Pasque Flower

April 30, 2010 - The pasque flowers are in lovely shape today. I hadn't seen one of these plants before, but the former owners of our home left two of them on the property. They are also known as 'pulsatilla vulgaris' which seems a kind of ugly name for such a lovely flower!

My brother, who lives in Manitoba, told me they are called 'Prairie Crocuses' there and are actually the provincial flower of Manitoba.

I really look forward to these every spring. I love their fuzzy little parts, just beneath the flowers.

Planting Shrubs in Front Beds

April 25, 2010 - We added some shrubs to the beds at the front of our home today. These beds were the same as the side one I showed yesterday - tall cedars in river stone mulch. We kept the two low spruce bushes in the bed under the large window (that you see in the photo on the right) and three new shrubs. One is a special hydrangia, which will bloom pink, no matter what the soil conditions. It's called 'Invincibelle' (I love that name) and is a special Breast Cancer Awareness plant. We also planted a silverleaf dogwood called 'Elegantissima' and a holmstrup 'Pyramid Cedar' in the corner. I'm hoping there will be room for a dwarf burning bush behind the hydrangia. The nursery hasn't received their burning bushes yet.

The photo on the left shows the garden under our two smaller windows and in there we planted an additional homstrup cedar. We are also waiting for a mock orange bush to put at the far end of this bed. In between the cedar and where the mock orange will go, are hostas, bleeding hearts and monkshood, all just starting to come up.

Starting the Side Bed

April 24, 2010
This area is a new bed for me. When we bought our home, this area was filled with river stone (as mulch) and there were five very tall cedar trees growing in it. They were nice, but were unruly!

The retaining wall that held it all in was in need of rebuilding, so when we had that done, the landscapers took out the cedars and stone and replaced it with lovely garden soil for me.

My big project for this summer is to make a lovely perennial border in here. This is the start of it.

The spring bulbs I planted in the fall are starting to come up. On Saturday, I planted the first of the perennials....'King Arthur' delphiniums, pink Oriental poppies, globe thistles, a peony, and purple irises (from my husband's parent's garden).

More to come in the following weeks!

Saving Perennials from the Contractors

Saturday, April 24, 2010 - My great friend, Brenda, and I went to see what perennials we could save from the renovations going on at her new home. She and her husband are having an addition put on their home and some of the existing gardens may be trampled or worse.

We located a bed that a former owner had, at one time lovingly cared for, but that had become neglected and badly overgrown with weeds, during a rentors tenure. We found many old iris rhizomes, many of which were growing into each other for lack of space, with the roots of periwinkle vines tangling through and wrapping themselves around. We were able to save young rhizomes and good sections of the periwinkle. We also found some wonderful lungwort and muscari growing. We moved some of the plants to a safe place in her grass and others to my garden, where I will tend to it until Brenda is ready for it. Great mounds of large yellow daffodils were transplated, in their clumps, were also transplated.

The best part is I get to keep some for my own garden. (Thanks Brenda!)

More Gifts from Rita!

Friday, April 23, 2010 - I went to visit my good friend, Rita, today with the purpose of giving her a hand in her garden. (And going to Tim Horton's for our usual tea and treat.) She advised me that the only help she required today was for me to help her thin out the spring crocuses and scilla, which were starting to invade her pathways. Oh, and put them into pots and load them into my car!

Rita is the most wonderful friend, always willing to share her beautiful perennial flowers, wisdom and experience. She's a true 'kindred spirit' as Anne Shirley would say.

Paula's Periwinkle

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - This is some new periwinkle for my shade garden that runs between the front of the house and the walkway. I've been looking for things to use as ground cover and my newest friend, Paula, offered to share this lovely periwinkle with me. So far it loves it's new home!

Bluebells, Daffodils and Other Spring Delights (April 2010)

April 4, 2010 - These little scillas (also called bluebells or squills - I never know which is the common name) came up in the clumps of larger perennials given to me by my friend, Rita. They are sweet and delightful little things. I see more of them coming up everyday.

I only have one of these, and I identified it from my perennial book as a puschkinia (or striped squill). According to my book it's a 'close relative of the bluebell and it's strange that it's so rarely seen'. It sprung up in a clump of fall asters, given to me by my friend. I'm curious to see if it will multiply for next spring. It's about four inches tall, about the same as the scillas.

At first I thought this was a scilla, until I noticed that there was only one flower on each stalk, as opposed to several, as the scillas have.

April 14, 2010 - My daffodils came up today. I don't know what variety they are - I bought them through mail order in a bulk pack. They are gorgeous and seem invisible to the squirrels and rabbits. They bloom for a very long time.

On April 20 I noticed that there is a white scilla hiding among the blue ones! These two came up (again as a surprize) in a little clump of daylilies that was a gift from Rita last fall.

Crocuses (March/April 2010)

March 25, 2010 - The first blooms of 2010. They are my 'Delft Blue' crocuses. We had a very early spring (three weeks earlier than last year).

The slightly paler, 'Remembrance' crocus, came into bloom just a fews days later.

April 15, 2010 - These pint-sized beauties, 'Prince Klaus', were quite a surprize to me, as I didn't realize they would be miniature crocuses when I ordered the bulbs. They look great in little clumps with their white centres and a touch of purple on their outer leaves.

2009 - Garden Pictures

My pride and joy - the back border in July of 2009. It's meant to be as much of a 'cottage garden' garden as I can make it, and for me, that means large clumps of colour and kind of messy but organized at the same time. It still needs to fill in the empty spaces, but it's getting there. In here I have shasta daisies, phlox, daylilies, irises, peonies, coneflowers, evening primrose, sweet Williams and many others. I'll post all the things as they come out in the 2010 part of my blog.

The pool border at the end of July. Sweet Williams, evening primrose, lavander, purple coneflower and fall asters live here.

The little backstep garden, near the end of the summer. 'Catherine Woodbury' and 'Pandora's Box' daylilies, scabiosa, and 'rose campion' lychnis.

The front bed, planted up with hostas, delphinium, bleeding heart and monkshood. This garden is mostly in the shade.

2008 - First Summer: Getting Started

Removing the river stone and a couple of the cedars.

Planted up with some hostas.

Wonderful gift of perennials given to me by my wonderful friend, Rita.

Expanding the garden, with Rita's gifts and a trunkload of perennials from good friends, the Bells (no photo of them before planting).

Back perennial border finished for 2008.

Border built around the outside of the pool.

Little back-step garden, after the deck was rebuilt. Many of the perennials left by the former owners were returned to this bed. Others moved to better places elsewhere on the property.

2007 - When We Moved In

When we moved into our home in the late summer of 2007, this was the only garden with perennials on the property. There were some lovely plants in here (bugle flower, scabiosa, pearl everlasting, and a pair of gorgeous pasque flowers). We rebuilt this deck in 2008 and most of these plants have been moved elsewhere on the property into new beds.

This is the bed at the front of the house when we moved in.

The beginning of my back border:  That first fall, I started making a perennial bed along the back of the yard. I planted a climbing hardy rose (the Explorer series 'John Cabot', a peony, and a couple of 'Neon Blaze' spireas.  My plan was to increase it bit by bit over the next five years, so that eventually it would go across the width of the backyard.   As you can see, if you check the photos from 2009, it only took two years, thanks to friends who gave me many perennials.