Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Thursday, January 08, 2015


January 8, 2015

Back in 2011, we had our last house on the market so I bought a couple of potted hibiscus from Walmart to grace the front porch.  We brought them with us when we moved.  The funny thing is, hibiscus is not tolerant to temperatures lower than 50°F so they must have been selling them as a seasonal item, likely brought in by mistake as they would not survive our winters if planted outdoors.  One of the hibiscus died but the other has survived, still rewarding me with beautiful showy blooms year round.  I have been moving it to the front porch for June through September then bringing it in the rest of the year. 

While we were away for October and five weeks spanning November and December, our thermostat was set to vacation mode (55°F).  It's a Nest so we checked the temperature in the house to be sure it didn't drop lower than 55°F.  The hibiscus was on the lower level so even though the main level stayed above 55°F, the lower level likely hovered right around 50°F.  Unfortunately, the cooler temperature affected a couple of house plants but I only lost one that was doing poorly before we left.  The cooler temperature did not affect the hibiscus at all!  The hibiscus needs a bit of TLC but weathered through our vacation nicely.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Wild Violets (Viola papilionacea)

wild violets viola papilionacea
Wild Violets
Viola papilionacea
April 23, 2014

Our grandkids love the wild violets (Viola papilionacea) growing in the narrow side yard to the east.  I have to agree with them.  Wild violets always bring a smile!  We have quite a large patch of these little beauties.  These hardy perennial wild flowers are low-growing with heart-shaped leaves, flowering in mid-May.  They are spread through their dense fibrous root system (rhizomes).  Wild violets are considered difficult to control due to aggressive grow and waxy broad eaves that are resistance to most common herbicides. 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

2014 Wasn't a Great Growing Year

Winter 2014 was the coldest on record since 1996 in southern Ontario.  I was looking through last year's pictures when I realized that this time last year we were in the midst of a deep freeze.  It was cold and blustery with downright nasty snow, ice, and sleet.  Spring was cold with us still wearing winter gear when we headed south the first week of May.  Area farmers had a hard time getting their crops in because it was so wet.  The summer proved to be nice on the air conditioning bill but almost a total wash-out for those with pools.  Not only was it cold and damp but algae became a huge problem.  We were at our vacation home in October then home for three weeks and back there for five.  Normally, the field behind us would have been harvested during that three week period because I always do rodent proofing before going back down south.  When the fields come off, the critters like coming indoors.  From the comforts of the not so sunny and cold south, I read tweet after tweet of the wet conditions at home preventing area farmers from getting their crops off.  From an agricultural perspective, 2014 was not a good year!

Unfortunately, the weather really affected our gardens this year.  We had no peaches and only a few pears but the gooseberries and mint produced nicely.  Other than that, it wasn't a good home garden year.  I wasn't happy but in the end, it proved to be nice that we could focus on other work that needed to be done when the weather permitted.  Even the local growers I buy from had a difficult year so it was harder for me to get the produce I wanted for home canning.  The weather certainly drove up the price of local produce. 
I hope the growing season is better this year than 2014!

Saturday, January 03, 2015 is No More

When I was doing a bit of annual tweaking on this blog yesterday, I noticed that the image for was broke.  This usually happens if the url the image links to is broken.  Imagine my dismay to find that the site has been 'moth balled' according to their host site.  I was a member of, a global network and community of gardeners.  It was a lovely way for gardening bloggers and those interested in any aspect of gardening to keep in touch with each other and discover what others were doing in their garden.  I will certainly miss this unique and valuable gardening resource!

Friday, January 02, 2015

It's a Brand New Year!

Here it is the second day of a brand new year with thoughts of gardening dancing in my head!  Last year was a disaster with respect to gardening BUT we accomplished a tremendous amount of work outside.  So even though I had nothing to blog about that was gardening related, there was a lot going on.  We removed the old deck replacing it with a 20' x 30' main deck and started the lower deck around the pool.  It is still a work in progress.  My husband adding a built-in seating area so I will have planter boxes in that area and we are planning on adding at least one new raised bed.  We will be replacing the perimeter fencing this year as well so there will be a lot of activity including more gardening.  I am currently searching for vertical gardening and planter box ideas.  Excitement is growing as I look ahead to getting my gardens back in order. 

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year! Welcome 2015

Wishing each and everyone of you a very Happy New Year!  Welcome 2015...

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Gardening in 2014

Looking back on my gardening endeavors of 2013, they were little more than a disaster!  We spent a lot of time ripping out with the only real progress being the new side and front garden beds with only the base completed and no actual plantings.  I must say, the rock looks gorgeous though!  We learned a lot though in 2013. 

We know we want to move to very low maintenance for the ornamental gardens.  We have the the plans set for how we want the backyard so are ready to move ahead as soon as weather permits.  This year's garden plans involve small space gardening, high intensity gardening, vertical gardening, container gardening and growing indoors.  I will be starting the indoor garden this week, something that really couldn't be done while we were at our vacation home for October, part of November and most of December.  At any rate, I already have a few herbs growing indoors so I'll start with more herbs and go from there.

Things look promising for a lovely gardening year ahead...