Sunday, September 11, 2016

Four-legged Johny Appleseed

September is associated with the ripening of wild apples that surround the garden. As regular readers will already know, lots of apples means that our local bear is often around.

Very few of these apple trees were planted by humans. The majority comes from apple seeds scattered by raccoons and, especially, bears.

Some of the "wild" apples


Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Setting

This is a gardening blog, so the vast majority of the posts have to do with the garden, its plants or its design.

For a change, it might be useful to talk about the location of the garden in order to place it in its context and give you an idea of its surroundings.

The beach and marina in the village of Lion's Head in the Bruce Peninsula



Saturday, August 27, 2016

Late August

Late August is the time when there are still some blooms, but they look rather tired. Somehow, even flowers that have just opened seem tired.

More probably, it is the gardener's outlook which is defective. Even if the days are still warm, they are getting shorter and shorter.

Here are some of the things that are blooming now at Roche Fleurie.

Hellenium autumnale


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tolerated Weeds

One of our shortcomings as a gardeners is to be too inclined to leave attractive weeds to prosper. Some years we am more strict, others more lax, depending on the situation.

This year, for instance, many of the vegetables that were planted are not going to produce much. Many had to be replanted several times after having been dug up by raccoons early in the season.

Only one cucumber plant and one zucchini plant eventually grew.   Only a quarter of the pole beans planted survived the raccoon onslaught. They are growing and we have started eating them.

However they are being invaded by Morning Glories which we decided to let grow. There might not be many beans, but at least the poles are not naked.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Week in the Shuswap and the Okanagan

The Shuswap is a lake and area of British Columbia where we have just spent a holiday week.

The Thompson river in the Shuswap


Friday, August 5, 2016

In Praise of Blackcurrants

It has been an excellent year for blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum). In fact we had a bumper crop.

Some years there will be a late frost when the blackcurrant bushes are in bloom, which reduces yield. But not this year.

This means that we have been very busy picking berries and turning them into desserts, jam and, most popular of all in this household, crème de cassis, the delicious blackcurrant liqueur.

Blackcurrants


Sunday, July 31, 2016

A True Dry Shade Lover

In this garden, the regular foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) does not do well. It is, in fact, very difficult to grow, mostly because the soil is basic and too dry.

At the moment of writing this, at the end of July, it has been very sunny for the last two months, with perhaps three rain showers in all, which means that many plants only survive provided they are watered every day.

However the rusty foxglove (Digitalis ferruginae) is blooming generously, even if it has never been watered except for the little rain we got.


Digitalis ferruginae - the rusty foxglove, an easy xeric plant

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hardy Annuals

Most years I grow a fair number of hardy annuals. The point about hardy annuals is that they can be started from seed directly in the garden where they are going to grow.  They often bloom for a very long time and are inexpensive.

In fact after a few years of growing them, most hardy annual plants seed themselves or produce a lot of seeds that can be saved and replanted the next year.


Love-in-a-mist
Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena) - on the right growing with Dianthus deltoides

Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer Peak

Many gardening bloggers are talking about the great abundance of plants in bloom in the garden at this time of the year.  Here are some of the plants that have been blooming here recently.


Since early June we have had a lot of sunshine, but not a lot of heat, and the nights have been actually cold. This cooler weather is, no doubt, the reason why a week ago we still had a few peonies!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Tale of Two Gardens

It  is not very common to have two keen gardeners living next door to each other, but it is even more unusual is to have these two gardeners share a garden!

This post is about two gardeners that have ignored the property line that separates their respective lots and created a single garden right over it.


Part of the shared garden