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!


  1. I know we're supposed to wait until at least May 24 but I don't remember a frost this late like we had this year. My veggies got planted today and I'm still working on annuals - a box of trial plants from Proven Winners is to arrive this week.
    Good for you for joining your hort society executive, it's always good to have people with fresh ideas on the board. I'm still on our district board as past director and have sat on it for 10 years in various capacities so I've been to many AGMs. It's when you reach the provincial level that you develop a better understanding of how the OHA works from the top down.
    Happy Gardening Diane.

  2. Your new area where your pool once was is outstanding!!! What you have done with that space is both stunning and fun as I bet you will use it all the time!!! And your plant combinations up there are gorgeous!!! Happy planting to you!! Nicole xo

  3. Great choice! The patio and fire pit does a lot for the garden and should provide much pleasure.

  4. We still have the above-ground pool, but we take it down in the winter. I would rather not have it either as it gets used less and less. I love what you have made of your new space! Such fun to have a new garden to play with ;) I love the vibrant colours you've chosen for the baskets. I agree, hostas are ridiculously priced, and I always figured it was because they are no-fail kind of plants that can be split many times over once they get going (no need to go back and buy more!).

  5. Gosh, what a great change to your garden!! It already looks great and will be fabulous when it is done with all the flowers planted and blooming! I don't know how much your hostas are, but yes, they are expensive here! All plants seem to be costing a lot more though to me!! xx

  6. Wow! The changes in your yard look great! I like your colour choices for the new plants as well.


  7. Hi Diane, You have chosen some pretty plants. I like the color combinations. I have always enjoyed using sweet potato vine - this year it's planted in a wheelbarrow. We too used to have an above ground pool. It was fun for a few years but glad it is gone now. I like your fire pit, Diane! Enjoy your flowers and that clematis you recently planted. :)

  8. We would prefer a firepit, too ... made a good change! Love the plants you picked. I haven't planted my annuals yet with first a frost and now torrential rain. I'm itching to get outside again! P. x

  9. Wow! You'll enjoy your new space! I love the color combinations you came up with! I hope everything is growing well now. I scrolled down and saw your early spring blooms, and was struck at the difference in our seasons. Our bulbs and such have been finished awhile.

    Thanks for your comment on my Wildflower Wednesday post. Yes, our granddaughter keeps us busy. Now that my husband is off for the summer, she has really taken a liking to him. She already did like him, but now, she is getting attached. She even cried briefly when he left to run an errand a few days ago.

  10. Your fire pit is awesome!! I think store bought Hosta are so expensive. All of ours a donations from neighbors and now we donate to others. !!!

  11. The new patio area and fire pit are so nice and a great addition to the yard. I am sure you will get more seasons of enjoyment from this area now that the pool is gone. I can see sitting fireside in spring and fall when it would have been too cold to swim.


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