Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Bye Bye Oakville -- Hello Welland!

It's been over a year that I've posted anything.  And, while I wish I could say that I've been eating bonbons and learning a new exotic language, I can't.  In a nutshell, think coconut here, rather than peanut -- we renovated our Oakville home, put stuff in storage, put it on the market, bought a new home,  sold old home, moved aged father-in-law twice, said goodbye to dear Auntie Margaret before her time, and were responsible for taking care of four homes in two provinces - although unlike the Kardashians, nobody appeared early in the morning to do our hair and nails.  I am delighted to say, repeating my friend Susan's mantra, "It's all working out."  

I'll talk more about my new quarter-acre garden in the wet clay of Welland later, but now, with the help of a new friend I've met on my morning walk, here are some types of flowers you might like to try in order to make your late summer and early fall garden simply gorgeous.  I took these photos on Monday at the trial gardens of William Dam Seeds.

A great little patch of Pansy 'Morning Dew' (pay no heed to the weeds - the summer help has all gone back to school!)

This cool Centauria 'Silverstone' is a trial plant and hopefully will do well enough to be included in future seed lists.

Silene pendula 'Sibella Carmine'

I could just get down on the ground and give these bright happy flowers a hug:  Zinnia 'Holi Scarlet F1'.  Seems that I'm not alone, it is a 2019 AAS Flower Winner.

Pentas is a great late season performer.  This one is 'Graffiti Flirty Pink'.

Old fashioned and fabulous Marigold 'Alumia Vanilla Cream'.

The butterflies were mad for this Scabiosa mix.

Daucas 'Dara'.  Fancy Queen Anne's Lace.

I always was annoyed at how long it took Cosmos to bloom, but when they look like this, I'd be willing to forgive. 

Another longish from seed to bloom is Lisianthus - this is a trial called 'Arena Purple'.

This patch was being grown for a wedding.

Verbena bonariensis

Here's a happy long-stemmed variety of Marigold called 'Garland Orange'.

And to finish for today, a Painted Lady who just couldn't resist the Scabiosa either.

It's nice to be back with my blogging buddies!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

It's been a while...

As you may have guessed, it's been one of those years where habits, work and hobbies are thrown out the window in order to dedicate as much time as possible to aged parents who are far from home.  Kevin's step-mother went into decline late last year and passed away in February.  Then, as is the case with many elderly people who lose their cherished spouse, his father went into a free-fall.  So, every so many weeks we've been packing up the car and driving 7 hours to Quebec to do all that we can in a space of time that never seems sufficient.  While the hospital staff and villagers have been kind and helpful, it's been difficult negotiating the health care system that is primarily French when our language skills are so sadly lacking.

So no chronicles this summer.  But one thing I did do, when I was at home was force myself to have breakfast in the garden.  There's something remarkably soothing about sitting outside in the early morning light.   I took a few pictures every other day, so that I'd be able to share some of the beautiful plants and flowers that helped calm me at the start of the day and have a record of what happened in the garden over this remarkable summer.

I've gathered a passel of snapshots to show you now what my happy place looked like this summer.  And, over the next few months as life moves into a more predictable pattern, I'm looking forward to being able to catch up with all my blogging buddies.

Monday, May 28, 2018

A Sneak Peak at the 31st Annual Toronto Botanical Gardens Tour

There are many fine garden tours in the G.T.A., but this one is my all time favourite!  Yet again, the Master Gardener volunteers have convinced a group of exceptionally talented and generous homeowners to share their gardens with the public in support of the Toronto Botanical Gardens.   This year Mark's Choice has taken a lead sponsorship role to the newly christened "Mark's Choice Through the Garden Gate".

The headquarters of this year's tour is at the Toronto Botanical Gardens.  So many people have enjoyed the TBG tours in the past, but believe it or not, have never been to the Gardens.  Well, this year, that will all change.  New or returning visitors will be amazed at what has been achieved in such a small 4-acre garden:  There are learning gardens, vegetables, woody plants, bulbs, perennials, annuals, tropicals, containers and more.   Even more exciting news, this little garden is now the jumping off point for the newly approved 35 acre garden!

So between, the TBG gardens and Mark's Choice Through the Garden Gate, you will have a fabulous floriferous time.

Here are just a few of the gardens you'll see:

Who needs grass when there are so many good plants out there?  This garden on Chelford Road has lots of natives and stylish specimens in a lush natural setting.  Here are a few that were performing when we visited.  No doubt there will be something special for you to see in June:

Halesia carolina

My first Syringa lacianata (cutleaf lilac)

What to do with that ghastly area where nothing will grow?  Here's a great idea:

Pay no heed to that vehicular backdrop....but feast your eyes on the peony!

From the natural to the tamed - looks like Paul Zammit has been working overtime on beautiful containers:

What an absolutely lovely sentiment:

More of the back garden:

A very cool original home - always find it remarkable to see just how large those evergreens can grow in over 40 years!

Here's a beautiful Brian Cliff garden I visited last August again last week.  Layered planting at its best.  Gorgeous at every point in the season.

Last August:


And then:

The back garden last year:

I really like the Galium odorata with the river stone - it really is sweet (bad horticultural pun, guilty as charged)!

And then, there are those gardens that would require bank robbery and teams of men with clippers for me to ever have -- never going to happen, but so much fun to visit.

There are lots of fancy woody plants:

This old architectural element is made from a new material.  The rebar is covered in different varieties of Clematis.  Please keep your fingers crossed that on the day of the tour, you'll be at face level with lots of blooming blossoms. 

Yet another cool specimen:

And one last photo of the grounds of the TBG that I snapped on the way to the car.  The ride was slow, as it always is, but fortunately I had lots of great memories of my day in the gardens of Windfields Estate.

For more information on this great event, please visit Mark's Choice Through the Garden Gate!  Hope to see you there. #MCTTGG18