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! 🥵 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!! 🤨😖

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. 👹 But I still love it!!

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Normal service will resume shortly!!

Ruby enjoying the morning!

In the meantime…summer planters and gardens…

Left over annuals water trough!

Front planters

Driveway garden

Beautiful Bar Harbour garden

Marks mandevilla

Tropical planter

Audrey’s balcony planter n trellis

KIK cheat planter!

Lots to write about…another time!

Hope your summers a hoot!!

!

The Town Planters

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Ruby at Stouffville Leisure centre

 

I have to say whoever did the containers for the town of Whitchurch Stouffville got it amazingly right this year! They are stunning and a real asset to the town.

I see the people that look after them. They are watering at all times of the day and night. I was coming home from an event in the city one night. It must have been midnight-ish. I can’t remember if it was the night before the Strawberry festival…Canada Day weekend. There was the town truck and the crew watering the containers, window boxes and hanging baskets down Main Street.

 

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Town of Whitchurch Stouffville

One thing I have noticed this year is that the tall leafy plants have done outstandingly well this year.  It’s been Hot, humid and dry…no rain. Which has meant very little wind which usually damages the leaves.

To have the containers looking like this at this time of year…September 19th…goes to show how much hard work and care has gone in to looking after these stunners!!!

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Mum and Ruby sit by Latcham gallery

 

 

The drama of Sandra’s Window box!

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Sandra’s Window Box

It was early Spring when I got a call from Sandra asking if I would make her an arrangement in her beautiful decorative window box.

The summer plants were all ready but it was still a little early. I decided I would make a start and try and be ahead of the game. I worked in my garage and managed to get 6 hanging baskets, 2 urn inserts and Sandra’s window box completed. This was good. I could hold onto them for a while, give them chance to fill in and wait for the chance of frost to be behind us. I was pleased with myself!…

Then it happened!…it snowed!!! May 14th.  Now I couldn’t even put the plants outside to hardened off. That kind of cold was just too much. I tended to my charges for a week or two. Protected them from the elements… All the different ones that we face at that time of year. This is where that saying comes in. It can be 4 different seasons in one day in Ontario!!

Most of the plants seemed to have survived the chilly temps…except for Sandra’s. I had used tropicals. Beautiful caladiums, escargot begonia’s, Rex begonia’s and a fantastical colour of Sun  Patiens. By the end of the first week most of the plants were drooped in a very sad and pathetic looking way. I had to switch the plants. Still determined that Sandra would get this amazing tropical showcase to look at over the summer. I replanted.   The caladiums drooped again. Sandra was patient. I replanted. The caladiums and the sun patiens drooped again. I did a complete redo. Changed the soil and all the plants. No caladiums. No Sun Patiens. Begonia’s, begonias, lobelia and begonia’s!!!

It took awhile. But finally the combination of stronger plants and warm stable weather, won the day.

 

 

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Sandra’s window box. September

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Tired out!

Rearranging pots

Rearranging pots

Looking Bedragled!

Looking Bedragled!

We were away for a few weeks in August. Not a good time to leave your plants to the elements…especially when the elements are 32 degrees and no rain for the whole 3 weeks!!!
But my Mum saved the day and watered, pruned and did a good job of looking after my babies…all of them. All my planters and our dog Ruby!

What’s the first thing you do when you get back from vacation? Unpack? laundry? grocery shop? NO! You look after your sad looking babies…that includes the dog who had terrible seasonal allegies and had bitten most of her hair off!!!
By the time we got back, my planters on the patio looked a bit tired and worse for wear. So out I went to do some tidying, sweeping, pruning and rearranging.
The planters were very overgrown and straggly, so just needed to be thined out a bit. Just to last me till the end of September???…maybe?…and now the plants have been sorted, I can do the unpacking, laundry and grocery shop!
n.b. I looked after Ruby too and managed to get her into the vet. She’s feeling much better now.

Summer round up

Ornate window box

Ornate window box

Sandra's window Box

Sandra’s window Box

King Tut starting out!

King Tut starting out!

Papyrus Grass. King Tut!

Papyrus Grass. King Tut!

The first picture is Sandra’s window box. It was one of my Early Custom pieces for the summer. I had a request from a lady asking if I could do a gift certificate for a very dear friend of hers. It was to be a very special anniversary gift.
I was totally honored and thought what a great thing to do for all involved.
When I was making up the window box, it was a very warm week. Lovely to be working outdoors in early May.
I called Sandra to see if she would like her window box for the early long weekend, in case she was entertaining. Sandra asked if I had seen the weather forecast for the up coming week. I hadn’t but quickly went to check..day time temps, not sooooo bad, night time temps 1 degree celcius!!!…WHHHAT?

The weather throughout May continued to be very perculiar. I put off some jobs, which meant I had a lot of catching up to do, but I wanted to be safe from the chilly weather. Tropicals and tender annuals were not going to enjoy that cold.
Sandra eventually received her gift and 6 weeks later the window box has filled in nicely (2nd photo)

June was also a perculiar month. Much more rain than usual. I was worried that some of the containers I had made up for people were going to rot. But it seems the rain hasn’t affected the plants.

You can see from the 4th photo…(Sorry. the photos won’t go where I want them to go!! ;-#) The King Tut Papyrus grass, doesn’t mind the rain in the least. It loves it. Must grow an inch a day. I’m not sure if I particularly like it in this arrangement. It was more of a trail to see what conditions it liked…but you can see from the first photo, of the day I planted this, how much it has grown in ONE month!!!

It’s round about this time of the season that some early planted annuals will be getting leggy now. Don’t be shy. Give them a hair cut. Make sure they are well watered, dried out plants make them targets for insects and diseases. Once you have the watering figured out, give them a feed. 15-30-15 plant food. I use slow release fertilizer when I make up my containers, but by this time, they could use an extra shot! Doing this now, will get them through August and hopefully into September.

Take a look through my summer gallery to see what other creations I came up with.