Saturday, September 28, 2013

Gardens in Sicily

We recently vacationed in Sicily. The scenery was gorgeous and there were a number of unusual plants. Take a look:

Bellisima! Arrivederci!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Gone Walkabout

In one of my favourite films, Sue comes looking for Mick "Crocodile" Dundee. The doorman says he's "gone walkabout". For Australian aborigines, this usually means a period of time spent walking in the bush. For me today it meant "a walking trip" around my garden.

I decided to walk in the front, side and back, take photos of my late summer garden and make notes as to what worked, what didn't and how to improve plantings for next year.

Note: Allyssum like cool, moist conditions - not high heat and humidity. Do NOT grow from seed anymore.

Note: the true workhorse of the summer was red tuberous begonias. Buy flats and flats of these as annuals next summer. Make it the only annual front and back.

Note: Balloon flowers will re-bloom if deadheaded.

Note: After cutting down Elaine bed, check if the wasps were ground digger wasps and if yes, destroy nests.

Note: this fall or next spring, chain-saw the pussywillows.

Note: Skip the tomatoes and plant herbs in raised beds instead.

Note: Prune bottom branches of walnut tree so that they don't hang into and obscure the Feather Reed Grass

Note: prune Fairy Rose and remove purple Harebell to give the emerging Quince bush more room to grow

Note: move new Carpet Rose and 2 Lavender plants into sunnier spots

Note: Stake Miscanthus grass early in summer using strong metal stakes and wire, not string.

OK - notes have been taken and recorded! Now to enjoy these last summer blooms before I start the huge job of cutting down the garden in mid-October.

Please check my food blog - the latest recipe is Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Bacon Tart.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Royal Botanical Gardens - RBG

The Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) is a phenomenal local resource that I don't visit often enough. In its brochure, it is described as "…an ecological jewel placed within the fastest growing urban area in all of Canada. A National Historic Site of Canada and the country's largest botanical garden, our focus is on horticulture, conservation, education, science and research". It is comprised of numerous gardens spread over 2,700 acres.
The RBG is literally 10 minutes from my house but I rarely get down there. But I finally went yesterday, at a time that was past the peak of many of the roses I went to photograph. But some were lovely nevertheless.

Inside the RBG Centre are many indoor gardens and waterfalls. The main attraction is the 12,000 sq. ft Mediterranean garden which features gorgeous exotic blooms year round.

I remembered having to enter Hendrie Park (which I always called the Rose Garden) through the main building and then under Plains Road through a tunnel. This is still the case:

Just past the tunnel are lovely displays featuring coleus, tuberous begonias and Elephant Ears.

The award winning Zimbabwean stone sculpture exhibit Zimsculpture is on display until the end of September. Many interesting statues were on display among the plantings.

The centre of the garden features 2 calming reflecting pools, a Tea House and the Centennial Rose Garden

Rosa 'Louis Jolliet'

Rosa 'Tropicana'

Rosa 'Hilgrome'

Rosa 'Royal William'

Climbing rose 'Dublin Bay'

Rosa 'Escapade'

Please check out my food blog where the latest recipe featured is Lemon Orzo with Asparagus Pasta Salad.