Tuesday, July 27, 2010

No joke!

At first I thought it was a newcomer to Stratford hazing joke. It arrived on the 4 month anniversary of my arrival here. I couldn't believe my bad luck when I opened an official looking letter from the City that summarily informed me that I had violated the city fencing bylaw.

Fence bylaw - what fence?

Apparently this:

(on the left) is a fence in the eyes of the city !!!!

I called the bylaw folks and asked what the heck they meant and apparently anything that creates a line, no matter how short (we are looking at 3 inches here) is defined as a fence!

The wording of the letter was about as obscure and bureaucratic as it comes but seems that this "fence" will interfere with "municipal operations"

Now the good news!

"Municipal operations" means the snow plough that clears the sidewalks of snow!


No snow shovelling for moi - they do it for ya here. How good is that (still have to do the driveway though!)

So the rocks are gone - I needed them for the back anyway.

Hazing - what hazing....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend work

Saturday rained and was stinky hot but Sunday was beautiful.

I worked in the garden all morning - mulching, moving and planting.

The yellow false cypress got moved closer to the edge and behind it I planted some Alchemilla mollis (Lady's Mantle) which I adore and a pink Geranium x oxonian "Wargrave Pink which I also adore - perennial geraniums that is - this is my first Wargrave Pink version

Also planted some Echinacia purpurea and a peony (Sarah Bernhardt) to the right of this little grouping.

Dug out some of the mystery plant at the front and put in a Geranium Himalayense instead (salvaged from the planting of the peony in the back)

The garden is starting to feel like mine now as I have removed some diseased roses that were spindly and non-producing plus did a major deadheading and tidying up of spent blossoms.

Did some knitting too!

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


My just arrived Clematis Snow in Summer! I am very excited and am looking forward to its long bloom season and vigorous growth. It has a small 6 petalled flower and was fabulous in my previous garden so am hopping it will like it here too

Hostas are in (Frances Williams at the rear, June in the middle and 2 Great Expectations at the front). the Hosta on the right was already here and is growing very well

Pretty Rudbeckia is blooming now and lots more to come

Almost ready! My first full sized tomato - this is Big Boy I think - I planted 3 varieties and this is the 1st to ripen

I have a visitor! She is a little uncertain but has a room to herself for now so she can settle in. There is much hissing under the door so far. Her name is Madam and she belongs to my niece and her partner:

Marble being cute as usual:

Myles wonders what all the noise is about:

Anyone know what this is - it is growing very vigorously in the front garden in full shade and so far hasn't shown any buds. I thought maybe Tansy but no blossoms to be sure

It's a great ground cover whatever it is

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More potential

Echinops seems happy where it is in the front - no blooms yet though

The Eryngium has lots of buds which will soon turn a steely blue (Sea Holly):

And in case you think I have managed to get rid of all the grass - this is the grass at the front (very tall and sturdy!):

And at the back - also tall - a little more delicate looking though:

I found some mosquito larvae swimming in my little dish ponds yesterday so dumped out all the water, rinsed and added fresh water. This morning there were a few more of the little buggers so I dumped it out again and have left it to dry out (thus killing off any eggs and small larva!). Watch yours if you have any - the mosquitoes are breeding and West Nile Virus is still an issue!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekend progess but no knitting

My kids and my DD's boyfriend were here for the weekend so there was not much planting done by me and no knitting at all

I did manage to plant a Hosta Frances Williams, a June and 2 Great Expectations at the front in the spot I dug the Centaurea from the other day

Post holes were dug (but not by me) and design decisions made on the east part of the fence to be:

a privacy screen made of lattice in a 2 by 4 frame by the house plus some metal (possibly chain link depending on prices) and the wooden fence towards the back.

Went to the Golden Retriever national specialty for a short time on Friday and Saturday and got re-acquainted with Montana's family - what a great bunch of dogs (and their people!). His brother, father, aunt, grandmother and great uncle were all here and competing. Wonderful to see!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Potential number one:

A place for a Hosta 'Frances Williams'

Was a Centaurea montana (which is a flagrant self-seeder)

Potential Number Two:

Lots of lumber to be turned into my fence.

The boards are almost 9 feet long so cutting a 5 ft and a 4 ft will give me fence boards galore. There are 92 boards - the majority of which will be re-usable. Lots of 2 by 4s to be re-used too!

It was a wall at the back of the property - 4 ft in from the property line and encroaching on the church next door. Bad planning! (not by me)

Potential Number Three:

Will become a perennial/shrub bed with the addition of lots of compost and topsoil

Was a rotting, smelly old shed that everyone tells me had been there for " a while".

The posts from the wall. They will stay (except for the one that is on church property - far left) and will become supports for a variety of climbing things. It is quite shady so I will be doing my research!

The cedars that were planted behind the wall (!) will stay except any that are broken/misshapen and need to be moved for fence post holes

Invasive plant to be avoided! Houttounyia It lines the east side of my house:

Mulberry after its hair cut. Still looking at it and it might lose some more hair:

Lovely lovely Eryngium - Sea holly - about to bloom. I planted this just a few weeks ago and I am VERY happy it is happy and blooming

Oh yes, and a sock! this is July's SOTM - Nuppy. Knitted in lovely Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Color Commentary series - colour is Ysolda's Red


That is all

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This it the kind of fence I am planning on - with squared lattice at the top - not the diagonal version. If the weather holds out we might actually get a start today

I love this gate! Private and secure but giving a hint of what is beyond. Looks complicated!

Send me some good weather vibes please!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Weather Conspiracy

I got a guy to come and build a fence to keep my puppy safe but the darn weather is conspiring against us.

Thunderstorms yesterday

Thunderstorms today

No thunderstorms tomorrow (fingers crossed)

Thunderstorms Thursday and Friday

It's a weatherly shame!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

More garden

This is what you get
when you add this:
to this:
and top it with this:

but when you run out of newspapers or mulch you get something that looks like this:

And when you put pea gravel on top of mulch on top of newspapers on top of grass you get something that looks like this:

And this:

My dry river bed at the front of the house.

Still much more of all of the above needed to get rid of all the grass. It would help if I could actually breathe outside however so until the air quality improves I will be inside knitting instead!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Garden progress

Lots of pictures of the garden so far. The previous owners had done some great things - 3 mature trees - a copper beech in the front and a pyramidal mountain ash and a sugar maple in the back so I have some shade and some protection from the winds here in Stratford.

I have been focussing mostly on getting rid of the grass but have planted some pots and a few things as added colour.

There is a good perennial bed in the back which is all in bloom at the moment and is very pretty. I have added an obelisk and some twisted stems to support a clematis

Water garden at the back steps with Papyrus, water hyacinth, water lettuce and Houttounyia

First of the tomatoes in a pot on the back porch:

Shasta daisies in the back by the shed:

David Austin's Leander brought from the old house and now happily blooming and putting out new shoots. I love this rose and there was no way I was leaving it behind!

Annual planter by the side door - there are 2. I was going for pretty!

Mulberry prunings! I hate weeping mulberry and this one was neglected with a ton of dead branches and hanging almost to the ground. My plan was to cut it down until I saw a severely pruned one on a garden tour on the weekend. On Monday I started to transform it!

Stem partially exposed now:

Interim step - there is still much more pruning to go but it actually looks much better already:

Love this rock - Jasper from Colonial Brick and Stone. It weighs 320lbs!

Mulch and tumbled granite and part of the dry river bed at the very front of the front with more Jasper in the background. this was grass once upon a time but with lots of newspaper and black mulch the grass is gone gone gone:

Daylilies at the back:
A pot of coleus and potato vine at the end of the driveway (people seem to love the big asphalt driveways here - easier to plough in the winter I guess - but butt ugly)

Perennial bed in the centre of the back. All of this was here already except for the metal obelisk (a present from my daughter on a Mother's Day a year or 2 ago) and the twisted metal stems for a Clematis Niobe that I added this spring (not showing much action yet):

Sweet Marble at the landing:

Looking cute!

More pictures to come!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Happy Canada Day

Looking pretty good for a 143 year old I would say!

We do have our moments and this seems like a good day to look at the positive side of Canada and can anything be more Canadian than this Muskoka Chair made from broken hockey sticks!
Plans are here if you feel like making one to celebrate the day

Have a wonderful day and throw some ribs on the BBQ for me. I'll be right over