Six on Saturday: November 25, 2017

November ends

1. Gloomy wet weather takes adjusting to. You need to look hard these days to find bright spots in the garden. I must say, though, that the scent of the mulch is wonderful!

Our oakleaf hydrangeas have been keeping their leaves for a good long time.

Euphorbia Blackbird is looking good. I hope it can survive our wet winter. I joke that I need a geodesic dome for our garden with its wet British Columbia winters. 

A Kerria shrub glows behind some Rhododendrons.


2. I am enjoying the berries and buds on several plants.

  It is amazing to see buds on Rhododendrons and Azaleas at this time.

Callicarpa berries

Cotoneaster tree with berries


 3. After our trip to Victoria recently, we passed some lovely Arbutus trees. I love seeing them as we drive about, a tree that is new to me. We have birds that are new to us as well, though I have not photographed them. Steller’s Jays are mainly blue (and noisy) and Varied Thrushes remind us of Orioles. (Courtesy of Google) We also saw trees filled with roosting eagles.


4. My young Clematis that were given to me have been upgraded to deeper pots. Their roots were magnificent and should be happy with a bit more room to expand. Here are the nine small plants being potted up.


Two more to go! Nine all told.


5. I decided that the baby Clematis would do best in the ground, so we sank them in a semi sunny spot, all together, and then put caging around them so that children and dogs wouldn’t harm them. Then lots of mulch all about! If necessary, I can cover them with fleece if temperatures sink too low.

Lots of mulch around them

6. By request, the copper rain chain..


Read other entries for Six on Saturday here:


Six on Saturday: November 18, 2017

A busy and rainy week! The dog had to be taken for grooming, which she hates. We visited grandchildren at school to see their teachers and projects.  Leo (7) lost a tooth. We moved plants in pots to their winter locations. Our lovely wooden bench, once it dries out from all the wet this week, may need added protection.  More mulch was delivered and spread, and more awaits us. We heard a fine talk at Garden Club this week too, on Art in the Garden. Then there was Christmas shopping, also play practice for our daughter and granddaughter, etc. What six should I choose? Well, here goes:

  1.  Garden Club took place on Monday evening and Lee Gas presented photos of his stone sculptures from his garden as well as from the gardens of friends. ( Personally we have very little garden art because my husband prefers it that way. I do have a rain chain that I love, a handsome bench a friend made for us, but little else. I am keeping an open mind though. This is my grand daughter who loves Lee Gass’s work. This photo was taken last summer in his studio. It is a work in wood, still in progress.

This work in stone represents his wife… and was a wedding gift to her.


2.   The bench our German friend built for us was oiled at summer’s end, but I still feel I want it protected more during our winter rains.  I love this work and hope it lasts a good long time.


3.  The shredded mulch we had delivered not long ago has ALL been spread and more of a different kind, this time chips, was delivered. We have begun spreading this around as well, but still more work to do.

The chips have been spread around the Parrotia tree and, to the left, around the small Callicarpa bush with its purple berries.

Yet more mulch around the Witchhazels and Hellebores.


4.  I have pineapple lilies in two large pots which I store in the shop over the winter. They have huge sentimental value, so I feel safer keeping them in this 10C area. I am also testing a Lewisia plant in the shop as well as a Lysimachia beaujolais. The winters have been erratic here and so I don’t feel confident leaving some things out on their own with the elements.
Other plants have been cut back and potted up for safe keeping under the roof overhang so as not to drown in our winter rains. I can also cover them with fabric when severe snow & ice are threatened.  These include Agapanthus, Cardoon, rosemary, bulbs and others.

Under the lights:

Outdoors under the roof overhang.


5.  OK, this one is a big deal. Losing that first tooth!  I think everyone remembers losing teeth at the time when class photos are taken! Anyway, this tooth had been hanging on for weeks and FINALLY came out at school. He is so proud and loves sticking his tongue in the newly created space.


6. Another huge deal, this time for me. I am a huge Clematis addict and one of the big names in clematis lives in British Columbia. We chatted on the web and he invited my husband and me to their place for a visit in Victoria. We drove there this week and had such a lovely time! We ended up having many things in common besides our love of Clematis: travels in Africa, pet dogs, children and grandchildren, pet therapy animals,  gravel pit rehabilitation, meeting famous plant breeders around the globe, deer that threaten our gardens, and much more.  What delightful people!

 I came home with eight young clematis varieties, all with good roots. My new babies! So here they are. Let them be safe this winter! Oh lucky me…


Read more entries for Six on Saturday here:

Six on Saturday: November 11,2017


The order was placed, even though it wasn’t exactly what we wanted. But when it arrived, it turned out to be a good mix of fir and Hemlock!

We even found a big enough spot to contain it all.


 But then it snowed, covering the areas that needed it most!


Finally the snow melted and the spreading began!


I was glad to find an obelisk on sale! There is always a new clematis that needs one!


On the very last warm day of the season a photogrpher snapped outdoor shots of our daughter’s family. It was Halloween day.


The last leaves hanging onto the Cercis Forest Pansy.

Read more entries for Six on Saturday here:

Six on Saturday: November 4, 2017

This week we have seen the very end of Autumn and moved from colourful foliage, to dropping leaves that you could actually HEAR falling by the minute. Then yesterday, white stuff fell to the ground… and fortunately melted immediately.

Early in the week I captured some late blooming flowers.

  1. Aster The Prince bloomed at last. I love this plant! It has dark foliage at first, but at this stage appears a normal green.


2.  Chocolate Eupatorium is another very late bloomer here. Here too the leaves are dark green now, but chocolate brown throughout the summer. Seems to be a theme!


3.  This wonderful hardy Fuchsia hawkshead just keeps on giving!


4. These lovely Hydrangeas were a gift from a friend’s garden.


5. Mushrooms grow on this stump in our garden every year. They are not edible, but I enjoy them from our kitchen window.

This year I bought a starter kit for Shiitake mushrooms and started it on November 1st. We’ll see how it goes….

Our granddaughter (8) went picking Cauliflower mushrooms and Chanterelles last Sunday with her Dad and a friend. Here is what they brought back. I think they are beautiful!


6. In terms of odd jobs, our son-in-law power washed the roof to clean out the eaves troughs and also to remove the moss which grows there. We are finally installing a faucet so we can water things more conveniently next season.

I wonder what I’ll find to add here next week, now that we have seen a bit of snow already. Temperatures are expected to be between 3C and 8C. (37F-46F) Tonight the clocks change for us, which means the pets will be a bit agitated by the timing of their meals for a couple of days.


Read more entries for Six on Saturday here:

Six on Saturday: October 28, 2017

  1. Already another week has passed. It has been so wet! As of yesterday we have had sunny weather which has lit up the fall colours in the garden.  I wish this would last for all of “winter” but that is not going to happen. This week we cut back a great deal of “stuff” and even cut down a large holly tree that was shading young trees and stabbing me whenever I tried to weed nearby. Good riddance! At about 10 in the morning, the sun reaches our shade garden at this time of year and makes a magical display. This one moment made the three years of effort worthwhile.


2. There is a path into the shade garden behind the scene above which weaves about. We have planted many things along the way and left quite a few ferns: Corylopsis, anemones, Tricyrtis, Hostas, Japanese Snowbell trees, a Fringe tree, Astilbes, trillium and much more. Although there is sun now, there is far less during the hotter months.


3. One of the plants I have had great success and delight with here is Meconopsis. These gems are so beautiful and last for a very long time in bloom. This is how they look today. (I have about 10 of them.)

And this is how they looked in bud and bloom last June.


4. Still blooming this week are the Lysimachia atropurpurea ‘Beaujolais’. I do hope they survive the winter, but I am nervous about them. I am not certain of finding them again. They did not make it through winters when I lived in Ontario.


5. Literally a huge success this year was the variegated Comfrey which has increased enormously in size since last spring. The morning sun struck it gently, just right I thought, next to the Molinia grass.


6. Two more signs of Fall here are the seedpods of Martagon Lilies near the same Molinia grass…

and the webs created by the many artistic spiders. This one made use of the Osmanthus shrub as its canvas.

Read more entries for Six on Saturday here:

Six on Saturday: October 21,2017


  1. It has been mostly rainy this week with little accomplished in the garden. I’ll share a few photos of the colour changes.


2. Clematis seedheads


3. A wonderful gift of Chanterelles! These were made into a stir fry with spaghetti squash (also a gift) chopped spinach, garlic, onions, thyme and parmesan cheese.



4.  Our young Callicarpa bush.

I have since seen photos of Pearl Glam Beautyberry which has dark foliage as well. What a stunner! Take a look here:


5. Indoors we play with grandchildren…


6. We watch the colours intensify… on our young Stewartia.



Read more entries for Six on Saturday here:
This entry from:

Six on Saturday: October 14, 2017

Last Monday, Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving day. We celebrated with a fine dinner at our daughter’s home with her children. I made roasted root vegetables and prepared cranberry sauce for the occasion. She prepared the turkey as well as red cabbage. She also made an apple crisp for dessert, a request from her 3 chidren.

Things are very wet in our garden. I would love to share the rain with northern California which is suffering from fires these days and the loss of thousands of homes and increasing numbers of lives.

I have enjoyed the changing colours of grasses and foliage, but already I have cut back a few of the plants and grasses as they are sprawling from the rains.

These are six photos from my week here in British Columbia.

1. To my surprise, my Cardoon finally exploded into bloom!IMG_20171007_181317b

2. The shredded umbrella plant, Syneilesis aconitifolia, has turned a bright yellow which makes it stand out nicely against its surrounding companions.3. The creeping aster, Aster ericoides Snow Flurry, is in its second year. It blooms very late, but I love the way it weaves through the iris and other plants!IMG_20171008_111952b

4. Chocolate Eupatorium has been in my garden for at least 20 years now. In Ontario, it sometimes didn’t survive until bloom time because of early snows.  It is in bud this week and the foliage has remained dark.  In the summer I have to watch the plant carefully because it does wilt in too much sun and heat.


This plant makes a fine backdrop for Anemone Honorine Jobert.IMG_20171008_112139b

5. Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ is another favorite that has lived in my garden for years. Her fancy leaves have increased in size and after a few years of growth, she produces reddish pink blooms which dangle beneath her foliage. I was lucky to locate this plant years ago when it was small and cost very little. Now they are very expensive if you can find them.

This is what it looks like in May:

The blooms in June:How it looks today:

6. Tuesday was a weeding day. I’m not so fond of weeding and cutting back when it is wet and cool, but I dislike messy, so it was necessary. Most of the cleanup will take place in spring though.


Read more entries for Six on Saturday here:
This entry from:

Six on Saturday: October 7, 2017

  1. Our local plant sale is coming up soon. This prompted me to organize the pots in our tool shed… and it makes a huge difference. Glad that is done. We have a few projects in the works and have gathered most of the materials for those behind the sauna. We expect to have a faucet hooked up there which will make life simpler. Also, a few pavers will be installed in that area.

This is the sauna deck and the tap will be installed behind it where there is a path through our shade garden.

2. Here I will share some favorite areas. This is the front entry to our home. The previous owners enjoyed Japanese highlights. (I do too)

There are quite a few rocks in this area and loads of shade. Shade grasses do quite well here.

3.  These plants also appear in the front at this time of year, in small patches of sun :



4. In the back of the house is more sunny space. This is what fall looks like here:

5. Along the shade path in back of the sauna there are autumn blooming plants as well.


Ferns, Fuchsia and Hosta

6. This week we planted loads of bulbs. We’ll see how that works out next spring! My experience tells me that there are never enough bulbs! We also planted a few perennials in this newly opened up space. Hard to tell what to expect so far! May take several years in fact.


Read more entries for Six on Saturday here:
This entry from:

Six on Saturday: September 30, 2017

1. Rainy days as well as sunshine here in British Columbia. What a mix. It is fun to get work done for next spring and then get a rainy day of rest the day after! I have just about finished getting my bulbs ready for planting, with just one more package expected in the mail soon. Then the work begins.

2. Last year I bought a very small Hydrangea chinensis. It grew quite a bit this summer, but the stems seem weak still. I’m a bit worried about how it will handle wind, rain and snow, so had it staked with bamboo the other day to try to keep it strong enough to handle the elements.

3. Our front-of-the-house garden has undergone some changes since last winter. One large evergreen shrub had its branches broken from the weight of the snow. That one was removed in spring along with a Spirea bush. This week I had two smallish azaleas dug up. Their “evergreen” foliage was quite unsightly at all times of year. In their place we planted two ‘Fragrant Star’ Azaleas whose blue foliage I just love. Raindrops look like diamonds on their leaves. They are still small, but eventually should be 4′ tall and wide. They are deciduous.

This is the ‘Fragrant Star’ which we already planted last year in the back yard. The blooms will be white, the scent will be powerful!

These are the two new ones planted this week, near a clematis called Gravetye Beauty, which is red.

4. Things are definitely moving along toward Autumn. The Kousa Dogwood has developed its fruit and the Oakleaf Hydrangeas are changing colour.

5. Late flowering Allium Ozawa and Cimicifuga are both in bloom.

6. I am trying two experiments this Fall. One is a plant called “Pumpkin on a Stick” which is actually from the eggplant family. These are mostly grown for decorative purposes and the leaves are removed. (Read about it here: This is my plant below. The foliage has not done well here but the fruits are very shiny!

My second experiment is a package which, after I follow directions, should grow us some Shitaki mushrooms. I hope it works well and will add flavor to a stir fry meal in about 3-4 weeks!. Wish me luck! I’ve wanted to do this before but never got around to it. ( There are 3 sets of instructions which are contradictory and this is a frustration!


Read more entries for Six on Saturday here:
This entry from:

Six on Saturday: September 23, 2017

  1. Fall began yesterday, and it looks like this in our garden:

2. We have worked hard all year and made an enormous pile of garden trash. There was a dead tree that crashed, winter snow damage all around, salmon berries and bamboo removed, tons of invasive lamium, a holly tree cut down and a great deal more. On Thursday all of this was removed for clean landfill. It took several truckloads. We now have a new open space. I’d love a potting bench in this area in the future….

3. Things are looking very much like late September now. We have had rain at last, and the fire bans have been lifted. This is the best time to tweak things in the garden and soon we will plant bulbs. Phoebe, our wonderful Bouvier des Flandres, is waiting for people to arrive.

4. The light is changing. It is dark here by 7:30pm.  This photo was taken around 6PM as the sun was sinking in the west. I love this path through our shady part of the garden.

5. I recently found the white Thalictrum that I was so fond of at our former home in Ontario. I hope it loves it here in BC!

6. For those who know me well, Clematis is almost always included in my posts. This is one of the last blooms on Clematis Gravetye Beauty, creeping along the ground. It is helping me learn to love red in my garden.


Read more entries for Six on Saturday here:
This entry from: