Saturday, April 20, 2013


There are lots of options for septic systems at the cottage, not many of them pretty.  Ours is not so bad, buried tanks somewhat above ground given the slope. A wooden retaining wall that jumps out at me as unnatural. 
Functional? Yes.       Fashionable? Hardly.  
There is something unnatural about perfecting straight parallel lines, like right angles they are exceedingly rare in nature. I need to plant vines in front of it, I am just having trouble deciding which: Virginia Creeper? English Ivy? Shade tolerant Clematis??

  Nothing deep rooted should be planted above them but that still leaves plenty of options. The pink flowers below were part of a wildflower mix the previous owners added years ago and the majority of the daisies are ones that I have transplanted from the side of the road, mostly last year after trying a small number 2 years ago and being happy with their success rate.
There were a fair number of Trumpet Daffodils blooming in the septic garden before this photo was taken. 
And afterward Black-Eyed-Susans from roadside harvesting and Purple Coneflower that I have transplanted from the city where they were seeding into The Strip where I did not want tall plants growing.

Now that I have discovered the world of seeds I will take some Echinacea and Rudbeckia seeds with me for this space when I am at the cottage at the start of May. It may officially be too early to direct sow there but I only have one shot since I live at a distance and it is definitely worth that shot. 


  1. I would warn against English ivy! Many years ago the lady who built my house sprigged a piece of it here and there, and now it is swamping the woods, covering everything in its path and climbing trees. It is beautiful, but you will lose anything else you have planted. Virginia creeper is native here and I have friendlier thoughts about it, but it also is a rampant ground cover. Have you considered planting some shrubs in front of your wall? They would only have to hide part of it to provide a nice effect.

    Also, thanks for visiting my own blog and for your comment!

    1. I have read similar comments about English Ivy, but I do not think that we have the same risk up here in zone 4 and the climate keeps it under check. I am just not 100% sure and so have avoided planting it just to be safe, so I will probably go with the creeper. Shrubs would be hard to place there, but maybe some larger ferns could have the same effect...

  2. Hey Derek... Love the blog.

    My parents put in ferns replanted and they get quite large. We also made a tiered fairy garden off the side of one for the kids to garden each season. We bought fun fairy ornaments and hung/placed them around the plants. Always a good way to get kids engaged in the garden.

    Let me know when you are back in town. Would love to see you.


    1. Mer,
      I love ferns. Check out this post to see all the ones I planted beside the path:

      I also have fern 'gardens' on the go at the Ontario cottage:

      Love to hear that you're getting the kids engaged in the garden :)


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