Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SPRING FEVER - shopping edition

It will be a while yet before I plant anything in the ground but I have just placed a large order with Vesey's and a smaller one from Botanus and my husband just came home from CostCo with bags of Calla lilies and Gladiolus.

My Vesey`s coupon said spend $200 and save $100.
So I did:

Plant      #/pack#/packs$/packTotal
Tuberosa Butterfly Flower (orange)31$10.95$10.95
Ostrich Plume Astilbe (red, tall)33$12.95$38.85
Blazing Stars Liatris (purple)301$10.95$10.95
Blazing Stars Liatris (white)301$10.95$10.95
Blazing Stars Liatris (purple)101$4.95$4.95
Crocosmia (red, orange, yellow)451$21.95$21.95
Garden Affair Lily (white w/ red, tall)91$21.95$21.95
Beverly Ann Giant Hybrid Lily (white, tall)31$11.95$11.95
Royal Wedding Poppy (white w/ plum)31$16.95$16.95
Humpback Whale Hosta (blue, large)11$18.95$18.95
Shaker's Prayer Iris (purple)61$21.95$21.95
Harvest Moon Oriental Poppy (orange, ruffled)11$7.95$7.95
Carnival Oriental Poppy (orange w/black)11$7.95$7.95

The Callas we loved getting last year as a gift from friends while the Glads can fill in between perennials in our newly planted "Old Sun Garden".  While I have not had much luck with them in the past I am willing to try them again this year given we need annual filler while our newly planted perennial garden grows out.  

The final order from Botanus has ferns and grasses. Grasses for the "Old Sun Garden" are as planned, but the ferns indicate a change in direction for the front of the house where I have been pretending there is more sun than there is.

I have decided I would rather have gorgeous green and healthy plants that can take some sun than struggling colourful plants that fight the shade.

So why not start with some interesting and uncommon varieties of ferns for the front and watch them thrive?


Monday, March 23, 2015


In hindsight, it is not surprising my first attempt at a Lasagna Garden was not successful, after all, the Chicory and Bugloss were in mid-bloom and their long tap roots do not transplant well. 
Viper's Bugloss

Last summer, with some experience under my belt I redid this new bed in what I hope will be a lovely naturalized perennial bed...now if only I can recall what I planted 6 months ago!

 First step this time was to build some edging to keep the soil in place then build up the bed.

To keep the amount of soil I had to bring in to a minimum I added quite a bit of organic material - just look at all that gorgeous free organic soil amendment washed up on shore in spring alongside an old railway tie.  The small bits of twigs, bark and pine needles will breakdown quickly in the soil.

 The soil resembled a forest floor as much as a typical garden bed, and why not? The Lakefront Garden is a very natural, low maintenance design and the appearance of the soil will become a moot point once the plants fill out.

I planted tall Asclepias at the back, alongside the tree, and Purple Liatris immediately behind the daylilies, both purchased at end of season 50% off pricing as they were both past blooming but should come up fine this coming season.

Buttercups and Daisies (and possibly some Rudbeckia) harvested from the side of the road round out the planting. It was not much to look at last summer but I hope that this summer it provides some  relatively maintenance free blooms for our renters.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015


To celebrate the return of Daylight Savings and the imminent arrival of spring-blooming daffodils I used the extra daylight after work to create "Hungry Bunny".

In a few weeks daffodils planted via the Winnipeg Bulb Project (WBP) will be blooming throughout north Winnipeg -- time to start getting ready for spring 2016!

A $5 - $50 donation to the WBP gets spring-blooming bulbs into the hands of people eager to pick up a trowel and proud to make a difference in their neighbourhoods but who otherwise cannot afford to invest in landscaping.

Let's show Hungry Bunny how generous the blogosphere can be in the few short days before he is gone.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday, Outdoor Wednesday & Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Monday, March 02, 2015


It surprises me how many times I have noticed how strong an influencer the sun is on a plant's health and how surprised I can be to realize that each time.  This time the evidence is clear, these two plants were bought at teh same time but the one on the right which has lived in front of a south facing window has all large lovely leaves while its sibling has half big and half small and looks conflicted.

 I have switched their places but before I did I cut back the lanky one as an experiment and will now have the pleasure of watching it fill out. Will it come back as before or like its sibling, now that it has the preferred vantage point?

I took the palm fronds and placed them in a vase in the living room where they look smashing without any need for flowers at all.

Sharing with In A Vase Mondays

Sunday, March 01, 2015

PLANNING SESSION - old sun garden

Today while relaxing in the tub I planned the replanting of the Old Sun Garden, i.e. right-hand side, beneath the windows.

Unfortunately it had to be ripped out last fall due to construction. I committed to preserving its idea and building on it, after all, it was (ironically) the one part of the garden I felt I had right.
Nevertheless this is still an opportunity to purposefully improve on where I had casually ended up. 

Heliopolis grow window-height but no more, are easily pruned (for variable bloom times) and are prolific self seeders (which for now is good but one day I may regret), all solid reasons to retain them, limiting them to the back, immediately below the windows to keep them in check.

In front of the their bright yellow, daisy-like blooms a row of taller, transparent grasses. Height v. transparency? No question. I choose height; the taller the grass the better, certainly some Heliopsis will manage to show through. Along with the grass will be purple Iris from the Sun Garden and of course daffodils for spring interest.

In front of the grasses: a combination of Purple Liatris and Blue Sea Holly.
I first saw these two beauties together in a garden designed by my friend Jess Dixon.  
I think my heart actually skipped a beat
I wanted it. A lot of it.
Now I shall have it.

They are tall plants for the front border but I would like it to be clear to everyone they are not passing between gardens, but rather passing through a single garden, and height is one tool to reinforce that feeling.

Check back with me in the summer to see if I am true to my vision.

Sharing with Today's Flowers