated in 2014. You have been missed! :) Happy New Year!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Well hello there girl !!
I am so happy to see you posting again and with such good news : )
I love the assortment of bulbs you are working with and I hope we all have wonderful "shows" to see come Spring!
Yes it will be a lot of work moving the patio but I am sure it will be perfect when it is done and more room for plants is always a good thing eh ? LOL
Yes ! I am a fern-O'holic too and the tatting fern is one I am going to hunt for this year as well.
Do you have the Christmas fern ? it is one of my oldest and prettiest even with all the Japanese ferns I have some times the all green ones in a certain structure are gorgeous too.
I have to work on myself to be able to handle working on the garden first though .. BIG sigh!LOL
Joy : )

Ms. S said...

I'm really excited to see everyone's gardens as spring arrives. You may not hear too much from me before then as our garden is under a few feet of snow (good insulation!) but know that I am dreaming with you. :)


I'm excited for you. It's always such a quandary, weighing the work ahead with the inevitable benefits. It's sounds like you've got it well underway. I love all the bulbs you purchased. i can't wait to see them blooming. I bet you can't either.

I think having garden projects to look forward to is what keeps us sane during these dark January days. Keep warm! Spring is coming.

Casa Mariposa said...

I love having a garden project to look forward to. :o) Good luck with your patio! Have you ever tried winter sowing? It would be a great/easy way to fill up your beds.

Marguerite said...

This is the perfect time of year for dreaming :) Gives us something to look forward to. Sounds like you have all sorts of plans and blooms to anticipate. Love the alliums, so often overlooked but wonderful flowers.

Ms. S said...

Casa Mariposa, I haven't tried winter sowing but would love to try a little project with my son to see how it goes. :)


Well, hello there - its a while since last. Welcome back! Looks like you are going to be busy in that garden of yours - but it sounds all good with the changes. Good luck with it all!
Wish you a happy and productive gardening year, my dear!
xoxo Ingrid

Jennifer said...

Happy new year to you as well. I am sure it has been hard to wait, but I think you were wise when you dealt with your soil issues and got rid of the gravel. Moving the patio will be a lot of work, but I am sure it too will be worth the expense and effort. That is quite the haul of bulbs you planted. Spring is bound to be colorful!

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Oh a yard full of nothing, now that does sound familiar.

Good for you to make a change despite the cost, you will be much happier in the end.


Diane said...

belated Happy New Year to you and so glad to see you relishing the upcoming spring season and all the changes you have in mind. Wishing you warm weather very soon so the spring bulbs can be enjoyed (I realize it's a way off yet but it's something to truly look forward to)

Diane said...

Very nice looking packages of bulbs! It won't be long now until spring! I always forget what I planted. LOL.

Diane said...

I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of these soon! If we ever get spring, that is!