Spring finally blooms, better late than never

crocus April 5, 2013

April 5, 2013. Winter was less cruel couple of years ago and spring sprang when it was supposed to.  Many patches of crocus and early bulbous iris (at top left) appeared in my front yard garden from early March into April.


Well, here I go again.  This is the third year I’ve complained about the crocuses being late, and I’m not alone. My neighbours and friends, including a few Twitter buddies, have been wondering  whether the crocuses and snowdrops were actually dead, kiilled by a cruel Jack Frost. Continue reading

Memories of Mexico

Mexico memories 1

Bougainvillea blooms over a fence at the entrance to a beachside house near Progreso, on the Gulf of Mexico in Yucatan state, Mexico

Now that we’ve returned to frigid Ontario after many weeks in tropical Mexico, I’m glad I have photos of eye-popping bougainvillea to drool over. They’re helping me hold on till my spring bulbs eventually break through the earth… Continue reading

Preserving the fruits and vegetables of summer

fridge pickels

It’s harvest time and I spent most of the past two weeks as my Grandma, preserving tomatoes, peaches, peppers and cucumbers for the winter. I sometimes wonder why I do this, since only two of us live in the house. It must be genetic–my Mom did a lot of preserving, too. Continue reading

Bye-bye garden blahs, hello new life

late summer 1

Suddenly this summer: the hydrangeas puffed out and the phlox bloomed large, the ‘Karl Foerster’ grasses made themselves known and the echinacea took on a strong supporting role, ending my attack of the summer blahs

One thing I like about the garden in late summer is that it signals the end of the mid-summer blahs, that time when everything looks so awful you wonder why you ever took up gardening in the first place.

In late summer something happens. Suddenly the hydrangeas are huge and gorgeous, like massive white–or chartreuse or pink tinged–bowling balls; the Phlox paniculata is in full glory, and the black-eyed Susans are putting out their cheerful yellow faces by the hundreds. I’ve been trying to banish those Susies from my garden for years, but late every summer they redeem themselves by being a bright spot in a sad-looking garden, and so they have managed to stay.

Almost every gardener I know goes though these annual blahs. Partly it’s us–we’ve spent months planning, buying, planting, weeding, mulching, deadheading, and by early August, we (me, anyway; I should speak only for myself) are tired of it all. I can hardly work up the enthusiasm to turn the compost, which is often the only thing in the garden that’s doing well. Continue reading