A Few of my Favourite Things

April 29, 2011

Things are slowly coming along in the garden.  It seems to be at a slow pace this year, because we really haven't had the warmest of weather yet. 

A ray of light, after losing the majority of my crocuses to Mother Nature's little creatures, have been these two groups of spring bulbs.  The puschkinia and the scilla.  I will definitely plant more of these when the fall comes!

Puschkinia (Striped Squill)

Scilla (Bluebell, Squill)

Every Garden Needs a Tabbycat!

This is Hudson. We adopted him from the SPCA in 2008 and was a few years old at the time. We made up a birthday for him and we say he's five!

He's nine pounds of adorable. He's super affectionate and cuddly - a real 'people cat'. AND pretty darn photogenic, if I do say so.

As you can see, he's a brown tabby, with white paws. He's named after the explorer, Henry Hudson and the Hudson Hornet from the movie 'Cars.'

He loves to be outside with me. Since I don't want him to get hit by a car or caught by a fox, I taught him to be okay with being on a harness and tie-out and he is 'supervised' when we go out. I'm outside a lot in the summer, so it works out really well. 

Hudson's favourite activities, while out in the garden, include watching chipmunks, eating moths only to throw them up, and getting me to pick him up for cuddles.

Progression of the Front Bed

April 24, 2011

While we all wait for the nice weather, and something new to post about, I thought I'd add a post to continue my "My Garden's Progression" list in the sidebar.

This bed, at the front of our house had river stone mulch and four cedars when we moved in.  The cedars weren't in the best of shape and there was one lone hosta in there (you can't see it in the picture), but it still remains and has been identified as a 'Gold Standard'.  I love it.  You can see it in the front(ish) left of the third picture. 

We removed the stone and the cedars and replaced the bed with better soil, some more hostas and cedar mulch.

We added the limestone walkway in the fall of 2009 and planted it up with 'walkable' plants like Irish Moss and a couple of different types of thyme.  Lots more hostas were added to both sides of the garden, as well as some colourful plants like bee balm, monkshood and foxglove. 

The walkway leads from our front door to our garage.  We shovelled the walkway this winter, so I'm waiting to see how the little plants in between the limestone fared over the winter. 




Bulb Stealer

April 21, 2011

So, it's a little bit hard to stay mad at these cute little guys. They carry off the little spring bulbs (but you never know, they may just plant them somewhere else).....

We got about 15 cms of snow yesterday (yesterday's blog entry photo was just the beginning of it), but it's all melting now. I can already see some new things popping up in the garden.

Happy Gardening!

Wordless Wednesday (Sigh)

April 20, 2011


Lychnis Year One and Year Two

April 16, 2011

One of my blogging contacts who lives in a more northern zone than I do, was asking me about the Lychnis 'Rose Campion' and getting it to bloom every year.   It's a biennial and each plant blooms once, copiously spreads it seeds, which will grow into 'year one' plants the next year, then wonderfully bloom and spead copious amounts of seeds again the year after that! 

The trick is to keep some of the seeds from the flowers and throw them, unceremoniously, on the ground where you want them to bloom two years hence!   The seeds keep just fine in the cupboard for over two years, so you can make sure you plants some each year. 

Or you could just buy them from nurseries and plant them two years in a row!

My contact was asking me if the seeds might stay dormant in the ground for more than one winter, and this I do not know. 

But in case they do, the second picture is what the year one seedlings should look like when the snow is off:

Lychnis 'Rose Campion' Year One
(those little seedlings in the middle, will grow and bloom year after next)

Lychnis 'Rose Campion' Year Two
(will bloom grow tall stalks and bloom this year)

Rose Campion blooming beside Evening Primrose.

The lychnis that I have always grown is a beautiful magenta pink. It's just one of my very favourites and was the first one of my plants that my husband ever commented on.

A friend of mine from Oregon sent me some seeds for white Rose Campion two years ago.  She is a Master Gardener and she told me to plant it as far away from the pink ones, as I could, as sometimes they will cross-pollinate and all become 'light pink'.   I planted half the seeds when I got them (in 2009) and the other half of the seeds last summer (2010), so I should have my first flowers this year and every year after. 

That's according to my 'master plan' anyway! 

Happy Gardening. 

I like rabbits and squirrels, but.............

April 13, 2011

Some kind of little furry snaped the fresh growth off of some of the crocuses.   Tough as the crocuses are, they bloomed anyway, but as you can see in the foreground, some of the flowers don't have tops!  (You can see the damage in the three flowers at the front left side of the photo.)

I have sprinkled some blood meal around all my spring bulbs now.  That's the only remedy I know of, that seems to work.  I have to replenish if often, especially after it rains.

If any gardeners out there who read this know of any other tricks to get the critters away, I'd love to hear it! 

Rita's Spring Garden

April 9, 2011

Those of you who followed my blog last year, know about my dear friend Rita.  She is my garden mentor as well as friend.  Rita has taught me many things about gardening perennial flowers and given me many, many divisions of her beautiful treasures. 

This is a mosaic of photographs I took in her garden yesterday.

The First Bloom Arrives!

April 8, 2011

One of the happiest times of the year for me, is the day my first flower opens.  It's like a celebration of the first day of the season.  Today my first little 'Remembrance' crocus opened. 

Special photo credit to my long-suffering husband for shading the crocus from the sun, with his body, so that I wouldn't have to find the patience to wait until late afternoon to take the shot! 

And next up.........

Welcome Spring 2011!

April 2, 2011

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to my 2011 Garden Blog.   I've been excited to start posting again.  A few people asked me why I didn't continue blogging over the winter, but my garden is literally under a thick blanket of snow during those months. 

We've had nice weather during the last couple of weeks (getting up to plus five or so celcius during the day but going below freezing during the night.)  We still have a fair bit of snow, especially in the shadier areas. 

The photo to the right is of the very first growth in my garden!    They are a couple of crocuses coming up and I bet it won't be too long until they are blooming.  I have planted snowdrops in the past, but they never come up, so the crocuses are always my first blooms.   This garden is the little bed we have around the pool.  It faces south and has the white side of the pool behind it - so definitely the place to plant things that bloom early.

This photo is what's left of the purple coneflowers!  (The same purple coneflowers shown in my last post of 2010.)  I used to cut them 'down to ground level' in the fall, until I read on someone's blog that you should leave the seedheads for the birds. 

I'm not sure who that blogger was, but it was great advice.    Behind the empty pod are the sedum 'Autumn Joy' which I just leave because they are pretty.