Saturday, August 23, 2014


This is the second summer I am leading a group of volunteers at my work in an act of illegal guerrilla gardening on a 150 sq ft slice of dirt in the middle of a concrete desert - and we are having great success.  

Have a look at the before and afters and I hope you will agree we are making a difference in our neighbourhood.
May 2013
August 2014
One of the wonderful things about perennial gardening is the difference a year can make

Sept. 2013
Even at the end of last year summer it was not as full as it already is now and next year many plants such as the Peony, Phlox, Ninebarks, Stella D'oro Daylilies, Lamb's Ear and Hardy Geranium should all be back and bigger than ever.  

The new mulch this year must certainly be helping and it does not hurt that every day there is a volunteer to water the gardens by hand with a couple of watering cans and a  faucet on the building next door. 

Did I  mention I have a dedicated team of volunteers behind me?

The quotes in the garden are encouraging comments from readers of this blog after last year's posts.
Keep 'em coming!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

GARDEN BLOGGERS BLOOM DAY - seriously beautiful

Today I had the privilege of having a private tour of an absolutely beautiful garden by a friend of mine, who happens to be the landscape architect behind the design.   

These are simply some photos I snapped with my iphone to share with you all for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

If only I could share the gorgeous scents wafting about the yard on the warm breeze, some familiar some exciting and new...the buzzing of the bees...


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

RAISING THE WHITE FLAG - lily beetles win

Now that I have started to focus more on the back yard I am somewhat surprised by the extent of the decisions that need to be made. For example, I generally like to try and work with existing flora to reduce costs and respect whatever planning was initially in place. In our backyard this means working with the chives, mint, Lamium, daylilies and Asiatic lilies.
However the aggressive mint was pulled out this spring and the chives followed suit just recently, and now I am officially done with the Asiatic Lilies as well - through no fault of their own, mind you.

The Asiatic Lily Beetle have won two consecutive summer battles and I do not need three strikes to know I am out...if the lilies looked like this because I had been ignoring them that would be one thing, but I have been as vigilant as I am prepared to be and yet still they look horrible at this point in the season.

Not only that, dealing with the beetles is unpleasant work.

So while it is with some sadness that I bid my lilies adieu, there is a silver lining: I will be opening up space in the backyard where there is less sun than the Sun Garden but more than the Monet Garden and opportunity abounds.

Sharing with Outdoor Wednesday, Garden Tuesday, Green Thumb Thursday & Tuesday Garden Party

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

END OF THE MONTH VIEW - july sun garden

The Sun Garden is far and away the most eye-catching garden at the moment.  
I did not imagine when I started them from seed two years ago how large and plentiful the Rudbeckias would become, dominating the whole Sun Garden.

I believe the seed blend was called "Chocolate-Orange".

My favourites are the ones that have a bronze hue to them rather than a golden yellow colour.

This dwarf dwarf variety is an improvement over last year, but I have enough yellow in the garden and next year will look for strictly orange Nasturtium.

Fertilizing Nasturtium can make the leaves grow without additional blooms, so this year I have not fertilized them and I have been deadheading the leaves on occasion.

The Milkweed is just starting to bloom as well.

The Gaillardia are blooming but not as profusely as last year, could it be that the Rudbeckia are stealing some of their sunshine?

Lots of Rudbeckia in vases inside the house as well as at work, there are just SO many.

The red Monarda did not bloom at all last year in its first year so I am glad to see it showing off this year.

The purple Liatris in the old Sun Garden are looking magnificent intermingled with the golden Heliopsis.

There is plenty more blooming in other gardens at the moment. Stay tuned for further updates.