Saturday, December 24, 2016

And so the garden sleeps....

To all my fellow gardeners, I wish you all the joy and blessings of the season as we dream of greener days ahead.

For those of you who are on Instagram, you can see what I'm up to at @lifewithlatitude. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Here comes the sun...and it's alright...

The solstice has passed and we turn again towards the light. So thankful. My daydreams are filled with visions from seed and plant catalogues. I bet yours are too!

My lovely hubs gave me three hydroponically grown white hyacinths for Christmas. Better than Faberge eggs, I say. They are from a local grower and were ready for indoor forcing. Well, this morning I got up in the dark to a glimpse of white shimmering in the dining room. Lo and behold, it is a sign of life, of hope, of the returning light. If I get close there is the promise of scent that will soon fill my house. 

And so I will wait. Wait for spring, wait for green, wait for this year's garden to emerge. In the meantime, I have the most delightful visitors to sweeten my days. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

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)