Sunday 20 May 2018

Spring, glorious spring!

When the weather is as beautiful as it has been the last few days, I think perhaps I should just stay here after retirement.  Of course, I realize that in six months or so I'll be cursing the weather gods and wishing I were elsewhere.  Come to think of it, I will least for a few weeks.

I've been spending a lot of time outside, enjoying the front patio or the back deck, depending on the position of the sun.  The cats are enjoying the sun room too!  I've been leaving the door open between the kitchen and sun room at night; it has gotten quite cool (66F/18C) overnight.  I enjoy it but I know my daughter won't, but as she's away for the weekend I'll keep it up.  I'm writing this about 5:30 and the house has only now warmed up to 72F/22C.  It seems to warm up more in the evening with the sun from the west, although there are no windows on that side of the house.  I do so appreciate not having the a/c running, and it isn't set to kick in until 76F/24C.  Yes, I still have my thermostat set at Fahrenheit rather than Celsius.  I have no idea why, it was this way when we moved in and I left it be.

My son C spent the night at a friend's on Friday.  I heard him leave about 10:30 p.m. and knew I'd have several hours to myself in the morning.  I was up by 6 and had the vacuuming done, a potato salad made, sorted through all the stuff on my kitchen table (more on that later), and the laundry started by 8 a.m.!  I could manage all that when he is home as he can sleep through anything but I probably wouldn't have gotten started as early.

After a quick bite to eat, and a couple of cups of coffee, I headed over to Winners to pick up a couple of items.  One is a mail holder - my daughter D receives a lot of mail, C and I less so, but it tends to get piled up on the kitchen table.  I try to take care of it as it comes in, but the other two not so much.  I was also looking for a new table cloth to replace the one D (and two cats) had ruined.  She likes to paint but didn't take care to clean up spills; Saku and Sheldon like to tear at the backing.  It was a cheap plastic one so it was more a nuisance than anything else.  I didn't find a new one but had another in the closet that I pulled out.  I also found another scented candle, this one citrus, and a little picture book of words for Eli.  I know he'll enjoy it as much as I'll enjoying reading it with him.

Then it was out to the front yard.  I had made a plan for the plants that I had bought - good thing, as I had to pull out the book to remember what I was going to do.  

I started with the pots out front.  I used a container of petunia, calibrocha, and verbena for the two tall ones, cutting it in half - something another gardener had suggested.  I'm a little worried as the plants didn't look good this morning, but I'll give it a day or two.  I also tucked in a curly grass and a lime sweet potato vine, the first for height and the second to cascade down the pot....eventually!

The front pot has a mix of petunias, pink and pink striped with a pink dahlia in the centre.  D received the plant when she went shopping on Mother's Day.  I've never had much luck with dahlias but perhaps this one will be the exception. There is a large evergreen between the front yard and the patio, so this area gets sun in the morning and again in the late afternoon evening.  I know the dahlia prefers sun so I'm taking a chance.

These three pots sit just off the patio between the two houses.  I had thought to divide the geraniums, but had a couple of extra petunias, so those went into the middle pot.  Each container also got a white calibrocha and a lysimachia (creeping jenny).  Both will trail over the edge of the pot.

This spot gets the sun during in late morning and early afternoon, basically the hottest part of the day.  The pot on the right also gets the evening sun.  I've never had geraniums in this spot but the petunias seem to thrive anywhere I put them so I'll see.

Finally I moved onto the front flower bed.  This is the shadiest part of my yard, as it sits on the north side of the house and is shaded by the evergreen in front, the garage to the east and the neighbour's house to the west.  Despite this, I've managed to fill it in with several perennials and a few annuals. 

This photo was taken shortly after I'd got the plants in but before the mulching was put on top. 

Behind the sunflower temperature gauge is a container of impatience.  This spot tucked in beside the bay window has been the bane of my gardening existence.  Nothing grows there, not even weeds!  The impatience do well in the pot and add a pop of color.  

On another note, isn't the bergenia looking good? I'd seen it growing in a nearby yard and thought it was lovely.  I put it in about 7 years ago and it has probably quadrupled in size.  

I probably should divide it, but I like it as is, and since I'm not planning to be here much longer, I'll leave it be.

Besides the perennials already in the bed, I added nicotiana, a dianthus, and bugleweed.  The dianthus is supposed to be hardy to -30C so hopefully will over winter, the bugleweed should but likely won't, and the nicotiana are annuals.  

The patio is one of my favorite spots to read and relax, especially when it is hot as it is shaded and tends to get a nice breeze.  That reminds me, I have cushions for those chairs that I need to find and put out.  Otherwise the chairs aren't particularly comfortable.

My ferns are coming up nicely...though it seems never in the same spot as the year previous.  I love the curl of the frond before it opens, it makes me think of a sea creature.

This one is growing up in the midst of the spirea bush and there is another on the opposite side.  The bush has only started to leaf out so the ferns are well ahead.  By mid-summer though these will be barely visible.  The ferns only do well in the bed in the spring, I don't keep the bed very wet and find the heat gets them by mid-July.  

After finishing the front yard, I took the remaining plants to the back, put my tools away, and settled in on the deck to read and relax before supper.  Supper was simple, just a frozen pizza that I popped in the oven, as I was tired from all the bending and digging.  I watched a bit of television and was in bed by 8 p.m.   All that fresh air made for a good night's sleep.

Today I spent a good of part of the day cleaning up and planting in the back yard.  I've no photos yet, and will save that for another post.  

Tomorrow, being Victoria Day, is a stat holiday. I think I'll spend most of the day outdoors again with a book in hand, and a cold drink at the ready.  Sounds like a great way to enjoy the gorgeous weather.

Have a great rest of the weekend everyone!


  1. Good Heavens, when you get busy, you get busy. Now and then, I like getting up early and starting on things, though I can do at such hours due to living in an apartment block. On my holidays - coming up soon! - I get up early one or two days and go bicycling in the cool, early air. Even the smells are different - cleaner, fresher - at such an hour.

  2. Yeah, what John wrote. LOL. You're very ambitious with your gardens! As much as I'd like a larger back space, I don't know that I'd have the energy or motivation to do anything with it, at least not while working full time. I commend you! Feel free to teleport over and do something with my back space. :-D

    Enjoy the Monday holiday. I'm cracking open a can of paint today...whether I actually paint is another matter. Hahaha.

  3. Glad you are able to be enjoying the weather - us too. Doesn't it feel good to plant things? That is one the one thing about going away every Spring that I don't like - I get behind on my planting as here it usually starts in pots around May 1. I did plant a lot when I get home and I think today I will finish and put my pepper plants in the ground and maybe get some more flowers for a couple more pots. Your patio looks so inviting!


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