Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Black, White and In Between

When I first started serious gardening .. I gave up the idea of annuals except in pots ..
I mean it was just unthinkable to me to mix the two types in a perennial border ... but there I go.
I like to experiment .. I almost feel like a scientist .. amateur mind you, but all the same I think all gardeners are, yes gardeners  slash "scientists" in their own right.
So this black sweet potato vine "Ipomoea" has found it's way for great contrast in this bed.

Romantika clematis is a new one this year .. I took this picture yesterday but today it is even darker.
That is rather the reverse of what happens with colour in plants as they age.
I have paired it with Ilse Krohn Superior for a stark combination of light and dark.
It will take a while for them to "meet" each other but I am so curious to see it happen !
White is dotted throughout the garden borders .. as an exclamation point almost or a rest stop for the eyes perhaps ? I haven't decided yet but I like white !

Henryi clematis is one of my older ones that has been transplanted so many times it is a wonder he hasn't just quit on me ... why do we keep moving plants around ? because we can ?

Another odd one out (speaking in terms of annuals) is a new one I haven't seen before but at 75% off I did not question it too much .. it is called "Red Threads" alternanthera .. quite a mouth full ?
I like how it plays up the red stem in my Japanese Painted fern .. made for each other this season.

  Pink is still my go to colour and the roses are setting that off sweetly !

The hellebores are long done but even their faded colours are beautiful to me.

Back to colours with punch ...
Blackberry Ice heuchera setting off Little Miss Sunshine hosta and Pinot Gris heuchera.

OOPS ! some one snuck a coleus in .... plus a little ceramic mushroom with that touch of blue.

I would be remiss if I didn't squeeze in some butterfly weed, lavender and Golden marjoram.

Finally just for fun ... look into the mirror and see if you can spot something blue there too !

Friday, 3 July 2015

Rain to Shine

We have had a lot of rain .. not that I am complaining .. especially when so many areas are dry and have forest fires to battle .. it has been a strange year weather wise.
So .. just a few pictures of what has been going on .. rain droplets on plants can some times makes them interesting though.

Fresh mulch always seems to make things look neater some how don't you think?

One of my favorite corners of the garden .. a little woe begotten from the rain, but the Lady Bug House is still standing !
I wish I had real frogs in the garden .. even some toads ? .. but I will make do with Toad Lily "Golden Leopard" for now.
Mr. Chips our summer "renter" is happy enough thinking he owns the back garden .. he even puts the run on our three amigo Mourning Doves at times.
Looking very innocent here but we know his darker side !
The daylilies are showing their faces here and there.
The Indian Pinks are finally blooming for me ... I thought I had lost them .. this past winter took a few plants and I was getting a bit nervous about these.
I seem to have a lot of PINK in my garden .. I must be a sister to Grace from Gardening with Grace? LOL ... or is it a girlie thing anyways ?
I thought this was such a pretty shot against the smoke bush.
I can't imagine a garden year without dill ... or rosemary !

Last ... one of the biggest dragonflies I have ever seen .. shot in light shade.
I think "he or she" was resting .. I didn't want to disturb it.
These amazing "eating machines" get rid of so many non-beneficial insects they deserve a free pass in everyone's garden !
I wish I had held something up next to it so you could see the proportion of it !
 ... that is all folks ... time to get back to the real world and actual GARDENING again !
Take care : )

Sunday, 28 June 2015

A Zero Waste Method

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a very pleasant associate Vanessa Farquharson, the communications manager for a recycling organization in Toronto called TerraCycle.
Their first claim to fame was selling liquified worm poop fertilizer in a recycled plastic pop bottle.
 How eco friendly can you get ?

Well you can start up a new section especially for garden tools and wayward artifacts such as naughty garden gnomes that just don't hold their own in the garden any more !
Garden hoses that have seen better days ...bird baths, ceramics .. garden art that can't be recognized for what it is anymore, so too embarrassing to donate or pawn off to your friends,ugh !
Garden related junk that needs to be gotten rid of in general .. hence the name :
"Lawn and garden Equipment Waste Box"
In Vanessa's words "It allows ANYONE in Canada to recycle ANY gardening tools, pots, bird baths, ornaments (yes, all those garden gnomes and ceramic stones that say "Dream" on them), hoses, trays, etc.. that are broken, beyond repair or just used to the point of being way too disgusting for Goodwill or other donation centres.
 It's the only solution of its kind available across the country, and we think it'll really appeal to gardeners who care about protecting the planet, which in my experience tends to be pretty much every gardener."

So we chatted a bit through email and she sent me a small box to try it out .. when they are bought through Staples or other distributors the shipping cost (getting rid of in other words) is included.

This is what I set up to give you an idea of the size of the box and material you can cram in !
This is the small box .. they come in small, medium and large.

It has loads of information on the box itself ... sort of dummy proof .. phew!
I like the plastic liner a lot! 
You never know what those naughty gnomes might do, shut in a box, but we won't go there. 

So I have a 6 ft. hose .. metal lantern ... broken frog (one of my favorites, darn it!)
Plus the gnome from Travelocity, sorry to see him go but he is a mess,must have been one of his trips that did him in .. gnomes are VERY naughty creatures .. maybe a stag party? 

So there it is.
Packed up and ready to be handed to a strapping young man? from UPS with it's prepaid shipping label ... too easy !
There on, the recycling goes into high gear and magical transformations occur. 
You never know where you might just "see" your errant gnome again.
He might even be stalking you in another form .. from shipping pallets to just about anything.

No, I don't get paid for doing this post in case anyone is wondering.
I just thought I could give other Canadian gardeners (sorry my US friends, but I know you have access to many recycling opportunities) a chance to know about this method.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Somethings New and Somethings Old .....

It was a marathon day in the back garden for garden PA and I  ... and we both feel it today !
Thankfully it is a good rain day today and we can all rest (cats always feel neglected, even though they sleep through it when Garden PA and I are busy outside ... cats are cats)

So ... some new things in the garden !
I fell for a new rain barrel ... which a friend of mine (Rose) knew I would succumb to,eventually and did of course !
The other rain barrel was so linear .. like a piece of modern sculpture ?
This one has personality ... and a really large capacity for that precious water.
The "tap" fixture is easier to use as well.

Another water related new feature is a battery operated water fountain for the revamped corner area.
The picture is dark because I took it late in the afternoon .. new plants around it will fill in eventually.
I really have become better at not trying to cram too much in to fill things out (sometimes?)
The sound of running water does amazing things for us .. revitalizes our energy almost !
The birds love it of course ... I think the neighbors benefit from the soothing sound too ?

Finally got Ms. Waterfall Japanese maple in ... I was shocked to see the system they had it in .. the pot was huge and I thought, the root system must be very good with such space.
To my dismay (yes you should have seen the look on my face when it all came out!) .. lots of "fill" but with a root bagged in burlap and encased in clay like material ... go figure ?
In any case she is safe and sound in her new home now.
I only hope the break she suffered when garden center attendant crammed her upright into my car.

Old things around the garden that still hold (my hand : )
Mr. Chips ... or son of Mr. Chips ... or grandson ? of Mr. Chips, always seems to return this time of year and has this attitude while stuffing his cheeks beyond capacity .. go figure ?
An attitude of a teenager tucked inside a tiny light speed body .. oxymoron ?

My moss rock on driftwood ... just about ancient now here in this garden .. love it to bits.

My beloved Goatsbeard ..
It holds such an amazing presence with two spots in the garden.
I let the flowers transform into the chain like dried form as it ages.

My Canada Lily  (I thought I had lost her with the fence construction  ) ..
I have had her for ages in the garden and still she is stunning when she flowers .. can't wait to see them in full force.
So  ... there we go  ... new and old  in the garden ... what about you ?