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.


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?

late October colour in the Courtyard Garden

What a beautiful week-end!  I’m doing a little tidying up in the garden but there is still so much to enjoy.  The butterflies seem to agree and are still hanging around the catmint:

The heliopsis is still blooming too:


Here’s the ‘regular’ heliopsis in front of a Bailey’s compact Virburnum shrub which I planted particularly for its fall colour:


And another Bailey’s compact shrub a little closer to peak redness: