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...