Friday, March 23, 2012


Canada Blooms is Canada's largest garden and flower show featuring display gardens, workshops, expert speakers and a marketplace over a 6 acre area at Exhibition Place in Toronto. My girlfriend and I had a great time taking in the fragrances and beauty of the flowers as well as checking out ideas for our own gardens. Let me show you some of the highlights, starting with new plants we'd never seen before:

Helleborus ballardiae 'Pink Frost'

Campanula punctata 'Cherry Bells'

Heuchera 'Hercules'

'Queen Bee' Petunia

New Guinea Impatiens 'Magnum Fire'

Medinilla magnifica

Bergenia 'Magic Giant'

I was surprised that vegetables were so widely featured! They were integrated into flower beds, they were in planters, they were in big long boxes and on trellised walls. Some of the ideas were very creative.

At first this just looked like a neat way to use a wheelbarrow as a planter "box" but there were lots of vegetables featured! Lettuce, little onions and swiss chard as well as flowers!

There were very nicely done display gardens as well as display walls.

Lovely chairs and creative seating areas were featured.

(We liked this suspended table but wondered what would happen if a guest leaned on it!!)

The orchid display was a fitting ending to a lovely day!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

First blooms!! March 18, 2012

I cannot believe that it's only March 18th and that it's been in the double digits for a week now. I hear this on every gardener's blog from Ontario through the States, even into Europe. Everyone's loving the early warmth but many are anxious - it's too much too soon.
Oh well - can't really complain. Will have to stretch the summer and autumn seasons by planting lots and lots of annuals this year. The perennials will be gone by mid-July!
Anyway - my first flowers bloomed today - tiny blue and purple iris reticulata. So lovely!

I thought the rabbits had eaten my one and only hellebore but it looks like it is actually coming up! I can hardly wait for it to bloom:

Will post more photos when it does.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! Mar 15, 2012

Hello everyone!
As you know, I have been trying to become more active in the garden blog world. I have already discovered many beautiful garden blogs with witty writing, sincere emotions, practical advice and near perfect photography in all. I am being inspired in so many ways - it's also so much fun!!
One of the blogs I check on a regular basis is It is written by Mario Mirelez, an Advanced Master Gardener who lives and gardens in the Indianapolis area. He is one of the many friendly, welcoming gardeners I "met" when I joined Blotanical,
Anyway - last month I was reading his blog when he had gorgeous shots of what's blooming in his area on the 15th of the month. This apparently is Garden Blogger's Bloom Day. I decided I would participate in the next one.

So I went outside and took photos of the (very few) things in bloom here. Although we seem to be getting an early spring, there's still not an awful lot happening quite yet here in Ontario, Zone 5a. But the temperatures are so warm and the sun so welcome, I'm sure all of a sudden, stuff will start popping up!

Please take a look at the pussy willows (Salix) which are in their prime right now. They are a real harbinger of spring but otherwise not a very attractive plant. They multiply like crazy where you don't want them to - they are like weeds. But in the spring - they are glorious!!
The only other flower I have now are some pretty little snowdrops on the front garden. (Even though there are no blooms, I couldn't resist adding a few more sprouts: the irises are coming up as well as iris reticulata)


This is what I can hardly wait for (taken last year). I know it's coming soon!!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Diary March 6/2012 - Plant combos Part 2

Certain plants complement one other whether it's by colour, texture, height or grouping. I love planning which of my plants would look best together or what I need to buy new to really get a fantastic grouping. The photo above is NOT from my garden ( I Wish!!) but was taken while on holiday in Boston. I believe it's the Boston Common. Gorgeous plant arrangements - loved it there.

Here's a combo from the 90's that was under my Linden tree: Weigela, Feather Reed grass Karl Forster, poppies, Artemesia 'Silver king', Sweet Cecily and Sedum 'Autumn Joy'.

My friend Liz has such a beautiful garden! Here she features pink astilbe, blue hosta, lime green hosta with ferns in the background.

On a garden tour, the owner had placed hydrangea, daisies, variegated sedum, heuchera and impatiens in front of a lovely climbing hydrangea.

While vacationing on Prince Edward Island (on Canada's East Coast), we stayed at the beautiful Inn at Spry Point. Their gardens were expansive and carefully maintained - here you can see lavatera, lilies, snapdragons and cosmos with allyssum spilling over the edges.

Beside my driveway, I planted a Saucer Magnolia tree, Stachys byzantina, a Slender Deutzia bush and bright pink geraniums.

In the backyard I have a bed that features a Weeping Norway Spruce, small blue hosta, feverfew, red nicotiana, lysimachia nummularia (Golden Creeping Jenny), Achillea 'Coronation Gold' and Lychnis chalcedonica (Maltese Cross).

Gold in the shade! Yellow hosta, yellow daylilies and sedum.

Here's Liz's garden again: Different hostas, perennial geranium and Japanese Forest Grass
(Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola') Say that last one really fast :)

My backyard again: Hosta, feverfew, golden euonymus and juniper.

A great spring combo: Siberian Iris and Allium moly luteum

At Liz's: purple and lime green heuchera, columbines and a big blue hosta

Still at Liz's: the 2012 Perennial of the Year Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' along with hostas and heuchera.