It’s a busy time in the garden as we plan our summer gardens, dust off the barbecue and get ready to enjoy the back yard. Our sidewalks had to be cleared this weekend to pressure wash the two years of dirt and grime from them. It’s a messy job and meant moving a few zillion plants. Well, not quite that many but it seemed like a lot. The goal is to get the yard looking nice for the summer. It’s already shaping up as the lounge chairs come out beckoning one to come and sit awhile. I only wish. There is plenty to be done and the list doesn’t get any shorter. Those black poppies still need planting, and the dahlias are potted up but where do you plant twenty-five dahlias? Yes, I have gone a bit overboard as plants tend to grow and need dividing. The closest I get to relaxing is walking through the garden so join me won’t you?
I have to admit this Primula isn’t mine. When we moved my mom to a condo a few years ago, it sat in her garden waiting to be planted. It didn’t look very good so I had to rescue it. Look at it now. I love this double flowering Primula with its soft yellow flowers. Its called Primula ‘Belarina Buttercup’. This is definitely one plant I will divide and share.
The garden is full of English bluebells. For some they are like weeds as they spread rapidly. I love them as they give my garden that cottage garden look and hide any dying back foliage from earlier spring bulbs. They make nice fillers for bouquets in the home. I have pink and white as well so I may actually have some Spanish bluebells. I love pastels in the garden as it creates such a calming effect.
The first of the Clematis is out. We welcome the arrival of Clematis montana. It sadly disappeared for two years until one day I found a piece growing back from the root. We had almost given up hope on this one. It has now climbed over the rose arbor. If we are lucky the roses will open before this finishes to add even more pink flowers.
I love blue flowers in the garden but some of them are real thugs. These two look great together, don’t they? In my early gardening days I couldn’t get enough of Centaurea montana with its spidery blue flowers. If I had only known I would be digging it out every year. A few are okay but their roots spread underground sending baby shoots up everywhere. Then there is Ajuga with its spiky blue flowers. It’s a great ground cover, oh yes, until it invades your lawn. Okay I actually don’t mind large patches of purple Ajuga leaves in the lawn as they never get a chance to bloom. But left there I have noticed that some have travelled via lawnmower to another part of the lawn. Sigh. It’s interesting to inherit someone else’s plants when you move to a new home. You just never know what you will get.
Lets move on to the front garden where some of my favourite plants grow. I can’t get enough of Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’. I love great foliage in the garden and this plant has it all. Its tiny blue flowers are a sure sign of spring. Once the flowers finish I cut them back and the leaves start to get larger. I like planting this with ferns and Hostas. It likes a home where its protected from the hot afternoon sun. I have it growing under my large oak tree which provides a shady spot in the summer.
I keep staring out the window at the leaves of this Dicentra commonly known as bleeding heart. Look how well it goes with the native fern and dark leaves of Ligularia in behind. This could be Dicentra ‘Gold Heart’ but I am not entirely sure. I often buy plants that are not labelled. Place this bleeding heart in a shady spot in front of some dark green plants for good contrast. I have this one planted in front of a large cedar hedge.
That’s about it for today. Its time to get out there and think about where all my summer plants will go. Where will I plant Snapdragon ‘Black Prince’ or the Zinnias this year? Do I have enough soil for the containers? What will I do with the Dahlias? As my trees grow I have more and more shade so the garden changes. Sun seeking plants are delegated to the side yard out of view. That just means I need to take a garden walk more often or create a new sitting area. Like I will sit down, not. Well, maybe for a few minutes.