See you in the Spring!

Well, it is officially winter and my garden beds are insulated in a blanket of snow.   I'm going to work on some improvements for my blog over the winter.  Any suggestions would be most welcome.I look forward to documenting my garden's progress in 2011 and will start up again as soon as I see the first sign of spring. 

I'm going to end my 2010 portion of the blog, with what I have on the front of a t-shirt!  Lots of good advice can come from reading t-shirts, right? 

                         ADVICE FROM A GARDEN                          

Cultivate lasting friendships.
Sow seeds of kindness.
Listen to sage advice.
Don't let the little things bug you.
Be outstanding in your field.
Take thyme for yourself.
No vining!

Late Summer Bloomings

It's December, and I'm just posting some photos of my August and September flowers. We have a couple of centimetres of snow on the ground now.

This is my border in August.  You can see some of the different colours of perennial phlox here.  What I love about them, is that they don't all bloom at exactly the same time - so I have a lovely array of colour from mid-July right into September. 

The 'Michaelmas Daisies' or fall asters put on a great showing in the later summer as well. I started out with just two of them in 2008 and have divided them twice already. Love them.  Couldn't resist posting this picture of Hudson posing in front of them. 

This clump of fall Monkhead (I'm not sure the exact variety, as they were a gift from Rita) bloom much later than my other ones.  They have a tougher and sturdier stalk, but otherwise look very similar.
And one of my very favourite later blooming plants is my white coneflower. 

...And the Rest of the Daylilies

August 20 - So, I've been really absent from my blog. Summer got really busy, so I am very much behind in blogging about what's going on it the garden.

These are the rest of the daylilies. The bloom on the last one has faded. I actually divided the ivory one (that's shown directly below) and it was the first time I divided daylilies. I gave half of it to my friend, Rita, who has given me most of the plants I have - but she didn't have this particular variety.

Sharing is the nicest way to get new plants, don't you think?

This is a very special daylily, that I transplated out of my Aunt's garden last fall.  I didn't measure it, but I believe the flower was a medium size.  Not quite as big as the 'Catherine Woodbury', but bigger than 'Pandora's Box.'   It's a stunning ivory colour.

The small and lovely 'Stella d'Oro' daylily.   A bright and goldy yellow. 

The name of this large daylily is not known to me, but it has a  dark burgandy flower with a yellow throat.

The Daylilies are Here!

July 14 - I am in my glory at this time of the year. Each morning (and let's be honest, every noon and night), I walk around my garden, deadheading, seeing what needs staking, but  most importantly looking for what has come out in bloom since the last time I checked. Everything seems to be all coming out at once. The last few days have seen the appearance of seven different daylilies.

All except the two orange ones were gifts from Rita's garden. 

These are my 'Catherine Woodbury' daylilies.   I'm not really sure what to call this colour.   I've seen it described as 'salmon' but it's almost a mauvey-pink, with lovely yellow in the centre.  The flowers are quite large at 5 1/2 inches across.

'Missouri Beauty' daylilies.  These are also really large flowers and a lemon yellow colour.  I love the way the flowers only live a day, but there are always new ones to take their place.   The lovely flowers are also about 5 1/2 inches across. 

These are my two orange daylilies.  They are slightly different.  Some people call these 'ditch lilies', I guess because you see them everywhere - including seemingly growing wild.

I once read that they fell off the wagons of pioneers and grew where they fell.   The bottom one, which I call my 'Cottage Lily' because it came from my family cottage, I'm growing in a pot on our deck.  It looks great there and I will bury it, pot and all, in the compost pile for the winter. 

This is the other large-flowered daylily I have in bloom right now.  The name is unknown to me.  I'm not sure the photo does the colour of it justice - but it's very much a golden yellow, with a burgandy throat.  They are quite striking en masse!

These two are my little daylilies, about 2 1/2 inches across.  Again, I don't know the name of the red one, but the cream one with burgandy centre is the darling 'Pandora's Box'.  It is just the sweetest little thing.  I adore it. 

Rita's Garden

I've mentioned my dear friend Rita on the blog before.  She is the dearest lady, whose garden I stopped to admire one June day in 2007.    After we spoke for just a few minutes, Rita invited me to come over again to give me some of her plants.   We have become good friends and she has given me many delightful perennials over the last couple of years.  But even more wonderfully she shares her knowledge and love of perennial flower gardening with me. 

The picture above is the garden in Rita's front yard and this one is her side garden.   Rita has a different kind of garden than I do....she has her perennials placed in long rows, with straw in between, to mulch and walk on.   Because she mixes up the perennials, her garden doesn't give the impression of being all straight lines.  Quite the contrary, her garden is a place of beauty, where one can walk through and admire everything close-up. 

A closer look at some of Rita's beautiful delphiniums. In front of the delphiniums are her 'Missouri Beauty' daylilies.

And a sample of the beautiful beebalm that is at it's peak.

And last, but not least, Rita's beautiful poppies. 

I hope you've enjoyed the tour of this lovely woman's garden. 

Hosta Delight

July 8 - I love hostas!

Since I have a lot of shade in my front yard and part of my backyard I have room for a lot of them. I have about twenty different types so far. I tend to like the ones that have white or cream edges (margins), but I am trying to mix some plain or two-toned green ones in for contrast.

These are some of my favourites:

Hosta 'June' - Gold coloured leaves with blue-green margins.  It seems to be quite resistant to slugs.  It was one of 'Mark's Choices' at the Home Hardware store last year and I've been quite pleased with it. 

Hosta 'Lancifolia' - this was a gift from friends and it has lovely shiny leaves that are fairly slender.  It has a medium-green coloured leaves.

Hosta 'Queen Josephine' has medium green leaves with a lovely ivory coloured margins. 

Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears' - this is a really tiny one, plain green roundish leaves.  It's kind of adorable mixed in with the larger ones.

Hosta 'Gold Standard' - this is the only hosta that was on our property when we bought it.  It's also the only hosta I'd had before (at our old house).  Since I couldn't bring my hosta with me I was very happy to have this one.  You can see a little damage to a couple of the leaves.  I'm wondering if a little rabbit had a bite or two.

Hosta 'Longissima' is the name of this one.  I looked it up on the hosta libray website and the ones there are solid green.  I got this one from a member of my horticulural society, so this must be a different variety of "Longissima'.  So far it is small so I'm not sure how big it will get.  It's a lovely contrast to the others, because the leaves are so narrow.

Hosta 'Krossa Regal' - mine is quite small still, but these ones have an interesting feature that they grow up in an upright position.   On the side you can see one of my little gophers that our niece bought us years ago. 

Garden Happenings in Early July

The shasta daisies are starting to bloom now. This is my favourite because it's a double-flowered one. It's called 'Snowdrift'.

These 'Snow Lady' shastas are my dwarf ones.  I had two of them, but somehow there is only one this year.  Everything else is the garden came through the winter intact, so it's a mystery. 

Blue Monkshood behind the Lychnis.  Blue and pink is my favourite garden colour combination.  

This little Crane's Bill geranium is blooming in my front shade garden.  It was a gift from a friend's garden. 

My Blue Peachleaf Bellflower is also blooming in the shade garden.  It was also a gift, planted last spring, but blooming for the first time now.  It's quite a delicate blue shade and quite lovely. 


July 2 - Something has been digging and chewing in my garden! 

I'm not really sure what it is, but we have squirrels and rabbits around our place.  Something dug up crocus bulbs (and left a few of the outer bits, so I know they ate them) in several places.  They also chewed the green pepper plants, leaving only about an inch of the stem to remind me they were there. 

I filled in the holes and sprinkled some blood meal around the areas of concern.  So far the varmits have not returned!

PS - I said 'varmint' and my husband said it's 'varmits'.  I looked it up on google and both are correct - it's a matter of where you are from.  (English lesson for today.)  ;)

What's left of two of the green pepper plants.  (No worries, we have four more!)

Backyard Border

June 30 - This is my backyard border taken from our deck.  This is the same border shown in my blog's header.   It's difficult to photograph from the front with my camera.  The border backs onto the creekbank so you are looking at lots of trees behind in.  Sometimes I entertain the idea that it would look really nice if the border had a bit of a decorative fence behind it (white picket or split rail cedar). 

There are buds on almost all the daylilies now and they will be the next thing to pop.  Right now, some of what's blooming:

From front to back:  Dwarf Shasta Daisies, Evening Primrose, Lynchnis, Perennial Sage and Monkshood.

And what I call 'Dad's Sweet Williams'.  These are from seeds my Dad collected for me from his garden, before he and my Mom moved into a condominium apartment.  They smell wonderful and are very special to me.   I think next year I will let them to a bit more wild in the empty spaces between the perennials.  They seed themselves quite profusely, but are very easy to transplant from one place to the next in the garden or into a friend's garden.  And easy to just pull out and put into the composter if you have more than your garden can hold.

What's Blooming on the Last Day of Spring!

This is the second year for this peony plant.  It was mislabeled as a 'Bowl of Beauty' so I don't know the name of them.  The flowers are doubles and the outer petals are just a slightly darker shade of pink. 

I love the Evening Primroses.  They were one of the first perennials that I had.  The next-door-neighbour at my first home gave me some.  I like the way the flowers close up at night.  They remind me of big buttercups.  They tend to get a little bit scraggly by the time they have finished blooming, but I read recently that you can trim the top third off the tops afterwards to make them look a little neater.  I'm going to try that this year. 

I planted this 'General McMahon' peony in the fall of 2007, the first year we were here.  This is actually the first time it has bloomed and I'm quite delighted with it.  The blooms seemed to be unusually slow to open.  It's funny how some peonies take longer to get established than others. 

This is one of the two hydrangeas I planted in the front bed this spring.  It's called 'Twist 'n Shout'.  (Great name, eh?)   It's supposed to bloom all season and is one that will be pink in alkaline soil and blue in acidic soil.  The soil in most of our yard is acidic, because we are surrounded by evergreens.   The soil where this is is a nice garden mix though.  I didn't know what to expect - but I love the pink!

Our former neighbours came for dinner last summer and brought some small perennials in a basket as a hostess gift.  One was these Peachleaf Bellflowers. They have come up wonderfully and are the most beautiful and delicate shade of blue.  I've never had these before and they are quite lovely.  They are in the bed by the limestone path, against the house. 

Ghost (Garden) Story

There is a sort of ghost town in my area. It was a large farm area in the early to mid part of the last century. The buildings have all been taken down now and the land is used as an animal sanctuary.

I was wandering around in there in the early part of April and I noticed some daffodils blooming. Nearby, I found some daylilies coming up in the middle of a grassy area. I realized that these perennials were from someone's long-abandoned garden.

I went back the other day, to see what else I might be able to discover and was quite pleased to find the perennials that are photographed below. All of them were just growing 'wild', in the grass, on rocky ledges, and in the case of the dianthus, just growing next to the road and into the gravel shoulder. You would never know where a garden had been.

Isn't it an amazing how incredibly tough these little plants are? I've already transplanted some of the dianthus to my own garden, where I will give it some tender loving care. I will transplant a bit of the other things as well.

I like to think that the gardener who planted these would like that.

What I have photographed, so far, from the top down is:

Dianthus (rockery pinks)
Chives ('Gone Wild')

Some Colour in the Backyard Border

June 9, 2010 - This is what my backyard border looks like today. The 'Brilliant' Oriental poppies, perrenial sage 'Caradonna', and two types of irises are blooming. I don't know the names of the irises, I just call them my 'periwinkle blue irises' and my 'purple edged' irises.

The blue irises and the 'Caradonna' Perennial Sage (Salvia nemorosa)are shown below.