Fertilizer Friday

May 30, 2014

Almost the end of May! It's hard to believe.  The temperatures have been so nice for the last week that everything is coming along very nicely indeed.  

It's also Fertilizer Friday, so I'm linking up with Glenda at Tootsie Time to show what's blooming at my place today.

I'm finished the 'work' (I find it hard to call gardening work because I find it so relaxing and enjoyable) of filling in spaces here and there with perennial divisions.  I've put on some fish mulch  for fertilizer around the perennials and put on an extra layer of cedar mulch to help keep the weeds down.

I don't have a lot of new things in bloom today - the tulips and daffodils from my last last post are still going strong and the lilies of the valley are ready to burst into bloom in the days to come.

I just have a couple of new things to show this week:  

some dwarf irises found on a deserted property several years ago
"rehomed" into my garden

arabis 'rock cress' beside our front steps

Pasque Flower (provincial flower of neighbouring province Manitoba)

and some divisions for my garden club's plant sale tomorrow!
Hope everyone has a great week and don't forget to link up with or check out the other lovely photos at Tootsie Time.

Spring Colour

Spring colour has arrived!

I think it's all the more special because we had to wait just that much longer for it this year.  The temperatures have also risen dramatically in the last few days and I'm going to guess that a lot of things are going to just grow like crazy.

What's blooming this morning includes the muscari (grape hyacinths) in the foreground.   I just love these little upward standing flowers and their addition of the wonderful blue contrast to anything else that is blooming.   Behind them are my full-size daffodils and the little 'tete-a-tete' ones, which are just starting to fade.  Also back there are two clusters of tulips I planted last fall.  The red ones are called patriotically  named 'Canadian Liberator' and the pink ones are adorably called 'Sugar Love'.

I made a concerted effort, last fall, to plant bulbs where their foliage would be hidden behind other plants after their blooming period.   Not sure how successful I was, but we'll see later.

Tulipa 'Canadian Liberator' in foreground

Tulipa 'Sugar Love' 

Garden Design (by Trial and Error)

I've been spending a lot of time this spring pondering the two major perennial beds in my garden.    The one at the back, the one I call my back border, is my pride and joy.    It looks like this in July.

back border with phlox, rudbeckia, perennial lobelia in bloom

It started small in 2008 and got bigger every year.  The only 'planning' principle I used here was to try to put the tall things at the back and the short things at the front.  Somehow it all worked out - all the plants worked together, always some things in bloom and it all looked wonderful together.

My side border is a different story.   It didn't start out small at all.  In fact, we had landscapers put it in (well, put the soil in) when they rebuilt our retaining wall in 2011.  When I planted the side border, I think I thought too much about it.  I tried to put in different plants - different than the ones that were so successful in the back border and somehow I was never really happy with it.   Half the border would look nice and the other half would look empty.

side border looking a bit crowded with green

Yesterday, I just decided to go with my instincts and look objectively at the side border, thinking about where things were, what worked, what didn't work and why.  Then I 'went to town' rearranging things.    I pulled a few things out and moved other things around.   I divided things from the back border and moved them to the side border.   And I had fun doing it.

Both gardens won't have exactly the same perennials in them, but the ones that do really well for me (perennial phlox, rudbeckia, and daylilies).    It probably isn't a bad idea to have some continuity between the two beds anyway.

I'm curious to know what other gardeners do for 'planning'.   Go with gut instincts, plan from good books for their zones, or trial and error?

The great thing about flower gardening, is if things don't work, we can always move them to where they look or work better.

And a quick look at what's blooming now:


  1. Chionodoxa 'Glory of the Snow'

'Tete-aTete' daffs with large daffs in the background

Muscari 'Grape Hyacinths'

Cheers everyone and Happy Gardening!

Spring Flowers and a New Look

May 7, 2014

Daffodil 'Tete-a-Tete'
My favourite little daffodils are just coming into bloom, they are only about four inches tall.   I'm really looking forward to picking some for a mini-bouquet, but I shall wait until more are in bloom.

Other things that are blooming in my garden right now:

Crocus 'Golden Yellow'


Crocus 'Pickwick' with little friend

Things are coming along!

As you can see, I changed my blog layout.  I had a hard time getting everything to fit (either the sidebar was overtop of the main text - like seeing double - or the sidebar was completely hidden).   Finally figured it out, so it's all good now. 

I'm told that people find it easier to read dark writing on light backgrounds, which is the opposite of my last layout. If anyone finds it difficult to read, please let me know and I'll tweak it!

Happy gardening and have a wonderful weekend, everyone.


May 4, 2014 

Crocus 'Golden Yellow' 

Spring has finally sprung.  We're still having really unusual cool temperatures here in my northeastern Ontario Zone 4.

I sprinkled a bit of blood meal around the tender shoots of my spring bulbs this year and it seems to have done the trick in terms of preventing them from becoming breakfast for some of the sweet things pictured below:

Hope everyone has a great weekend!