Sunday, 22 May 2016

Gardening like it's 2016

Phew, it's Sunday of the long weekend and it's time to relax a little bit.  My Friday post was almost completely accurate.  I've spent almost all of the weekend out in the yard, digging in the dirt and planting a variety of containers and even a few more perennials.

My front flower bed faces north and with the exception of two containers, one with impatience, the other fuschia, the bed is entirely made up of perennials.

I've lived in this house six years as of July, when I arrived it there was lily of the valley and not much else in the bed.  Since then I've dug out all the lily of the valley, and put in a few perennials every year.

The heartleaf bergenia with the stocky purple flowers in front was just tiny when I planted it.  It's definitely gotten huge and I will likely cut it back and move part of it this fall.  The bush to the right is a spirea, I think an Autumn Joy (not certain of the variety), it's yellow green leaves turn a lovely red in the fall.  I've got three hostas in that I've added over the years, several ferns (which don't seem to be doing well this year), aruga for ground cover, a lamium, a columbe, a bellflower, and a couple of plants called veronica. This year I added a couple of periwinkle (one on either side of the bed, and a purple leafed plant whose name I have forgotten.  The leaves open up in the day and close at night, and I noticed it has white flowers under the foiliage.  I'll try to get a good photo of it later in the summer.

As you can probably tell, the west side of the garden gets more sunshine than the east side.  I would think the east side of the garden may only get an hour or two of sunshine a day, and even less so the closer to the house.  Yet the impatience do beautifully tucked away in this corner.  There has been a blight or some sort of disease killing off the impatience locally.  I've been fortunate in that I haven't lost any though I did find it was much harder to find them at the garden stores this year.
I've pared down the containers a little bit more this year  On the front patio, I only have three  These have pink dahlias, upright verbena (rather than the trailing), one pink, one white, and an artemisa which has a lovely silver color.

The view isn't the prettiest looking this way...but the neighbour's clematis are helping block the view of the air conditioning unit.  As an aside, I'm surprised they were allowed to install the unit so close to my was there when I moved in so I just have to put up with it.

In the front yard, I got lazy!  I bought two containers, with geraniums, euphoribia, and calibrocha which I simply pulled out of the hanging baskets, and replanted in my containers.  Not only was it easy, but the plants are well established, and fill out the pots so much more than the bedding plants.

In front is a pot of yellow wave petunias.  I always overfill my containers..there are six plants in the container!

On the lower deck in the back yard, I've moved most of the containers to catch the sunshine.  The chair with the two pots (and frog) will be moved to another spot when the plants get a little fuller.

There are three containers with osteospermum and argeratum two tomato plants with a companion container of marigolds, and the two containers of gallardia and portulaca.  Hanging on the potting shed is a container of pansies.

(Not sure what's happening but I've having some difficulty adding more photos...I'll keep trying but Blogger does not appear to be my friend right now.)

I love the sunny faces of osteospermum especially these pink ones with the yellow edging on the flowers.  They do so well in the summer right through to fall).

I usually plant these with alyssum but find the smaller plants dies off early. Hopefully the aspertum will do better.

This is one of two containers of the gallardia and portulaca.  I found both varieties in pink shades but neither were blooming so this will be a surprise.

Both like the sunshine and heat, so I'll move them around on the deck as the summer heats up.
There are six plants in this container as well, two of the gallardia and four portulaca.  It will be interesting to see how full it gets.

On the upper tier of the deck are three tall containers.  Last year I tried calla lilies and had very limited success.  Lots of green and very few flowers.

This year I thought I'd stick to something more generic, so I have geraniums, blue and white lobelia, and dichondra.  The latter is something I've never grown before, but it is a trailer so I'm hoping it will grow up and over the edge of the planter.

In total I've got nineteen containers, not including one I planted of cat grass earlier today.  (That doesn't count because it is just seeds, right?)  Anyway I've kept to my limit of 20 finally.  The first full year we lived in the house I was at 30+ and every year I would say I planned to scale down.  I have, little by little, by a couple of containers each year.  I love the color the plants bring to the yard but there is quite a bit of work to keep them up.  I look forward to the days when I'm not working full-time and have more time to spend enjoying the time outdoors, not simply working at keeping it all up.  (Just 30 more marbles!)

To end with, I'll share a photo of a visitor to the yard today. I've been feeding the birds (and apparently the squirrel too) throughout the spring.  Isn't he/she a fat little thing?  I spotted it climbing down the dead evergreen in the back yard, checking out the feeder (which is currently empty) and then climbing down to the ground where seed has been spilled.

I know they can be nuisances, but I still think he/she is pretty darn cute. As long as it stays outside and doesn't try to visit the house I'm okay with it.

Hope you are all enjoying wonderful weather and have time to enjoy the outdoors.  This is a long weekend for us, so I have one more day to do so....and I definitely will be!

Saturday, 30 April 2016


I think I can safely say spring is definitely here ...I had the snow tires removed from the car yesterday!  While we haven't had snow since a dump in early April, the tire shop was very busy and I had to wait nearly two weeks to get an appointment.

Yesterday I spotted this guy resting in my backyard. As I've mentioned I've been feeding the birds, and the rabbit has been cleaning up the spilled seed underneath.

This spot is very shady and filled with gravel.  I believe that the first owners of the home used it as a dog run.  The last owners built a potting shed so there is very little space left.

Since I've lived here I've been emptying out my pots back there.  I tried moving some ferns into it as well but there simply isn't enough sunlight.

The catmint does well though!  I'll keep trying with some shade loving plants but it's definitely the least attractive spot in the yard....unless Mr. Bunny is back there.

I had a bit of a scare last weekend.  I'd been up several times in the night, feeling quite dizzy.  When I woke in the morning the room was spinning and walking or even sitting was a challenge.  I waited a half-hour to see if the dizziness and nausea would pass and when it didn't I called my daughter.  I didn't have a headache, but with my family history of stroke I thought it best to see the doctor. She sent her new boyfriend over to take me to the walk-in clinic.  On our way there I was feeling even worse so we headed for the ER instead.

After triage I was sent back to the ward to wait to see the doctor.  Obviously they weren't concerned about stroke as I was there for nearly 90 minutes before anyone saw me. I didn't know it however, and was quite upset.  My nausea was getting worse,, and I was up pacing when he walked in.  I guess he didn't care for how I was breathing (rather quickly) and he insisted I climb back into bed.  I did, but when he tried to make me lie flat I tried to not do so as the position made the room spin more.  I recall grabbing him by the arm and saying, please, please make the room stop spinning.

Shortly after he left I started throwing up.  It made me somewhat better but the room continued to do its revolutions.  Then the nurse came in, inserted an IV, and gave me saline and Gravol.  While that was doing its work, another nurse came in and asked if I was feeling anxious.  I think I said I don't know, so she gave me a shot of  Valium.  (I think my near panic attack made the doctor think I needed it).

I'm pretty certain I was out like a light within minutes.  D's boyfriend came back to see me at one point, and I was awake enough to tell him to go home as I had no idea how much longer I would be.  Sometime after that I was asked to walk across the hall (that was fun - I was dizzy and stoned) to another area with recliners where I was given a blanket and went back to sleep.

About 4 1/2 hours after I arrived the doctor came back to see me.  He gave his diagnosis of Positional vertigo, gave me a sheet of instructions for an exercise to do three times a day, told me I could leave the hospital and then he was gone.  I had to flag down a nurse to ask if they would remove my IV, then got dressed and took a taxi home.

I spent much of last weekend sleeping, not certain if it was the drugs or just from the emotional overload.  I've been faithfully completing the exercise three times a day and the periods of dizziness have lessened.  I went to work all week and managed fine.  I do find that as long as I give myself time to become accustomed to a different position I'm okay.  Information I found on the Mayo Clinic website says this can last for a few weeks or months...oh yippee!  However, now when someone calls me a dizzy broad, they'd be right. :)

I did get some work done in the garage yesterday, getting rid of some garbage, recycling, and sweeping out the winter's accumulation of dirt.  I moved the table and chairs out to the front patio, though they'll need a wash down before I'll be able to use them.

The front flower bed is beginning to show signs of life, though unfortunately so far its just the weeds.  I'll be heading out there shortly to start digging some of those out, just as soon as the curling match is over.  Yes, I'm still watching curling though this is the last weekend!

The neighbours are busy with spring yard work and renovations as well.  Next door there is a crew putting in a new driveway, while at next door on the other side the contractor is working to put in new windows.  There was also a truck delivering supplies just down the street.

Across the street I can see mom, dad and their five year old out watering their trees and cleaning a vehicle.

If they had been out a little earlier in the day they might have seen this little fellow.

I took this from my front window so it's a little unclear.  He/she certainly blends into the bushes.

As the title of my blog would suggest I've been a bit impatient this last while.  I've been longing for spring to truly arrive, to see the fresh green of new leaves and shoots, so I can get outdoors and start digging in the dirt.  Yes, it was a gentle winter with little snow and few really cold days, but the lack of color can be so depressing.  Going somewhere with the bright blue of the ocean and the lush greenery of the Caribbean is why I so enjoy a winter holiday!

Though I've only been dealing with it for a week, I'm feeling somewhat impatient with feeling not quite right.  I find myself sitting down frequently waiting for the "movement" to stop.  I don't really feel dizzy, more as if I listing to one side or another as the floor dips and sways around me.  Oh well, this too will pass...someday.

Hope your weekend is going well, with lots of sunshine!

Friday, 29 April 2016

Funny Friday

Normally I post a cartoon but this time I just have to share this video.  This woman, Mary Maxwell, is hilarious!

Take a few minutes to watch it, I'm be surprised if you don't enjoy it.

Have a great weekend everyone!