Saturday, May 11, 2013

RAKE IT BABY, RAKE IT - a visit to the ontario cottage

Last weekend my husband and I, both on business trips to different cities, were able to meet at our cottage in Ontario for an unexpected weekend with friends.  

Big property and only a few days - where to start?
With a rake.

Part of the magic of Periwinkle Hill is that for most people it does not look like a garden, it just "is".  But of course us gardeners know that if I did not rake the Periwinkle it would eventually suffocate. Horrors!
Next week the Periwinkle will bloom and then of course the Kedron daffodils will follow the Trumpets, the ferns will unfurl and on the season will progress.

Tip: keep a bud vase with you when raking through daffodils. Some always snap, even under my tender touch with the rake, and into the vase they go, ready to spread their spring cheer inside.

And the dry creek bed?
Right where we left it.  
Raking the moss border of the creek is even more delicate work than raking Periwinkle.  

And while we are on the topic of raking stones, this shot makes it clear that it is worth it although at first it may seem excessive.
Do you not agree the raked stones really add something?

I put a fair amount of work into lining the sides of the gravel path with moss, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Red Trillium by the hundred and ferns by the dozen.
Without a good raking all but the pushiest Trillium are hidden.

Raking Trillium is the most delicate work of all because breaking off even a single leaf can cut the life of the early blooming spring beauties short.  
After a few hours the connection between the path, creek bed and Periwinkle is once more clear.

Sharing with Fertilizer Friday


  1. I love your woods and the native wildflowers you planted along the path.

  2. That is a lot of work! Those leaves would make great compost in your compost bin (if you have one!)

    1. The sludge that forms from the leaves that come down to the beach via the creek is an amazing mulch. These dried ones I just push back into the woods, but I am running out of space for them. No more expanding the area that needs to be raked, that's for sure.

  3. It's crazy how much a good raking can improve a landscape. I'm fortunate enough that most of the leaves I rake up are maple and the areas I miss break down quickly.

    1. Lucky you, I sometimes wish I didn't have to rake so much, but on the other hand it is a nice way to spend some time outside...

  4. Natural gardens are so beautiful. I love to transplant flora from the woods in my yard.

    1. A kindred spirit! I'll be sure to check out your blog too.


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