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)