Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Springtime Tour

This last weekend was a long weekend for us Canadians.  Something to do with Queens or beer, depending on how you look at it.  My perspective - more gardening time!  Major projects to complete, in order of priority, were to finish the garden bed around the garage and finish vegetable beds.  Very happy to report the bed around the garage is done (with the exception of any plants that have yet to offer up their services). 

A mossy rock and two old fence posts were dragged out of the hedgerow for some year round interest.  The bird house, inherited with the property, found a place to sit.  The compost placed there last winter was dug in, more bags of manure added and finally, plants.  The plume poppy made it's transition (not a minute too soon, you should have seen the runners on that thing!), a hardy geranium named Samobor, a large blue hosta previously residing by the front porch was divided and planted and hollyhock seeds thrown in.

Lurking around the corner on the backside of the garage I placed the Golden Glow.  A funny spot for it maybe, who will look back there?  Hubby asked me if I realized that spot would have full sun all day.. .. Yes.  Which would also reflect off the garage....  Sure did.  I explained that the golden glow will happily reach 6 feet high in those conditions.  ahhh, yes.

you think it's big now..
The lily of the valley, despite their mishap, survived and were also placed in this bed to avoid future mutilation.

Next up the veggie beds.  I had some reservations that I put too much peat moss in my raised beds last year so all dirt was removed from the boxes and more manure added.  Several new boxes also made their way into the garden and were quickly filled with strawberry plants.  A few seeds were planted - Tyee spinach, borage and lavatera.  It may be too early yet but I planted a few of each just to experiment.  Unfortunately there was too much work here to accomplish in a weekend.  Another box is necessary, a trellis of sorts for the tomatoes, more digging of new in-ground beds.  I did as much as I could and then wandered away.  Part of the fun is walking around and checking up on the other characters.  Like this pretty white violet beginning to emerge.

The leaves of apple trees beginning to unfurl

I could not resist taking dozens of photographs of the lawn.  The purple flowers have returned!

Last year I thought this plant was ajuga but I question that now.  Regardless of the name it has a very strong smell and the bees like it very much.  They also like dandelions.

I think we're growing some of the largest dandelions known to man.  I've never seen flower heads quite so large.  Perhaps it was all the rain?

The muscari are also dotted through the lawn and the shades of purple, yellow and green are exceedingly pleasant. 

Some other characters have made their spring appearance.

What's a yard without a crow?

or a rock crab for that matter?


  1. Wow! You were busy in the garden. I was busy taking photos of you-know-whats and doing housework. It was too cold to spend much time outside.

    Hubs was finishing up the lean-to that's added to the back of the shed but today I bought some potting soil. I suppose that counts for something. We'll have black eyed susan vines in hanging pots on the front porch. Normally, it's nasturtiums but nice to mix it up some.

  2. Dandelions --- such a sure sign that spring will not reverse herself and go back to winter. I like that you have embraced yours and are growing the biggest dandelions you can : )

    And I love your little rock crab!

  3. gee, I should hire you to work in my garden! I don't know how it is your way today, but it is POURING right now. Where is our sunshine?!!

    P.S. shame about Dr. Coull, eh? I am quite traumatized!

  4. Thanks for the tour Marguerite! We have huge fields of dandelions this year- haven't ever seen them so HUGE and PLENTIFUL - must be the rain. I was listening to the CBC this morning driving into work and they said the same thing about the mosquitoes!!

  5. You have been working diligently accomplishing a lot in one weekend Marguerite! It was lovely to see the blue muscari dotting the field with the dandelions...is it really spring? The black flies, bees and mosquitoes hum mm YES!

  6. Michelle - I know how busy you are with so many other projects so I wouldn't worry about getting planting done. I actually have hanging baskets in the garage that I purchased late last summer but I expect those won't get done for a few years. Perhaps after the new porch gets built - whenever that happens!

    Laurrie - oh you should see the dandelions right now!! It's seriously spectacular. On my drive home I pass fields literally coated in yellow. After all that rain, the first speck of sun it's like they all bloomed in unison. After such a long winter and cold spring how could your heart not be overjoyed at such a sight.

    Kim - the part I don't tell is my aching back and would you believe... SUNBURN!! With all this crappy weather I can't figure how that happened. Do you read the forum? is that how I've been outed? ;-) 8000 people without a doctor is mind blowing. Was he your doctor too?

    Jane - I was thinking the same thing, it's gotta be the rain. But I hadn't thought at all about mosquitos. If they're as big as the dandelions we're in some serious trouble!

    Bren - the muscari really do look lovely with the dandelions don't they? I couldn't have guessed when I planted them. Hubby says lawn mowing has become very interesting these days trying to miss all the patches of flowers.

  7. thanks for an enjoyable tour Marguerite, you were busy and the sunburn might be windburn if there was a breeze, I burn all the time and wear sunblock all year the wind is worst than sun,
    now back to plants I think your purple flowers are selfheal
    if so yours are early as mine are not even in bud yet, I like them and only move if there are too many or they are invading another plants territory, wish they would grow in my grass, you really do have a wonderful natural wildflower meadow, I'm green ;o)
    sounds like you need a seat the sunny side of the garage to enjoy your little sunbed,
    love the crab and I use old pieces of wood and stone too as garden art, Frances

  8. Hi Marguerite : )
    I love your yard crow and rock crab girl ! .. the muscari and bright yellow dandies are cute together .. if you saw Kingston right now you would think we were the capital for dandies .. masses of them and rain for the next few days to come so it will be crazy .. the weeds are further along then actual plants .. although I have to say the garden kids are HUGE ! .. now is the time when I wonder how long will I last at this ? haha
    Loved the tour .. hang in there .. you plant kids will need you ! LOL

  9. Your rock crab is adorable!

    I wonder if the blue flower could be a hyssop of some kind?

  10. Looking good! I'll bet it's nice to cross a few things off the 'to-do' list! Great photography - wish mine was as good. Love the vignette with the old posts and the little bird house - will it get snow covered?

  11. Frances, you're very right. My lips tend to get wind burnt a lot and it's possible the burn on my arms is a combination of sun and wind.

    Joy - that is so the case! How much longer can I last I keep thinking, there's just so much to do. I'm used to a much longer spring and this zany jump in and do everything ASAP is exhausting. But if I just push a little more I might get it all done!

    Ms.S - I'll look at some photos of hyssop and compare. This plant spreads like the dickens and looks very similar to ajuga but seems much smaller to me. I don't know anything about hyssop, does it spread?

    Aagaard Farms - the photography really has a lot to do with the camera. I borrowed hubbies extra special DSLR for these photos (had to promise not to get dirt all over it!). The bird house will come inside for the winter but the posts and rocks will surely be covered in snow.

  12. M, the hyssop we have around here is Hyssopus officinalis. It is not quite hardy here but still does very well and is vigorous in the right spot. In your area it would probably do very well.

  13. Marguerite, Isn't it wonderful to spend the weekend in the garden and be able to see all the progress you've made? I love your lawn with all the colorful additions - much more interesting than an expanse of green.

  14. Good to see that warmer spring has reached you, Marguerite. I think we have already turned the corner into summer:) Muscari are such sweet little plants, and I love the way they're dotted throughout your lawn.

  15. Hi Marguerite,
    Your garden is coming along nicely. Love the rock crab! I hate to rain on your parade, but I have found that lily of the valley can be super invasive. I have it in the back garden where it can spread all it likes and I appreciate that it makes a nice groundcover. Up the front in the sunlight however, it is making me crazy. It has spread everywhere and could take over the whole garden if I don't get it in check soon. (I did not plant it. It was here when we moved in).On the up side, it smells simply divine!

  16. So glad the lily of the valley have survived.
    Love the muscari through the yard/meadow. Really nice, and it will continue to spread over the years to a sea of blue.

  17. Ms.S - I took a look at the hyssop but it seems the leaves are a different shape. I'll have to post a clearer photo of the plant's structure.

    Debbie - a weekend in the garden was bliss. i was so incredibly thrilled the weather held out for the most part.

    Rose - it seems we took a one day dive into summer and then the weather quickly retreated back to winter! What a goofy year it is.

    Thank for the heads up Jennifer! it's funny, I've read over and over that lily of the valley is invasive and yet, these are the first plants I haven't killed. I've tried them in shade numerous times and they've died each time. ideally though I'd like them to have a separate area. They got placed in this border for lack of space and because hubby was threatening to run them down again!

    Janet - i've heard muscari will spread but I wasn't sure if they would do so in the grass. It was really an experiment to see if they would survive or not so I'm pleased to see they were able to compete with the grass and look so nice.

  18. Love the rock crab! And the lawn with the blue and yellow. Garage beds looking smart - must feel good to be making so much progress.