Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dear Garden Diary,

It's raining right on cue. I just came in from the balcony, where I've been leaning against the railing drawing this:
It's been threatening to rain all morning, and I want it to settle all the earth I've been moving around.

The empty space left after removing the two enormous and overgrown irises is a little larger than before. The leaves which had branched over the grass had killed it off, and by the time I weeded the space this morning it all just seemed to blend together. The bed rolls out into the yard a bit further than it used to but I don't mind, I like the extra space.

A good number of irises are going back in, but this time in a few rows around the facing side of the Wegeila (Red Prince) shrub. I like them, there were just too, too many of them. Somewhere near there should the the Asiatic Lilies ~ but I'm beginning to fear for them. Why am I not seeing them return yet? Alos near them is another Liatris which hasn't shown it's greens. This worries me. Dogs. (dogs + gardening = another post)

I love that R is as keen as I am about squeezing more vegetables between the perennials. We've now filled the empty spaces (where things either died, were moved, or were empty to begin with,  ...or, as in the case of the irises, where spaced was made by downsizing). A couple of yellow tomato plants (tag is downstairs, I will update in more detail), and a zucchini crop sure to cause some chaos along the fence.
And up the fence, thanks to R attaching three trellises along the east fence. The facing fence receives sun all afternoon and evening, perfect for warming veg vines. I'm actually hoping the noon hour sun will attract the vines upward, and let the evening sun slow it down to rest for the night - if that makes any sense (I just think the position is perfect and look forward to watching how it grows). Beside the zucchini are a couple of new hollyhocks. 

We have three new Clematis plants (those tags are also downstairs, which I will update later). I saw a photo once of two boldly coloured  Clematises climbing twined together along a fence like ours. I'm going to recreate that, with the plants in the grown beneath the Caragana and behind the Peonies - the first being 'The President' and the other still unknown but will be a deep cherry/raspberry colour. 

I'm really happy to have again my blue/purple Delphiniums. To me, they're one of the defining flowers in an English cottage garden. They're just babies this year, but I've promised R that next year they'll be impressive. 
I've missed these flowers. :)
They'll tower over the Peonies and begin to bloom as they finish. Behind the blue stalks the deep purple and raspberry coloured Clematis will cling to the fence - a wall of blooms. 

I've rescued the two red Daylilies from the west side of the garden, the ones on either side of the dwarf Alberta Spruce:
and I'm going to plant them in the void left by the irises...along with something else (there's still more room to share). Maybe a pumpkin? Or some other perennial, or tomato.
Not only were they becoming overwhelmed by the spruce, but they were getting trampled by dogs.

Reconciling gardens and dogs doesn't have to be difficult, even in our small space. By allowing the west garden bed, mostly comprised of evergreens and trees (and that massive Rhubarb), go to the dogs they can have their space and we can have ours. The dogs love to trod through there, as if it's the Tree Farm, their own backyard forest. Why take that away from them? They just need to be trained to know that some spaces are okay for them, others are not. They've been pretty good with the kitchen garden - so far, and I've used more of our little fencing to create a barricade between the lawn and the east garden (which is off-limits to dogs).

The lawn is a mess, but oh well. I am not going to worry too much, it is repairable.

Gin and Tonic Gardener: Confessions of a Reformed Compulsive Gardener
I've been reading the Gin & Tonic Gardener and enjoying it immensely. Around the evergreens in the west garden is a spreading colony of weeds. It really bothers R, but for some reason - as overwhelmed as I am over the task ahead to remove them - I'm not bothered. It will get tidied up, it will get done. There was a time when I would have gone on endlessly until it was done, but I'm not into killing myself over a few weeds anymore.

I am coming at it from a few angles, as I continue to make my way down the east garden to the dog-run fence, where I will plant two more Clematis plants, this time in pale shades of purple and pink with flecks of white to climb behind the lilac.
I've also started to fill and create the new gardens along the west side of the house.
We thought a few bags would help us get by until we could sort out a truckload of fill for both these gardens and the dog-run repair, but I've already used most in just a small area, with three bags going to the iris void, and four to the front garden. I was hoping to at least cover the space so that no dogs swallow any more rocks but no such luck. Poor R had no idea what he was getting himself into when he asked me: "Are you sure you can fill the space?"
First to be planted along the west side, under the Tamarack will be a new "Twilight Times" hosta, for our teenage Vampire enthusiast...who rolled her eyes, and two small lime leafed hosta (tag downstairs) - along with another rescue from dog friendly gardens, from under the Dogwood a hosta with great round lime and deep green leaves. It's been overshadowed for long enough.

Purple Salvia appears in the kitchen garden, planted a little to tightly beside the Chamomile, some Cosmos, and the herb garden. John Davis continues to thrive in the corner behind. We've replaced the Basil (again) and added two Swiss Chard plants near the Roma tomato.

The Van Gogh sunflowers are beginning to speed up their growth, enjoying these rainy nights and hot, sunny afternoons. (Well, except for this afternoon.) Also the beans, peas and carrots are all picking up the pace.
The two Early Girl tomatoes are doubling in size every time I look at them while the plant produces even more. Hannah and Gromit's strawberry plants have fruit.

The peppers are all covered in blooms and small fruit.
I can't wait for soup and salsa, pizzas on the barbecue...

Buttercream Nasturtiums are popping up all over the kitchen garden, sprinkled there by me. They're fun, and numerous underneath Early Girl ...which should be interesting later on.
Nasturtium,  Buttercream

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