Tuesday, February 24, 2009

First plant babies of the year...

My first seeds have sprouted - the Candytuft - the package said 10-15 days for germination, and it only took 3. I chose Candytuft because they are drought tolerant, and grow well in less than ideal soil conditions. I plan to put them around the rocks in my perennial gardens which are under fairly large trees that suck up all the water around. They also have sentimental value to me because my mom has them in her garden, and they have always been one of her favourites...so hopefully now I will have a garden full!!

I also started my Black Pansies - but no germination yet, and the Lupines will go in tomorrow.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Orchid Love

I went out of my way this year to make sure my husband was not going to spend a ridiculous amount of money on roses again this year. I told him that any type of plant that grows in dirt, and is still alive when you purchase it is fine - I don't need roses - I don't even particularly like roses.

So yesterday he comes home with this beautiful orchid. I love orchids - they are one of my favourite flowers - but my record keeping plants alive inside my house lately has been rather dismal. I have a graveyard of dead plants on my back porch - of things I have killed this winter: a spider plant (who can't keep a spider plant alive?), Pepperomia, A Poinsettia, A Martha Washington Geranium I was trying to overwinter, and something else - but I can't even remember what it even was.

So now, with a record as a terrible plant-mother I have to try and keep this beautiful plant alive. And, I don't even really know how to water it. I predict it will be dead by June. Sigh.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I finally took my Christmas lights down...

A little late is better than never...I guess I can no longer say anything about the people that still have Santa on their roof in May...

I've also changed the look of my blog - and spent a long time choosing pictures and colours. I think today's new looks is a little less lopsided than yesterday's. I also really like the new blog roll gadget.

I've weeded out my blog roll and it is now strictly blogs with northern gardening interests like my own.

And I bought my seeds today...way too many, but alas, I think that is far too common with gardeners... I see the racks in the stores and I want them all. And yet, my garden is still under at least 2 feet of snow. I am dreaming of spring.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

So many choices...

I need to order my seeds. But I can't decide what I want. I keep changing my mind, second guessing myself, and adding things to my list that I can't possibly have room for. I want to grow some perennials, but my last year's seed growing experience with perennials wasn't great. I didn't grow that many, so maybe the ones I choose this time will grow better? Also, I have lots of seeds leftover from last year. Do they last for more than one year?

So far this is what I have selected. I order from Veseys.com

Blue Mirror Chinese Delphinium
- I love blue flowers and it is so hard to find a true blue flower.

Munstead Lavender - I am not sure if I need/have room for this, but I love lavender!

Black Beauty Pansies
- I grew these last year, and really liked them - I would like some more, and I am really hoping the ones from last year will come back.

Mixed Lupins - I think these are fairly easy to grow and really cheap. I bought a lupin plant last year, and think a few more mixed in the corner with it would be nice. And, since the seeds are so cheap, it is probably worthwhile to grow them from seeds.

Giant Tetra Snapdragon - I want to use these to fill in the extra spaces and maybe in my black pots out front

Razzmatazz Sunflower Mix
- These were probably one of my favourite things in my garden last year - until a wicked rain/wind storm knocked them all over when I was on holidays (and filled my basement up with water...I wasn't pleased). They were fabulous colours - this year I want twice as many!

Plus, I have my vegetable seeds - beans, several lettuce varieties, carrots, beets and onions...

I can't decide because I don't actually need a whole package of the perennials, and I am worried it will be a waste of money if they don't grow well. Does anyone have a lot of experience growing perennials from seed? Is it worth it? Or should I just buy the perennials from a garden centre? Plus I still have to buy my spring bulbs - lilies and glads. Gardening is going to make me go broke!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Anyone have a lily garden?

So, I spent many hours this weekend looking at garden catalogues and websites, and have come to the conclusion that I need a lily garden. (I should have been marking and prepping for this week, but I sat on my couch and looked at plant pictures...)

I know lilies do really in our area, they take up lots of space, and they aren't very high maintenance. But now, I need some advice. What types of lilies should I get - do they all multiply, or just some? How many plants do I need per square foot? And what other perennials should I put in with them. I loved the geraniums and annuals I planted against the house last year - but annuals are too much work. I now work full-time and am probably going back to school in the summer so I want something that will look stunning, but not take all my time. I was thinking of putting lupins and chinese delphiniums with them to start, and maybe some snapdragons to fill in the spaces this year because I know I can't afford to fill the whole garden in one year.

Does anyone have any lily favourites that they have to have in their garden? Anything I should look out for?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

6 months later...

Well, life seems to have taken over, and it seems I have all but forgotten my blog. August 8 was my last post, and then I went on holidays and back to work. I have never worked full time until now, and it seems that work has consumed most of my time lately. My gardens are now under several feet of snow, and it's been a rather cold winter. Several weeks of -30 Celsius temperatures, and lots and lots of snow. I am just starting to contemplate what to put where in my gardens this summer. I am going to set up raised square foot gardens for my vegetables, and replace the soil in my raised beds against the house. I was not pleased with how my raised beds produced, and I think some nutrient-rich soil may help. I pickled beets, beans and onions in the fall, and plan to grow more pickling type vegetables this summer...But, there are still 5 months before my vegetables can go in the ground.

If anyone still checks up on me, any suggestions for what I should plant in front of giant snapdragons in a raised bed? I think I am going to plant snapdragons up against the house in my raised beds, but I am not sure what to put in front. Maybe some dark blue lobelia cascading over the edge? Do I need something mid-height in between?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Summer Heat...

Well, I have been slacking on the posts, but it is finally hot and sunny here and my only excuse is I have been out enjoying the sunshine every minute I can. It's already 22 degrees here this morning and it is not even 11am yet... (I don't want to hear anything from anyone who lives somewhere 'deserty' or 'tropical' about how that's not hot... I live in Northern BC, and this is fantastic weather!!) On a side note, I was out running the other day in the afternoon heat - (which maybe wasn't my wisest decision ever) and I passed an older man walking with no shirt on and he actually shook his head at me and told me it was too hot to be running... (he was right, but I really don't like it when people try to tell me what I should and shouldn't do...

Anyways, my sunflowers are blooming. I picked a really cool variety - called Razzmatazz Mix and my first sunflower is brown with yellow edges.. I am super impressed with them and hope to plant a bunch more of them next year...I also can't wait to see a few more open up and bloom...

The heat has also made the geraniums I started from seed bloom and grow like crazy, although it took them a long time to finally flower. I think next year I need to start them a few weeks earlier and then plant them into bigger pots while they are still in the house. I tried to keep them small in the house so that they wouldn't get leggy, but I may have delayed blooming. Also, I think my raised beds need new dirt, because none of the plants are flourishing the way I would have expected... so next year I am buying a load of topsoil and compost and spreading the goodness around my yard - gardening is too much work to have crappy soil preventing your plants from thriving...

anyways, here is a pic of my raised beds with all the flowers/plants I started from seed in my living room...