Winter Just Won’t Go Away

Wow!  We had a good storm here a few days ago, at least 40cm of .  Below you can see what the last week of February look like to what we had in the second week of March.  I think mother nature had her months mixed up this year.  Well thinking of spring,  I was fortunate to have the opportunity to volunteer for Canada Blooms with Enterprise Canada (Public Relations Firm) last week before the snow hit us.  There is no feeling better then walking around and looking at backyard landscapes to inspire the creative juices.

     

First floral design I saw was the City of Toronto, it was beautiful          

As you can see in the pictures below, all the different landscapes have given me and hopefully you  some new ideas to make your backyard an oasis that you can be proud of.

I am making several water features this year for my backyard.  The first one is taking a bath tub and turning it into a pond.  I got this idea when my brother redid his bathroom.  I have some slate from when I dug up my front step that i will attached to it and will have the tub in the ground so only half will stick out.  I will flowers and shrubs around to fill it in. I have had a gargoyle fountain spout for about 15 years that I will finally use.  I will post a picture of it good or bad when its finished. Below is before I start.

 

 

 

What to plant this year

Every year the seed books come out before Christmas and I never look at them until the new year. When I do I never know what to order because I want EVERYTHING.  I usually go through them and marked everything I like.  Then wait and go through them again and try to be realistic about it.  You have to look at what you have already planted, move what you think would do better and get what you want.  Below is a picture of my front garden as of today.  Looks pretty sad, but in just a few months the first flowers of the season will be blooming.  You want flowers in your garden from May to October.  Careful planning is needed and even then is not guaranteed it will turn out.  The wrong temperature, water, nutrients, can make flowers grow faster, slower or not at all, and every year it is different.  My garden plants are constantly being moved around. thought needs to be given to where the sun reaches throughout the growing season and how long.  you also need to look at what type of garden you want.  Wild, neat, English, spring, summer gardens are different types. then you need to consider what you can grow in containers.  Container growing is fun and you can be very imaginative what to use a container. I have seen old work boots, bike basket (on a bike), wheel barrel and even a toilet. to get inspiration go to Pinterest for great ideas. Later this year I will talk more about container growing.  For online ordering search ordering seeds, gardening Canada or plants Canada.  Next post I will be setting up my indoor lights to start growing seeds for this year.

front garden

 

 

front garden

front garden

front garden

What to do in Gloomy Feburary

Well, it’s February 2, and Wiarton Willie has predicted an early spring.  That should lighten the gloomiest month of the year.  Shouldn’t it?  What is the percentage he has been right?  According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, The groundhog is only right about 37% of the time.  But, what they get wrong, they do bring some laughter and celebration during the winter months.   At this time every year, my mother and I have a tradition of visiting our local greenhouse to get some springtime inspiration. What I call my Happy Place…a gardening centre, usually Vermeer’s or Rice Road Greenhouses.  When I walk around the feeling of spring and summer come back.  I get excited looking at the new garden items that will be out and as I said before seeds are available.  This is the first time each year I get thinking about my gardens for the summer. I always pick up hyacinths (purple they have the most scent) because once they open your whole house smells like spring.  When I was young my mother had white hyacinths on the south side of the house and I would always pick them and bring them to her.  Little did I know she would be upset because she wanted them left outside so everyone could see them.  Whenever I smell the white ones, they always bring me back to that time.

 

 

The Beginning

Growing up in the country I have always loved being outside, every year my family had a vegetable garden and we canned everything.  The long hot August summer nights were always hotter because of the canning during the day.  This was before most people had air conditioning.  My mother also had house plants, but when she went to college when I was about 13, the houseplants dwindled until there was only one Easter cactus.  I asked my mom if that could be mine and she bought me a purple passion plant. I had the Easter cactus for over 20 years. My obsession had begun!

I gradually accumulated houseplants until our house literally looked like a jungle. My mom bought me a houseplant book that I would look at to decide the next plant I had to have. I would spend days cleaning, transplanting and moving the plants to different parts of the house.  Once I decided I had become an expert (in my opinion),  I decided I wanted to move it outside and learn about herbs and flowers.  Carefully over the next several years, I planned out my parent’s lot, thankfully they had an acre and a half of land.  By the end of about four years, I had 19 different sections of gardens, not counting the vegetable gardens. My love for herbs and flowers have grown over the years and I hope I can bring you some knowledge, mistakes, recipes and most of all some of the excitement I feel whenever I walk into a garden centre or open a gardening book. Below are some pictures of the vegetable garden.  It was not as big as it used to be.  it went almost to the tree in the one picture.

The Goddess

 

                                                                   Parents Gardens outback