for the record – first green March 28 2018


First sign of new growth while most of the garden is still frozen!  Granted, it is an Iceland Poppy which you’d expect can stand a little cold.

But still.  It’s new and it’s green and I’m excited.


plans for the orchard garden

With the two west corners of the orchard garden done and the veggie box in place, I wanted to have a look at how much room I have left on the east side of what will eventually be a circular lawn.  So my youngest and I, using a skipping rope, turned ourselves into a human compass this morning and marked out the circle which will form the edge of the lawn.  It helps me get a better feel for how much space I have.


It’ll be a few years before the east side, above, will be finished.  There will be a little sitting area back here because it’s the sunniest spot in the evening and because, well, I’m trying not to overwhelm myself with too much planting space.  In that vein, I’m also planting more shrubs than I did in my old garden.

Goals for this spring:

  • add another haskap (honeyberry) shrub where the small bamboo pyramid is,
  • move the 3 Romeo cherries and an ornamental grass from the front; this will turn the veggie garden into a separate “garden room”,
  • move a golden dogwood (cornus alba “Neon Burst”) to the spot marked by the large pyramid,
  • take down the large (unhealthy) crabapple tree and replace with a dwarf blue spruce for more winter greenery,
  • add some bergenia from the veggie garden.

evaluating the Front Courtyard Garden

Well, other than the pot which is crookedly frozen in place, I’m pretty happy with how this garden looks after only one garden season.  I regret planting sour cherries out here though – I was trying to be noble and plant as many edibles as possible, ya know.  But I sit in the living room drinking my coffee on the week-ends and this is my view – I’d really like to see some more winter colour out here.

So, the cherries are getting moved to the back and I’m going to add a hedge of dogwoods instead (Cornus sericea ‘Farrow’ or Arctic Fire dogwood would be a good choice for a solid green hedge and red stems for winter).  Also, when the little Birds Nest Spruces get a little bigger you’ll be able to see them better above the snow.  That should do it.

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I only have a few other minor additions to make in spring:

  • add a Mount Royal Plum in the bottom left corner (I’d like some height but there’s not a lot of room; this tree stays small, only 8 feet wide). Underplant with one more genista ‘lydia’.
  • mix thyme and more russian stonecrop as groundcovers on both sides of the pathway in front of the window.

decorations from the garden

OK I actually I purchased this wreath for my front door last week-end at Rona, and I like it because it looks fairly natural (only the twigs and pinecones are real):IMG_1230

But it was nice enough outside today that I wandered around the garden cutting greenery and dogwood branches for this display beside the door:


I save the birch branches and star to reuse from year to year.


What holiday decorations are on your front step?

Evans cherry trees one week later

Just last week-end I posted photos of my cherry trees which had finally started to turn yellow.  Well that didn’t last long!



At least there is more to look at now in this garden area, even in winter.  I see these two trees and their surrounding underplantings from the kitchen window.  I *must* have good garden views from the house to get me through winter!  So, one week down…