In fact, I want bushy, even at the expense of grapes.
Even still, a serious pruning is in order.
Like the rest here it has not been touched in years and my natural inclination is to first cut off all of the dead stuff, and therein lies the problem - there is a LOT of dead stuff. So much so that I worry it plays the role of lattice for the overhanging vines.
If I cut too much back will it drape down?
I do not care that it will be more more open to the sky, it is private here and it will fill in eventually and we will learn how we prefer it.
So the question is, how much of the dead stuff can I cut back? Are there any limits? Shall I proceed cautiously and take off as much as I can and still leave a skeleton framework of support?
That is my plan for now but any and all advice is welcome.
This dead tree was really preventing much of anything from growing up to fill the void it left.
Step 1: Remove all of the dead stuff. Well, almost all. The trunk can stay since it was really the branches that made up most of the volume as you can see.
Steps 2: Plant something in the newly created open space. I chose Lupins because they will self seed and choosing something low maintenance is part of a successful guerrilla gardening strategy.
If your hose does not reach your location look for plants that can withstand some dryer conditions; Lupins fit the bill nicely. Short term we have rain forecast all week; only the gardeners are happy.
Digging into the lasagna garden last week for the first time was a
welcome experience. The soil was amazing, better than I have
ever gardened with before; my plants are going to be very happy.
A blend of compost, soil, clay, composting debris, peat; a bit stinky in fact.
Whomever described the garden as composting over the winter did not live with 5 months of frozen Winnipeg winter!
Above is a shot of what the south lasagna garden looks like after I removed the cedars, at least the taller cedars that is. I am going to leave the globe cedars there for the time being and see how they look. They may need to be moved if the soil is too high around them, but that is low on my priority list at the moment. For now I just hope they appreciate the amazing soil.
Properly hardening off plants seemed like so much work before I started growing plants from seed this year that I almost did not try it. Keeping track of 'one hour today and two hours tomorrow', 'shade then sun' is simple to understand but hard to execute on a busy schedule.
Two nights ago I planted the first of my precious seedlings. A Moon Flower. It went down to 5 degrees but the little fella survived fine, so last night I added another two around the base and tonight I planted the remaining three along the nearby hedge and fence along the border of the Moon Garden.
Oh, and I left out my seedlings all day in the sun and all night (down to 3 degrees) and they appear to be fine - so I guess they are officially hardened off enough. It was not as much work as I had thought and I am thrilled with how many plants I have for the money.
Now to plant them and see how they adapt to the garden...clear my schedule!
Forecasted rain continuing for the next few days is a great time to get some things in the ground to lessen the burden of watering after transplanting. Granted that means gardening in the rain, but no matter how sweet we may appear, we are not made of sugar so we will be fine.
In the past couple of weeks I have been to two plants sales. Nothing against large suppliers (they can have great prices on common plants and one-year guarantees from Lowe's and Home Hardware are great), but there is something I like about supporting local horticultural groups.
- Sea Holly ($3) adding to the blues in the Front Lasagna garden (FLG)
I found their fall sale to be better last year because there were many more divisions from members and racks and racks of plants started from seed for the sale, both leading to rock bottom prices when I was looking to buy a lot of plants.
The City of Winnipeg Living Prairie Museum native plant sale was held this weekend and I was there straightaway after work on Friday to get my hands on some native flowers. Prices were good at $3/plant compared to the $6 price tag for most perennials at the Friends' Mother's Day sale.
Their plants were grown in a greenhouse, so like the seeds I have started indoors they will require a period of hardening off before planting. Native Wildflowers I bought in support of this important living museum include:
- 3 wild columbine(Aquilegia canadensis), red and yellow for the south lasagna garden
- 3 blue columbine, (likely Colorado Columbine but we will have to wait and see), for the FLG
- 5 New England Asters (Aster novae-angliae) for the FLG - 3 Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) also for the FLG - 1 packet of Ground Plum seeds for the Alpine Garden - 1 packet Blue Eyed Grass (actually an Iris) for the FLG, to be sown in the fall
And the winner is...
Both sales were well run and the people very friendly. Friends of Garden's Manitoba was much larger with much more variety including annuals, shrubs and even some veggies, but with my goal of creating a certified butterfly wayside the native plants and their prices make the LivingPrairie Museum sale the winner. At least for this year. And the great news is that the sale continues on Sundays through June, so what are you waiting for? get off your tush and buy some native plants!
Two weeks ago while on a business trip to Toronto I could not help but drive by my old place to see how it is doing. While I do not feel nostalgic about the house I cannot help but still feel as if the garden is mine.
I am glad to see it alive and well.
Crocus already done, daffodils in their glory along with the Periwinkle and Grecian Windflowers, and everything else coming along nicely.
It is hard to imagine how busy I kept with such a small space.
I always place all of the plants first to give myself a chance to change my mind after I see them all out together. The big change I did at this phase was to move the Honeyberry bushes into the centre because I did not realize how much a 125 cm spread really was until I got out the tape measure - I don't want them hanging into the driveway.
Finally all ready to go, for today at least.
Believe it or not I managed, with the help of my nephew, to get them all planted and watered before dark.
It has been a long winter and I am impatient. I cross my fingers that is not a 'lethal combination'.
These "Hens 'n Chicks" were overwintered in my parent's garden. You can see they are still in their pots so the roots would not be disturbed in their temporary home. It amazes me that succulents can survive -35 degree temperatures.
Under the large Spruce in the front of the house is where I am putting the Alpine garden. Despite being under a large tree it appears it will get a fair amount of light in the afternoon. Granted I have not been here yet for a summer, but as I said earlier, I am willing to roll the dice.
After reading up a bit for my post on my parent's amazing front porch planter and discovering some of the trends in trough gardening I decided to mound some soil between a few of the bigger rocks to create small hills for added interest. in the pic above I have mounded the one on the right and am about to make another on the left.
I written before about the importance of "dressing" your garden after planting. Can you see how there are pine needles, pine cones and such sprinkled between the plants? I do not like the look of a newly planted garden. I want my neighbours to wonder if I did not in fact plant these in the fall.
To be honest I am not sure that I should have planted them mixed like this or reserved one mound each for each type of plant. I am tempted to move them, after all I am a perennial gardener and that is part of what we do, is it not?
Before I do anything hasty I would love some crowd-sourced feedback - what would you do?
Where driveway meets laneway I planted some Foxglove last year. Part of my 40 year plan to create blooms all over the property and not just in garden beds. Over the years my hope is that they naturalize well beyond the initial five.
I am thrilled to see that they are looking very healthy.
I have no idea if they bloomed last year because we had left the cottage by then, but I have my fingers crossed that with the later start this season that they might still be in bloom when we return in mid July.
On the other side of the road I planted three Lupin last year and found two of them looking strong and healthy. Unfortunately we will definitely miss these blooms, but as long as someone sees them I will be happy. Here again the hope is that these will naturalize over time all along the roadside.
I have planted daffodils on the other side of the road, away from the water, to give us a reason to get up and into the woods in the spring before the bugs or the leaves are out.
The continuation of the dry creek bed up into the forest looked great and it did not even need raking! Next week there will be more daffs blooming on other side to highlight it, but even without them I still find it a nice subtle touch.
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.
In a previous post I shared this pic of how overgrown the backyard to our Cabbagetown place was when we first moved in.
Initially I thought our neighbour's garage was too big and overshadowed the gardens. Friends quickly pointed out that if gave us a great degree of privacy, and they were right. I grew an overnight appreciation for it but I never thought it looked quite right. I wanted to plant something growing up it but I was timid about asking the neighbours who we otherwise had never had any contact with.
Then a "For Sale" sign went up! The house quickly sold and sat empty for a very short while. I probably should not admit it, but I struck while the house was empty. I figured new neighbours would not know how long a vine had been there, if they ever noticed at all.
In the three years since, the Silver Lace vine has grown rapidly and pretty well covered up the garage. It does not bloom much because of the shade from the massive Norway Maple but that is fine, it was meant to cover up the garage and it is doing its job splendidly.
I wonder if you all engage with your neighbours about your gardening every time you should, or if am I alone in my naughtiness?