Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Resilient Beautiful Iris

I have to say that iris are one of my most treasured flowers in the garden. As I've mentioned in past years, I inherited most of my iris from my dear mom after she passed away. I dug up as many iris as I could find in her garden and brought them home. They did well the first couple of years, but then disaster struck and it seemed I was losing them all to some kind of rot. I finally transplanted all of them in 2015, and now, two years later they are blooming again. They looked spectacular!!

This one was transplanted by the squirrels I think. It's a favourite of mine and a very muted purple, which is almost a dove grey. It came up beside the patio. I'll move it in August to a better location because right now it's struggling underneath my black currant bush.

The rest of the iris bloomed in the front garden. We've had quite a nice show for the past two weeks, but now they are all finished.

In the foreground is a Korean lilac which smells amazing! The iris looked so pretty together with the delicate blooms of the lilac. I had to trim the lilac back a bit so it didn't rip into the iris stalks.

This next iris was one of my mom's absolute favourites ... a black iris. I don't know the official name, but she loved the frilled petals and the near black of the deep purple. I had four plants blooming, and each one was a slightly different shade of deep purple.

These soft purple iris have been in the front garden for a few years, they were not transplanted from the back with the rest of them.

Even though I transplanted all the iris I could find two years ago, this year I discovered twenty small iris still coming up in the back garden! They were looking so rough and they were definitely not going to flower this year, so I moved them into the front now rather than wait until the suggested August date. Some of them looked really pathetic!

The smaller plants in front (below) are some of the newly transplanted plants.

I'm not in the least worried if these much smaller iris will survive. Why? Because this is how the rest of the iris looked two years ago when I was in tears thinking I'd lost the lot of them ... 

August 2015

Seriously, if you saw these meager stocks, would you have believed they would survive?!

August 2015

August 2015

But they did, and this gardener couldn't be happier :)

June 2017
There are a few iris that did not bloom this year, and these were the iris I purchased two years ago. I think it may be because their corms got covered with dirt and bark nuggets from all the rain we've had this spring. Also I should have split the corms in August each year, and I neglected to do that. I wrote a post about the care iris need to do their best here if you're interested.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

O Canada, eh

I thought I'd share some fun and favourite Canadian things in celebration of Canada's 150th Birthday.
First, the Canada 150 logo ... you can read about the logo here.

Red Canada 150 Logo

"The logo is composed of a series of diamonds, or “celebratory gems”, arranged in the shape of the iconic maple leaf. The four diamonds at the base represent the four original provinces that formed Confederation in 1867: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Additional diamonds extend out from the base to create nine more points—in total representing the 13 provinces and territories." source

Canada 150 Tulips

An official tulip has been created to celebrate our 150th birthday in partnership with the Netherlands.
Read here for more info. The bulbs are being sold through Home Hardware.

Canada 150 tulips

Two Minutes of Canada

Here's a great short video of the best of Canada, compiled of best travel experiences of people in Canada. I think all Canadians can relate to so much shown in this clip.

The Blackfly Song

Far too many of us know the perils of the terrible blackfly "pickin' our bones" in springtime. This entertaining song was written in 1949 by Wade Hemsworth after working in Ontario's north woods.

Log Driver's Waltz

Another song by Wade Hemsworth which is really catchy. I remember watching this short clip on TV when I was very young. They used to play these short films by Canada's National Film Board in the afternoons either before or after the show Sesame Street.

Loved this quote via source

Wondering what to serve on Canada Day for dessert? 
How about a toque cake :)

Toque Cake

Although you can't go wrong with the great Canadian Butter Tart!
(raisins IN please!)

Whatever you're doing on Canada Day, keep it RED & WHITE & HAPPY!!

Saturday, June 03, 2017

June Garden

Hey folks :)  Haven't been around in quite a while now, although not intentional. Life got in the way, and I haven't had much interest in blogging (or much of anything) lately. 

A quick catch-up today then. 

We buried my dad at the beginning of May with a quiet graveside service. I highly recommend this over the confines of a depressing funeral home. Only family and some very special, lifelong friends attended. I chose to read my own poem for Dad, and although it was a shaky reading, I'm glad I did it. I used to make cards and write a few poems for my parents, but no longer ... that was the last one I will write for him.

After the service we invited everyone to join us for an early supper at a Milestones restaurant. It was the best way to celebrate Dad's life I think, and it seemed everyone enjoyed themselves and promises were made to keep in further contact. My dad was always one for visiting friends and family and would often just drop in on his friends without warning. From what we hear of our British relatives, this is how everyone remembers seeing Dad when he was younger as well. A page from Dad's book of life I should remember ;) 

With all of the formal details behind us, we can move on, right? But death changes you and troubles of the world around you, both near and far, seem less important than the big picture. I've found myself spending a lot of time out in the garden, digging and transplanting this and that. It's a comfort to see plants coming back to life again. A lot of these plants once grew at my parents' home making a nice connection, and giving me many hours to reflect.

So ... enough sad stuff. When my mother passed away, there was a summer of unusual bird sightings for me and my siblings. Mom loved her birds and we would all share sightings of different birds we saw out and about. My dad had a strong fondness for morrels.  He would hunt morrels in early spring, and we have a photo of him with an armful of morrels found one springtime. Mom would fry them up for breakfast. Shortly after my dad passed away, my sister sent me a text saying she found morrels in her yard. She had never seen them before. I have to admit I was a bit jealous that she found them. It seemed a direct message from my dad. It's been raining here ... a lot ... and I didn't step out into the yard until a few days after her message. But I was thrilled to see that there were morrels in my yard too!! I have never had them growing here before either. I found four of them, and then a few days later I found a fifth. Maybe you don't believe in such things, and my brother was skeptical, but I do believe they were a message that Dad was okay. As I told my sister, he couldn't have said it any better.

Apart from the morrels, flowers have been blooming and their springtime beauty has been most welcome. The lilacs were magnificent, but are at the tale end of their blooming now. My husband and I spent the last couple of weekends puttering in the gardens, and visiting the gardening store. I always seem to bring home a few too many flowers, but they all find a place eventually. Just yesterday the iris have come into bloom. I transplanted them all two (?) years ago, and was happy to see a nice collection of buds on the tall stems at long last this year. I moved had them from a back garden with poor drainage to a sunnier place with better drainage in the front yard. There are still 20 or more iris that I found coming up again in the back gardens that are tiny and also need to be moved. No blooms on any of those. 

This white bush in our patio garden is doing wonderfully this year. Last year there were hardly any blooms on it, so I trimmed it right down to about three feet high. It grew well over the summer, and this spring it has the most blooms we've ever seen on it.

I've added a few pansies and columbine in this small spot. I've made up a few pots to sit on the wall as well with sedum, pansies and a plant given to me by my daycare kids.

couldn't pass on this columbine when I saw it in the store ... my favourite which I haven't
seen for a few years
white columbine
This is another new addition ... a perennial, Astrantia "Star of Fire". It's doing well and has grown about four inches in a week.

My largest lilac in the back corner ... blooms all finished now.

I've had to dig up a lot of creeping weed in the back lawn. I think I'll be digging it up all summer lawn there's that much of it! This bare patch is one such spot. 

Bleeding hearts did well again this year. This garden is just for them as nothing much else likes to grow here.

This is a geranium flower that sprung up behind my garden shed. I transplanted it from that spot a few years ago not knowing what it was, and it has thanked me by growing into a large plant and blooms great!

the tiny geranium flowers
A spice bush that my mom gave a cutting to my sister, and she gave me a cutting two years ago. This year it finally is looking a little better and has another shoot coming up beside the original. It had some pretty tiny yellow flowers on it earlier, but with all the rain we've had, I didn't get photos of it.

A poor photo of the shed, but I've been working on this garden to make it a little nicer. When we put our above-ground pool in this area, this garden is hidden from view and gets neglected.

My old spade broke, so I just poked it into the window box. My husband chose the flowers for the box, and I'm not happy with them. I specifically wanted blue lobelia (it looked great in there one year!), but the plants he chose I don't think trail down. We'll see.

I picked up two large grapevine wreaths from a neighbour's garbage one day after Christmas. The vines are coming apart a bit, but I had a vague idea for them. In one I stuffed some burlap down in between the vines, filled with dirt, succulents and moss. Hopefully the succulents will grow. I'm also thinking of adding some nasturtium seeds as they grow into a vine and can be trained around the grapevines.

Our ginkgo tree is getting a tiny bit bigger each summer.

such interesting leaves on the ginkgo

A few turtlehead flowers I moved. They do well in full sun, but by the afternoon on a hot day, these flowers really wilt. I moved a few that were in a full shade spot to this area where they will get full sun in the morning and shaded by the fence in the afternoon. They're a late summer plant.

A robin has made a nest in the weeping pea (on the right). It's nice to hear them singing in the yard all day long. They don't seem bothered by us sitting on the patio and working in the yard.

My son's pond garden is looking better this year. The Solomon's seal might need some separating. It's looking a bit crowded. I really like this sturdy plant. My son's heron sculpture is in front. He made it in high school.

I've planted some creeping thyme here and will see if it covers a decent area. Because there is a pond here, I have to fence it off from the daycare kids. That makes it difficult to get the lawnmower in this tiny spot and the grass here often doesn't get cut. I thought the creeping thyme might be a good alternative for ground cover. I think I might buy a few more plants to fill it in quicker.

This is another new addition ... a windflower. It's native to Ontario, and it's doing well. The flower heads are said to nod in the wind. 

Another mossy log. My original mossy stump has now rotted away. I picked up this small log on a walk with my dad last summer. It had been cut from a downed tree and was sitting on the path. It had lots of holes which I thought would be perfect for succulents. When I brought it home, it was full of all kinds of ants and other bugs. I soaked it in water for a few days, and there was some kind of oily substance on it as well. I just left it in the garden all last summer, but this year I filled the holes with dirt and planted some succulents in the hols and packed some moss on the top. I have a lot of moss growing in various areas of my yard which all disappears when the hot summer arrives.

A Japanese fern planted last year. Still not growing to its suggested three feet tall. It's a bit crowded by the other taller ferns, so I might move it ... but where?!

you can see the Japanese fern in the lower portion of this fern garden
And that's the tour of my garden so far. I need to spend some serious time on the front gardens before it gets out of hand. There are a lot of thistles growing up through all the mulch I laid down in previous years. It doesn't look so nice when the weeds are taller than the flowers. I hope I didn't tax your patience with this long post. I can't say when I'll be back again, but I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their days. As I've mentioned we've had far too many days of rain here. Lake Ontario has risen about three feet! We were shocked last weekend when we drove down to sit by the lake and the water was coming up through the drains onto the pier. Water from the lake was deep over the road as well. The beach area is under water and has been washed right over the lighthouse pier. A strange spring, but the plants are thriving ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

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