Me and My Bright Ideas!

October 6, 2011

I see that something has made a nice lunch out of one of the narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete' bulbs that I wrote of in my last post. So much for my theory that the squirrels/chipmunks wouldn't bother them.

I will take the advise of Jennifer of Three Dogs in a Garden and I'll dig them up and plant them deeper!

I'll keep ya posted! (Wish me luck...)

Why don't you go over to Tootsie's Blog to see what's going on on other gardens!

Happy Gardening.

Bulbs and Last Blooms

October 2, 2011

It's the beginning of October and I find myself wondering where the time is going!   But time marches on and the gardening season is slowing down.  Here in Zone 4, we've had a few nights of light frost already.  Those first frosts killed off my basil and tomatoes, and started turning the peony leaves that glorious red colour of fall. 

We have pine needles and yellow leaves falling and that wonderful fall smell in the air.  

One lovely job in the fall is to pick out and plant new spring bulbs.  Since so many of my crocus bulbs of 2011 turned into chipmunk and squirrel food, I decided to try more daffodil bulbs this year.   I picked out some called 'Dutch Master', which are large and tall, a bag of mixed coloured ones 'Halo Cups Blend', and a bag of the adorable, dwarf 'Tete-a-Tetes'.   I am also trying some 'Delft Blue' hyacinths....I haven't grown them before and am not sure how they will do, so I am only doing a small grouping of three for now.  
Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete' Daffodils
Narcissus 'Halo Cups Blend' Daffodils
other lovelies
TThere are still a few things blooming in the garden now. The 'King Arthur' delphinium has given me one last, late bloom.    The 'Autumn Joy' is turning darker.  I love the way it starts out as pink and turns into this lovely dark burgandy.  And the fall asters are always a delight, but the flowers aren't as bountiful as they usually are, and I think I probably should divide them in the spring. 
last blooms of Delphinium 'King Arthur'

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Aster Michaelmas Daisy

Today, the weather is supposed to be nice, and I'm looking forward to an afternoon of cleaning up and doing some final weeding!

Happy Gardening.

Absentee Blogger

September, 20, 2011

Hi Friends, Follwers and Fellow Gardeners,

I enjoy reading all your comments to me and really appreciate them. I've been really busy with some family issues (all sorting themselves out now) and haven't had any time to read your blogs.

I am really looking forward to getting caught up on my friends and follower's blogs and commenting back.

I'll be back soon!

Happy Gardening,

Red Ants!

September 9, 2011

One of my favourite fall perennials is fall asters. I have, over time, separated and replanted mine, so I have about six of them, in different gardens. Late this summer I noticed that just one of them was looking very dry. I didn't think all that much of it, and just started giving it extra water. It seemed that the next time I looked, the plant was completely brown and crispy. See the photo below:

I checked closely and noticed the mulch was all dug up around the bottom of the plant and the soil seemed really sandy.  The sandy soil was full of red ants!  The only thing I can think of is that the sand was from below the soil, and something to do with the brick retaining wall.  There is no sand to be seen anywhere else.  

I did some 'google research' for humane ways to get rid of red ants. There are many ways, but I decided on the 'pour boiling water on the ant hill' approach. I also decided to pull up the fall aster and disgard it. I hope that was the right thing to do. The ants seem to be gone. 

This is what the healthy plant, about six feet away, looked like at the time. It should be in full bloom shortly, so I'll post a photo of it again soon.

If anyone has had a similar problem, advice, or a comment about this, I would love to hear it!

Happy Gardening, everyone.

FF Last Week of August

August 26, 2011

We are officially in the last week of August.  Where did the summer go?  The nights are getting cooler and the days are getting shorter.  The garden still looks nice, although a recent all-night rain has the phlox looking a little ragged.  

The rudbekia below is in it's prime this week.  I'm not sure of the name of this one, as I got it from my friend, Rita.  It's such a happy little plant and I love the way the buds look when they unfurl.  
Rudbekia coneflower,
but I call them Brown-Eyed  Susans

I wasn't sure what this one was called.  It was given to me by a friend.  Thanks to Alison at Bonney Lassie, it has now been identified to me as Malva sylvestris or Mallow! 
Malva sylvestris
Below is a lovely 'Perennial Lobelia'.  Rita gave me two, this white one, and a pretty blue one (not shown).  I was surprized and delighted to see that the white one has all kinds of little seedling plants growing up beside it.  At first I thought they might be weeds, so I'm really glad that my inner voice told me to let them be.  I have enough to give a few to my garden club's plant sale next spring.

Perennial Lobelia with pink phlox

The 'Stargazer' lily.  No explanation of this plant required.  It's just plain beautiful and smells wonderful.  My husband says to leave them on the outside of the house though.  ;)

Lilium 'Stargazer'
Check out some really great garden blogs at Fertilizer Friday.   I'll leave you with a look at my backyard border.  This picture was taken last week, before the rain hit.  It's the same garden shown in my last post 'Wordless Wednesday', but taken from the opposite end. 

Happy Fertilizer Friday and Happy Gardening!

Wordless Wednesday

August 16, 2011

August Back Border

Kew Gardens, London, England

Today, I'm doing something new. I don't usually post about anything other than my own garden, but my blogging friend, Beth, is doing a fun travel theme party called Travels Near and Far, at her blog Beyond the Garden Gate

In 2008, my best friend and I went to England.  We had a wonderful time wandering around the streets of London, visiting historic places, browsing through fancy stores and museums. And gardens, of course!

For today's post I thought I'd show some photos from Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanical Gardens in London.

The Nosegay Garden
I could never explain what a nosegay garden is as well as
the following sign.  I hope it's not too small to read.
the Formal Garden
As I understand it, these very structured gardens
were meant to look especially lovely, when viewed
from an upper window.
a pretty water feature
the Rose Arbour
I loved it here.
a better look at the roses climbing
on the arbour

Below is a photo of a lovely cottage which is on the Kew Gardens grounds.  It was built for the royal family, in the 1700s.   It was used for the family of Queen Charlotte for things like picnics.  You can't go into the inside, but there are pictures and more information on the website here:  Cottage

I was really sorry to have just missed English Bluebell season - I could see the spent blooms just positively everywhere around this beautiful cottage. 

Queen Charlotte's Cottage
 Check out Beth's post Travels Near and Far out when you have a chance.  She has wonderful pictures of a trip to New York City in today's post. 

Happy Gardening, everyone. 

Fertilizer Friday 'Flox'

August 12, 2011

Happy Friday, everyone: 

I'm a little busy today, but I wanted to  post and link up toTootsie's Blog for Fertilizer Friday . 

Today I'll just post some quick shots of the perennial phlox that's blooming right now.  The phlox is really the 'mainstay' of my August border.  I look forward to them all summer long.

Of the below photos, I only know the official name for the first two, 'Blue Paradise' and 'Bright Eyes'. 

Have a great weekend of very happy gardening!

Glorious Colour Time in Zone 4

August 5, 2011

back border with pink and red perennial phlox
in the foreground

First of all, Happy Birthday to my Mom (Muriel) and my niece (Shannon)!

Early August is a lovely time in my garden. The daylilies are still going strong and in a few short days, all the perennial phlox will be blooming at once.

Thanks to my dear friend, Rita, I have many different colours of phlox, from white to dark purple, and all the pinks in between!

Check out Tootsie's blog for links to many other beautiful garden blogs at
Fertilizer Friday.

double rudbekia, double shasta daisies, and 'Blue Paradise'
perennial phlox

white coneflower with rudbekia

'Bright Eyes' perennial phlox coming along
echinacea white coneflowers
hemerocallis red daylilies with 'Annabelle' hydrangea
liatris purple gayfeather
Hudson flirting from under the
red perennial phlox

I'll post more pictures of the perennial phlox in a few days. They are just about to be at their peak.

Happy Gardening and Happy Fertilizer Friday, everyone!

Can July be Almost Over?

July 31, 2011

I may have to demand a recount of the days! Seriously though, as time does seem to march on, July was a wonderful month of blooms. It was relavitely hot and dry, but things in my garden seem to be well established now, and the roots seem to go deep into the ground to find the moisture.

Since I last posted, the perennial phlox have started to open, as well as the 'Pandora's Box', 'Catherine Woodbury', dark burgandy, and red daylilies. The liatris is starting to open and the rudbekia is coming along.

Today, I'm posting some photos of the side and front beds of the house. I didn't get my camera around to the back yard until the sun came out a bit too strongly for photos, so I'll get to that tomorrow!

front bed with orange daylilies, dogwood, and 'Invincibelle' hydrangea
 the main items that show here
'Invincibelle Spirit' hydrangea
(Proven Winner plant - Breast Cancer Research Foundation)
'Annabelle' hydrangea
side border
dark purple perennial phlox behind
the 'Shirley poppies'

Hollyhocks, Rudbekia and More Poppies!

July 21, 2011

Greetings from hot, humid Ontario. I'm going to be taking a week off from blogging - time for family to visit us and not much time for the computer. I'll be back to the computer in time for Fertilizer Friday next week though, and expect by that time the phlox will be out and the back border will be full of colour!

Here is the backyard border this week. Spirea, hydrangea, daisies, monkshood and some daylilies are on the go:

backyard border July 19

Meanwhile, in the side border, my love affair with 'Shirley' poppies continues. I now have a white one, and pink and white one, and a darker (almost red) and white one blooming. My learned-brother tells me to be prepared to 'weed them ruthlessly' next spring:

'Shirley' Poppies

A lovely addition to the garden this year, is this beautiful double rudbekia that I given by my friend, Paula. She brought down three different divisions of her rudbekia about a month ago, and I planted them in three different areas. This is the first one to bloom. It's just a gorgeous two-toned double:

double rudbekia

And last, but not least, for today's post, is my first real showing of hollyhocks. I really want to have the old-fashioned single ones (next year's project) but I love these double ones:

Alcea rosea Hollyhock
'Chater's Double Pink'

Until next week, everyone, happy gardending! I look forward to catching up with reading and commenting on your blogs then.