Moving the Rose Garden-Redesign

15 Sep pink rose

The weather is cooling off here and it is just simply perfect! I have spent the last week moving the rose garden in front of the soon to be demolished addition out of the way- trying to save them before it’s too late.   I also didn’t want to waste any time giving myself a beautiful view from the new kitchen window this winter and next year.   I had quite a few roses in this area next to vegetable garden and they were spaced out too far and in between, and it definitely needed beefing up. The only thing that needs to happen now is for the rose bushes to live through the winter and for me to stay on top of the Japanese beetles next summer.  Sounds easy right? ha!

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This area in front of the kitchen is known to me as the rose garden- some years it looks better than others.

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The rose garden is always a thorny work in progress, but it is was worth trying to save these pretty things!

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The photo above shows an extension of the roses beside the vegetable garden that I am going to make better (and Bigger!) Currently it’s beyond pathetic.

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Marking out the area of sod to remove with a garden hose.

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I added many many wheelbarrow loads of top soil and then the plants, it’s a bit of a low spot and needed to be raised.  I divided a few clumps of lambs ears to make a nice edging.

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I pulled about 30 small strawberry plants from my existing mature plants to fill an area.  I will have to probably net these to get them before the birds next year. The only thing I bought was this globe cedar, Blue indigo and a tall grass with white plumes. I love looking at tall grasses in the winter!

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The last step was to add LOTS of wood chip (my favourite part).

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View toward the house.

I will have to wait until next year to see the tall grass and blue indigo.

rough sketch

My original quick sketch is nothing like what I actually planted.

Sometimes you just have to get the ideas out of your system and then deal with reality. :)

rose garden sketchWhat was planted where.

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And that’s the beginning of a great new garden view from this direction! (fingers crossed!)

 What is your favourite all season plant, tree or shrub to view from inside?

Haphazard and Fun- Container Planting

3 Sep

Good morning!  A few colourful photos today showing the less fussy containers around the yard.  I just had fun with these and used what ever annuals were left over, threw in some nasturtium seeds that just kind of took over. I hope we have a late frost this year… I hate to be thinking about that already!

Purple Aztec Verbena is planted on the ground in front of Silver Falls Dichondra, double wave Pink Petunia and of course some Nasturtium. 

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 12.57.56 PMI always have lots of Impatiens on the front porch.

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The copper icebox planter was quickly planted with some mothers day flowers this year (a variety of coleus and Impatiens) to add colour.

What’s the most haphazard and fun thing you’ve planted this summer… or done? Cliff diving anyone? :)

House Painting Finish

29 Aug

The house is finished being painted!  I am so glad that we like it! I think if the porches were painted first I would have had a cow, but they were last and I had liked everything as it was put on up until then. Even the garage cladding and maintenance free mouldings were painted.  That is a little sad, since we were hoping that the garage would be one less thing to look after on this big old house but the truth is that vinyl fades. It fades a lot and it just wouldn’t have tied in to the rest of the house as well. Although we will have to wait and see how the paint holds up, we are told that it will stand up very well.

century home in painted progress

(in progress)painting the corbels

 

1897 yellow brick houseBEFORE (WAY BEFORE!) ABOVE:

AFTER BELOW:

house painted

house before repaintingBEFORE ABOVE:

AFTER BELOW:

house with ugly additionThe yellow vinyl sided addition will be taken off and redone shortly.  It’s exterior will be the same grey that was just painted on the house.  It will also have a flat roof with a walkout and will be made too look more in keeping with this style of older home.  

back yard

BEFORE ABOVE:

AFTER BELOW:

back of garage paintedrear of house painted

 There are only two paint colours on the main house now instead of four.

SW 7047 Porpoise and HC-31 Waterbury Cream.

The porch ceiling is BM Wedgewood Greyporch painted

Even the ugly porch railings were painted black which we never ever bothered with before.  So now I am kicking myself for not doing that years ago instead of waiting a decade for something new!

house painted but not garage

 

So now for the front of the garage… I think the garage doors need to be painted grey.  In fact I know they do.  What do you think? 

 

120 Days in the Vegetable Garden (week 16)

27 Aug

Well, that’s almost a wrap for this year.  It could have been beautiful, it wasn’t a waste but the skunks and groundhogs sure spoiled the party.  Next year they are not on the invite list that’s for sure!

Mulching the garden made a huge difference in moisture retention and weeding.  It rained so often this summer that I actually had to stop watering because the leaves were turning yellow, but even after not watering for weeks everything is still very wet.  Vegetables like Green Peppers which love extra moisture have done better than ever.  I have never had so many at once to eat before.
green peppers

 I also used mulch to cover my potatoes several inches as they grew.  That too seemed to do the trick. I am very surprised to see I have many big potatoes!  These are what grew in only 2 or 3 square feet.  I have many more baskets like this coming.  There are 30 Square feet of Potatoes! Now I am wondering why so many.

potatoes

I also planted yellow and green zucchini, cucumber, yellow roma tomatoes and ground cherries from seed.  I have collected all of these in small quantities.  There should be several more weeks to come of many of them.  But the tomatoes plants do not look very healthy.  The fruits and leaves are small so there is definitely a nutrient that is missing or low.  

ground cherries

 

The Ground cherries are beginning.  They are ready once the husks are dry.  I AM VERY EXCITED about this!
tomatoes and potatoes

More Tomatoes and Potatoes.
candy roaster squashThe Giant Candy Roaster squash is coming, although it should be much larger at this point I bet.  One of my vines died already leaving behind squash the size of gourds.  I think that everything I started from seed would have had a great advantaged started just a tad earlier and repotted into a larger pot before being planted outside.  Still several weeks till frost. I hope this squash gets bigger.cucumber

Armenian Cucumberground hog ruins bean plantsGroundhog bean devastation.  It also ate almost all of the beans I succession sowed too.  Cripes!

leekThere is a lot of leek and Potato soup in my future.  Looking forward to it!

late august gardenThe garden in late august.  It is loosing its colour now.

The big take away from this year is to not wait until the garden is destroyed to try and catch cute groundhogs and skunks.  Take action straight away!

I also still need to test my soil-something that needs to be done later in the growing season (like now)

Next year I will make compost tea continuously.

www.SmartGardener.com was very helpful and succession sowing with a timeline is a big help, but it was still hard to keep up with all of their to-dos.

What’s your big take away from this summer?- in the garden or otherwise?

Oh! I almost forgot… Something else I grew because of all of you… Sweet peas… particularly Miss BoomDee herself mentioned how it is her most favourite flower and I had never known it.  They are really very beautiful.  I hope to grow them again.

sweet peas

Faux Sophistication – Container Planting

25 Aug

These are the containers that I attempted to over winter some tulips in to have beautiful spring blooms.  That didn’t work out so well- at all!  But I don’t blame the containers, I still love them!  

They have a very formal feel about them which called for sophisticated plantings with a muted palette. I sound so sophisticated myself.  haha!Sophisticated Container Plantings

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garden tags

The annuals that I chose for them are Persian Shield, Joey Ptilotus, Hedera Ivy, Limelight Liquorice Plant, Yellow Pansy, Euphorbia Blush, Wonderland Copper Alyssum and something lacy with miniature purple flowers that I cannot remember what it is! Do you know?

Happy Accidents

22 Aug

Isn’t it nice when your garden surprises you? In a good way no less! 

There have been a few interesting combinations of blooms in the perennial garden.  

Most were not intentional and I would like to try to remember some of them so that I can be more intentional with these surprises in the future.  

bee balm, globe thistle

Bee Balm, Globe Thistle & some form of Rudbeckia (I think? I am not sure exactly what it is)  This is a garden where there is no plan for the future and anything goes.

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Purple Geranium (which spreads everywhere I don’t want it) & Black eyed Susan

yellow and red and tall

Rudbeckia Laciniata ‘Goldball’ & Canna Lilly reach for the sky together.

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A wild cucumber vine popped up in the middle of the front garden so I added support for it.

 I am very partial to these white flowering wild vines.  The seed pods look like dried cucumbers and are very cool.

tiny alum with shasta daisies

Miniature Alum with Shasta Daisies that spread from a neighbouring bed. 

dragon snaps and black eyed susan

My favourite surprise are the snapdragons which Claire insisted our garden needed because you can pinch the blooms like a mouth and make it talk.  

I love these paired with the Black Eyed Susans right now.  

I think surprises might be better than cake.  What do you think?

House Painting Fun

20 Aug

 

The house is being repainted!! YAY! And this time its not me (and the oodles of friends and family who helped us) who are doing it, which is even better!!

 

We are changing the colours quite a bit and this has me actually really nervous. I find myself looking at houses as we drive by them trying to pinpoint what I like and don’t like about their exteriors. It hasn’t been helpful in the least really.  No two houses are identical, and there are so many things that I like about every house I see. I could look at houses on a long drive all day long.

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Here is the original paint job well worn out- 12 years ago this is the house as it looked.

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Front Porch

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The Primer is starting to go on.

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The Front porch freshly painted, but without accent colours.

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Freshly painted 11 years ago. When we first painted the house it was in terrible shape- but our paint job lasted the 7-10 years it was supposed to and now we have stretched it to 11.  (it really should have been done a few years ago)

This was the pallet I used

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Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 3.55.10 PMAnd now the paint is faded and peeling in many placesScreen Shot 2014-08-18 at 3.54.30 PMScreen Shot 2014-08-18 at 3.54.08 PMScreen Shot 2014-08-18 at 4.25.16 PM

Back then I chose a multitude of colours and referenced the book “Painted Ladies” to help figure out how to paint a victorian home.  Now we are going in a different direction and trying to simplify the house by narrowing the colours down to two. The yellow is staying (HC-31) and all the white/green plus all of the porches and window sills will be Sherwin Wiliams Porpoise. I really felt that these key areas needed to pop. It might not make complete sense all at once because we are redoing the exterior of a 1980’s addition in the next little while (see left side of house exterior) as well and the colour of it will tie in to the new paint scheme. (Note: I had a designers assistance and encouragement with this colour choice)

I guess I will be holding my breath until this is done and I pray to heaven above that this was a good decision. EEEK!

It’s going to be dramatic!

What’s the last thing you were stressed about painting?

 

In a Vase on Monday: Three pairs of Kids Eyes

18 Aug

 I asked each of my children to go out in the garden and make a bouquet of what ever they wanted.  There were a lot of questions. Can I really pick anything I want to.  Even these big pink flowers? Even that? Yes, Anything! 

Just like a kid with a crayon in hand, they are much less limited with their imaginations than say us ‘supposed grown ups’ can be.summer flowers in a vase

(I have just made this collection my desktop background)

coneflower, black eyed susan, globe thistle, phlox

By: Claire

summer flowers in a vase

By: Claire

Perennial Hibiscus Flower

By: Alex

summer flowers in a vase

By: Spencer

Summer flowers

By: Alex

Ceramic monster with flowers

Spencer’s Flowers with his handmade ceramic monster.

 What they came up with has filled the house with colourful cheer and I know they are really proud of what they created! Plus did I mention it kept them busy for 10 whole minutes?

Thank you to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting “In a Vase on Monday”, which challenges us to find flowers for cutting from our gardens This week she didn’t forget her greens!!… it is a very enjoyable challenge for everyone… Take a look at some of the others this week linking in to her site here.

Colourful & Rustic Containers

15 Aug Colourful and Rustic DIY container Garden. GardenSunshine.wordpress.com

When I was working on putting some containers together at the end of May, I was scratching my head wondering what had even overtaken me to go about spending so much doing them- I’ve got better things to do damn it- oh wait, I am supposed to be enjoying this…BUT wait!.. everyone else is having beer in the hammock!! 

My fault I guess because it is so easy to get excited in the nursery putting different combinations of annuals together, it’s pretty darn fun.  

Feeble Beginningsgalvanized containers for plantsThis is what things looked like to start… Annuals were small of course and some were nothing but seeds.  The set up has potential but already I was bored with looking at it.  The old washtub bench has served many purposes over the years and most of the containers are old metal buckets, feeders or new galvanized pots from the dollar store that I drilled holes into the bottom of for drainage.

 Last Year:

metal pots for planters

Many of the same containers: I completely forgot that this is what I had in them!

This years reincarnation:Container garden metal potsI desperately needed more colour in my life- Colour that I can’t have in the house but can use with RECKLESS ABANDON outside. (Who doesn’t? right?)  The bench was painted plum purple, a single bucket was sprayed Brilliant Yellow, and another smaller one watermelon pink.   It’s all been enough to make me smile all summer long.

What’s in here: Annuals ListFrizzle Sizzle Mix Pansy, pineapple Beauty Coleus, Lemon Licorice Plant, Orange Disco Marigold, Summer Jewel Red Salvia, Wonderland Coppy Alyssum, Maverick Pink Geranium, Fishnet Stockings Coleus, Scarlet Sage Summer Jewel Pink Salvia, Purple Aztec Verbena & assorted Nastrums.

What colour do you need more of in your life?

Pride and Joy of the Moment

8 Aug

I have been really fussing with and enjoying the development of this backyard perennial border.  I will have to find the year by year photos to share with you.  I think because I pass this garden by all the time, and it is the most colourful right now, it is getting the most attention.  The front yard is definitely more neglected- I usually catch up on all the weeding the week before it snows. Doesn’t everyone? :)

back yard

This garden is along the back side of the garage and faces North West. 

hostas, coral bells, impatients, oak leaf hydrangea, astible

I keep moving plants around and have waited a long time for things to fill in (about 7 years).  The oak leaf hydrangea in the back ground took a beating this winter and is currently half of its normal size. 

dwarf blue spruce

Mr. Frog guards the dwarf Blue Spruce and Lungwort (my spring flowering favourite!).

perennial bed along garage

Last years yellow wheelbarrow is full of colourful impatiens this year.

perennial bed along garage

Is there a corner of your yard that gets the most attention?

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