Archive for March, 2010

My sister came over for a little girl-time this past weekend and was kind enough to spend an afternoon in the garden with me. Last year when she came over, we planted a jasmine and a clematis. I was getting ready to move the jasmine from its spot in the ‘zen garden’ as it didn’t seem to be flourishing. But my sis thought it just needed a little less competition from some encroaching plants and that it would do impressive things this year. So she set to tidying up the area; trimmed back the ivy and set it all on the right path. And then she did the same for the clematis.   If that wasn’t nice enough, she bought me two new vines . . . grape vines!

Tidying up the zen garden

Still needed: Cooperative jasmine and lots of impatiens

Read Full Post »

Sweet Olive in full bloom

I’m getting lots of visits these days from people searching for information about Osmanthus Delavayi or Delavay Tea Olive. It happened last year at this time too. I imagine people coming across this shrub for the first time –much as I did two years ago – getting a snootful of that breathtaking scent, and resolving to find out more about this shrub! All I have to add is this new photo of my sweet olive in all its beauty. And my opinion: If you have a spot for one, you will love it.

Read Full Post »

Shrubby bamboo in need of a good trimming

Last year I spent the better part of an afternoon ‘grooming’ my bamboo. This year I went ninja on it and it was done in an hour. As I did it, I came to realize that there are some very good reasons to get this job done early in the season:

1.  Birds love to nest in bamboo. Thin it out before they start to build, or you may lose your opportunity – or their goodwill.

2.  Spiders also love bamboo, but they aren’t too active or plentiful  just yet. I only came across one, and that was enough.

3.   Giving your bamboo a hard trim will reduce over all maintenance. Bamboo sheds leaves all year ’round. By reducing the thatch by 50- 75%, you reduce the amount of on-going clean up.  Target the most disheveled leaf clusters.

4.  The exposed stems of the bamboo are the prettiest part. Shrubby bamboo looks unkempt. 

5.  Once the foliage is thinned out, the wind can move easily in and around the canes. The motion of the leaves, the shadows they cast and the soft rustling sound are all more pleasing.

Mid-way through the job

And with the job all done.

Read Full Post »

Spring is a great time for tidying up and today I undertook the task of cleaning out my blogroll. Some of the blogs I used to follow haven’t posted in months.  I understand completely and yet …Farewell!

Others have become so commercial or cluttered that I am instantly overwhelmed with ads, contests, lists, and text boxes of all kinds and I can’t find – or at least distinguish- the actual ‘content’. Au revoir!

I granted clemency to a few and will take them to a review at the end of six months.

Meanwhile, I’m looking for new blogs to follow. If you are a regular reader (thanks, by the way) you know my interests.  Chances are pretty good that we share some.  Please suggest your favourite sources of inspiration. 

If you aren’t a regular reader, your opinion is still most valuable.

So, in brief, I am increasingly interested in gardening, and I’m starting a Square-Foot Garden at my city home. 

I am interested in quilting, and particularly, in creating original pictures with fabric (as opposed to more traditional pattern quilts.)

I’m interested in writing, cycling, travel, good books and cottage decorating and style.  And if there is a blog out there that doesn’t address any of these topics, but you still feel is particularly worth a look, I’d love to hear about it.   Cheers!

Read Full Post »

I see these in bloom everywhere at the moment. This one bloomed at least twice last year, and my (faulty) memory thinks it may actually have been three times. That’s my kind of plant. Please tell me its name, so I can learn a bit more about it. 

Read Full Post »