Six on Saturday: June16, 2018

We are one week away from having a garden tour here. This will be held by the local Quilters Guild, to display their fine work. One aspect is to display additional quilts which they make and contribute to the children’s hospital in Vancouver. There will be six of the children’s quilts on display at our garden next weekend. We have decided a few days ago exactly where each will be installed. Things are getting exciting! This coming week promises to be HOT. They predict temperatures up to 31C,  which is 88F. I’m sure some watering will be required in the mornings and evening.

This week my garden helper and I have planted a few things and moved a few others. He has also weeded and mowed and I have done a bit of edging too. More of that needed still! If necessary, I may add a few annuals here and there at the last minute. Frankly, it looks fine to me as is! Maybe a bit of deadheading is needed on the Aquilegias…

1. So here is how things look today early in the morning:

Where new areas are not very filled in, we have added colourful details.




2. I think the various Meconopsis, which delight me, will delight others as well.




3. I have been following the opening of Fuchsia Delta Sarah, and thankfully the first bud opened this week to be followed by others in time for the event.


4. At the moment there are both subdued plants and bright show stopppers to view. Here you see Anemone Wild Swan which is lavender on its outer petals, then a bright Trollius, and then a young Gillenia plant with its star shaped blooms. I think Gillenia needs to be more recognized, a lovely plant! It is also known as Bowman’s Root. There is Gillenia trifoliata and also Gillenia stipulata. (I have both)


5. We have a few vegetables: rhubarb, a potted tomato, a potted eggplant, some sage, but the artichoke is just because I enjoy it! (Taken through our livingroom window)


6. And once again,  Clematis because that is what I love!

In the top row: Sonnette, Roguchi, Mikelite and Buckland Beauty.
Second row: Juuli and a mystery variety.
Third row: Blue Pirouette and a combination of Odoriba and Maria Cornelia with  Thalictrum (Black Stockings)


(If I do not show up here next Saturday or Sunday, I think you will understand why!)

Now enjoy your gardens and your muddy hands!!


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Six on Saturday: June 9, 2018


1. Cornus kousa is in full bloom these days. I love the fine red line on the petal edges!



2. Variegated Comfrey is always a star in the garden. We are enjoying its blooms now and will prune it back for foliage interest once the blooms have faded.



3. I am thrilled to see the return of our hardy Fuchsias. They are slow to return, but oh so welcome!



4. This is a welcome visitor, polite but timid. It enjoys sun bathing in this same spot when it isn’t raining.



5. This a new to me plant, Senecio candicans. It is not quite suited to my climate here. I am in zone 7 and this is a zone 8-10 plant. I hope to use it in a potted arrangement and then keep it in our shop over the winter. Today it was enjoying the rain and I loved seeing the drops on its large silver leaves.



6. It is Clematis time again and here is a collection from this week.

Top row shows Durandii, Ville de Lyon and Odoriba.
Bottom row shows Gravetye Beauty and then the combination of Odoriba and Maria Cornelia.


Enjoy your gardens and your muddy hands!!


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Six on Saturday – and June has arrived!



Clematis Juuli
Clematis Royalty


Clematis Florida Sieboldiana shows off an oddity this year!



Iris Drama Queen


Not sure of their name, but fortunately they like it here!



Pale Delphiniums brought from Ontario



Astrantia, perhaps Ruby Wedding?



Pink Martagon Lilies in honour of my father who photographed them in the Alps



Podophyllum Spotty Dotty in bloom. It came with us when we moved from Ontario to British Columbia.


Enjoy your gardens and your muddy hands!!


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Our trip back….


They say you can never go back. Things won’t ever be what you expect or wish for. Well we had reason to return to the Toronto area, namely my husband was invited to receive a very special award. It had been three and a half years since we left our 10 acre farm, and I said I would not be going to see it. Yet, everyone else was joining my husband there, so I grudgingly went along. I knew there would be changes and assumed they would all break my heart, but I was wrong!

The house looks very much the same. A close look shows the much needed new roof. I missed the fact that storm windows were added to the upstairs rooms.
But let me start at the beginning. To get to the farmhouse you must cross the bridge over  the creek. Now the new owner is an engineer and so of course he planned the new construction well. I had fears about hating it, but certainly not so. It looks just fine!


We passed the pond on the way to parking the car. It is totally cleaned up with new stones surrounding it. We used to enjoyed the turtles that lounged on the dock there, but they needed to tidy it up for their daughters to swim in. And they do use it! So that’s just great!


The barn has not changed outside, but inside, my husband says it is a great place for sports. I didn’t manage to go inside. The girls practice archery and axe throwing! (Seems to be popular these days too!)


I toured the inside of the house and only good stuff had changed: a new much needed fridge, a great farm photo taken in winter hangs in the diningroom, and in the front library, a fireplace which makes great sense. This used to be the farm kitchen back in the 1800s.

It was a very windy day, and as we looked around the gardens we couldn’t help but notice a major tree had fallen! It turns out that it had fallen a few weeks earlier and had not yet been cleaned up. This was the pergola I had made where clematis grew and I was astonished and saddened. On the other hand, I was also delighted not to have to deal with it myself!

This is how it looked in the summer of 2014. Just the other day I learned that the tree was all cleared away and the new vegetable garden already planted!


In terms of the gardens I was delightfully surprised: The Berberis was trimmed, the first of the bloodroot was blooming, the apple tree I grew from seed was looking great, and, as usual, the groundhogs were busy making enemies of themselves.



We visited the town of Fergus with our friends (Jim is seen below with Ric) and enjoyed the new bicycle art pieces there. I bought a pair of shoes, then we headed to Elora where my oh so good friend Elizabeth prepared us a most wonderful lunch. We shopped a bit as well and bought fresh bread at the fabulous bakery there. Elizabeth got to join us at the farm as well. We are so happy that they love the farm and have worked hard on the important things. It is wonderful that children now inhabit this special spot once more.


Then it was back through a windstorm to Toronto. The next day our son Adam (from Boston) met us and spent time with his Dad while I met my longtime friend Lynn and we visited her daughter for tea and then shopped at a few favourite spots together before changing for the big awards dinner. Here you see (left to right) Lynn, moi, Ric, friend Georgia and son Adam after we scarfed down our dessert.


We met up with  friends, a hockey buddy and an IBM buddy too.

Gradually it dawned on Ric that he was expected to give a speech, so he wrote 4-5 words on a scrap of paper and gave a good description of the fun he had over the years working in Computer Science. Short and sweet, recalling students and people fondly. It is quite the honour to receive this lifetime achievement award with 3 other top notch people.


Of course I was particularly thrilled that our son could join us, borrow a suit, and attend the event between a working trip to Haiti and his present work in Chiapas, Mexico.


And then we flew back home (with a few clematis plants from the Toronto Botanical Gardens) to get back to basics with Phoebe dog, Vita cat and the grand children.



Six on Saturday: May comes to an end

1. The Meconopsis stand out in the partial shade garden.



2. Some early Clematis have begun to bloom: Brunet,  Sophie and Bambino.





3. Things that hide:
Last week I shared Podophyllum Spotty Dotty with you. This time I will show you how the buds form underneath the foliage.


The mulch we spread seems to provide lots of mushrooms all about. I like the look!



4. A mystery solved.
When we arrived in British Columbia in 2014, we set to work immediately on renovating parts of the garden to include some of the plants I had brought with us from Ontario. We noticed a small plant that did not seem like a weed, but that did not seem to grow much. Later on, we removed a large shrub nearby, and the small plant began to grow, seemingly because of added light. Here you see the foliage and the hidden “blooms” beneath. It seems to be known as “Mouse Tails”, (Arisarum proboscideum) and is a spreader in these parts. Must be wild here, though I’m told it is native to Spain!


5. A special road trip to the acreage of a rhododendron addict on Thursday! Oh my! Even though they are half over with after all the heat we have experienced, it was AMAZING! I need to rethink things around here!I Only came home with one….for now! Just enough of a bloom left to see the form and colour.


6. Dictamnus is a plant I am very fond of. It is a slow grower, so if you look for it, try for the biggest possible plant! I brought both the white and the pink version with me from Ontario. Some years it performs better than others. This is a good year! 🙂


Enjoy your gardens!


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Six on Saturday

Another very busy week but perfect weather…which means watering with the sprinkler! Here is this week’s garden in photos. (No particular order)

1. Stairway to Heaven…Jacob’s Ladder.32689416_914810958690137_4225366616528912384_n

2. Podophyllum Spotty Dotty is about 15 years old or more!

3. Azalea Fragrant Star was added to our front gardens last year and is doing so well!32858306_915609285276971_3785113656732155904_n

4. Magnolia Sunsation is officially a tree. That means that birds land on it occasionally! That’s my test! Moved here from Ontario 3 years ago, it finally had over 10 lovely blooms this spring. Not terribly long lasting in the heat, but so pretty!32777103_915608771943689_5195293957088608256_n

5. Clematis follow me home. Seriously! This is Fair Rosamond and her early blooms are quite different from what I expected. 32703885_915384148632818_8813402423310680064_n

6. Hosta Waterslide was planted as a baby last summer and has returned thank goodness! I am enjoying watching this one grow. 32838655_915565905281309_6509715693838008320_n

Enjoy your gardens!


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Six on Saturday

A quick check-in this time after our return from the Toronto area. Our trip was filled with travels back to the old farm, visiting good friends, an award for my husband, a visit from our son who lives in Boston, and also plants for me. (Clematis and Thalictrums)

Our daughter has kept us busy with activities with the children: a play performance, a concert (today!) and a Birthday event tomorrow. To top it off, her Mama goat had triplets, one for each child to name.

Somehow, I managed to mow the lawn, weed and water between events.

First night with triplet kids!
A new potting bench built by a friend
My baby Magnolia “Sunsation” is finally turning into a tree.
I love subtle but beautiful Enkianthus.
Dodecatheon is also known as Shooting Star
This is the land of Dogwoods which are now at their peak!


Enjoy your gardens!


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Six on Saturday: April28, 2018

We’ve had a heatwave! Things are popping up all over and some even wilting and needing watering.  I’m not complaining!
The tree pruner came and cut down a large tree that grew on top of an old old stump. They also tidied up all the “wood” near the road where blackberries grow. I always love watching these people work. In one hour they accomplished so much and even carted it all away.
These are just some of the colourful blooms these days. Many other plants are just now surfacing. Lots of hostas among them.


1. A blend of Anemones, Fritillaria and Euphorbia.



2. The first Rhododendron to bloom is the bright red one. Not my favourite garden colour, yet impressive!



3. A surprise plant for me. I never saw this before, but it seems to like it here. Obviously a yellow violet, but not sure which one. Perhaps Viola glabella  stream violet, yellow wood violet



4. We inherited a wonderful ground cover when we bought our home. It is commonly called Kinnikinnick, a beautiful name to roll off your tongue!
Kinnikinnick is a Native American and First Nations herbal smoking mixture, made from a traditional combination of leaves or barks. Recipes for the mixture vary, as do the uses, from social, to spiritual to medicinal.



5. Lamprocapnos formosa (bleeding heart or Dicentra) is a flowering plant with fern-like leaves and an inflorescence of drooping pink, purple, yellow or cream flowers native to the Pacific Coast of North America. It is just now in bloom here!



6. The first Clematis to return and bloom here this spring! I love the plump buds! The flowers are already open because of the heat, but the photographer hasn’t yet done her job!


Enjoy your gardens this week. I will be travelling, so will miss the next entry!


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Six on Saturday: a day late….


Our huge Japanese maple is leafing out. Always lovely to watch!



The daffodils are still blooming –  a delight!



Old bricks have been removed from edging and are waiting for pickup. (Our daughter wants them.)



Two new-to-me fritillarias. One is named Ivory Towers, (left), the other resembles Pallida, but seems larger.



The pale yellow rhododendron was planted just last year. The new lavender one is Rhododendron pemakoense, a very dwarf plant with tiny leaves and a wild appearance.



Newly planted last fall and blooming this week are Soldanella (left) and Omphalodes Cherry Ingram (right)


Enjoy your gardens!


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Six on Saturday: April 14, 2018

  1. This week was a real mix of weather! We have had hard rains, glorious blue skies, both of them together, and wind so strong that the ferries did not operate at times! In spite of all this, the garden is filled with daily surprises. Sometimes they are pleasant and other times not…as in the branch which fell into my Corylopsis from my neighbour’s yard. No damage though… This was a pleasant surprise!





2. There was hard work in places: Here major digging to make a home for baby clematis Royalty and Clematis Mrs T Lundell. Many rocks were found….
This is a site I use frequently. You may already know it:



3. Here at our front entrance area, a layer of dark mulch was shoveled to suppress weeds.



4. One of the very pleasant surprises were these morel mushrooms which appeared. My husband had them fried up in an omelette!



5. Another surprise was a plant order that arrived very late from the states. I was in agony over the delay, certain that everything inside would be a mushy mess. In fact, I think most everything will survive with patience and decent temperatures. Some of the plants have very white new growth due to the lack of light over the past two and a half weeks! The saga is too difficult and painful to explain…



6. I’ll share here some of the plant highlights in the garden. Chocolate Corydalis (with pale lavender blooms, Clematis Constance (new plant which I grew in my former garden), and Fritillaria persica.



Next is a pink and white Hellebore, variegated Comfrey, Thalictrum Black Stockings beginning to gain height, and a hellebore from our former farm with a white & purple Epimedium which seems to have come along for the ride!





Enjoy your gardens!


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