Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hardy Annuals from Seeds

What easily grows in one place can be difficult in another. I have tried to make a list of the hardy annuals (the ones you can seed directly in the garden) that grow well at Roche Fleurie where summers are short, but quite sunny and warm, with usually enough rain. As well I have made a list of some hardy annuals that have never done well for us, hoping that readers for whom these grow well might be able to tell me how to go about growing them.

Some hardy annuals

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Seed Sorting

I have all my seeds for 2014. In fact, like most years, I have far too many seeds, and these last few days I have been trying to sort them to simplify planting and to make sure I don't forget any of them. I am also writing out labels for each variety to save time later on. Some of you might think it is a bit late to sort seeds, but this is Canada in a year when the winter has been the most severe in decades. Three years ago, hellebores were in bloom at this time of the year, but as I am writing this, there is still about one foot of snow and a few inches of ice packed on the ground even if both have finally started to melt.

Some of my vegetable seeds and my planting schedule

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Garden People by Ursula Buchan (Thames & Hudson)

I have just read this most interesting book and decided to write a review. It is a collection of photographs taken by Valerie Finnis (of artemisia fame) over several decades. They have been assembled by Ursula Buchan, who wrote the text, providing information about who the people in the photos were, and what their connection was with Valerie Finnis. There is also a series of short biographies of the people mentioned in the book by Brent Elliott, as well as a short biographical essay by Anna Pavord.

A Thames & Hudson book (2007)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Watering with Cans

I have quite a few metal watering cans. Over many years, I have acquired different models, mostly second hand. They are decorative, but in fact most of these cans get used regularly, all the watering in the garden being done by hand. Over the years, I have come to appreciate how each one pours differently and is adapted to specific jobs, and how some are better designed than others.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


We try various plant combinations in our gardens.  Some work beautifully, others are not as successful. However, I think that the best combinations are the result of a stroke of luck. Many planned combinations, even when they are successful, have a slight staginess about them, whereas the ones nature creates prolifically, in or outside our gardens, can be just right.  This is, no doubt, because our aesthetic sense was learned from nature in the first place.