Saturday 12 May 2018

The season of change

Spring, glorious spring!  Out my living room window I see that the neighbour's tree is beginning to leaf out, their awn is mostly green, and next door to them, the ducks are back.  I'm not sure why, but there is a pair of mallards who like to hang out in the front yard.  I often see them as I'm pulling out of the driveway on my way to work in the morning.  The other day, the female was perched up on the roof of another house.  

The robins are back, the bunnies are mostly brown (and spend a lot of time chasing one another), and the garden centers are full of lovely green plants.  It is still too cool at night here for any planting, but of course I couldn't resist.  Besides I like to pick plants when they first hit the store...the staff aren't generally gardeners and watering seems to be forgotten within days.

This year, as I have in the past, selected mostly pinks and purples.  I know my house has brick and oranges and yellows would likely match but I go with what I like.

For flowers I'm sticking with petunias and geraniums, and a few impatience, this year.  I've tried dahlias, osteospermum, and begonias in the past with mixed results.  This year, it's the KISS principle.  

To complete the containers I've got several trailers, including ivy and sweet potato vine, plus calibrochoa (million bells).  I haven't found any trailing verbena so might be doing a little more shopping.  

I also picked up a couple of perennials for the front flower bed including a dianthus and some pink aruga bugleweed.  I planted purple aruga last year - it didn't spread much so I'll add this for another variety.  Also for the front bed, are nicotiana.  While they prefer sun, my mom had great luck with them in a north bed so I try every year to replicate her success.  It hasn't happened yet, but I keep trying.  

I also brought home a lovely fuschia.  It was the only one that had white, purple, and pink blooms so I couldn't resist.  (It doesn't look that off against the brick, does it?)

The plant is already huge and makes a real impact in the garden.  At this point, there is very little green in the flower bed, just the remains of the perennials that I cut back a week ago.

I can't recall what this is, as I've lost the tag - it's the first bit of green I've seen in the flower bed (so hopefully it isn't a weed!)  The hostas are yet to make any kind of appearance, but the heart leaf bergenia is beginning to put out new leaves.  I was reading through my garden journal and I note the aruga died over winter from 2016.  Hmmm...wonder if I'll have better luck this year?  Probably not.

The last basket I picked up is this Sun patience.  I had these in my containers last year, but I don't recall they did very well.  I'll try again this year with the hanging basket, though this particular spot doesn't get a whole lot of sun.  

Frankly I do that a lot - I grow plants that are prefer part shade in the sun, and those that want full sun in part shade. Sometimes it works really well and sometimes it's just meh.  But I've never lost an annual because of the where it was placed.  

Our weather has been a bit cool this week, but warmer temperatures are on their way.  Plus 28C by Monday!  Of course, I'll be at work, but still.  I plan to plant everything on the long weekend as it's unlikely we'll have frost after that.  Though it has happened, I'll take my chances.

The patio furniture is out in both the front and back yards.  It's a sunny day, so I plan to take the opportunity this afternoon to sit outside with a cold soft drink and my book.  I'm currently reading a Karin Slaughter novel, about two sisters who witness their mother's murder as young teens.  I've never read any of her books before and I have to force myself to put it down as the story line is very interesting and the story definitely doesn't follow a predictable script.  

Oh, I learned yesterday that I'll likely have new neighbours by the fall.  The young couple next door are moving to the States for work.  The wife works for an American company and has been working from home since they moved here, I think about 6 years or so.  She came out of the house yesterday carrying one of her cats.  We got talking as she put the cat in the truck.  Apparently they will be driving and they've started training the cats for the drive.  She brought the other two out and put them in the truck as well, but didn't actually go for a drive.  I guess sitting in the truck will get them accustomed to the vehicle, though I suspect once it starts moving they won't be very happy.  

The house will be put up for sale at the end of the month.  The listing price should help me determine what I might get for my home next year.  Their house was listed at a lower price than mine when they bought a year or so after I did.  They did re-do the driveway and basement floor but other than that I'm not aware of any renovations.  

Speaking of renovations, my main and en-suite bathrooms will have the cabinets refaced in June.  I've arranged for the tile to be removed, and the drywall skim coated for painting next week.  I've got in touch with the plumber to unhook the current sinks, and ordered sinks and faucets on-line with delivery expected within 3 weeks.  This was the hardest part as finding grey sinks is nearly impossible; they certainly are not available in local stores.   I'll admit I've gone with the cheapest options - I'll only be here for another year or so, and the new owners may decide to totally renovate. I don't see the point in spending a bunch of money only to have someone else tear it out.  Now, if I were staying here another 10 years I might reconsider...but probably not.

AND then there is this:

This was taken at my brother's house on the farm.  Eli took his first steps two weeks ago tomorrow and every day his abilities have improved.  D calls it muscle memory...I call it amazing.  He rarely crawls now, can stand up from a seated position, and the only that stops him are stairs.  His vocabulary is increasing as well, from mom, dad, Sasha, and his favorite uncle's name, he has added juice, done (well, actually un but I accept it), nana for banana,  and Chase (a paw patrol puppy for the uninitiated).  He has yet to settle on a name for Grandma but it is clear he loves me.  He brings me books to read and loves a good cuddle.  

Well, enough babble from me.  Eli is busily destroying my living room and his mother is still sleeping.  

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend everyone!


  1. Reading your post makes me feel like a slacker when it comes to both the garden and the house. All I've done is rake (sort of) the back space and get a couple of hanging baskets for the front. (Took the hangers off, have them on the step.) BTW, I do find that "full sun" plants tend to die pretty quickly out front, in the blaring full sunshine all day. I'll be looking for a cat-safe perennial that will fill out the little angled corner at the back (or front, depending on your perspective) of the garden. The perennial shrub I've had there for about 15 years or so didn't survive the stupid winter we had, and actually I've heard that many people lost these plants. I can't think of the name, but they're very common, variegated, will bush out or even climb. Whatever I get has to withstand blazing sun and heat all summer, so if you have any ideas, let me know!

    As for little (not so little anymore!) Eli: Go, Eli, go! LOL. Wow, walking now and probably now getting into everything, if he wasn't already. :-)

    Oh, hopefully you'll end up with good neighbours, though if you're moving in a year or so, you can put up with whoever ends up buying the house!

  2. I love reading this. You have made my day today with it. Eli, you are amazing! Grandma, you are too!

  3. OH! OH! Sweet potato vine can kill your cats if they eat it. One of my good good Twitter friends who Face Books also..her dear kitties ate the vine she had in the kitchen and they passed away. I had NO idea they were poison to animals but they truly are. She and one other blogger with cats posted the newest list of plants that is poison to cats. Katie Isabella doesn't;t worry because I am not growing anything in the house like that.

  4. In Alberta no one ever planted until after may long weekend, here on Vancouver Island I just planted my flower beds/tomatoes/strawberries as wanted to wait until after my trip but I am one of the late ones lol. Next year we will be home all Spring so I will be more in time with growing season. Your grandson is adorable. I've never met a cat in love with a car ride, good luck to them

  5. You always have good judgement with flowers. I am no good at growing things, but I do love gardens and blooming plants. At last the flowering trees and shrubs are blooming here; I can smell their sweet fragrances. I can't wait for the lilacs.

    I am glad that your nbeighbours intend to take their cats with them. As you may know, too many people simply abandon them when they move, and get new ones. Pets are family.

    As for Eli, he's getting quite tall, as well as mobile - though one will look tall when one is standing. Good for him!


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