Friday, July 1, 2011

Triumphs and Tragedies - Canada Day Version

To all my fellow Canadian bloggers, Happy Canada Day!  Hope you are enjoying some nice weather this long weekend.  Also a happy holiday to those south of the border as I believe Monday is a holiday for you too.  It's Friday so that means it's time for Triumphs and Tragedies.  Time to walk around the garden and celebrate all that's good and embrace all that's bad.  I thought since it is Canada Day I would make my finds this week colour coordinated, so join me for some red and white fun.

Warm weather has moved in rapidly this past week and the garden suddenly jumped into action.  Triumph - Blooms are everywhere!  Starting with the roses.

Okay, so the roses aren't actually red, more a deep pink, but close enough for me.  

Another deep pink that I was thrilled to see was the weigela.  This plant bloomed last year but not nearly to this extent.  I guess removing the weeds and pruning it had a positive impact.

This plant is absolutely packed with blooms this year
Another bonus is that I finally got a photo of the blooms that is true to the actual colour, a deep pink/red.  Last year my photos all looked shiny pink.

In the real red category the Maltese Cross have begun to bloom as well.  

The vegetable garden has started producing food starting with these Rebel Red Radishes

One last pseudo red Triumph is the Diablo Ninebark.  I purchased three of these shrubs last summer and was dismayed to find them gnawed by voles over the winter.  Another loss I had thought.  Once again I was proven wrong - thank goodness!  All three of the shrubs have recovered.  A number of branches died and had to be pruned out so their form isn't as nice anymore but I'll take what I can get.

The shrubs aren't as bushy anymore but they're still lovely
An even greater surprise was finding buds on these bushes.  They're going to bloom!

And finally some white blooms to add to the mix.  This Jacob's Ladder has been blooming for what feels like weeks now and is showing no signs of stopping.

But we know, where there is Triumph there is also Tragedy.  The world requires balance.  Discovering powdery white mildew on my David Phlox caused some frustration.  

David is supposed to be mildew resistant but as soon as I planted him last year he was struck with the white fungus.  This year he grew back strong and healthy but once again the white stuff is showing up with the humidity.  I hear that powdery mildew isn't necessarily lethal so I could just leave the plant as is but I have two other phlox in the vicinity and I don't want this spreading.  Do I pull David?

The final Tragedy of the week isn't garden related at all.  We are renovating a room in our house and have been deliberating over paint colours.  I really wanted to try a red floor so this week painting begun. First the primer went down.

Nope, your eyes are not deceiving you.  We were told that red primer always looks pink.  Really?  Cause this looks like someone threw up pepto bismal all over the floor.  Then we put some red paint down.

YIKES.  Avert your eyes if you have to.  It seems the pink primer is mixing with the red causing our floor to look like some weird fluorescent rouge hybrid.  This is just the first coat and it's still curing so we must wait before trying a second coat of paint.  I really hope the floor darkens but frankly, I'm scared.


  1. Hi Marguerite,
    Painting the floors red is very brave and refreshingly original. The color is looking a tad bright, but I wouldn't pre-judge it if I were you. The second coat may mellow it out. Are you going contemporary with the room design I wonder? I hope you will show us the end result.
    The rose and weigela are looking pretty. Love your little arrangement in the last post, with its mix of gold and purple. Happy Canada Day weekend to you.

  2. The red floor is bold! I do hope there will be more posts to show the final result and the whole room decorated. I can't really imagine the concept yet. . .

    I won't even try phlox because of the mildew. I know there are ways to mitigate it, and it isn't fatal, but I am not tempted to try something that I know has problems. Your "reds" are a great way to celebrate Canada Day.

  3. Happy Canada Day, M!! BTW, love the cute radish. :)

  4. Hi Marguerite, Happy Canada Day! I have grown Phlox paniculata 'David' in three different places in my garden and never had any problem with powdery mildew until I planted one at the back of the fence border. I think the fence and the surrounding plants just trap moisture and don't allow enough air circulation. In your case, I wonder if your damp coastal location is the explanation. I wouldn't dream of pulling the plant. The mildew on the leaves is not attractive, put the flowers are. From what I've read, the fungi that cause powdery mildew is plant-specific, so you only have to worry about it spreading if you have other phlox nearby. Repeated infections can stress the plant, so I think I need to start paying attention to mine since it's been infected now two years in a row. Some people find a spray of water and baking soda effective, so I'll probably try that. -Jean

  5. Happy Canada Day to you.
    This post made me laugh as you are describing the floor colours.
    Nice walk around your gardens.
    Hope we get more pictures and a up-date on the floor.
    Have a great weekend.

  6. I have maltese cross and David phlox, too. As long as the phlox has good air circulation, the mildew should disappear when the temps climb. Phlox are pretty tough. I LOVE your red floor!! So cool!!

  7. Love your reds! Especially your red floor! The paint store people told you wrong. Primer for red paint should be grey. Really. I know of what I speak. It will be a BIG difference. When I paint red (My living room and dining room are both red), if I prime with grey first, I usually only have to paint one or two coats of red. Before knowing this, I primed with pink, too, - and painted several coats of red, and was unhappy with the result. Hope this helps instead of frustrates you. Try a little corner area if you want to see the difference.

  8. Love the reds and especially the red floor. My sweetie and I got into a plum (on the way to a shade of purple- my sweetie picked!) situation and the guy at the paint store's advice was "apply another coat". Apparently our previous magnolia walls were keeping us "plum". This was all before those handy colored primers they sell now.

  9. Happy Canada Day to you! Your garden is teaming with blooms! I think your floor will be fabulous with a second coat and your furniture in the room. I do hope you post a picture of the finished product! Enjoy your weekend!

  10. Happy Belated Canada Day: As I write this I'm also keeping my eye on William and Kate in P.E.I. on CBC news..My Maltese cross plant decided to move this year, love them..I looked up mildew in two books and both mentioned baking soda mixed with said 1 tsp. to quart of water and one 1 tbsp. to quart of water and add few drops of liquid soap to help spray spread more evenly on phlox get mildew too but I love them too much, so keep them..also read they like good air circulation,lots of water in spring when they need it and compost mulch..Good Luck..I walked around snapping pics of my flowers yesterday arbor with deep burgundy clematis on one side and deep pink on other side is glorious..Happy gardening..Lannie p.s. our farmhouse has deep burgundy floor in upstairs hallway, I just love it..hope you get the color you desire..

  11. Eek! Hope the red floor turns out ok, a couple of extra coats makes a lot of difference. But hey, a lot cheaper to change the colour than if you had carpet... Wonderful dark pink/burgundy flowers though, love the rose.

  12. Happy belated Canada Day Marguerite. That Weigela is stunning. Your floor looks interesting and so different. I would love to see the end result.

  13. Jennifer - This house, although old, was renovated in the 80's so we're able to be pretty loose how we renovate. We would like to keep some of vintage work (like this old wood floor) but we're able to be a bit more modern as well. No plan for design really but will likely be a mix of antique with some modern touches.

    Laurrie - I will definitely post some pictures when the room comes together. The floor at this point is so much brighter than we wanted so changes may occur along the way but I'll let you know the outcome.

    Ms.S - The radishes are so nice! The first thing I can pick from the garden every summer, they always make me happy.

    Jean - thank you for the info on the powdery mildew. I think David will be moved to the opposite side of the bed for now and we'll see how he does. There are two other phlox next to him at this time and I'd hate to see them pick up this fungus. I liked the blooms last year on David but he was literally covered in fungus so if he doesn't shape up this year I may give him the boot.

  14. Witch - at least we can laugh about the paint. It is only paint after all. If you don't like it you just paint again.

    TS - I wish air circulation was the answer but the David phlox is in an almost empty bed with plenty of room around him. I'm just beginning to plant this bed and all the plants are quite small and spread out. As you note, I think perhaps our weather isn't helping as it's been humid and rainy. If we could get some hot weather this summer that might make a difference.

    Holley - thank you for the advice! That pink primer seemed wrong from the start. We've put another coat on the floor and are waiting for it to dry. Hopefully it will be a better colour or we'll be off to the paint store again.

    Tufa - I think our pink primer is the culprit in this case. The red we picked is a really deep colour and the primer is making it look so bright. We're continuing to re-coat and hopefully it will eventually darken to the colour we wanted.

  15. Karin - When this project is finally finished I'll be doing a post. The room already looks incredibly different from when we first bought the house. The before and after shots should be interesting.

    Lannie - a deep burgundy floor is exactly what we were aiming for! Hopefully with successive coats of paint we'll get there.

    Janet - one of the reasons we're painting the floor is actually because it was cheaper than ripping it out. It's the original wood floor and has sustained some major damage over the years. Before we decided to gut the whole thing we thought we'd try painting. How many times do you get the opportunity to paint a floor red? This was my chance!

    Melanie - hopefully the floor turns out to be a good story in the end. I'll be posting pictures when the room comes together and we'll see what the final outcome is.

  16. Marguerite girl : ) I love the boldness of a red floor .. I think it would make a room cozy especially in the dead of winter .. but hey, that could be just me ?
    I am glad you got a laugh out of what I said about Canada putting her big girl panties on and becoming a country on her own two feet .. I am so NOT a monarchist they may have me on a list some where ? hehehe
    I haven't seen one speck of royal (BS) business on TV because I refuse to watch that CRAP .. Queen of Canada ? hell I don't think SO !
    Go back to the UK and suck up the loose change while ya' can you two idiots ! Thhhrrprpppp (royal raspberry) to send you off with? LOL .. I know I am bad .. now should I tell you what I am really thinking ? hehehe
    Joy .. PS .. watch out for powdery mildew on the ninebark girl .. it can be hell !! eeekkk !

  17. Dearest Joy, powdery mildew hits ninebark too!! Well I just moved the David phlox to a far corner this afternoon to play by himself, we'll see how he fairs but if that stuff spreads it's in the bin!! I confess I've watched the royal business on the tv but that's as far as I go. I took the day off from work and many coworkers thought it was to watch the royals. Nope. I took the day off to AVOID the royals. Not my cup of tea thanks. I spent my time in the garden enjoying the peace and quiet.

  18. Your blooming look great, is so nice seeing so many grow in the garden.

    My sister's house has a red floor, it looks a bit unusual but I like it.

    Good luck with the powdery mildew. It is a nuisance.

  19. An update on the floor???? wow, big oops.
    I love love love Ninebark, I have Coppertina and think it is one of the prettiest shrubs.