clematis, white bellflowers, and sweet alyssum in the “White Garden”

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The clematis vines are *just a little* on the short side this year because I moved them in spring.  They were such buggers to dig up that I’m really just happy they survived at all!  The few flowers emerging (so far) on the left one are a bonus:IMG_4061

This is a pretty big change from the gravel filled strip that was this garden when I moved in less than a year ago (see the first post here).

(Yes, I did originally plan for this area to be a “White Garden” but I didn’t have anywhere else to put the existing clematises (clematii?) so I guess it is technically white and purple now.  I am terrible at sticking to a theme! On the other hand, this revised colour scheme is one good reason to also plant the annual sweet alyssum (small white and purple puffs of flowers across the front of this garden area, top photo) and the other, of course, is that it smells wonderful. At least I can turn my garden design weaknesses into something positive.)

 

sizing up the vegetable garden

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Now that I’ve got most of perennials happily settled in their permanent places, I’m turning my attention to the veggie garden.  I’d like to put in two raised beds back here. I had raised beds at my old house and they were the best thing I ever did – you fill them up and have perfect, unwalked on, well-draining soil, plus you don’t have to bend over so far to weed and harvest.   The boxes will be similar to the ones at my old house, except that this time I’ll have a 4’x4′ and a 4’x8′.  We want to get them built this summer and filled so that they’re ready to plant first thing in spring – maybe even a fall seeding of a few things if we get them done in time!

 

And yes, those are dandelions in the grass.  The Edmonton infestation includes my own backyard.  😦

 

 

gardens of Copenhagen

I was fortunate to get to spend 3 days in Copenhagen last week, on my way to a conference.  There were many things I loved about that beautiful city, not the least of which were the gardens of course!

As a gardener, I don’t tend to take close-up pictures of plants anymore.  I’m more interested in trying to capture overall features of the design – I love layouts which include areas with specific themes or colour schemes, long views lined with simple hedges, and where certain focal points or beautiful buildings are either framed or revealed over time as you move through a garden.  And by “capture”, let me be clear that I mean “capture” in order to retain my memories of the experience and to inspire new ideas in my own garden, not “capture” as in the action of a real photographer creating an award-winning photograph.

With that said, here are a few of my favourite views (you can click on them to enlarge)!

Gardens of the Royal Library

 

Gardens of Rosenborg Castle

 

Botanical Gardens

 

Mini Gardens (ok 2 are florist shops but they’re oh so cute!!)

 

Which of these photos could inspire your garden?

the Front Courtyard garden in progress

It doesn’t look like much yet, but here’s the Front Courtyard garden so far.  It’s hard to believe there used to be a spruce tree here, isn’t it?!  Isn’t this much more interesting to look at? (Even if it’s not finished yet?)

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I have learned my lesson over the years that to keep my big garden more low maintenance, I need to remember to plant shrubs, not just flowering perennials.  There are some bird’s nest spruce here which will eventually fill more space but not get too big:

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Here’s looking the other way with 2 yellow genista shrubs in bloom:

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And here’s the view from the house (one of my most important design considerations!):

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To see how this garden has evolved, click here and scroll down.

Sissinghurst garden updated

This garden area was filled with roses, peonies, delphiniums and monkshood when I moved in last fall.  These plants all make me think of English gardens so I dubbed this garden area ‘Sissinghurst’.  However, by fall it was a plain smudge of green so I’ve added a few more plants in front to carry things through.  I picked them for their foliage colour and texture so that they’ll add interest from spring through fall even when they’re not blooming.

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Front row plants, left to right: golden meadowsweet (small yellow leaves),  a patch of blooming white Canada violet (it was already here and is so pretty right now, but it’s a spreader so I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it), 2 dianthus ‘Early Bird Chili’ (fine, grey foliage), asiatic lilies, and a ‘Sunpower’ Hosta (big yellow leaves).

You can’t see them very well yet because I couldn’t bring myself to crop my neighbour’s gorgeous lilacs out of this picture.  🙂  More pictures to come!  I can’t wait to see what colour my peonies are!

Oh, and making a mental note to paint those sprinkler poles white.

To see this garden at other times of the year, click here and scroll down.

the orchard garden in progress

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Digging up grass is hard work so I am planting as I go.  It really doesn’t make sense to do it this way except that I like to see things in place as soon as possible so I can decide what else I want to plant here. And I’m impatient.  I always seem to buy stuff before I have the space ready to plant it in.  I’m not saying you should do what I do.  I don’t recommend it at all.

But this is my favourite part of gardening – the creating!  Here’s the view from a little further back (below).  My goal is to get the areas around the two cherry trees fully planted by the end of May.

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If you’d like to see progress on this garden over time, click here and scroll down.

playing with plants

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I’ve been planning this new garden all winter and can’t wait to get started!  I planned the major stuff back in December which included a circular design for the lawn and an Evans cherry tree to anchor this corner.  But otherwise, it is fun to play.  I picked up these three spiraea shrubs (‘Dakota Goldcharm’) for another spot in the garden, but suddenly realized they would give me more bang for my buck here, because their shot of colour will be seen from the kitchen window.  The dwarf cedar (‘Hetz Midget’) will add some winter colour.  The rest of the area will get filled in with perennials… I’m not sure what yet besides my Mom’s bee balm.  But first…. digging!