Time for a Change

Hi Everyone,

I've been thinking about this for a while, and have decided to make a big change.   I have started a new blog over at Wordpress.     I hope that you check it out and I hope that you enjoy it.

I have loved doing My Cottage Garden and really appreciate all the support of the wonderful bloggers (and others) who have supported me by reading it and leaving comments.

I really started My Cottage Garden to show the progress of my gardens from the beginning.  The gardens are all as big as I can make them, and so from now on I feel I wouldn't have as much new things to show you.

So, that brings me to my new blog.   It's going to be mainly a blog of photographs.   I will still show lots of photographs of my gardens and flowers, but there will be photos of many other things as well. I really enjoy photography and want to be able to show more subjects than 'just' my gardens.

The new blog is called Diane Pamela Photography.

I'm finding it a bit more user-friendly and the page is simpler to navigate as well.   I've been slowly transferring your blogs to my blogroll over there (now under a page called 'Garden Blogs I Love',   If you don't see your blog on there yet, it will be there in the next few days.  (That part isn't quite as user-friendly).

So again, thank you all for your support over the years, and I really hope you will check out and enjoy my new blog.


Open Garden Weekend at the Cottage Garden

July 12, 2015

I've been absent for the last while, because I've been really busy getting ready for my town's Open Garden Weekend that happened this weekend.  It's a fundraiser for our local horticultural society and ten gardens, including mine, were featured this year.  

We felt honoured to be a part of it.   Our weather has been so-so up until now and this weekend the weather person decided to give us our first taste of high temperatures and high humidity.   The gardeners still came out and it was lovely talking to them and showing them around.

The garden wasn't in full bloom (that comes in August) but  the delphiniums and sweet williams were showing off this weekend as well as some of the rudbekia, lychnis and evening primroses.   Some of the peonies were just holding on long enough for people to see what they looked like.

I'm posting a lot more photos in this post than I usually do,  but it's the easiest way for me to share the day with my family and friends out of town.    I hope you enjoy.

Sweet Williams (grown from seeds from my Dad's garden) 

'King Arthur' delphiniums and 'Bowl of Beauty peonies 

chair planter with dwarf morning glory and lantana

Blue Jay chimes that my late Mom loved, that now hangs
happily in my garden
(still listening to the music, Mom!)

sundial, from my Mom and Dad's garden, that holds a
special place in mine

planter on our arbour, with million bells and thumbergia

back border with sweet williams in bloom

newly painted old bench with baskets of annuals

bike with baskets of ivy and begonias

pale yellow marigolds that I am in love with

baskets on the deck

view from the fire pit of back border

front steps

hosta bed

back border

some visitors

Murphy standing guard

rudbekia loveliness

side border with delphiniums in full bloom


shady front garden

Wordless Wednesday (or Almost Wordless)

June 24, 2015

Thanksto the suggestion of  my friend, Jennifer, at Three Dogs in a Garden, I have painted the chairs turquoise!     I just love it.

A bit more whimsy...

June 13, 2015

So, I think I have added all the whimsy that I am going to, at least for now.

This tree is actually not alive anymore.  It was a fine old black spruce that passed away of old age a few years ago.  We took the upper part of the tree down, but left enough to use as a clothesline.  We haven't actually added the clothesline yet, but it makes a great place to display a little group of fake birdhouses.    Some of of the birdhouses were found at the dollar store and others at second-hand shops and repainted.  One used to be a little clock (the one at the top), others key holders, and some were just decorative.

This is a wicker trunk that I found at a garage sale in May.   I found the idea for making it into a planter on Pinterest.   The plants inside the trunk are propped up on items to make them all about even at the top.  I have some shade annuals like vinca vine and coleus in there, plus some hostas.

I really like the way it turned out and it's under the trees in the front yard, facing the house, so I can see it when I look out the window.

I added two baskets to the bike.   I was all thumbs trying to attach them to the bike, but my husband did a very good job of it.  He just used wire and secured them to the places that you would actually attach real baskets.

The baskets have German ivy and begonias.

I got this little toddler-sized chair, and other other like it, at another garage sale.   I thought it might make a nice little item to put planters on and move to where I need the colour in the perennial bed.  I like that the chairs are worn and the paint is peeling off, but I don't like the colour very much and I don't have a lot of red in my garden.

If I painted these chairs, what colour do you think I should paint them?


June 10, 2015

I really want one of those gardens that have lovely little whimsical features.   And I have never had much luck with it.    I'm trying to go for the 'charming' look, but have never been good at the idea part.

My niece introduced me to the website Pinterest, and there I have found many wonderful ideas.   Here's what I have so far.   Some are still works in progress.

awesome old and rusty red bike

baskets to put on the bike, once I figure out how to attach them

my Grandma's old laundry hamper, with a plant in it, hiding an ugly gas line
a gargoyle I could not resist, whom I have named Murphy
butterfly and dragonfly, made from rusty old stuff, purchased at the garden festival
new baskets, planted with annuals, to place in the green spots in the perennial beds,
or leave here on this bench
little birdhouse from the hardware store, that I
also could not resist
and last, my favourite thing, this great old ladder, to be embellished
in one of two ways, not decided between yet
Stay tuned.    ;)

New Patio and New Bedding Stock

May 26, 2015

Traditionally, in  Zone 4, many of us like to say we can plant out our annuals on the 24th of May weekend.   Every year we seem to get caught up in the excitement of beautiful weather in early May, garden centres opening and hopes that the weather will stay.

He he.   Mother Nature usually has her own plans.     We had a pretty good frost just three nights ago, but the long-term forecast is looking good.    My friend, Paula, and I went to a couple of garden centres yesterday and enjoyed looking at the choices of plants.  We each came home with a couple of flats.

I will start planting up some hanging baskets in the next few days, but I am going to wait until next week to plant some annuals in the ground.   Just.  In.  Case.

This year I was really attracted to some bright colours of 'Million Bells' - there were many to chose from, but I picked orange, bright pink and purple!    To my eye, they look really fun together.   I chose some lime coloured potato vine and some vinca vine to go in with them.   I'm never really sure what the hanging baskets will look like or how many plants to put in, so I will be 'trial by error'.    Here's what they look at what some of them look like together in the flats;

Calibrachoa "million bells', potato vine, and some Thunbergia alata 'lack-eyed Susan vine
 I also couldn't resist a couple of new hostas:  the tiny 8-inch high bi-coloured 'Mighty Mouse' and a larger one with too much cream in it to resist called 'Paul Revere.'

Is it just me, or are hostas getting really expensive to purchase at garden centres?

In the backyard, we have made a fairly big change this year.   We used to have an above ground pool, which we never really wanted, but it came with the house.    We had our fun with it, but my husband always said that when a too-expensive repair came along, he would really rather have a fire pit.

So....last winter, the pool liner didn't make the winter, and we just decided to take the pool down.

My husband worked away at the project last summer, and this spring we hired our local contractor to finish it off.

We are so happy with it.   I'm very happy they were able to get it done so early in the season for us, as I have quite a bit of work to do now, to made the flower border go 'all the way around' the circle, as opposed to how far around it goes now (so the back of the pool didn't have a border because you couldn't really see it anyway).

Here are a couple of shots about how this project is coming along.   Nothing left but a little planting, re-grassing and gathering some firewood!

New Beginnings

May 9, 2015

A new gardening season has begun and everything gardeners have dreamed and schemed about during the long winter months is starting to happen.

Here in my zone four garden, things have gotten off to a bit of a late start.   The cooler weather just seemed to want to hang on a little longer.   I usually have crocuses blooming on my Dad's birthday, in mid-April, and this year there was just the slightest bit of yellow poking through the bud.

first hint of spring - the 'Golden Yellow' crocus

It's going to be an exciting year in my garden.   It is going to be featured in my local horticultural society's fundraiser - an open garden weekend.  I'm very excited about it.   The weekend is in mid-July, which is traditionally one of the 'greenest' times for my garden.  This year I have plans to use a lot more annuals than I usually do.   I actually don't really plant much of anything in the way of annuals, except a few in hanging baskets and containers.

This year I have started some dahlias, which I intend to put in pots, and spread the pots throughout the back border, to add colour where it's needed.   I've also planted double annual poppy seeds throughout the long side border.

I'm really hoping that the delphiniums will be in full glory during the open garden weekend.   I very carefully kept a little blood meal around the tender shoots, warding off the rabbits, and am hoping now that they 'danger' period of them becoming breakfast is over.   (The rabbits now seem content to eat the clover in the grass.)

I also have a few projects in mind, to add some whimsical features to the beds.   I'll add a post about that in the coming weeks.

Until then, here's what has been going on so far:

Crocus 'Golden Yellow'
(a few weeks later) 

|Crocus 'Pickwick' 

Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow)