the White Garden 2016

Somehow this patio garden at my new-to-me house is telling me it wants to be white.  The patio, while not much to look at yet, could look very French and lovely if surrounded by terra cotta pots and white flowers.  I also prefer to have scented flowers near a patio.  These yellow flowers, which I inherited from the previous owner, will just have to go:


Don’t worry, the yellow daisies will find a new home in the front garden.  And the clematis will stay because it’s just too healthy to move and I don’t have another good spot for it.  In the meantime, I have already removed the rock mulch (ugh!) and plunked a few white-flowered plants from my old house into this area:


Above (the left side of the garage, left to right): white bell flower, (pale) pink meadow rue, 3 white bearded iris, candy tuft, russian sage (okay technically purple flowers but I’m counting the silvery leaves as white), and lamb’s ears.


Above (the right side of the garage, left to right): nepeta ‘White Cloud’, 3 David phlox, white cranesbill (which will hopefully eventually be bush enough to hide the ugly sprinkler system controls).

I also want to add a white-flowered potentilla on either side of the door.

It’s not much to look at yet but it will look much better in spring, I promise!


Sissinghurst 2016


This garden, facing west inside my backyard fence, is filled with monkshood, peonies and roses thanks to the previous owner.  I don’t know what colour any of them are (besides the pink rose on the left) because I first saw this house in August and moved here in late September when everything else had finished blooming.  It will be a fun surprise in spring to see what colours I inherited!  I am going to call this garden area ‘Sissinghurst’ because monkshood, roses, and peonies always make me think of English gardens, and Sissinghurst is my favourite (not that I’ve been to very many).

In the meantime, I also transplanted a few plants from my old house, sticking to those with red and purple flowers and particularly those which attract hummingbirds and butterflies:


Above: looking across the Potager to Sissinghurst.


Above: closer up view of “Sissinghurst”.  Plants which attract hummingbirds include beardtongue, coralbells, daylily, lilies, and monkshood. Other plants are sedums, Joe Pye Weed , blue oat grass, and veronica spicata. I feel lucky to have my neighbour’s huge lilacs providing a backdrop above the fence, as well!!

I planted these in a rush in October, just wanting to get the plants I brought from my old house into the ground before winter.  I’d like to do some re-arranging, sticking to purple and red flowers, with some yellow-green spirea such as ‘Gold Mound’ to jazz things up (a split-complementary colour scheme: see this useful blog for more on colour schemes).


the Orchard Garden 2016


The boring lawn in the middle of my backyard is going to radically change next year.  The gnarly old lilacs, planted way too close to the garage, have already been chopped down, and 2 Evans Cherry trees will take their place.  There are already 2 apple trees on the other side of the backyard (which can’t be seen in the above photo) – hence the name “Orchard Garden” for this area of the yard.

I really like my lawn to have a defined, intentional shape, rather than simply extend to the fence and pathways as if the designer just gave up and couldn’t think of anything else to do.  In this yard we will cut the lawn and ornamental gardens into the shapes of overlapping circles.  I chose to use this design theme in order to satisfy our need for trampoline space (it is “tucked away” as much as a 12 foot trampoline can be!) as well as to work with the existing apple trees, cedar tree and rose bush on the east side of the pie-shaped yard:


The north-south axis of the lawn will align with the axis of the vegetable garden at the back of the yard (shed and lilac stumps, below, to be removed in spring).  It was beautiful out today so I did what any garden-obsessed person would do – go outside and shovel the design into the backyard snow in order to better visualize my future creation, of course!


That’s a totally normal thing to do on a beautiful December day…. right?

Here’s the long axis of my old backyard in Calgary:


the Sunset Garden 2016

I wish I could show you what this front yard (above) looks like in my head.  It doesn’t have a lopsided spruce tree which is jammed in between my and my neighbour’s houses, I can tell ya that much right now.  It also doesn’t have such a big blanket of smooth, green, boring grass.  Rather, it is bordered by fruit-producing trees and shrubs, as well as many drought-tolerant grasses and flowering perennials.

When I moved into this house in late September 2016, we made a start by digging up a bit of grass and filling the area with a Coppertina ninebark, some helenium, daylilies, grasses and a few other red-, yellow-, and orange-flowered perennials.


It will have an analogous colour scheme of red-orange, orange, and orange-yellow:


And here’s what this garden looks like right now:


but in 2 more years I want it to look much more like this, my old front garden in Calgary, with lots of shrubs and perennials filling it in and NO TURF GRASS:


I believe I have some work to do!!

the Potager

Growing herbs and other edibles near the back door is a must in my books.  But this area (above) was all grass when I moved here in late September 2016.

So we dug up the grass and planted oregano, thyme, chives, strawberries, and some ornamentals, separated by diagonal lines of blue fescue.


The soil is very clay-ey so I hope the herbs do okay here. And by the way, sorry for the dirt all over the sidewalk but that sticky clay doesn’t sweep up and the outside water is already turned off for the season!

I recently moved from Calgary.  Here are a few pics of my potager and herb gardens at my old house: