Monday, 21 May 2018

Fothergilla Obsession

It has been a while ... I have "picked" at trying to get my garden up and running for the season but it has been haphazard at best .. between the freaky weather and my physical condition, to say it has been a bit difficult is a bit of an understatement .. but ? here I am yet again !

I'm mainly posting about my obsession for fothergilla gardenii dwarf variety ..
Those Spring flowers just grab me every time .. thus the many pictures of this remarkable little three season shrub (and yes .. I always want more of them once bitten !

Even in "bad" lighting  this little shrub has a load of appeal to me.

There are other plants waking up finally .. but I have so much work to accomplish yet before decent pictures will be posting.

On a happy note we have all the wildlife in our back garden that we had before the patio work.
Mr. Chips, our chipmunk, has managed to dig a hole smack in the middle of foot traffic .. what can we do ? We had been so worried the construction would drive him completely away.
Sophie, our cat, even kept watching the deck doors for him .. he comes to eat sunflower seeds there.
The robin family has at least three babies in their nest now .. two little beaks showing.

I guess I have to admit to another obsession of Dre's Dagger fern
The texture against other plants fascinates me .. it is smaller than most and so easy to manage.
It is very friendly ? with other plants .. always a little touchy feely ? LOL ..

Well .. today is the 21st of May , our official long Victoria Day weekend .. also the official "get gardening" day for most Canadians ... so I, and Garden PA, will be out there doing our best to whip the gardens into shape.

My sad note is that I fear the majority of my Japanese maples have been severely damaged by this unbelievable winter .. I have an "expert" coming to tell me whether I can save any of them or if they are toast .. it is amazing how attached you can become with these little beauties.. I just have to bite the bullet and move on ..

Friday, 11 May 2018

So ? ... Now what ? ....

Spring has been on the ... shall we say ... snooze button for so long here in the Great WHITE North, that when it finally danced in I was ? .. is ? ... in full panic mode to GET THINGS DONE !

Saturday was "OMG!" day but with the help of the ever loyal , hard working ,Garden PA !
We were able to get a tremendous (for us) amount of work done.
Thank heaven for Garden PA and his miracle workings , especially getting our water feature cleaned and functioning ! .. the birds are happy with that sound of running water and the new birdbath that actually has a solar light in the column and lights up at night now how fun is that ?
I know .. they don't NEED that but we get a kick out of it :-)
Yes .. the metal crane is a bit corny but I developed an affection ? for it .. so it stands proud !
The draw back to all of this work is that I am still suffering for it, and yet ? planning the next deployment of garden tools and missions to accomplish ...
That is what we gardeners are so driven to do, each year has a different slant to the garden's own need.
It truly is a never ending cycle of "what can I do next, to tweak this garden into the Eden I so want to see."
My one dream will never see light though .. I am a frog fanatic .. to hear frogs in the garden would be absolute heaven to me .. alas we can not take care of a real pond .. but this water feature does create a lovely atmosphere .. so I am content with that ... for now ? haha

A few pictures to illustrate .. I wanted to do side by side comparisons of the new patio but I will have to do that another time .. even typing is painful so this is the best I could muster up for now !
I was just so happy to see the standard hydrangea not be too upset about the transplant I did with it.
Pink Diamond is the cultivar, and I don't expect it to flower this year, but hopefully next year.
Gardeners .. even in aches and pains are forever the optimists !
I had my 15 minutes of fame framed ... and that made me smile big time .. so even though I felt like I lost last year in the garden .. I have the photo to prove I did do something worth while.
My photo credit is tiny but it is to the bottom right side above the green square, beside the red circle.
I wish I had added CanadianGardenJoy because the people in the UK would probably just think I was British .. oh well ... I was just so floored with the whole thing .. who thinks straight in that condition ?
I really appreciated Lark's note with the pamphlet.
I had to make sure it was included in the framing .. she was wonderful through the whole process
In any case .. more hard work to accomplish before I can set the cruise dial and just putter in the garden .. every year I say the same thing but I really MEAN it this year !

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Last winter storm ???

No pictures ... just a HUGE moaning session to get it off my chest .. we all need that right ?
Since Friday ... yes .. the Friday the 13th bit ... we have been under a winter .. YES ... WINTER storm watch .. freezing rain/snow .. winds ... severe rain fall ... you name it we are having it.
This morning it is holding at zero so far .. but this is so miserable I am beyond words !
Garden PA put out an extra feeder for the poor Goldfinches but all birds benefit from the dropped seed on the patio (yes under a bit of snow) so doves and other little ones have a chance at that.
This has to be the worst Spring I have seen since we came back from Europe .. so almost 20 years of experience here and this IS IT !
Better weather is predicted by the middle of next week .. I wonder if I can hold on to my sanity that long ???????  AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH !!

Monday, 2 April 2018

It started out with an email ... Part 1

Well .. I should be more focused on doing garden clean up and figuring out what I can and can not do this year.
You would think that would be straight forward  right ?
Then the amazing distraction happened with an amazing surprise email.

Hello there,
 Having searched the internet for a line I will be talking about soon, I came across your stunning images on the internet.
Ill be writing about it very soon in the Telegraph Newspaper and wondered if we could use your images to show its splendour? Obviously we’d be delighted to caption and credit the image to yourself.
 Should this be of interest to you we would need high res copies only.
 Kindest Regards
 Miss Lark Hanham
 Commercial Sales Manager
This was the picture she saw on the web search
I then said :
Hello !

Thank you for contacting me and NOT just using my images without consent .. I do appreciate that very much !
Yes .. I would be delighted to allow my image to be used with my photo credit acknowledged ...
I realize a full pixel count would be the appropriate format but could you tell me if this will be a digital magazine or hard copy ?
I would like to know a little about your platform if you don’t mind ?
Thanks !
Joy O’Connor  (Kingston, Ontario) Obviously a Happy Canadian ? LOL
She then told me about the newspaper garden section she worked for.

No problem Joy!
 We would never dream of stealing images from bloggers. Its against the law for starters and when you work in the press industry, you’re really asking for troubles if that’s what your doing.
 So my names below and I’m known in the UK hort industry as the Telegraph plant hunter 😊. The Telegraph is a massive Tabloid brand over here, which is very prestigious. Think Prince Charles and celebrity type demographics.
 Your image will feature in paper to about 700,00 people in a small insert we will be printing for placement around mid-March. It could even be a front page should the image be nice enough and win the vote of the best cover image.
 Online it will feature both
 I would need images to at least 300 dpi and as large as you have them.
 Kindest Regards
 Miss Lark Hanham

We then emailed back and forth with details. 
I sent all the pictures I took of my peony, with the hope that one of  my pictures would be lead picture for the insert .. I was beyond excitement .. and then this email came.

Hi Joy!
 I’ve attached the actual insert but the below shows you a print screen of your work! It’s made the front page of the insert! I think it looks stunning. What’s your thoughts?
When I got this email I let out a scream that sent poor Sophie (my cat) scrambling to the other end of the house (she recovered and gave me "that" look) .
This is the "proof" edition before printing so my photo credit had not been added yet.
Lark just wanted me to know and see a copy as soon as possible, which I appreciated VERY much !
She is sending me a finished hard copy as well.
Hello there!
 Still hasn’t gone to print yet but I promise I wont forget you once I have that proof in my mits!
 I know its an exciting thing to have an image in the newspaper. Speak soon Joy. Take care.
 Kindest Regards
 Miss Lark Hanham
It goes to show you ... you never know where a picture of yours might just turn up and absolutely shock you ... in a GOOD way.
I had this happen to me a few years ago with an American horticultural magazine featuring native plants .. my picture of Diervilla lonicera "Copper" (not my picture, just a reference to the type of plant) made it into their section and that blew me away at the time. 

At the moment, things are getting busy with construction of the new patio .. but this excitement will not wear off for a very long time .. I still can't believe it.
Once I get the finished edition with the photo credit I will publish that .. Lark joked about how my friends might not believe it without that credit front and center .. I said "but I have GOOD friends !"
A link to the online section Peony Green Lotus