Fall planting of bulbs anticipates a wonderful harbinger of spring. As long as the ground is not yet frozen, bulbs can be planted.
How to Deter Squirrels from Digging up Your Bulbs
I tend to wait until mid-November so the squirrels don’t raid my bulbs. As well as waiting until as late as possible to plant your bulbs, there are a few other ways to guarantee spring-blooming:
use bloodmeal: sprinkle a handful in the hole, over the bulbs. Be sure to wear gloves when using bloodmeal. Bonemeal is a fertilizer that will help them grow, but will not deter rodents.
cut squares of chicken wire and place a square in each hole. I plant my bulbs in groups of five, so a one foot square piece of wire is sufficient. It can be purchased in a role at most grocery, DIY stores.
banana peels over the bulbsin the hole also works. I have done this in the past with success, crisscrossing the strips of peel over the bulbs like spokes on a wheel.
plant alliums, members of the onion family, or daffodils as squirrels don’t like either of these.
I generally order my bulbs from Brecks, this year was no exception. Their prices are reasonable (especially if you buy in bulk as I do) and the variety of bulbs is amazing. I love looking through their catalogs picking and choosing colours, bloom time, height etc. These are the tulip and allium bulbs I chose this year:
As well as general maintenance (weeding) and spring cleanups, Gardens4u completed several new garden designs so far this season, although one is still a work in progress. Most of the time I remembered to take before and after pictures.
Continuing the Neighbour Theme
At the end of last season, a third neighbour asked me to help them reconfigure their front yard around an updated veranda and interlock walkway.
This was one of my easiest projects as the homeowners were very hands-on. From shopping for and planting perennials and shrubs to sod/grass removal,(the black fabric smothered the existing grass) soil enhancement, and edging of the finished creation, they barely needed me. My job was to recommend plant choices and their placement based on mature size and bloom time. I also created the garden shape with a hose and suggested the location of the stepping stones.
This is what the yard looked like during the process:
…and this is what it looks like now:
Another client asked me to help him transform and design new gardens on his parents’ farm property in preparation for his daughter’s upcoming wedding. The house is being renovated as well with plans for an Airbnb property.
There are seven garden beds; a huge undertaking that I have been working on all summer. The bride and groom to be have been helping too, doing most of the clearing, weeding, mulching etc. This frees up my time for designing and planting, my two favourite parts of a new garden project.
Here are a few before pics:
some during pics:
and some after pics:
These after pictures are of just the new garden designs at the front of the house. Disclaimer: I had nothing to do with the gorgeous sidewalk.
The other beds are still in progress. When this project is complete, I will show you the final pictures of all garden beds created. Stay tuned!
Moving to the Backyard
I have been working with these clients for several years now, first at their old home here in Kanata…
…and then at their new Hintonburg area home after they moved. Last season I worked on new garden designs for the front yards of their new duplex. The outside of one side is very traditional looking, the other quite modern, so I designed gardens to match the two different styles…
This is what they look like now:
This season these same clients requested my services for garden design and an overhaul in their back and side yards.
Next season these newly renovated garden beds will look awesome!
Garden Touch Up
At the end of the last (2020) season I modified a neighbour’s garden, moving plants and adding new ones to the expanded space. We also added stepping stones to break up the larger area. At the time she had some natural coloured mulch we used up.
This summer we changed the look by adding dark brown mulch, (right on top of the natural coloured mulch) creating a much more vibrant look, which contrasts well/better with the maturing plants.
Who can believe that October is here already? Not me. Not Gardens4me either as they are still producing lots of blooms.
New this month is the silver lace vine I have adorning my garden shelves/work bench. What a mess this shelving unit is, another job for my fall to do list.
Another fall blooming perennial is the aster, a little soggy in this picture, cheerful none the less…
Also putting in a (late) appearance is my beautiful white and red hibiscus…
Roses are still blooming beautifully…
…as is tickseed. Did you know if you cut tickseed back immediately after it first blooms in the summer it will rebloom? This picture is my proof..
Also reblooming for the third (!!!) time this season is my weigela. It requires no maintenance to make it rebloom, just warm weather…
Annuals in containers are still eye catching, including a gorgeous pal blush pink hibiscus, even though we have had a few frosty nights.
One annual I was disappointed in this summer was the cardinal flower vine on my bamboo teepees. Although the foliage is unique, the blooms (other than a sporadic one mentioned earlier) have only just shown up in earnest….
The frosty nights have caused the leaves to start their colour transformation. From green to red with various shades in between. The vine on my back deck (or green room) is no exception…
We can’t complain about the advancing calendar too much though as our summer here in Eastern Ontario has been awesome. A tad too hot and dry for our lawns, but awesome for we humans. With one daughter-in-law on maternity leave, I was able to spend more time than usual at the lake with her and two of my grandchildren. With pandemic restrictions in place we were not allowed to do much else, so cottage life was the perfect answer.
The rain this week has been great for the fall lawn repair my yard so badly needs. The temperature has been warm too, so my Gardens4me blooms should last a while longer.