Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Apple Tree Grafting

I wrote a post of grafting apple trees in 2014, and I thought I would revisit the topic hoping that some of you might have answers to a question I have.

Most of my graftings are done on a volunteer apple tree. There are lots of "wild" apple trees on the property and when the garden was made, one of these trees ended up in the middle of a bed.

We decided to keep it, although the apples were tough and not very tasty. I thought I would graft nicer varieties on it.

The oft grafted apple tree

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Mr McGregor Morning

Our garden is rabbit proof.  So you will understand that it was a shock, first thing this morning, to encounter Peter (or perhaps it was his sister, Flopsy) leisurely hopping through the garden sampling this and that.

There were even two rabbits, one off the two not at all afraid of me.

They are actually snowshoe hares, and as you can see, Flopsy still has a lot of her white winter coat, but the summer brown is on its way.

Monday, April 18, 2016

What to keep and what not to keep

A week ago I was complaining about winter, forgetting that in our climate we normally go from winter to summer. A week ago there was a foot of snow, but the last 6 days or so have been sunny and warm, the swallows are back, so are the frogs and you can work outside in shirt sleeves.

Days that follow the final melting of snow are important weeding days. Because the ground is still wet and most plants are half comatose after the long winter, pulling a weed (or digging out a plant to move it) is much easier than it will be in just a few weeks. The weeding you take half an hour to do just after the winter, takes several hours at other times of the year.

Monday, April 11, 2016

An April to Remember

This was one of the mildest winters we have had for a few years. A week ago, many bulbs were up. Little did we know that winter had just been postponed to April.

I did a quick collage selecting a few views of the garden taken in previous years, trying to match them with current photos.

The first is perhaps the most telling as the picture of the left was taken on April 25th of a previous year and the one on the right on April 9th of this year.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Road flooded

Once again this year, the road is flooded. It is not because of the heavy rain we had last week, and it is not because of the snow (you will notice the snow - a few days ago it was all melted and spring bulbs were blooming or about to bloom, when winter decided to give us one more whack).

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bounteous or Skimpy

Most plants reproduce and get bigger over time. Some increase very slowly, others increase faster. This post is about one of the latter.

I have  several medium size irises. Like all bearded irises, they make new shoots every year, and I divide them every three years or so.

However, not so with the purple one below which is twice as prolific as all the others I have.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tall Campanula

Ideally we should know the names of all the plants we grow. Unfortunately, this is not how it works.

Labels go astray, you forget a name you were sure to remember, a plant was a gift and the giver did not know the name, plants are mislabeled, etc...

This post is about  tall campanula, one of our plants that you could say has "obscure origins".

Campanula (First year)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ruellia humilis - the perennial petunia

As its common name of “perennial petunia” implies, Ruellia humilis does look like an unimproved petunia, although it is no relation to the petunia since it belongs to the acanthus family. 

To me, the blooms are more attractive than those of the petunia, even if they are only about 1 ½ inches across. The colour is said to be lavender to light purple, but from the ones I have seen (all in cultivation - although it is a native North American plant), I would say the colour is pale blue.

Ruellia humilis
Ruellia humilis

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Plant Portrait – Wall Germander

Teucrium chamaedrys has been described as a garden workhorse. It certainly not demanding and very reliable. It is a low shrub rather than a perennial. Traditionally grown as a medicinal herb, nowadays it is valued both for its flowers and its evergreen foliage.

Teucrium chamaedrys “Summer Sunshine”

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Garden Job Priorities

You get a phone call from people you do not know who are in the area and would like to visit your garden.

You were not expecting visitors and the garden is not in the shape you would like it to be before you show it to unknown gardeners. You only have a few hours to make the garden presentable.

What do you consider the most important jobs you first have to tackle since you do not have time to do everything you would ideally want to do?