Monday, July 29, 2019

Zinnia Parade


Most of you know how much I LOVE zinnias - they bring such joy to the garden (and the gardener!).  Ever since I sowed those very first seeds several years ago (sent to me by the gorgeous Tammy over at Casa Mariposa), my garden has been graced with their presence. And this year is no exception.

The zinnia that started it all...'Peggy's Delight'

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Heat, the Rain....and the Skeeters!


Well, hello again.  It’s been an eventful month in both a good way (the Denver fling was amazing!) and not so good way (I was knocked out with the flu for a good chunk of time).  So much for “flu season” (eye roll).  I have never felt so tired and achy before…makes me wonder if I’ve ever had the flu before or just really bad colds.

Echinacea "Cheyenne Spirit" (started from seed a couple of years ago) is doing amazing
...as are the weeds but let's ignore that bit, shall we 😄

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Goings-on in the Veg Garden


Just as with the rest of the garden, on the veg front, it’s been slow going until recently.

Spring crops (lettuce, arugula, radishes, mache, claytonia, turnips & beets) were sown/transplanted seemingly eons ago, but with the unusually cool weather, they grew at a snail’s pace.  Now that warmer temperatures have arrived, they are finally sizing up.

My favourite variety of arugula, 'Speedy', not only sizes up quickly, but is also very mild,
which is a bonus in my book as I find some arugula to be a tad overpowering.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

It's Spring! Better late than never...


Spring is always the busiest time in the garden, and this year has been no exception.  We started off slow and continued at a snail’s pace for a very long time…the weather was just not cooperating.  We finally turned the corner a couple of weeks ago and it’s been full speed ahead ever since (minus the few odd days of incessant wind and/or cold and/or rain – can’t have it all now, can you?).

Spring blooms started off with crocuses, daffodils and the hellebore I purchased this past spring and have now progressed to a few mainstays in the garden including tulips, forget-me-nots & bleeding hearts.

The tulips were lovely but short lived this year; the heavy rains
we've had since I took this photo didn't do them any favours.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Feeling Sluggish and an Update


So I thought I would post an update on how the season is progressing around these parts.  One word:  Cold.  I'll add two more words to that:  Windy and rainy.

Some plants, however, are loving the cool weather including the hellebore I purchased at Canada Blooms.  I can't believe that it's been blooming for almost 2 full months now!

The blooms start off deep pink, then lighten as they mature - so gorgeous!

It's been a rough start to the season, weather wise, with relatively few good gardening days.  But it looks like we are FINALLY turning the corner - and I couldn't be more ready.  Sort of.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

A Slow Start


We've had a very slow start to the season around here, same as last year.  The temperatures were on the cool side throughout April - we only hit the normal "average" high for this time of year a handful of times all month.  Between the rain, cold and wind, good gardening days were few and far between.

Several veg should have already been transplanted into the garden including the onions, lettuce, kale and broccoli.  I have a couple of trays that have been hardening off for a long time, waiting not only for a good day to transplant, but also a favourable long range forecast.  It looks like this is the week when they will finally make it into a bed.


Friday, April 26, 2019

A Rundown of Winners in my Garden


It won't be long before folks are heading to the garden centres to see what’s what in the world of ornamentals.  I’ve already stopped in at a few nurseries, but around here in Southern Ontario, the droves don’t come out until mid-May and many garden centres, especially the smaller ones, are still closed or not fully stocked yet.

This family-run nursery near Elora, Ontario was an exception as it was well stocked in mid-April.
Their selection of sedums and coleus was incredible!

Last May, I received a variety of plants to trial from Proven Winners, all of which will be newly available at retail this year.  With our last frost date just around the corner, I thought now would be a good time to talk about some of the winners in my garden.  I’ve highlighted each of these on Instagram, but I’ll provide a few more details on my experiences in this post.  If you don’t follow me on Instagram fear not - all the info I posted there is also included here 😊


Friday, April 19, 2019

Before the Rain Set In...


They say April showers bring May flowers & we are certainly getting our fair share of rain.  We did have a few good days this past week, however, and I was busy getting the garden ready for planting.

Raindrops on spruce trees...

The task that was at the top of the list last week was spreading compost on all the beds.  Since I get compost in bulk using a utility trailer, it's a job that's dependent on the weather, as is the task of getting it from the trailer onto our beds.  Thankfully, I was able to finish up yesterday before the rains started.

Other than plant specific soil amendments such as manure,
the beds are all ready to go...

I still have about a quarter of a trailer full of compost left which is destined for the asparagus beds & fruit trees, but that will have to wait until the rain lets up.  In the meantime, the trailer has traded places with my car so it's safely in the garage waiting until our next dry day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Getting Started....


This past Saturday, I spent an entire day in the garden....hurray!  Spring-like weather has been a long time coming this year.  It was a lovely day with no wind (which is always a biggie in my books when it comes to comfort) - perfect for getting out and doing a few things in the garden.

The ground is still rather soggy and there are sections on the north side of the house where the snow has not completely melted away, but we are getting there.  The first task on my list was removing the straw from the garlic and asparagus beds & I managed to get this done…sort of.

We had quite a lot of freezing rain and ice buildup this winter and that was evident when we peeled back the top layer of straw….the bottom layers were encased in ice and frozen solidly to the bed.

Each bed was left with a few inches of straw, frozen to the bed

I removed what straw I could & the rest of the ice will hopefully melt over the next week or so as we are expecting temperatures to be above freezing on most days.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Starting Ornamentals and my "No-Plan" Plan


Each year I add a few new ornamentals to my seed starting list and 2019 will be no exception. 

Ornamentals on this years list that I’ve not grown before include:  Honeywort (Cerinthe major), Craspedia (Pycnosorus globosus), Celosia, Ageratum, Annual Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila muralis) and an annual grass “Frosted Explosion” (Panicum sp.).  All of these were received as sample packets at various events I went to last year.

Celosia 'Asian Garden' baby

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Sowing Has Begun!


Here in Southern Ontario, the majority of veg seeds don’t get started until mid-March/April.  When it comes to peppers, however, I typically sow them in mid-February, as they can be slow to bulk up.  In addition, pepper seeds can take a long time to germinate so I try to give myself a bit of a buffer, just in case there’s a problem and I have to resow.

A pepper harvest from 2018

This year, however, there is zero buffer.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Canada Blooms 2019


Each year, Toronto hosts the largest garden & flower festival in Canada and 2nd largest in North America – Canada Blooms.  This year, the theme was “It’s a Family Affair” which was reflected in the numerous kid friendly areas and playstations, as well as the garden designs that encourage time spent outdoors with the whole family.

Giant "outdoor" games drew in both kids
and those that were still kids at heart

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Seed Diet


In my last post I mentioned that, in an effort to achieve a better balance, I was going to re-evaluating what I grow, specifically when it comes to the veg garden.  Although I would love to grow everything (and numerous varieties of everything!), I simply don’t have the time to devote to growing more than what we truly need.  Well, to be completely accurate, I do have the time but would prefer to spend it on other things such as hanging out with family and friends as well as simply enjoying the garden instead of being in a constant frenzy to get things done.

'Black Knight' Scabiosa from Botanical Interests
This was one of my favourite 'new to me' ornamentals grown from seed last year

Just because you CAN grow it doesn’t mean you SHOULD grow it.  Have I said that before?  Numerous times?  Yes??  Well, it bears repeating anyhow, so there 😏

Saturday, January 19, 2019

New Year, New Perspective


Every year "things" happen that we never anticipated.  Sometimes they are small things, like getting a flat tire on the highway.  Sometimes they are big things such as an unexpected illness or loss of a loved one.  And sometimes they are good things.  From making a new friend to harvesting a bumper crop of tomatoes, there are usually many pleasant surprises to be thankful for...sometimes, we just have to make the time to look for them.

When Tammy sent me seeds for her favourite zinnia, she surprised me with some Tithonia seeds as well.  I was smitten by the towering plants & pollinator attracting blooms and have grown them ever since.