The Shrub Bed

     I neglected this shrub bed for many years, only weedwacking it clear of weeds every once in a while. Last summer I bought a new riding lawn mower which did not mulch. Then I had to buy some sort of grass collector and opted for a lawn sweeper. Now armed with an abundant supply of grass clippings for mulch I tackled the shrub bed. Gardening work is  never done but the bed certainly looks better and has been much easier to care for.

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The Roses

Below, the colour of the fragrant yellow daylily blends well with the bright pink of my new shrub rose “Carefree Wonder”. I bought 3 new shrub roses and have waited until each one bloomed to help me decide where to put them.  I rinsed the rose bloom before putting it in water.

Peony

     Here’s the first big bloom of June. This is from a store-bought peony I recently planted. Pretty and fragrant too!  Peonies can grow quite large (3-4 ft. x 3-4 ft.) and will need the support of a peony ring if you wish to keep the huge flower heads upright. Some people like the sprawling effect.  They bloom from early to mid-summer. Peonies can live for 20 or more years in the same spot! They don’t like being kept wet but are otherwise easy to grow. Planting is the key. Plant at the same level it was grown in the pot. Too high or too deep and it won’t grow.

Euphorbia (cushion spurge)

This is one of my very favourite perennials – euphorbia (cushion spurge). It starts out with the bright yellow/green flowers seen below as it assumes its 2 ft. x 2ft. summer shape of a perfect half dome. Its perfect shape is an accent in your garden during the summer as it just stays green. Come later in the season each flower becomes speckled with yellow and orange buds. Soon the whole plant is afire in a lovely fall colour. It prefers a hot dry sunny spot. 

It’s Definitely Over

     We’re in the midst of the first cold spell of the winter.  It’s been in the minus mid-20’sC for the last two nights and we still have another two to go.  That means the yardwork and garden are definitely over for the year.  As usual I brought in many of the pots containing my deck displays. Some, like the geraniums, will survive to be put out next spring.  The rest were because I couldn’t stand to let them all go.

The Season is Over

     Not a very good year for gardening this year.  First of all, my beautiful dog, Amy, died.  The spring and most of the summer was rainy and cold which did in my petunias in containers. (Money wasted there.)   The geraniums handled the weather better.  This was the first time I planted nemesia and I’ve fallen in love with this plant – it bloomed all summer! 

     Now that it’s fall the beautiful weather has kicked in.  Some plants in the big perennial bed have decided to bloom again, like the lupines.   However, I did finally build some new doors for the greenhouse which are doing fine and should make a difference for the winter.   They certainly look better!  So, all in all, I’ll just have to hope the weather next year will be a little better!

The Garden 2011–mid July

    I had the best of intentions for doing a lot of work in the big perennial bed this season.  So far, I’ve only been in to do a thorough weeding once and have been picking away at it ever since.  The main problem this year has been the fairly constant rainfall with a big hail storm a few nights ago.

 

It’s mostly lupines putting on the big show at the moment.

          

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Here there’s a glimpse of blue catmint and salvia, the brilliant red of Maltese Cross with pale yellow lupines.      

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I only planted these garden phlox a few weeks ago.  Looks like they’ll be happy in this spot.

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Shrub rose time is here.  These are the latest batch of blooms. They’re starting to look a little ragged.  It’s one of my favourite parts of summer – wandering around the property in the evenings collecting roses.

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