A summary of summer 2019…so far!

Wet. Wet. Wet! It’s not just the name of an 80’s pop group. It was the weather for May and most of June.

I got a lot of planters done by the end of May….

Only to be thrown a very nasty curve ball of cold and very windy weather for the beginning of June! How cold was it?

Cold enough for me to be dressed like winter on the 4 th of June! Not even kidding! We got frost.

I had to move all remaining plants into the garage for a few days until temperatures rose sufficiently and I could resume planting.

I lost a few begonias and sunshine impatiens as all the wet weather before the cold snap ruined the succulent stems of these types of annuals.

It’s gone from wet to consistently HOT…30+ degrees for the last 3 or 4 weeks now. No happy medium. Cold wet and windy or sweltering hot! πŸ₯΅ My poor hydrangeas are suffering. They have looked wilted for the most of July!…so tired!!

Trying to keep the containers watered is a challenge. I have water barrels but they are both empty now. We could do with a nice steady full day of gentle rain!!

We also had death and destruction in the garden…

The bloody Japanese beetle…am I allowed to swear?? In this case it’s necessary!

Aaaarrrrggghhhh!! Why didn’t I read that they LOVE Roses and Crabapple trees…amoung many other things…before I bought my new purchases!!!

How do we get rid of them??? Well it’s not easy. I have pulled up 2 Potentilla shrubs and a Virginia creeper as they were covered and there really isn’t a fool proof way to get rid of them.

You can spray your lawn with nematodes in the spring. I have too much lawn so that’s not happening. There are traps but not very effective. So I wear gloves constantly in the garden and have so far managed to keep the numbers down (after removing said shrubs) by squeezing the living day lights out of the ravaging marauders!! πŸ€¨πŸ˜–

AND THEN THIS…(WARNING! could cause distress to viewer)….

Sssooo sad. A little pilfering chipmunk got trapped in my tomato plant and died there…I found him just like that. No. He didn’t die hungry. He ate bites out of 3 tomatoes before he met his demise!!!

Sometimes gardening isn’t so relaxing. πŸ‘Ή But I still love it!!


Look what we got!!

I had a plan that my very long overdue blog…the first one of 2019, would begin with beautiful spring flowers and nice blue sky and sunshine. But alas…I have admitted before to being a procrastinator, and this week was no exception.

Instead of the nice backdrop to Spring and feelings of rejuvenation and renewal of all things nature. I waited a little too long and overnight we plunged into winter again!

It’s ok. Don’t worry. This will not last long. It will all be gone in a few days. This is what happens at this time of year. So instead of leaving you with winter. I’ll leave you some spring.

Yes. I know it looks as though I’ve made a bunny shape with the positioning of the basket. Unfortunately. It was such a dull day. This was the brightest place In the whole house to take the photo and the door knobs got in the way!!! πŸ™„ It looked much prettier without the door knobs!!!

My first Spring basket of the year. Made with donations from my singing sisters. To one of our other singing sisters, who has undergone surgery for breast cancer.

I’m sure the basket cheered her up. But she got the best news a few days ago to say that all the cancer has been removed and other cells sent for testing are cancer free!! πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ₯³πŸ€©πŸ₯°. Talk about renewal and rejuvenation. Such good news for such a wonderful lady.

Another Spring basket was for our house. I just needed something fresh.

The little pale Pink hydrangea was from Metro. So pretty.

The little pot of bushy, overflowing, beautiful blue campanula was from Village Grocer. The hyacinth gave the whole house a fragrant smell and what is Spring without some daffy’s…and my Mum loves painting the little bird houses, so I try and have a stash of them on hand.

And Ruby. Just because!! πŸ₯°

Welcome to Winter!!

We should not be shocked. It’s Ontario Canada and we can expect any kind of weather at any time. BUT! That does not mean we have to like it…and right now…I do not like it.

It’s very early and I have orders for 39 winter planters to fill. It’s November 24 and Wednesday and Thursday of this week was -18. The soil in the planters is frozen solid.

Lucky for me I have the best customers ever!!! They are all on my side. Where possible, They have taken their planters into their homes and garages to defrost them…if the garage isn’t heated. The planters are as solid as they would be if they were outside!!! I have had to go to Plan B and in some cases, it will be plan C.

I can manage to make up a couple of smaller planters in the garage…try not to look at the mess…focus on the lush greens and beautiful magnolia!!

I have been able to get a few done. The list is getting shorter. 14 more that I have to do…and then my own. Of course. There is nothing Christmassy about our house yet. Dare I even say I have a couple of sun loungers still on the back patio!!! πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ I will put them away before real winter arrives!!!

All packed up for Janet’s. Thank goodness we got this done before the big freeze.

Stay warm!

Halloween season

Creepy eh?

It was time to dress up Marks front porch for Halloween. I wanted to incorporate the chair and have ‘something’ sitting in it but didn’t know what. Several visits to several stores, I came up empty! That’s why I should always start in my basement!!! The bag that was supposed to go to the thrift store before the summer, never got there and look what happens with my procrastination!!! πŸ˜ƒ

Guess what else was in the thrift store pile? Old pillows. Perfect for a body and cut one in half for the legs. This guy came together with very little effort. It was all right there…and everyone tells me I have too much ‘stuff’…but look what happens to it. I need that stuff…for something!

For the head, I mounted a bamboo cane on a polystyrene skull head, put a mask over it and creepy guy was finished…oh. The arm. Could only find one. It was a dollar store find.

I have to admit. I had an assistant. It was my assistant, Cole, that suggested putting the mask over the skull on creepy guy. It was way more creepy with the mask rather than just the skull.

Because this is Coles house and a PA day and he wanted to help so badly…but he also wanted to watch Lion king in his Pyjamas…I gave him artistic licence to work on a few areas. He did a fantastic job and he was such good company…he kept popping in to watch Lion king every now and again and probably warm up a bit too. It was a chilly day to be working in your pyjamas but he was way too excited to go and get dressed. 😊

I don’t know what that little skeleton animal is. But I really like him!

Turns out it wasn’t scary enough for Cole. He wanted more monsters and spiders. We’ll work on it for next year. Let’s say they have a growing collection.

Happy Halloween!

Oh what a beautiful…

Wait! WHAT. NOOOO! Too early for snow!!! πŸ˜–

I still have way too much gardening to do for the snow to start flying. But it’s just a sprinkling!!

Watching the sun come up this morning. S’no problem!

Yeah. It’s early. But it’s still pretty!! Hopefully it’s gone before I have to go to my garden tidy job. Now. Where did I put my winter pants?

Proper gardening weather!

So the snow has gone. The ice has gone and within one week it has turned into the perfect gardening weather. The little nubs of spring flowers, carefully peeping out and hoping for the best, have sprung into full action.

Front island bed. Just awakening

I am so happy to be ‘working’ in this garden. It’s in the country…I keep wanting to say it’s quiet, but it really isn’t…but that’s not a bad thing. There are so many birds around. It’s a noisy peace and tranquility…if that makes any sense!!

Originally looking at the garden. I thought I could spend 3 days getting it ready for the season…baring in mind, when I’m weeding and added soil, my working days are about 4.5 hrs long, if I did more, I would be achey and sore, so I know my limits. I soon realized that I wasn’t going to get all the way round in 12-14 hours. And that’s okay. I need to know I’ve done things properly and not rushed through it to get to the next job.

The front garden bed needed amending, so I added some triple blend to give it a boost. Not sure if it was that that spurred everything on, but I added the soil one day and returned 4 days later and things had shot up that I never even saw 4 days earlier!!

The Bleeding Heart (front right in photo below) was tiny furry fronds just poking out of the earth and now all of a sudden it’s a ‘bush’!!!

There’s phlox dotted all over and I’m not sure if Janet wants it all or not. We’ll have a chat and see now that everything is well on its way.

Chinadoxia. Flowering happily.

Lenten Rose – Hellebores.

Can’t wait to see what has come up next time I visit…watch this space!!