Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Week 10,5 - Digging the dirt

Sunday brought wicked winds our way, so I spent much of the day indoors.  I wasn't unhappy to do so as every Sunday TSN replays past curling matches.  Some of them I remember well, others I've forgotten who won or lost.  There were three draws televised, one mid-morning and the other two starting late afternoon.  It meant I could do a few things between the draws, so I took care of cleaning and tidying the sun room.
I removed the towels I use to cover the cushions, and along with the rug in front of the door (not shown), I threw a load of laundry in the machine.  While these were being washed, I swept the floors, and vacuumed the rugs, and wiped down the tables and the radio stand (behind the recliner).  It was dusty out there!  I do keep the windows open for the breeze on nice days - apparently I need to dust more often.  When I went to take the load out of the dryer, I showed my son the lint that was was thick and I'd pretty sure most of it was cat hair!

On days when the weather outside isn't conducive to sitting outdoors this room is a blessing.  Not only do the cats love to nap out there, I enjoy sitting in my chair or (if Sasha is napping on it) the love seat.  With a book, and cup of coffee or water, and the radio softly playing in the background, I can enjoy watching the birds out the window and just simply relax.

Despite the continued winds, I did not relax on Monday.  There were bedding plants to be potted up.
I have a routine, I start out front where the planters will be seen from the street, then the front patio and front flower bed, before heading around to the back yard to take of the deck planters.  Generally the few leftover plants (I always seem to buy more than I need) end up in a small bed on the west side of the yard near the fence.

For my benefit, more than yours, here are a few photos. 
I have two tall planters out in front of the big spruce tree, and a shorter round one.  As I've mentioned, instead of filling the planter with several bedding plants I buy a 10" container, and just plop them in.  There is a small ivy in the one corner, which will trail over the edge.  Depending on the year I sometimes end up with a mass of ivy, others not so much.  The round container has yellow wave petunias in it. These are quite small right now but by the end of summer will have filled in the container.  

In this patio container (I have two) is a new to me plant, a Kalanchoe or Widow's Thrill.   It's actually a succulent and usually a houseplant so we'll see how it does out in the container.  It has dark green waxy leaves.  The lime green sedum is to it's left, and I've added a white bacopa and a purple calibrachoa (million bells).  I expect the calibrachoa will spread and flow over the edge of the container, as will the bacopa, though to a lesser degree.  This area gets several hours of sunshine but is sheltered from the winds.

In a sheltered spot that gets little sun, I hung this container.  I've planted it with two fuschias, a bacopa and a shade loving ivy.  I'm not sure how the ivy will do - isn't that part of the joy of gardening, waiting to see how things turn out?  Normally, I'd purchase a larger pot of fuschia, well established, but this year I wasn't going to go to several garden centres to find it.  Again it is a bit of an experiment but if these thrive I'm sure I'll do the same next year.
My front flower bed is just beginning to show signs of life.  I had cut back the Bergenia quite agressively and it is beginning to bloom.  There is a Jacob's ladder that is up about three inches, but most of the green you see are the annuals and perennials I planted this spring.

This container is one of three that sit on my back deck.  I went with seed geraniums as no one had larger ones for some odd reason.  The geranium is supposed to be pale pink, and I've added in a variegated calibrachoa (purple with yellow centers) and the lime creeping jenny.  These containers get sun from mid-morning to late afternoon.  The deck is on the east side of sun room so by that time the sun is in the west.  In July and August it is nice to have that shade!

I quite enjoy sitting out here on a sunny day with a book and cold drink. On rainy days I sit up on the upper tier as it has an overhang. Once I had finished planting what I could (more on that later), I sat out for an hour or so.  The sun kept disappearing behind the clouds but peeked out enough so that it was lovely and warm.

I pulled these deck planters out of storage this year as without the shed I wanted something of interest on the lower deck.  There are two of them, planted with four multi-colored stock, and a verbena, one pink and one purple. These will get full day sun so I expect I'll be watering them frequently.  I'm going to keep an eye out for an inexpensive plant stand or even a shoe rack to lift these off the deck.

In the gravel patch, I put out these clay pots with gazanias (African daisies).  I'm not sure what color they'll be, I'm assuming yellows and reds.  These don't actually fit my theme of pinks and purples but I love the flowers and this year could not find the pink ones.  This area gets the full day sun too, and I expect they'll do well in the heat.  I'm not sure what I've done with all my garden critters - I could only find one (a duck), so I brought these birds that normally I keep on top of my china cabinet.  In addition, I moved the bird bath to this side of the trees.  I'll be able to see it from both the sun room and the deck.  The robins have been enjoying it immensely but not since I've moved it.  We'll see if they figure out where it went to (about 3 feet away).

On Tuesday, I woke to sunny skies and 12C. We were in for a beautiful day.  It was also grocery and laundry day.  I headed out early so I could get home to spend time in the yard.  I stopped first at Home Depot to pick up some grass seed and fertilizer.  A few more plants may have found their way into my cart. :)  I picked up two variegated lamium and a sweet Woodruff, perennials for my front flower bed.  Next up was our local Co-op for groceries.  I asked the clerk as I was checking out, if the store was busier now than before the pandemic?  She agreed - it used to be that I'd find a half dozen vehicles in the lot, these days it's at least 3 to 4 times that many.  I wasn't able to find the containers I wanted at HD, so I ran into the garden centre at Walmart, where I found what I needed.  Last stop was Pet Valu for cat litter.  I use a brand Fresh for Life that is only available there.  It's the best I've found for keeping odor at bay and clumps well.  

At home I got the groceries put away and started the laundry, cleaned the cat litter, did a few dishes and then it was time to head outdoors.  My first task was to finish potting up the remaining bedding plants and to plant the perennials.  I have two hanging baskets, each with a calibrachoa, a verbena, and a bacopa.  One is hanging in the back yard, the other out front.

I pretty much spent the rest of the day relaxing on the deck, occasionally going in to change the load of laundry or get a cup of water.  It is this time of year, that makes me wonder if I truly want to move away from here.  

Today, I was up early, it was overcast and already 15C (60F).  The forecast is a high of 27C (80F) and isolated thundershowers later today so I decided I'd spend as much time as I could outdoors.  After I chatted with D, as I do every morning, I headed outdoors.  The spruce tree in back is shedding needles and the coverings from what I believe will be the new batch of cones.  My deck was covered with these, so I got busy with the broom.  I kept going and swept up the sidewalk around the house and the patio.  I had a bag of debris so took my grabber and picked up the cones that had fallen as well.  I certainly didn't get them all but made a good start.

I was so excited this morning to find that my radish are starting to come up! I've got a shoot of an onion too.  The peas and lettuce in the other containers are yet to show.  
I spent a bit more time puttering, spreading some more grass seed and fertilizer, and raking before watering the lawn. Then it was time to relax! The sun has made an appearance, so I grabbed my water, my book, and sunscreen before I settled in to my chair.  

I've just popped in the house as the clouds are back. The weather radar would suggest that rain is on the way, but it appears to be a couple of hours out. I decided I'd take a few minutes to finish this post, as it's already far too long. If you've made it this far, I'm impressed!  I'm heading back outdoors to read and relax.  Besides the bird song, I made this little fountain from a pump from an old cat fountain, a glass bowl that was chipped, and couple of handful of rocks from the gravel patch.  While it doesn't block the sounds from the neighbouring yards, it does provide something else to hear in the background.

Take care everyone, stay well, and I hope the weather has brought spring to your homes as well!


  1. Your flowers are lovely! I've waited to plant my last flower bed as I wanted to trim the hedge that is right by it - that is now completed, flowers bought so tomorrow will be planting day as today it is raining. I really love your sunroom, no wonder your kitties enjoy it

  2. Everything looks so pretty. Great job. I love the patio room!!!! That looks so cozy.

  3. I love all those flowers! They are beautiful!!!!! And enjoy the sunroom - it looks like a wonderful place to relax.

  4. Your planters should fill out nicely! They will need lots of water if we have a dry year! :)

  5. Love all your containers. They are so pretty and will keep you busy watering. Clever idea with the fountain. Now I have a use for that pump from my old cat fountain. Thanks.

  6. I've always loved your sun-room. The striped towels make it seem like it is on the beach. (I always associate striped towels with the beach.) I would like to sit there when the sun is out but the temperature low, or when it is raining and gloomy outside. What a refuge.

  7. I have a feeling that you'll be enjoying the fruits of your labour sooner than later! Everything looks and sounds lovely. I'm envious of your sun room. I've always enjoyed the look and idea of them. Things are looking wonderful and definitely spring has arrived!

  8. You have sincerely said, inspired me to get a move on and do pretty much the same here. I always had, and after that heart surgery I stopped and there was no reason to do so. I will begin again!


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