Saturday, January 25, 2014


Normally I see deer in my neighbourhood down the block, closer to the river, but sometimes I see them wandering around the streets too and despite their destructive visits in the summer I still love to see them. 

Out our dining room window we have clear evidence of the deer joining the squirrels, rabbits and birds at our feeder during the night. 

That twig sticking up at ground zero is our lone rose bush that was here when we moved in - perhaps it is not ideal to have hung the feeder immediately above it, poor thing, but it is pink in my Moon Garden so it is eventually going to have to go, one way or another.

The critter in the photo?  Look closely and you will see a bird about to alight on the feeder. Can you spot it?


Thursday, January 23, 2014

YARD ART - introducing our fountain

From the time we moved in to our new home over a year and a half ago I had been thinking about a fountain and researching through numerous Pinterest posts the idea of building my own fountain.

Then I mentioned it to my husband who immediately fell in love with the idea and two weeks later we had a fountain. I like to gather lots of information before making a decision and he prefers to just get things done. This balance is one of the ways we complement each other, and let me tell you, I am very glad we have our fountain already rather than waiting to build one.  
(I can always build another later!)

Next year I will add plants around its base to give it a rounded appearance and to hide the square concrete base.
Suggestions for low-growing, zone 3, part-sun, deer & rabbit resistant, long-blooming, white perennials welcomed.

It was early September so we were eager to get it out for the limited frost-free nights ahead. We drove it in the back of our SUV onto the lawn after dark, placing it off-centre and closer to the rounded edges of the Moon Garden and our bench, rather than in the centre of the lawn. 

Our fabulous neighbour stopped by to toast our new addition. 
We love any reason to use the bench in the front and this new addition is a great one. Not only does it look great but it has a great sound: as the chamber in the base empties the sound of running water becomes higher pitched and more audible, a kind of musical 'tinkling' sound. 

I like asymmetry so this modern style was just up my alley, and it is plug & play: run an extension cord and fill the basin and you are good to go. 

As you can see it also adds winter interest which is a nice bonus.

Sharing with Fertilizer Friday

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


When sitting on the bench looking at our home there is a lone branch hanging down from the large Blue Spruce between you and the house, and believe it or not, as slight as it is, it serves to create a vague sense of separation.
When combined  with the Peony it creates almost enough of a barrier that you feel sheltered from the bright lights of the house.

Intimately close, yet at the same time set apart. 

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Festiva Maxima’
It is an illusion I am trying to enhance by adding five new peony Festiva Maxima

I am also dividing the existing lightly pink-tinged Peony into three and planting them along the border and the pathway. New and old have been inter-planted and odd roots that fell away from the transplant were thrown into the same holes as the new plantings. The more blended these two are, the better.

While I have read that Peony do not like to be transplanted  I have personally had luck with it before, so I am willing to try again.   My hope is that the increased size of the Peony border between the house and bench will enhance the sense of separation and increase the feeling that one is tucked away in a forest.

Sharing with Fertilizer Friday
and Garden Tuesday

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I love Christmas and our house is quite decorated (and decorated early) but rather than a red Santa with a sack of toys I prefer something more along the lines of a Father Christmas, the more woodsy the better.

On our front step we have plaster Father Christmas that looks like it is actually carved from wood. I gave it to my husband for Christmas years ago and I think he has always found it a little creepy.

I never have thought so until taking this close up, or at least I can see what he means, though I still love it.

Sharing with I Heart Macro & Macro Monday 2

Saturday, January 11, 2014


My suet feeder is not in my garden because the best view is actually out of our kitchen window, making the occasional dirty saucepan a pleasure. 

It hangs closer to the barbecue than I would like because it has to be tied to the far end of the branch to keep this big gray squirrel from reigning as 'king of the feeder'.  Instinct sends him scurrying away, momentarily terrified by a rap on the glass, but he is back withing seconds - and without a mortgage to pay he was bound to win our waiting game. 

I would not mind the squirrel if it did not scare aware the other visitors like this White Breasted Nuthatch, who I also see at the seed feeder in the Moon Garden.

This Downy Woodpecker is the most frequent feeder here and one I never see at the 'regular' feeder.

Who else might be snacking here while I am at the office?


Friday, January 10, 2014

YARD ART - location, location, location

We had a bench on our front porch in Toronto but have no porch to place it on in Winnipeg.
What to do, what to do? 

Under these circumstances I think of the bench as 'yard art'; putting it directly in the yard means it has to look as fashionable as it does functional.

 Before I plant plants I first place them where I think they will go (and generally always make adjustments). It was no different with this bench.
The first place I thought of was on the lawn outside the garden proper but after a few short weeks the lawn under the bench started to die back for lack of sun.

Next I plunked it down in the middle of the Bishop's Goutweed.
While it is not quite a field of poppies à la Wizard of Oz, I liked the sense of being completely surrounded this spot created. There was even already a rudimentary "path to nowhere" curving in that general direction.

My parents had some large paving stones they needed rid of and so a platform for the bench was quickly and inexpensively made to keep the Goutweed from completely engulfing the bench. 

According to Better Homes and Gardens "A curving walkway provides more visual interest than a straight path -- and accents the garden around it." Plus it minimizes how visible the concrete blocks used for stepping stones are; you can make a beeline from the house to the bench without having to stare at the functional concrete stones and then you get to travel through the garden and around the Peonies to get to it.

Eventually we repainted a portion of our home's exterior and painted the bench the same colour with leftover paint. Love or hate the orangey-brown (we still flip-flop ourselves), it is a nice touch that they now coordinate.

It will be quite exciting to see the plants grow up and around the bench with it already in situ next spring.

Sharing with Garden Tuesday

Thursday, January 02, 2014


Finally, a map of the Moon Garden, where all flowers are white unless otherwise noted.

Given I put this map off all summer and fall I know there are gaps in it where I simply cannot recall (hence the need for the map) that I will have to fill in as plants return next year - or not.  While annual Impatiens and Petunias are visible below I am not mapping them and will use them to fill in gaps amongst the perennials. 

Green circle far left is Hemerocallis. Standard orange daylilies.

Smaller blue circle is Lily-of-the-Valley; was already here and has white blooms - perfect fit.

Large pale pink circle is Bishop's Goutweed; was already here with white variegated foliage - perfect fit.

Red hexagons far left are Peony. I divided an existing light pink one and add five new whites in the fall. 

Orange circle is Solomon's Seal.

Yellow dashed circle is Daffodils, last year they were hidden by Solomon's Seal by the time they bloomed, I hope they are earlier this year.

Green chevrons are variegated Hosta which I may move to the front as an under-story to the Peony since they were essentially hidden by the Impatiens last year.

Blue squares are  Bleeding Hearts which kept their shape right into the freezing weather.

Brownish red hourglass is a volunteer Milkweed from the Alpine garden.

Yellow stars are Foxgloves. I will add five more this summer.

Mint green 'not equal' sign are Candy Tuft, designed to be lower growing at the front of the border but a favourite of rabbits as it turns out.

Blue/grey cross are Echinacea, also enjoyed by rabbits.

Another Bleeding Heart off by itself has frilly foliage but was eaten down by rabbits very quickly. Let's hope the roots took and we find it back again. 

Dotted purple line is about 9-11 Allium.

Purple star-burst is a Peony Tree. Planted late, let us hope it survives.

Golden diamonds are Goat's Beard which shall grow tall and provide some substance to the back border.

Large yellow rectangle are 10 re-blooming tall bearded Iris.

Two brown 'flag' shapes represent Lupine that I started from seed and were still very small still at the end of the season.

Blue/grey ovals along the back are Lily-of-the-Valley.

The bright green dashed-line 'witches hat' is 25 Hyacinths. My first year planting them.

The red bullseyes are Tall Phlox designed to cover up the bottom of the trees.

Yellow sideways diamonds are Shasta Daisies, the two beside the  path are "Broadway Lights" and the rest I started from seed last year but did not see any blooms from.

The dashed purple is again Allium, this time the petite "Allium Graceful" (white with flecks of purple) along the front border.

The blue triangles are Dianthus that I refer to as my stowaways.

On the other side of the path we have yellow circles representing Lamium as groundcover and more tall Phlox.  

In front of the hedge we begin our transition to the Monet Garden with a variety of purple Allium and a mix of purple and white Crocus.

Stay tuned for deeper dives on different sections of the Moon Garden

Sharing with Today's Flowers
& Garden Tuesday