Friday, May 27, 2011

Is Summer Really Coming?

May 27th - WOW! Feels more like March 27th. BRRR!

Well, the dew on the bearded iris leaves called me outside on this wet morning (above). And when I ventured out, I noticed that the small, dark-purple iris (not sure of the genus name) is just beginning to unfurl it's tight blossoms. The larger bearded iris won't be out for at least another week or longer...but it's nice to see the little one starting to open up.

The deep purple colour on the little iris reminded me about my Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris). Again, they seem to be opening up a lot later this year as compared to last. I saved seed from them last year, and meant to start them indoors in March - but just didn't get around to it. I will save again this year and maybe just "broadcast" seed the ones I kept from last year to see what I get come up? According to WestCoast Seeds they are "easy" to grow and can be sown outside when the soil warms up (when the HECK is that going to be?) I also learned that Columbine make pretty cut flowers - you can clip the top flowers once the lower ones have begun to open up.

Together with the little dew drops on the iris leaves, these Columbine petals always remind me of "fairies" or of some little miniature world. Hope you enjoyed a WET look at my garden this morning. With an improvement in the weather, I hope to get out tomorrow and take some pictures of the vegetable garden; you Southerners can laugh at what little we have up, in the North :)

Come grow with me...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Japanese Tree Peony

I'm loving the mottled colour of the outer petals of my Japanese tree peony (Paeonia Lactiflora) this year. There are 13 blossoms set to come out, last year it only had 11 - I must be doing something right?

With more digging (hee hee) on the internet I found that Japanese tree peonies need little "coddling" and actually prefer to be "left alone."

According to

"...both Chinese and Japanese tree peonies...can live for more than 100 years." Also, "tree peonies can grow in virtually any type of soil - as long as it's not waterlogged."

Interestingly, mine is doing fantastic - I guess all that "leaving alone" is working out. :)

A little history on the Asiatic tree peony:

Did you know...

-the tree peony is the second most enduring National symbol of China (coming in second fiddle to the Cherry Blossom - of course ;) (wikipedia)

-that the peony was named after Paeon, a physician to the gods, who obtained the plant on Mount Olympus from the mother of Apolla. Once planted the peony likes to be left alone and punishes whose who try to move it, by not flowering again for several years (wikipedia)

-Japanese tree peonies were brought there from China in the 8th century. (

Well, there's your lesson! Hope you enjoy a look at what's growing in my garden today.

A New Day

Here we are May 23rd and I've just sowed the garden seeds. Is it just me or is this "climate change" thing really messing with *your* plans? UGH! Some of my tomatoes are potted up to their gallon sized black pots - they are spending their time in the mini-greenhouse and cold frame for now. The cucumbers have multiple leaves and I see the flower "bumps" coming! The temp reached a balmy (roll eyes) 17C yesterday :( I hope that we don't go from this to 35C in the coming weeks...

(pictures were BEFORE potting into gallon pots - the seedlings were getting very "leggy" ;)

Well, the second planting of carrots and beets are in (most of the seeds I planted back in early April didn't survive the torrential downpours we got). The pumpkin and squash are in the ground. Can't wait to get EVERYTHING in the ground and watch it grow, grow, grow.
Hope my family (and neighbours and friends...) like tomatoes because I've got about 40ish plants to put in :)

Come grow with me........