Monday, September 21, 2009

Rain ... YAY!

Never thought I'd say this, this year, but rain! YAY! and it's the perfect kind of rain ... steady, but fairly light. Will do the grasses and gardens a world of good.

Me, not so much. But the grass will green up again and I'll be able to ... you guessed it ... WEED! And I'm NOT talking about the stuff you smoke.

Later ...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

and the work continues ....

today was kinda funny. I had a really tough time getting myself outside. Even when I was outside I wasn't really into working but I knew there was a ton of stuff to do so, gut it up and get to work. Oddly enough it was our neighbours (who are also friends) who were working outside (they had the fun stuff though ... BIG machines....) who inspired me to get to work. I started digging up my violets. I've got more violets (2 kinds) than I know what to do with. Same with Lady's Mantle. I didn't think I'd get my shovel in, but it seemed to work so I'm happy. Another 8 bags of yard waste.

Oh yeah, I decided to give my forsythia a haircut. Still seems a little unbalanced. Kinda like me LOL.

So it's back to paid work tomorrow and I really hope it rains. We ned it .

BTW S.C., thanks for enjoying the fall for me. I do enjoy certain aspects of it. It's just a little sad sometimes. But it's also a time to clean up, see things a little tidier and I do love snuggling under a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book. Gotta make the most of life....

Saturday, September 19, 2009

time to start cleaning up

I hate September. October's even worse. It used to be because somebody in my family either died or had some type of health issue. Now that I'm addicted to gardening, it's because it's the time of year when you start tidying up the garden, the flowers are finished, the first frost hits and takes out a lot of annuals and some perennials.

I spent several hours this afternoon watering .... watering ... and more watering. Did some weeding and cutting back plants. And removing sumachs. Thanks to my next door neighbour. Oh the joy ....

Anyway, I removed the hanging baskets that are under the carport eaves. I'm slowly removing the window box plants as they die. It's a very sad time of year for me. For a lot of people I guess.

I had originally planned on dividing some blue fescue and replanting them elsewhere. I might get that done but I'm not holding my breath. It depends on how the next couple of weekends go. We're going away for Thanksgiving which we don't usually do. I'm usually around, working outside, closing up the gardens. But I have a couple of days off in October ... one for my mammogram follow up and one with my hubby.

But it was a beautiful day today and tomorrow should be even better. So I'll be back outside and weeding, watering and cutting back. Enjoy the great day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yes, I'm still here ...

I know, I haven't posted in almost a month. I can't believe it. Not that there hasn't been much going on in the garden but I haven't been doing much in the garden.

I kinda made up for it this past weekend. 9 bags of yard waste and probably another 4 or 5 to go this weekend before they pick up. The weeds got WAY ahead of me and a lot of my plants have finished flowering and need to be cut back.

I discovered that Japanese Blood Grass, which is supposed to only grow to about 18 inches, develops 5 foot high shoots with seed heads. Not a good look for a suburban front yard. So I cut the seed shoots,, we're back to about 18 inches and it looks great.

Lots of planning, moving, sharing, etc. to do. Word of caution. DO NOT PLANT CATMINT UNLESS YOU HAVE LOTS OF ROOM! OMG! I started with 3 little plants for a few years ago. I could probably have covered about an acre by now if I hadn't dug most of it up, and I still have WAY more than what I want or need. Yeesh. I know, the word "mint" is part of the name. But I love how long it blooms, it's a mid-sized plant, hardy as all get out.... After the first good rain, I will start digging out the catmint ... and the anemones. I have this amazing ability to pick the invasive plants that just won't die. Oh yeah, yuccas ... there's a reason they're called yucca.....

We had a perfect weekend, 25 degrees celcius (sp??), light breeze, full on sun ... and a beautiful day today too.

Got lots to do before SYTYCDC starts in 90 minutes. Woo hoo!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

overwhelming ...

you know, I'm not sure that super lazy weekend was worth it. I needed it. but the amount of work I have to do outside is UN FREEKING BELIEVABLE! The paths themselves are going to take a day ... or two. Not to mention all the cleanup from all the storms; the flowers that have been knocked down, ravaged, beaten up ... past their prime. But it's amazing how much can be accomplished when you put your mind to it. I'll just have to make sure I drink a TON of water and take lots of rests. A friend of Barry's from work and her hubby are coming for dinner Saturday. So it's time for strawberry tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar, mushroom caps with cheddar and sante fe dressing, spicy beer-can chicken, macaroni/tuna salad, my famous green salad. I'm looking forward to this. It's supposed to be a gorgeous weekend ... so ENJOY!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

lazy, lazy weekend

I can't believe I didn't spend ANY time outside this weekend! I barely left the house for anything. Of course the weather didn't help. Yesterday wasn't bad but instead of gardening ... I read for the better part of 12 hours ... I don't think I've done that in about 20 years ... It was wonderful! Today was just too damned hot and humid. So I hid inside with the a/c on and kinda puttered around. lots of stuff I should have done but didn't. Oh well. I'll do some work during the week and next weekend.
I think we're about to have a thunderstorm....

Monday, August 3, 2009

finally, a fabulous weekend!

What a gorgeous weekend! Did some tanning, replaced some flowers in flower boxes, just enjoyed the weekend. Goregous weather ... Sunday wasn't bad ... started yucky, got a lot better. I still can't believe I was able to take the time to act like a lizard. Of course Barry's a lot better at it than I am.

We finally changed out the watering wands. And replaced some flowers. and mowed the lawn. and primped. and weeded. and just enjoyed the gardens for a change. did some work. but it was just an enjoyable, relaxing weekend. it's about time....

Oh yeah, make sure you check your window boxes and hanging baskets , especially if they're cocoa hulls. Even if they get rain. A day of sunshine and warm temps and they're likely to need more water. Yeesh.

Have a great one!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

hump day

so somehow I got through today. rained again. what else is new.... I have zero inspiration to go outside and check the gardens. I know I should ... but it's so close to the weekend and you won't find me inside as long as the weather is good which, last I saw, it was supposed to be great.

Let's hope so.

Got the new spring garden canada catalogue. Must ... resist .... Besides, I have jewellery I need to pay for ... yeah sis!

tomorrow's supposed to be a great day so let's get out and enjoy!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

another rainy day

ok, so I already complained on my other blog about the weather so I'm not going to go on any more about the whole thing.

I managed to get the front gardens weeded and tidied up yesterday which was great. Barry finally was able to empty the pond, clean it out and re-fill it. It's amazing how much brighter the lights are now. We've gotta pop into our local nursery though to either get a few plants or some algaecide.

I'm hoping to weed one section of our back garden 'cause it is atrocious! the weeds are as tall as the Rose of Sharon shrubs. Which is about 5 feet or so. I might actually have time and inclination the next couple of nights to work on the gardens. I think we were so rushed for so long that I've lost a lot of my motivation. I went out yesterday for a few minutes and came in 2 hours later. I'd love to just spend like an house weeding and primping instead of days on end. It's REALLY hard for me to stop sometimes once I've started working outside.

BTW - my sister and her daughter are going to be at the Collingwood Outdoor Art Festival next weekend (Aug 1st and 2nd). If you're in the area, pop in to see them at Beauty by the Bead. Oddly enough, their website is . Go figure. Awesome one-of-a-kind, handcrafted jewellery. Needless to say, I'm a pretty good customer. LOL

I should run, get some stuff done instead of sitting on my rear all day.

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

another weekend of weeding coming up

We have had so much rain! I had to do this but I'm gonna have to cut a lot of my plants back ... salvia, Portugese flowers (I don't know what else to call them ... they're from Portugal and I don't know their name). I've got to stake the hollyhocks, the monkshood and who knows what else!

Weeding. OMG the weeding! As long as the rain stops. It's supposed to be a better weekend but who knows whether the forecast is accurate. Wish I could get a job where being wrong most of the time didn't affect my job performance....

It's weird ... I took a vacation day yesterday and had all day to work outside but I didn't. I barely left the house ... had other stuff I needed to take care of. Hopefully I'll strike a balance this weekend. And catch some rays ... my tan is fading!

Until next time!

Friday, July 17, 2009

it's the weekend!

YAY! Looks like we gotg a little rain tonight ... hopefully there's more on the way or I'm going to have to bite the bullet and water the gardens. Sucks. At least I can use the water in the rainbarrel for the front gardens. We'll get another barrel for the backyard next spring.

So it looks like I'm in for a MAJOR weeding day tomorrow. Sunday's going to be interesting. Gonna say our final farewell to mom. Finally. It's been almost a year. Both my parents would have been very proud. Dad would have been shocked. And looking for vegetables. But very proud that I seem to have inherited the family green thumb.

Until next time ....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

i hope it rains ....

looking kinda yucky tonight ... good day though. i hope this weekend is rain-free. I need some time to putter in the garden. sit on the deck. pull some weeds. sit on the deck. cut back some plants. have a drink on the deck. pull more weeds. have another drink ... you get it.

Until next time ....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

now comes the cleanup ....

Now that the party's done, it's time to start deadheading, cutting back and cleaning up the garden. Not to mention, of course the weeding. Watered all the window boxes and hanging baskets and roses tonight. My yellow rose is doing well. It almost died from aphids. Yeesh. The Improved Blaze produced its first flower and the fragrant red rose out front has a few buds. It's very exciting!

I'll try to get some work done tomorrow night while Barry's at piano.

Until next time =)

BTW - T - got your message and we'll chat soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Another successful party ....

Sorry it's been so long since I updated. We finally got the outside pretty much done, had the party and then completely flaked yesterday. And typical us, we didn't take pictures. But I promise, promise, promise, I will take pictures before I cut everything back (Saturday ... I promise!). I've already started to plan where I'm going to move things to. It never ends. Which is part of the process. It really would be rather boring for me if I just planted stuff and then left them there. Besides, everthing is outgrowing their places. The burning bush went nuts this year. And the forsythia ... WAY, WAY bigger than it's supposed to be!

T&C ... gotta get together for a BBQ here soon. We're booking up (good problem to have) so let us know when you're free and we'll figure something out.

It's great to know I've got about 2 1/2 months before I have to start putting the garden to bed. So we can relax. What a concept. I'm not sure I actually know what that's all about....

Until next time ...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We're done!

I can't believe it! We are finally finished the last of the big jobs for this season! Only a month late but at least it's done. We just have a couple of small jobs left and we'll be ready for the party! It looks like we might be able to get the rest of the work done tomorrow (Canada Day!) It looks like tomorrow's supposed to be decent and the weekend is supposed to be great! I'm looking forward to spending some time on the deck tomorrow and Sunday.

I'm really looking forward to Saturday. B's family will be together for the first time in about 11 years. I can't beleive it. And we have 2 new additions to the family. H's man and S's girl. It should be a blast. The siblings will be together again next Sat. too at the deck party. This is shaping up to be a great summer!

The flowers have gone apeshit. Most of them are about 3-4 feet high, whether they should be or not. I've got planting and weeding and weeding and weeding to do. I really hope July 12th is really nice out. It would be so great to just sit and chill on the deck for a day. Woo hoo!

Monday, June 22, 2009

almost there....

I can't believe we're almost there. Weather permitting (as always) we should be done Saturday. Only a total of about 60 feet of edging left to fix. And then add some mulch, fix the solar lights, and then it's weeding, weeding and more weeding.

Only 2 1/2 weeks until the party ... gotta go get some more grasses for around the deck. Should look good.

I can't believe how good the gardens look. We bought an OFF lamp and used it last night ... works well. Gotta get a few more for the party. Eventually we'll get a proper machine but in the meantime, they'll have to do.

sorry folks, I'm falling asleep. See you tomorrow!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

and rain it did ....

The gardens have actually taken quite a beating, especially the bearded irises and the ladies mantle. But that's part of the process. It looks so lush outside. Now we just need lots of sunshine, which we're supposed to get as of Sunday.

Woo hoo!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I can't believe I actually want it to rain!

Tomorrow, thursday, don't care. Friday ... preferably not. Saturday ... NOOOOOOOO. Sunday ... not even an option. gotta be a great day!

I actually had to do some watering tonight. Planters, window boxes, hanging baskets, roses, delphiniums, hollyhocks ... they like water. They get kinda ornery when they don't get enough.

I actually had to take the bus home, thanks to hubby piano lesson starting at 5:45. But that's ok, I got home, got changed, and got out in the garden. I actually really enjoy watering the garden. It's kinda up close and personal with the plant material. Noticed aphids on one of the new roses. Safer soap to the rescue! Had to re-apply it on a couple of other plants too. And I've got these black bugs that are taking over my vines. Gotta check into those. Never had issues with aphids before. Or much of anything really except for earwigs, which by the way, should be obliterated off the face of the earth!

I also discovered the joy of the most concentrated setting on the garden wand. Good way to clean the bird poop off the deck and chairs and stuff. WOO HOO.

Gotta get the work finished on Saturday so we can make it all pretty for Sunday for our guests.

Gotta run ... see ya tomorrow!

Monday, June 15, 2009

I think summer's finally here!

It was a gorgeous wedding anniversary weekend! Did some socializing on Friday, worked on Saturday, chilled at night, worked again on Sunday and then wrapped at 4pm, suntanned for about an hour on the deck then had a nice dinner, wine and then DQ for dessert.

The gardens are looking amazing! Had to cut my purple sandcherry right back ... it kinda looks like post-modern sculptural artwork or something.... aphids was the problem.

Tomorrow I MUST water the container planters. It's supposed to rain on Wednesday which would really be wonderful 'cause we need it desperately and then I can dig up a TON of violets that are invading my shade garden on the north side of the house! I must apologize, I keep meaning to create a photo gallery. I will get there. We've got about 4 more hours of work outside. I don't care so much if it rains Friday or Saturday night, just so long as the daytime is good, I'll be happy. Along with a WHOLE lotta other people LOL.

I should run before my battery dies. Chat tomorrow!

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's Friday!

I am so glad it's Friday! What a day. Started out great then went downhill steadily all day. But then got a call from a good friend, got home to my hunny, went to wish our neighbour a happy birthday and ended up hanging out all evening with them. We were actually able to sit one our deck with friends, have a drink, we had our dinner, sat and chatted and then the mosquitos kept at us (big ones too) so we moved it indoors.

I can't believe I'm actually sitting here watching the last 3 minutes of the final Stanley Cup game. Penguins are up 2-1 for the moment. I actually hope they keep the lead. Only 2:20 to go! PENGUINS WON THE STANLEY CUP!!!!!!

Anyway, big day tomorrow.....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

almost there

unfortunately there's not much to report tonight but I didn't want to ignore my fans LOL
yes, I'm in a very silly mood. It looks like it's gonna rain so I'm gonna go have a shower, do some ironing and watch SYTYCD. Barry's out tonight so I'm on my own. George was busy..... Sorry, inside joke with hubby.

Keep smiling!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

fresh herbs on the way

so we finally got some fresh herbs and tomatoes. And nasturtiums to ward off the aphids. which have invaded my gardens. 2 roses (in 2 different beds) and my purple sandcherry, which was gorgeous about 3 weeks ago but now needs to be drastically pruned. I'm hoping it'll come back ok. it sucks, 'cause the party's in 4 weeks and we'll have this big gap. but it'll be back for next year's par-tay! I actually bought some Safer (insecticidal) soap.

and I talked to my neighbour about the sumach. she's always digging them out too. so I suggested root pruning. I'm hoping that'll help. Plus I'll have to go sumach hunting more often and just keep pulling out the roots. Oh joy. But they are beautiful trees and it's nice to have the benefit without too much hassle.

Barry's away to his model builders' meeting tomorrow night so I'll be watering....

Did I mention the hops lately? They're about a foot off the top of the pergola. We'll have them up along the rafters by the party. Everything is growing like crazy. Maybe too much ... I'm not sure. It's coming together like I envisioned. So exciting! Can't wait for the party ... should be so much fun!

Until tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

sumach trees are a pain in my rear!

My neighbour had this crazy idea of bringing a sumach tree from the cottage. she was told if she put it in a pot in the ground it should contain it. got news for them .... I've probably pulled 12-15 out of my garden this spring alone! I just pulled a root that was about 4 feet long!

Anyway ... I managed to get about 45 minutes in the back garden, just cleaning up sumachs, weeds and deadheading a TON of anemones. It's looking good ... I can't wait for the working to be finished. I just want to stop doing and just enjoy. We've been told by many of our friends that we work too much. I'm starting to agree with them. So we'll see how things go. Hopefully I can get some more weeding done tomorrow night.

Until then ....

Monday, June 8, 2009

This weekend ... I hope ....

to be the last weekend of work outside. It was supposed to be the last weekend of May. But we went to see Elton and Billy. and I got sick. Last weekend was going to be the last weekend. But we hit a snag (BIG SURPRISE) and the edging along the driveway took WAY longer than anticipated. Barry had to chisel away the asphalt. We still have the other side of the south garden to fix. Yeesh. We managed to get the spacing more or less figured out for the stepping stones ... now we have to "plant" them. Dig about 3 inches down, add limestone screening, tamp it into place, add stone. There's probably 60 stones to do. Plus the eding along one last side of the path. And weeding. OMG the weeding! Weather permitting, I'm going to try to get about 30 minutes or so of weeding in tomorrow night while Barry's at piano. If I can get 30 minutes each night of weeding, I should be caught up by the weekend. And that's weather permitting. And we know how co-operative the weather's been. But we're getting great tans! So if I could ask you all to wish, pray, hope, beg, whatever for a great weekend weather-wize, I'd really appreciate it. LOL

Hopefully I'll have good news tomorrow night.....

Friday, June 5, 2009

growing veggies

So I was reading a food magazine the other day and realized that I really need to get a tomato plant and some herbs planted asap. So we're off to Vandermeer on Sunday. Next year I want to grow blueberries, strawberries (although I just might get strawberries this year) and raspberries and peas as well as the tomatos and herbs.

I am determined to make some fabulous meals on the grill with my man.

I don't seem to be able to keep a train of thought going so I will bid you all adieu for now and check back in tomorrow.

Have a fabulous day tomorrow and enjoy the sunshine!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I'm back! Look out world!

WOW what a week! Not really in a good way but I won't bore you with the details ... just getting over a stomach bug. Yuck!

So between all the rain, sun and despite the cooler than normal temperatures, the gardens are looking FREEKING AMAZING!!!! We gotta take pictures soon and post them. I am so excited! The vines are growing like crazy (especially the hops), the hostas look amazing, I put mulch in the front gardens and part of the back gardens. I've got to replace a few of the ornamental grasses 'cause the one we picked last year doesn't seem to be doing much of anything. Although there is some growth. Speaking of growth, I've got a serious case of aphids on a couple of my roses. YEESH! Apparently nasturtiums repel aphids. In the meantime, insecticidal soap is about to be my friend!

The containers (baskets, boxes, planters) are all going crazy! They look so good! Of course last year I used the cheaper container soil and everything dried out like crazy despite all the rain we had and we never did install the rain barrel. This year, moderate rain, full barrel and great container soil ... haven't had to water much. I bought 3 water globes for the 3 baskets under the carport 'cause they're in a difficult location to water and they're doing a bang-up job! We'll see how they do in the hot weather ... I'm only filling the globes once a week right now.

I am totally in heaven. Got home, had a quick bite, got out in the gardens and just wandered around, figuring what I needed to water and then my neighbour arrived to check out a sick rose (aphids ... blast them) and we got talking and touring and then I went down to her house and next thing I new it was 7:45 and we still had dishes, showers, and I wanted to update my blogs tonight 'cause I've been neglecting you guys terribly.. I know, life just hasn't been the same without my rambling LOL.

Another passion of mine ... cooking ... bought the latest issue of Fine Cooking and realized how much I miss actually preparing a meal. We've been throwing food together for far too long (hasn't helped my figure any). It'll take this weekend to finish the outside projects and then we'll have our time back. And we've committed to coming straight home after work (no errands if we can help it ... that's Saturday or Sunday mornings after latte ... or maybe before latte and then we can come home from errands and have LOOOONG latte on deck ... ooooo .... might be on to something there) and actually prepare a real meal, complete with a glass of wine. that's another thing I miss ... trying new wines. So much to catch up on.

Well ... I hate to disappoint you, but SYTYCD is starting shortly and I still have a couple of things to do before 9 (7 minutes to go!) 'cause then I have to get to bed at 10 so I can get up at 4:30 and do an upper body workout before going to work. YEESH!

I'm baaaaack!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

calling Noah!!!!

so we needed some rain. I know there will be days I'm praying for rain, but now for, this can stop. and apparently it's supposed to. it's been raining for the better part of 2 days now. which I realize could be a heck of a lot worse. I hear Australia has gotten its fair share.

You know, this is such a wonderful hobby. How many hobbies are there that are great therapy, keep you active (real gardening is not for the weak), improves the look and value of your home and brings with it a great sense of community. You can start talking to strangers and the next thing you know, you have a new friend.

I was all prepared this morning for my morning commute. I didn't expect to see Kandi and I knew Terri was driving in so I went prepared and armed with a couple of , you guessed it, gardening magazines. Much to my surprise, after I got seated and comfortable, a woman sat across from me, we made eye contact, smiled and somehow got talking about I have no idea what. Next thing I knew, we were chatting about gardening. It seems she's as addicted as I am, except she never gets enough time. She's got a husband, a son 10 and 8 year old twins boys, all of whom are into sports. No wonder she loves gardening. We both had started small, and kept expanding and expanding.

Then I was talking to my girl Jen tonight and she said that she now talks about gardening a LOT .... didn't understand why I did the last few years ... now she knows. In fact, she's got a girlfriend of hers interested in it. She said she went to take her puppy for a pee and ended up outside talking to neighbours for 45 minutes. BTW girlie you gotta move out here soon. My garden's going crazy and I'm going to need somewhere else to put all the "extra" plants. Plus you can make me a latte and we can sit on your deck ... can't wait!

Anyway, gotta run. I can't believe this is our last weekend of work in the garden, then we'll be enjoying.... drop by sometime!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

finally, some much needed rain

I'm not a huge fan of rainy days (unless I can sit in my living room and read with my hunny, my cats and my latte) but we desperately needed some rain. The rainbarrel Barry installed on Saturday. OVERFLOWING! Just one day of rain. I'm not sure how many gallons this thing holds but OMG! We have to adjust the overflow tube or I'm going to lose all the soil surrounding the barrel. So the entire garden is getting flooded. It can stop raining now... Even my window boxes are sufficiently moist. My poor hanging baskets around the deck are rather bedraggled looking. But things are gonna be amazing by the weekend with some sun and warmer temps. WOW! I can't wait!

Until tomorrow .....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

bad garden mommy

I have a confession to make. I was supposed to water the window boxes and the hanging baskets that are under the carport. I didn't. Such a bad mommy. And it's supposed to rain for the next couple of days. Unfortunately they won't get any water so I'll probably be out there in the rain watering my plants ... go figure.

I do have sad news though. Our first fatality. I found a bird face planted in our pond. I don't know if he fell in and couldn't get out or if a cat got him (we have several strays, and not so stray) running around the neighbourhood. It was very sad. So I left the bird until Barry got home. He gets all the stinky (cleans cat litters), smelly (same thing I guess), yucky (cat yak), icky (general catch-all) jobs. Then one of the cats (I think it was Mandy - our senior cat) left us poopies (not puppies Kandi LOL) in the gym. First time that's happened. I don't expect she's going to be around for a lot longer. If she weighs 4 pounds I'd be surprised. And she's 16 or so.

On a happier note, the gardens are looking great (thanks Tony ... can't wait for you and Cara to see them) and yes, Barry, we're almost done.

Gotta get my beauty rest. I might actually get my blog entries done before 9 pm tomorrow. That would be good.....

Monday, May 25, 2009

A new clematis came home

This is my favourite (ok one of my favourite) flowers ... the Columbine. I could have a garden full of Columbine and Irises. There are so many types .... I just love gardening .....

So we got the final window basket planted and installed today. And we decided to grow a clematis (it was supposed to be red ... couldn't find a red one ... got a purple one instead ... goes with our colour scheme out front) up the new garbage fence. Hopefully it gets enough sun. It'll grow up behind the ostrich ferns and I'll just keep training it up and along the fence. It's supposed to get 12'H x 20'W which is perfect. I have 2 sides that need covering. A living wall as it were. And I unintentionally bought a blue (sky blue that is) cordylis (I don't think that's the right spelling) and another cushion spurge. I used to have a TON of purple in the garden ... almost as much yellow now with hits of red. A beautiful hybrid tea rose (red) is in the front near the window. It's supposed to be pretty fragrant so hopefully it'll smell wonderfully in the house. The allium are almost in full bloom. I think I need to fertilize my bulbs ... pretty weak showing ... many more flowers but they don't seem as high or as big. Or maybe it's because the Burning Bush has gotten much bigger all of a sudden. There are so many angles you can view the gardens from that I've totally ignored the "plant small in front, medium in the middle and tall at back" advice. Especially in the south garden at the front of the house. It's only 6 feet wide but it goes back about 50 or 60 feet so that type of garden doesn't make any sense to me. But I'm not your everyday gardener LOL. We bought a water hyacinth for the pond. And some new red lenses for the lights in the pond. Did I mention the LED lights on the pergola. OMG are they EVER cool! The outside is coming together so well. They were originally calling for rain tomorrow night so I didn't water most of my window/hanging baskets and containers. Unless it starts earlier than they now predict, I'm gonna have to come straight home and water. Barry's off to piano practice then lesson so I'm a little freer than usual. I can't verbalize (yeah, I know, first time for everything) how amazing it is to see all this coming together.

Thankfully next Spring's projects (that we'll be working on) are a potting bench/worktable/side board for entertaining that we'll be building in the utility area. I just really want to get the place all cleaned up, tidied and looking ready for a party at a moment's notice. I know I will!

It's almost time to check out the lights. Can't wait! Chat tomorrow!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What an amazing day!

I couldn't have asked for a better week. 8 days of working outside in the gardens, getting projects finished, getting the start of a wicked tan ...... We got the rain barrel installed, the garbage fence pretty much finished. Only 3 pieces of wood left ... got everything planted except for 1 window basket 'cause the liner was toast. We'll fix that tomorrow night. 2 ferns and a red clematis left to purchase and plant and then it's just weeding and watering. After next weekend of course. We have to fix all the edging in the backyard and the south garden in the front. and "re-plant" the stepping stones in the pathways. Once the gravel is added to the beds surrounding the deck, I'll re-plant some thyme and then it's party on! I could go on and on, and I just might tomorrow but it's past my bedtime so I must bid you all adieu!

Friday, May 22, 2009

let there be light ....

YAY! the lights are up on the pergola. they look so pretty!! we bought the stones, got some perennials, planted the front containers.... did more running around than actual work today but I think I needed a day like today though. Tomorrow will be busier. Goin' for brekkie at Cora's, latte at home, quick walk around the block then plant the last 4 window boxes, plant the balance of the flowers in the gardens, help Barry with the rain barrel base and the garbage storage base (Saturday and Sunday) and I have no idea what else.

It was a really good day. Great temps. started cloudy and looking like showers but turned into a really nice day. looking forward to tomorrow.....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

planting day

3 hanging baskets, 5 window boxes and 6 containers later, all those annuals I bought yesterday got planted. What a gorgeous day. The potting bench made such a big difference. We're going be build a new one next year. Maybe even incorporate and serving bench and storage. We'll ahve to figure out how much space we need. We'll get the rest of the plants planted, the rain barrel set up, the lights up, and the garbage storage set up. I hope. I'll keep you informed. Pictures will come soon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

shopping for annuals ....

What a fabulous day! Sunshine ... warm temps ... spent all day outside, then spent 90 minutes in the garden centre. Couldn't believe it was that long. Got a great start on my tan. And another 4 days out in beautiful weather. But I'm so freeking tired I can't form a coherent thought. So we'll try again tomorrow. Hopefully the sun won't fry my brain tomorrow. Maybe I'll wear my hat. Chat later....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

sunshine, wind ....

what a fabulous day! got a start on the tan, finished digging up the path, walked up to my massage appointment (almost 90 minutes), great massage, walked another 75 minutes home (tail wind ... sort of ... no pit stop). it was an exciting walk. fighting the wind both ways. the wind changed directions ... it was pretty strong. Barry turned the pond punp on tonight ... looks fabulous. Can't wait to see the lights on with the fountain. I am so excited about this summer. If the weather co-operates, we should be able to get our projects done so we free up June, July, August. Did I mention the new gate? it looks amazing! I've been trying to get my annual flowers sorted out for all the containers. I think I might be a little busy this summer watering baskets, boxes and containers. and I am so looking forward to doing just that. Yoga on the deck. Brekkie on the patio. Latte on the deck. I can't wait. The weather for the balance of this week looks OUTSTANDING! Bathing suit's coming out for the next couple of days. Not to mention the sunscreen. Have a fabulous week folks!

Monday, May 18, 2009

another awesome day

it was a little cool today but not nearly as windy. Great news ... the pond is done! the new gate installed and looks amazing! the drapes are up and the path is almost all dug up. the lawn is mowed and trimmed and looking purdy... best of all ... no work tomorrow! or the rest of the week so of course you know where I'll be. If I'm not working outside, I'll be outside chilling, listening to tunes and reading. but man I am tuckered! but i'll still be up at 5:30 with Barry tomorrow, do my workout, have brekkie and latte with my hubby, send him on his way, spend a little time with kitties, work outside, send I'm off for a massage in the afternoon. the outside of the house is finally coming together the way I envisioned. Still a lot of work to do but being off this week, and it's supposed to be amazing weather, so it should go a long way. Barry's going to drop me off at the nursery Wednesday night so I can take as long as I need to get my shopping for annuals done. Maybe get a couple of water lillies for the pond. The lights look great in the pond. I've still gotta get all my solar lights working. So much to do ... but I actually have time to do it now! Although I can see the rest of the week going fast. but it's still relaxing, enjoyable work. I feel SO good at this time of year. Right through to about October is great. I sometimes wish I lived in California, or Arizona or somewhere hot year round so I could garden all year round. But I love my life here and I have an awesome man to share it with so on that note I will bid you adieu ... gotta get my beauty sleep LOL

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Awesome Day

Windy. Sunny. Warmish. Barry got the pond finished and operational. Got the new assembled and ready to install in the morning. I got a lot of the path dug up, plants planted, weeding. J&D came for a quick lunch and J needed some plants. Happily donated. It was great to see her. I miss her a lot. Got the birds fed too. Oh yeah, we have a robin who has nested near the top of the downspout, where is comes to the house. Very cute. J took this picture for me.
It was a good day. The wind was a little tiresome after a while. Still lots to do tomorrow. Hopefully we won't get any frost tonight. I am so freeking sore from the all the work. Hard on the back. Not as young as I used to be you know. LOL
Tomorrow's supposed to be a great day ... sunshine, temps in the teens. Hopefully not nearly as much wind. I can't wait to see the gate installed. Barry said it was looking like it wasn't going to happen for a while ... but he prevailed! My hubby the handyman. Who knew? Love ya B!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rainy Saturday

I'm so glad it's a long weekend. Today was a total wash. Tomorrow we'll have to get at it. And Monday. Hopefully the rest of the week will be great. I'll be out there working away, but able to take breaks and just sit and enjoy instead of just working. And we've got the rest of the summer to just enjoy.

So I made a list of the plants I need for window boxes (9) and hanging baskets (9) and some patio pots. The gardens are looking so good! And lush. All this freaking rain is doing the gardens wonders. Other than making the weeds grow like mad. But oh well.

Gotta run. Stuff to do. I'll have lots to talk about tomorrow!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Odd day ...

started out pouring rain and cool. ended up warm and sunny. I was looking forward to a chill evening, but ended up digging up more of the path. Now I'm finally sitting on my rear and chillin'. Allergies are getting the better of me. I really can't wait until tomorrow. Forecast is amazing for next week. gotta work on the tan. weed, chill, tan, weed, chill, read. chillax.

until tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blue Himalyan Poppy ... my holy grail ....

So we went to Vandermeer to purchase lights for the pond and I was touring the perennials prior to Barry joining me and low and behond, there is was. So I snagged one. Only one. I bought 3 one year and nothing happened. So I'm going to concentrate on getting this one to grow. Then I might try more next year. I don't know what it is about that flower. Other than its sky blue colour and cool shape. Kinda poppy-like, but not.

It was so exciting in the nursery. I was afraid to look around inside. I won't purchase my annuals until a week tomorrow. Then there will be colour, colour and MORE colour! I am SO looking forward to being off all next week. Sitting outside on the deck, enjoying the sunshine, getting some work done, doing some chilling. And I'm going for a massage on Tuesday afternoon.

WOO HOO! Can't wait. I need it. I'm so freeking tired, physically and mentally, between work and my workouts.

So I shall bid you all adieu for tonight and check back with you tomorrow. Barry has his model builders meeting so I can come home, make a quick dinner, do a couple of things and then sit on my rear end and chill. Or veg. Or whatever.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

a better day all round

yes, the GO train was much better today. Although they did have trouble deciding what track to take us into the station on in the morning. C'est la vie!

I actually had energy tonight so I got home, got changed and got out in the garden and worked on the path more. Man, we need a really good 3 days. For everyone's sake. Barry and I have 8 working days in the garden before we go "on strike". Lots and lots to do. I can wait! Everything's coming together. Barry's going to get the pond together, we'll clean off the deck once all the work is done, scrub down the furniture, put the lights up on the pergola. I am so excited.

I don't know what happened to the time tonight. I got home at 6, next thing I knew it was 7:15, then 8:15 and now it's 9:30. I should be packing up going to bed! Yeesh.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mondays ....

Great Monday. GO train was a bust again. Pedestrian hit early this morning. Tied up the line. Coming home was better. Had problems in the afternoon ... got better for early rush hour but by the time I got home, they were really backed up again.

What does that have to do with gardening? Well, I was planning on doing some more digging tonight. Hopefully tomorrow.

Only 4 more days of work and then I'm off for a week. Can't wait. You know where I'll be....

Just a quick shout out to my sister ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY WOMAN!

Until tomorrow ....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cloudy, Tuesday

Not much to report unfortunately. I am so blasted tired between the biopsy, working in the garden and ramping up my workouts. I was going to work in the garden some more tonight but I think I'm going to put the yard waste out when Barry leaves for piano, have a shower, settle in, get dinner ready and then veg in front of the TV for a couple of hours. Hopefully in bed by 9:30. I could use some extra sleep. We'll get back at it tomorrow if it doesn't rain. My plants need some water tonight though. Oh well. At least my little burst of sunshine (the forsythia) is still mostly in bloom. Not for much longer but man, it is gorgeous when in bloom.

Until tomorrow!

Monday, May 4, 2009

it only takes an hour ....

So I got home tonight, quickly got changed, grabbed a small bowl of fruit salad and some water and off I went outside. Started knocking the soil off the thyme. Would've been done in about another 20 minutes or so but it was 7 pm and we will had to eat so I thought better of it.

I'm trying to get the gardens ready as quickly as possible for a few reasons. My in-laws are coming for brunch for Mother's Day and I really don't want a total disaster. I should be able to get the paths completely dug up and flattened. I won't re-plant until after we get the gravel mulch in around the deck. I can't wait to see it. And with the water feature working. I promised Barry we wouldn't be working our fannies off this summer. 2006 was renovations. 2007 was my surgery so he had to take care of me and the gardens went all to hell 'cause I couldn't do much. 2008 was the deck. so 2009 ... party central... friends, family, neighbours ... hope to see you all at our place. LOL Plus, it's my tribute to my mom. It's my first Mother's Day without her. So if you still have your Mom, no matter how much of a pain in the rear she is at times, don't take her for granted.

Only 4 days of work left this week, 5 days next, then I'm off for a week! YAY! Lots of planting planned. Barry's got the Monday off for the long weekend and he's taking that Friday off with me too. So we'll spend the next 4 weeks working our fannies off and then sit on them for 3 months. Not really, but we'll be able to spend 2 or 3 hours over latte in the morning without having to get moving to do anything in particular.

Let's hope for good weather, at least 1 or 2 weekdays this week and DEFINITELY the weekend!

Until tomorrow ...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday ....

What a beautiful day! Got to work a little late. SOMEBODY has something else on his mind ...

But we got to work. Barry got the top of the pond finished. Took about 4 hours to cut and fit 4 pieces of wood. Word of warning. When you buy cedar, take a measuring tape with you to ensure the pieces are the same size. Hence 4 hours... But he got it done and in typical Barry fashion, it looks fabulous! I'm so proud of him....

I, on the other hand, continued to dig up the path, knock off the soil, move some daylillies, catmint and blue fescue, plant new plants, helped Barry.

Thankfully, no rain today. Another great day ....


So we got up early, had brekkie and latte and went for a walk and got to work. Barry's building a removable surround for our water feature. Last spring (you can't rush genius you know) we bought a pre-formed "patio pond". You could just stick it on a patio or deck, fill with water and Bob's your uncle. Of course, if you know us, you know that just wouldn't do.... So we bought some more cedar and Barry set about building a frame that we could just lift off of the pond if we need to do some maintenance and for winter storage. So Barry was a happy camper ... he was in the garden but using "manly tools ... mitre saw mostly". 'cause Barry doesn't garden.

I, on the other hand, as you know, am a rather avid gardener. So I started digging up another portion of the path, planted some new plants, and one of our neighbours came over with a pot full of perennials for our garden. So of course I gave her a tour of the gardens. Funny how everybody comments on how much work it must be. I don't generally consider it work although spring is generally work. I'm usually rushing to get plants moved, planted, amend the soil, etc.

Biggest challenge was the freeking rain! Barry was ALMOST done when the rain started. Then it stopped. So went went out and finished. Then it rained again. Brought back memories of last summer, trying to build the deck around all the rain.. I really hope this summer's a lot better weather wise. But we finished as far as we could. Then went to Home Depot and got some 2x8's for the top of the pond.

It was a good day.

Friday ...

Word of warning. Nylon does NOT breathe! OMG ... I was so freeking hot on Friday (or should I say I felt hot) it was ridiculous and it didn't let up until I had a shower that night at home. Yeesh!

Total waste of an evening but oh well ... Saturday is another day. Lots planned for Saturday.

I'll be in touch again....

Thursday, April 30, 2009

End to April ... so much rain ....

Apparently we've had a LOT of rain this month. I can totally believe it. Before today's rain we had had 100 mm... usually it's 68 mm. And we got more today. Oh yay. So I'm inside blogging, laundry, phone calls, etc.

Great news from amazing friends of ours Adam and Nicole ... baby girl #2 arrived. I think this is God's punishment (or reward, depending on how you look at it) to Adam. House full of females. But he is truly awesome with his 3 year old so I'm sure the baby will be as lucky. Of course Nicole is fabulous as well ... what an awesome couple.

I know, nothing to do with gardening but certainly that whole circle of life thing. Yikes! It's dark outside! Go figure ... it's 8:40 p.m.

Gotta run for today. Will have more to say tomorrow. Until then ....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weeds, weeds, go away ....

And so they have LOL We were able to come home tonight right after work, eat right away, got changed and out weeding for about an hour and a half. Woo hoo! It's amazing how much weeding you can do in 90 minutes and what a difference it makes. And WOW are the plants ever growing! I haven't seen any sign of life in the ostrich ferns but they might be late bloomers. Even the butterfly bush out front and the porcelain vine are showing signs of life. I always question whether I've managed to kill plants or not and somehow I always manage to keep them growing. Talking about growing ... the hops vines. They're up to the deck! That's about 15 inches within 2 weeks. WOW! I was out front tonight, the sun was shining, it was mild (not hot but about 15 and sunny) and I was just looking around the neighbourhood at all the green grass (YAY! It's about time) and the flowers are growing like crazy, I'm going to have to mow the lawn soon but I still have to get the blade sharpened ... anyway, the forsythia shrub (some shrub, it's as tall as my house) was glowing in the sunshine, and man, it felt great to be alive! Of course getting the good news yesterday helped as well, but I am one very happy camper.

Time's marching on and of course getting away from me as usual. So I leave you with an introduction to's not the picture I was looking for but it's not bad. One of my many projects for the summer is to sit on the deck and sort out the hundreds of pictures that are on my laptop. Yeesh. Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

rained out ... again.

So I might have actually been able to do a little gardening today while I was waiting to go for my biopsy but of course it was raining. We ended up at our local nursery to pick up a pump for the water feature. Of course me ... the crazy one ... was outside in the pouring rain, getting soaked, and looking for plants. I think I need my head read. But I got some plants (I really need to get some mid-sized plants ... I seem to have a lot of large, tall (4-6') plants) and the pump and hopefully we'll be able to get the pond up and running this weekend. After my appointment, we went to Home Depot (yes, again LOL) and I found the greatest chairs! They're stackable, black, mesh and were only $30 per. So we bought 4 and took them home and put them in place. They look like they were bought for the patio table. It's so exciting! So I went inspecting the gardens and man, things are growing like crazy. No wonder ... Noah's calling. LOL Now all we need is sunshine and warm temperatures and I'm going to be weeding, weeding, weeding. I have GOT to get the north garden in the front of the house and weed, weed, weed. Do you notice a theme? I really hope I can get the mulch this year. Maybe if I stop buying plants I could.... I bought 3 Giant Russell Lupins. I guess the "giant" part should have given it away. THEY GROW 3-5 FEET HIGH! OMG. I'm in trouble now. And we bought these really cool tropical flowers that can be over-wintered inside but they grow 4-6 feet high. I really need to get some mid-sized plants.....

Anyway, here's a picture of Belle and Widget. It's my favourite shot of them. Widget was just the cutest thing ... and enough personality for 5 cats. You'll meet Mandy tomorrow. She's the Grand Dame of the family. 17 and kinda crusty.
Until tomorrow!

Monday, April 27, 2009


And of course it was a beautiful day. Would have been a perfect day for gardening. I'm off tomorrow for yet another "kick at the can" you might say with this biopsy. It's at 2 pm which means I should get home around 3:30. And of course it's supposed to rain in the morning. Oh well, it'll get there eventually. The hops vines continue to amaze me. And they haven't even been fertilized! Maybe I can do that tomorrow if it doesn't rain too hard. Although there's always weeding which I desperately need to do. It still looks so bare out in the gardens. But there's lots of growth and still lots to do. Tomorrow we'll have to drop by our nursery and hopefully talk to somebody in the water features section before B finishes the surround this weekend. They should have some more plants out too. Hmm. That would be awful.

Just for something a little different, I thought I would post a picture of Dante. He's our little rat. Booby-cat. My little boy. (Widget's my boy so Dante had to become my little boy) Great cat ... rather unco-ordinated. Doesn't always land on his feet. But he's a good boy.... except when he torments Belle. I'll introduce her soon. Have a great day!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What a weekend

Friday was such a nice but unfortunately we had to spend the day running around, including a wasted trip to the hospital for a biopsy that never happened. Oh well, that's life. Saturday was THE most spectacular day! Got part of the path dug up, temporarily repositioned the edging, Barry got the base ready for the pond as well as part of the pond surround, then we ran out time (major wicked storm here) and materials. So off to Home Depot again (I'm beginning to feel like we live there again) on Tuesday (we're going to try again for the biopsy) to get the rest of the materials and maybe, if we're lucky, we might be able to get of the surround built. Of course we'll have to go to the nursery (dangerous place for me to visit) to find out about a pump before we get too carried away with the surround. OMG ... hops vines. They are totally crazy! I swear they've grown about 3 inches in the past week. It's so nice to see a lot of the plants starting to come alive again. It seemed to be taking FOREVER! But maybe it's just me being rather anxious. Anyway, things are popping up (including the weeds unfortunately) everywhere. I really want to put mulch down on the front gardens but there's a lot of garden. I'm not sure if I can actually afford it this year but we'll see how things go. Storm was wild ... we were lucky it hit mostly north of us thankfully. No damage, just a few tree branches. Sunday was gloomy so I got my hair done. And of course by then it was sunny out and actually somewhat mild. Barry likes the hair. Me too. Ray (my stylist) always does a great job ... today was awesome. So back to work for a day tomorrow sporting my new 'do and a hot new dress (which I've already worn once, but oh well. It's supposed to be a spectacular day tomorrow. And possibly rain again on the day we're off. We've only got 5 more weekends of work. YIKES! I really hope we can get our "projects" done in time. Of course my big "project" ... the garden ... will be an ongoing thing but at least I won't be trying to fit it in amongst big projects. I leave you with a picture of the east garden in the backyard. It's an in-progress shot, but the thyme looks great. Until tomorrow ....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wow ... progress!

This is such a cool lamium. It's yellow, globe shaped and very well behaved. Unlike the purple lamium to the left of it. Of course this is last year's picture ... still too early in the season for this year's pics.
So I toured the gardens again tonight. First time I've really been able to check them out since Sunday. It's rained most of this week. But WOW! It certainly did a LOT of good! Growth, and lots of it! Nature really goes amaze me. Spring is definitely my favourite time of year. To see everything start to grow and bloom, discovering surprises in the gardens, plants that just "appear". I'll be digging for sure this weekend. Actually, my biggest job is digging up all the paths and trying to find thyme to replace the stuff I have to throw out. And dividing all my fescue. I've got 3 plants and I'll likely make at least 12 out of them. Get the new fence installed. The pond "planted". Nurseries are gonna be busy!!!! But don't forget ... unless they're pansies or snapdragons or spring bulbs, don't leave them outside at night. They're just not ready. Rule of thumb ... if they're outside at your garden centre, they've been hardened off and can stay outside. If not, protect them. That goes for perennials too. I really want to plant a red clematic near the forsythia, grow it on a trellis in front of the rain barrel (which we still have to get set up) Probably next weekend. But I think it has to wait a while. Maybe next year... they're actually calling for possible thunderstorms tomorrow. But unstable ones. Have you heard of a stable thunderstorm? On that note ... until tomorrow ....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rainy Wednesday

what a weird day. started out wonderfully sunny. then it got cloudy and cool. now it's raining. better during the week than on the weekend. dropped off my films to Oshawa General today. Friday's the "big day" ... hopefully they'll be able to tell me then and there. but in the meantime, i'm concentrating on my hubby, my fitness and my garden. too bad I can't get out there and putter. it's such great therapy. i'm so itching to get back out in the garden, move some lady's mantle, cut back the lamium, weed, and I'm not sure what else I'm doing this weekend. Helping hubby get the pond area done. It's going to look so cool! we still have to get the rain barrel base done and instal the barrel itself. Found the wickedest looking rain barrel that they're introducing next year. I think we'll have to install that one in the back yard. grow morning glories up it and you won't even know it's a rain barrel. maybe even put another one of the new ones in the front (at the corner of the carport) so I can easily water that particular garden as well as the hanging baskets. btw - the forsythia is almost in full bloom. looking great. anyway, rather than ramble, I shall bid you adieu and leave you with a picture of on of my all time favourite flowers ... columbine. they're actually purple ... i wish they were this blue. adieu!

Amazing what a little rain will do for a garden

Okay, so maybe we got a whole lot of rain yesterday. Got a little more today. Some sunshine too. I can't believe how fast things are growing. I was shocked to see the hops vine actually have leaves. It didn't on Sunday. I haven't even fertilized it yet. YIKES! I can't wait until the summer ... grill breakfast (can't beat french toast and black forest bacon on the BBQ), enjoy latte for a couple of hours, putter in the garden, enjoy the afternoon, have a beverage or two, chill with friends. I'm determined to make awesome dinners on the grill with B. So here's to a great summer, enjoying friends and life in general.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rained out ....

Timing was great. The weekend was beautiful, got some planting and fertilizing done. And then the rain. And lots of it. Last count was 20 mm. Badly needed though. And this weekend is supposed to be glorious too. Things should be rockin' and rollin' by then. My first daffodil bloomed this morning ... very exciting.

Word of warning about the flowers on the left ... they're anemones. And do they like to spread! I believe I started with 3 plants ... I've lost count. Just make sure you deadhead right away and you should be fine. Until tomorrow.....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What a spectacular weekend!

Ok, so this has nothing to do with gardening, but I thought I'd introduce my children. This is Widget, he's 2 years old and he's the second youngest. We have four children, ages 1-16. Can't help it if they're all four legged and furry. Cats that is. All indoors, too.

Anyway, back to gardening related stuff.
Yesterday was odd. It was supposed to be sunny all day .... it sprinked in the morning, just as Barry was painting the trellis wall. Then it stopped, dried up and just when he was about to start again, so did the sprinkling. I think that happened 3 or 4 times. Yeesh. then he got on a roll and ran out of spray paint. So he went to get more and then our next door neighbour was on her patio and since it was Rustoleum paint, he didn't want to be spraying it when she was right there. So he painted the planters out front. And I hauled everything out of the shed and Barry put the shelving units together while he waited for the weather to stop sprinkling once and for all and then I loaded up the shed again. I finally dug out this very thuggish groundcover yesterday. YAY. And today we went to our local nursery and bought a bunch of stuff, came home and Barry finished the trellis wall and almost got the front railing finished and then it got too cold so he had to stop. I got everything that I bought planted (including an Improved Blaze and another red rose that I have to double check the name on. I know it starts with a B. It's a hybrid tea (this should be interesting) and supposed to be very fragrant. I'm so excited to see the garden bloom this year. I'm going to have the time this year to devote to keeping it looking awesome. I just gotta put some reminders in my calender of when to do what. Anyway, I'm rambling (kinda like Blaze is going to be doing LOL) so I'll bid you all adieu for today. Happy gardening!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thank God its FRIDAY!!!!

YAY! What an absolutely GORGEOUS day out there today. And of course I was stuck in the office. But I got out to the market at lunch and Barry and I went for a little walk after dinner. Good thing, too 'cause we went to Quiznos and I actually had a sub. Yikes! Anyway, it was beautiful and I can't wait until tomorrow....painting, digging, cleaning, organizing. First order of business for me after untangling the honeysuckle from the trellis wall so Barry can paint it ... THE SHED. Everything comes out, 2 new resin racks get assembled and installed and filled and then the rest of the shed... We gotta scrub the shed too. It's been a few years... I'm actually thinking I might train the 3 clematis over the shed. Well ... that's it for tonight. I leave you with a picture of The Big Three (clematis that is).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

One more day to go

Of course tomorrow's supposed to be spectacular and Barry's off work tomorrow and I'm going to be stuck in a very hot, stuffy office when I could be at home, digging, digging, weeding, digging.... oh yeah, latte on the deck ... plotting what I need to buy and where I'm going to put it. I bet the local nurseries are going to be busy this weekend. So you know where I WON'T be. I'll hit the nursery maybe on Wednesday or Thursday. I'm not even sure what they have available for planting outside yet. Probablly not too much. But I need a rose. My sis (hey gypsymo) picked out a FABULOUS looking one for my front garden (it's dark red, fragrant, grandiflora and about 3 or 4'. PERFECT! I can't wait. I just hope I can find it.... I shall have to go hunting. This is a picture of the yellow (I think it's a grandiflora) that gypsymo recommended and I LOVE IT! And Improved Blaze will go along the back fence. For those who don't know, Improved Blaze is a stunning deep red climber/rambler. I gotta admit, the backyard is looking good. I can't wait to see when it's going to look like in early July. Our deck party. This should be interesting. Falling asleep typing so I'd better fly. Or crash. Or something. Enjoy the fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Water required

I can't believe, that in the middle of April, I actually had to water my garden. Not a huge amount, just enough to help the roots establish from my transplanting on the weekend. BTW - with the bulbs coming up now, for those of you (Kandi my luv) who don't know, after bulbs finish flowering, you can remove the stems, but be sure to let the leaves brown and wither naturally ... it's nature's way of feeding the bulb for the next year. An idea ... plant perennials in front of bulbs so the perennials hide the browning foliage. That's my tip for the day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's getting there

It looks like the weather here is finally going to co-operate ... at least for a few days. So tomorrow night while Barry's installing solar fence caps, I'll be (I can't believe I'm actually going to say this) watering! At least the transplants. And anything else that needs it. I've gotta get my butt in gear this weekend and get the plants fertilized and the bone meal in, a bunch of stuff removed and the soil turned over so I'll be ready for another season. I'm not entirely sure what I've been waiting for ... wait, I know ... warm weather! If I ever wanted a day off ... it's this coming Friday ... 18C. On April 17th! Anyway, took another tour today (I just can't help myself). I really do have to write down what I want to accomplish in the garden. Not the best picture of my alliums (ornamental onions for those who don't know), but I just love them. They make me think of later in the spring. The burning bush has leafed out so it's probably late May, early June? Just thought I'd share. Enjoy tomorrow!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Garden Tour

So a neighbour from down the street was driving by just as I was about to head into the house after work today. So we started chatting and she ended up pulling into our driveway and I gave her the tour of the gardens. She's an avid gardener too. I figure we make a great pair .... I've got the deck and pergola, she's got the pool. I figure it's safer to have a swim first and then kick back with a cold beverage on the deck afterwards... anyway, I digress. So despite the chilliness and the 1/2 to 3/4 inch growth on most of my perennials, we chatted away and I showed her where I had planted what, as well as my thugs of the garden. I must remember to share some of my "polite" plants with her. We bought the rest of our solar fence caps today. Barry's going to install them Wednesday night after work. They're so pretty when they're lit up. Well ... I'm about to fall asleep so I shall bid you adieu ... until tomorrow! Oh yeah, this is the "north garden" ... taken in 2006. Early spring, not much difference now except the forsythia's bigger and there's some solar lights in the garden. Nighty-night!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

It's another gorgeous day here in southern Ontario. Barry's such a trouper ... he painted our trellises yesterday in the window and fluctuating temperatures without any complaint. We're trying to get all the painting outside (planters, brackets, trellises) done as quickly as possible. Fortunately the vines haven't really started to grow much yet so we can do this but pretty soon, they'll be clambering up the trellis walls. We bought some solar light fence post caps and a new gate. Those will make such a difference and just everything together. We just need to get that blasted patio fixed. So much to do, so little money... oh yeah, and time. I think we're on track to get this place done but the end of May so we can actually enjoy our summer. I've never been a "produce" gardener ... flowers are my gig. But 2 years ago, I grew herbs, last year I added tomatos (in the contaner) and this year I think I'm going to add some fruit. In containers. Lots of new growth around the gardens. A few surprises. I don't appear to have lost anything other than Foxglove but that's expected. I've got something growing in my garden that's trying to take over completely. I thought it was Spiderwort which is supposed to be great but what I ended up with was Transedenia (something like that) and OMG I sends runners out EVERYWHERE! So my mission today is to obliterate that crap from my gardens. Happy gardening!

Friday, April 10, 2009

What an awesome day ...

I know a lot of people celebrate Good Friday and I totally respect that. A lot of people might think it's sacriligious to work on Good Friday but oh my ... what a gorgeous day out there! I spent the afternoon removing a eouynomous (sp?) from the front garden, moving irises, primrose, etc. Barry spray painted a bunch of containers on our patio, sprayed the obelisk that I moved from the back yard to the front yard, relocated a porcelain vine that I bought last year (I hope it survives) and sprayed brackets that we'll be installing on our pergola (here's a picture) to hang baskets from. We have 2 hops vines and 2 bittersweet vines growing up the corners ... the baskets will be on the other posts. Tomorrow Barry's going to paint more metal and I'll be digging, weeding, moving, weeding, primping, weeding, weeding, weeding. I actually had a nice surprise today. I discovered that my purple sandcherry had a "baby". Free shrub! Woo hoo! So I know where I'm going to put it and it'll look great. It'll take a couple of years before it really takes off, but that's ok. Gardens are constantly evolving, so I'll have something to look forward to. The above deck was last year's project. All freeking summer. In between the torrential downpours ... the weather last year sucked in Ajax ... and yet Barry and I both managed to get the best tans of our lives. Go figure. Until tomorrow!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Time to Garden!

YAY! The snow is gone, temperatures are almost "normal", the sun is out and supposed to stay out for at least the next 4 days ... YAY! Lots of time this weekend to get outside and stock up on that wonder Vitamin D. I think it's safe to say the snow is gone ... it had to make itself known one last time ... always does. Time to start digging and dividing perennials, moving anything around that needs to be moved, hardscaping, etc. I always feel like I come out of hibernation at this time of year. It's so good to get outside again. So enjoy the weekend, have fun, be careful of your backs, and don't forget the sunscreen if you're going to be outside for a long time. That's the rockcress from a year or 2 ago on the above right ... I can't believe it's just starting to bloom again this year. Another couple of weeks and it should look this this. Happy gardening everybody.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Winter surprise

Well ... it is only early April. And it could be worse. We could be buried ... although it's a little early to think we're out of the woods. They've been changing the forecast all day. I don't think I'll be doing anything outside for the next few days ... although it's supposed to get much better by Thursday. And be a beautiful Easter weekend. I sure hope so ... there's SO much to do. Here's a picture of our patio and more importantly our trellis wall. This was the remnants of our first metal and canvas gazebo which collapsed (I think this was the first of second year they were available ... they've come a LONG way.... It's a little difficult to see but Barry and my brother attached the corner panels to 4x4's and used spikes in the ground. Barry's painting it all black, hopefully this weekend... Amazing what a little thought can produce. We have honeysuckle growing up the trellis wall to give us some privacy. The patio is higher than the fence at the back which faces Pickering Beach Rd. so it gives us some privacy while we eat. Until next time ....

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Cleanup

So we've finally sort of dried out. Got the lawn raked (more or less - I think I have to do it again next weekend) and the shed sorted out so now I'm ready to get going moving plants, planting news ones, etc. .... and now they've forecast snow and cold temperatures for tomorrow and Tuesday. Weird, weird weather this winter...but it was sunny and mild (a little windy but nothing like Saturday!) today ... worked indoors most of the weekend, partly because of the weather yesterday and party because we added some cabinetry to my home office. FINALLY! So now I'm ready to devote myself wholeheartedly to our gardens. Of course Barry will help with the "projects" LOL but he leaves all the plant related stuff to me. Which is great 'cause that's what I love to do! Even the deck is ready for summer. Maybe Mother Nature will get the hint LOL Until next time.....

Friday, April 3, 2009

Better call Noah

I think we need an ark here in Ajax. I was wondering why I saw 2 of most animals, birds, etc. all heading in the same direction .... but seriously, we got a TON of rain today. My intent was to get in the garden tomorrow. Don't see that happening. So instead we'll get some cabinetry installed in my home office. I may not be able to get into the garden on Sunday either. It just might take until ... oh, I don't know ... JUNE before it dries out! Yikes! Tomorrow's another day...
Happy gardening ....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What a gorgeous day ...

It would have been a perfect gardening day if it weren't for work. Many more gardening days ahead. I can't wait to get working in the garden. Hopefully this weekend I can finish prepping the beds. I'll keep you posted...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The guard bunny ...

I will begin by apologizing for the warped view of the bunny. He's kinda like me. He's actually our garden guard bunny. He sits at the bottom of the bird feeder and keeps an eye out for trolls and other critters who don't belong. He doesn't do anything about them, but he keep an eye out. You'd think by the past 2 entries that my gardens are full of goofy stuff. They really aren't. But gardening is about a lot of things to a lot of people. Sometimes it's therapy. Best therapy around in my humble opinion. Sometimes it's about growing the best roses, dahlias or whatever around. Some people like their gardens to be very symmetrical and formal. Others like cottage gardens with lots of whimsy. Japanese style gardens are very peaceful and tranquil. I guess I tend towards a somewhat restrained English garden. Not too formal, not too crazy. But I do love to have fun. Barry just rolls his eyes sometimes. I think he thinks I'm a little nuts. He's probably right. Anyway ... the point is ... have fun with gardening. Life's too full of other stresses . Gardening should be a way to relax. So have fun ... and don't take life ... or yourself ... too seriously. Until next time.....

Monday, March 30, 2009

It was a cold and blustery day ....

I can't complain though. So it only reached a windy high of 6C in Toronto but at least it got sunny. New Brunswick got a major winter storm today. I'm very thankful that we haven't received any more snow. Rain would be good. Help the flowers.... So on a cheerier note, this is one of my "critters". Not typical for my gardens, but he has a couple of friends ... they were too much fun to pass up. So have fun planning your gardens this spring ... happy digging!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

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At my wonderful husband's encouraging, I've decided to start this blog. Mostly about the trials and tribulations of gardening in South Ajax. And life in general. He's inspired me with his blog.

When I was growing up, my Dad was an avid gardener, mostly vegetables. So of course I was roped into "harvest time". As a teenaged girl, who was obsessed with guys, the last thing I wanted to do on the weekends was pick carrots, tomatoes, etc. Because I viewed it as a chore, I didn't want anything to do with gardening.

Then I hit my late thirties, living in a house to help my parents (then in their seventies). My Dad wasn't well and couldn't garden any more so we sodded over the entire back yard and I hung pre-made baskets around the backyard. And I decided in my "wisdom" to get rid of everything in the front yard and plant all alysum and pansies ... in a 7' x 25' garden. In a western facing garden. For those of you who know anything about gardening, you're probably mid-July, I ripped up all the pansies (they had gotten terriby leggy and overgrown) and replaced them with Celosia and Dusty Miller. Much better choice.

Then Dad passed away in November. The following summer I started to dig up the sod out back with just a shovel (I don't recommend this ... rent a sod-cutter). Started a 10' x 20' garden. Thought for some reason I'd "give it a whirl". And that's when the addiction started. Since then Barry and I bought the house (I kept leaving and coming back over the years so I figured I was meant to own the blasted thing), and we now have no grass in the back or the sides and about 15'x25' in the front, surrounded by gardens.

So I'd love to hear from those of you who have fun, frustrating, silly stories about your experiences in gardening ... wherever you live. The season is just beginning. I'll be posting pictures along the way. Gardens are never really finished. Especially mine. I change my mind like I change my socks.

Hope to hear from you soon.