Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘planters’ Category

Our lives are distilled to two realms: Inside the cottage or outside to work on projects and go for walks. Its all so simple. No need to keep track of the date, no need to plan days and movements around social events or the numerous groups we each belong to. So we go out whenever weather permits, and when we are tired, cold or wet – back in. Some other things going in and out:

The old sheds and deck went out.
And loads of new lumber came in.
Piles of weeds and other green waste went out…
And a fresh load of clean crush came in to be spread about.
This pine tree, which was getting a bit big for its britches, came out…
And a new deep planter for growing potatoes went in.

Read Full Post »

image

Day lilies

image

Phlox

image

Gladiolas

image

Coreopsis

image

Statice, I think

image

Crocisima and wild geranium

image

Bee balm

image

Mexican grass and annuals

Read Full Post »

Honeysuckle and roses on the trellis.
And these…

image

Yellow loosestrife and the first plox

image

Alstibe

image

Sweet William transplanted from the beach in the Kootenays

image

Wild geranium

image

Delphinium

image

Clematis

image

Over-wintered snapdragons

image

A profusion of succulents

image

Jasmine - more on this shortly!

Read Full Post »

So satisfying to pick one sad corner of the garden and do some spring cleaning.
That’s what I did last Friday while waiting for the honey wagon to come and pump out the septic tank.

Before

Before

and After

and After

Read Full Post »

All that cooking wasn’t quite enough to purge me of all my mental clutter and exhaustion. So when I got to the cottage that recent early morning and Cottager needed a nap on the couch to recover from a late night and an early morning, I grabbed all my sharpest and most dangerous tools and went out to deal with Laurel.

This single shrub has monopolized the sun, harboured invaders like English Ivy and Morning Glory and crowded the paths from day one.  My initial timid trims gave way to repeated efforts to keep the top shoots under control, but on this particular day, it was like I was seeing it for the first time.  I knew I couldn’t kill it if I tried, so why not  give the girl a serious haircut?  Luckily, I remembered to take out my phone and take a few pictures before I started…

From one side . . .

 

. . . and from the other side.

 
And here is how it looked a few hours later after I had unloaded all of my urban frustrations, anger and guilt:
 (yes, there was a stump in there!)
 

From one side . . .

 

. . . and from the other side.

And here is what I removed from this shrub, including the forementioned parasites and an enormous salal growing out of the stump:
 

What Cottager had to haul away when he got up from his nap.

Now, what to do about the stump? It is fairly degraded, and Cottager is of the opinion that we could tear it out easily. I, on the other hand, like the idea of chopping enough of a hole in its soft gooey center to hide a nice pot with some trailing flowers in the spring.  O!  and some small white lights for the laurel branches, I think.

Read Full Post »

You may recall I dreamed of an espaliered Italian plum, but I was thwarted.  Having obtained a giant pot – courtesy of Cottager’s thoughtfulness – and a sufficiency of dirt and a day in which the rain promised to stop long enough to plant a tree, I went to the nursery to discover that they had no Italian plums. No espaliered trees whatsoever, in fact.

The arborist there told me that Italian plums don’t lend themselves to espaliering because they are ‘aggressive’ which I took to mean they grow big, fast, rather than that they are likely to attack.  What I wanted, she said, was a dwarf tree – of which they conveniently also had none.

And then she suggested the columnar Sentinel apple, which grows to a maximum of about 10 feet and which they did have available, in both golden and red varieties. 

When I learned that this apple wouldn’t spread its stubby little branches more than a foot or two in any direction, the need to have a two dimensional tree vanished like warm strudel. I didn’t fritter away another moment wondering if this apple tree idea was just pie-in-the-sky.  For $25 and a saucy smile, a Golden Sentinel was soon riding shotgun . . . er, be-cider me, in the Honda. 

I honestly had never heard of this apple variety, which bears a Golden Delicious-like fruit, plus all the accompanying foliage, close to the trunk instead of on branches.  That the tree is tall, lanky and essentially shapeless really adds to its beauty. If you are truly my friend, you will agree with this statement. Just nod.

So here is a picture of what my Golden girl – christened Gwyneth – will come to look like in time:

 

And here is what she looks like now, in her new home:

Gwyneth the Golden Sentinel apple twig (and companion blue lobelia)

Read Full Post »

The more I learn, the more I am afraid.  On forums, I read of people who fought goutweed for years and then gave up and moved! One fellow covered his infested beds with four layers of flattened cardboard boxes, followed by several inches of mill waste and then a heavy black tarp – for a year! 

I peeked into the neighbour’s yard where the weed is originating and it is a sea of goutweed!  It is growing in their lawn! According to the forums, this is a very bad thing:  It is essentially impossible to dig this highly rhizomatic invader out of turf.  It seems likely they don’t know this.  Would it be rude to point out that their overrun garden is infringing on the health and viability of mine? This is a whole new field of etiquette to ponder.

Meanwhile, I am on the warpath.  I broke down and broke out the Roundup. I  am now getting analytical: Where can I reasonably expect to control this invasive groundcover through digging? Where will I –  realistically – have to use herbicide to have any chance at all?  Which areas might lend themselves to the one-two punch of poisoning and smothering?  

To help answer this last question, I sprayed herbicide foam over a bad patch near the fence, then covered it with a plastic garbage bag, followed by a layer of old shingles and then some board remnants. I sprayed a similar sized adjoining area with Roundup and left it uncovered (not enough shingles and wood handy) so that I can compare the relative efficacy of these techniques.  Don’t know how I can keep on top of this once our rental season gears up next month… I am frankly considering a torch!

poisoning and smothering

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »