Santa brought me five ceramic stepping stones for Christmas, a DIY craft project for me to paint with my grandchildren. Well, at least the oldest three of five grandchildren, the youngest two are not yet into DIY projects.
We have added their names and the year they were born to the stepping stones too. They are now decorating a fence in Gardens4me as they are much too beautiful to step on. That way I can bring them in for the winter months to protect them from the elements too. These colourful masterpieces will brighten up the area I refer to as my ICU where plants or cuttings I remove from clients’ gardens get rejuvenated.
My oldest granddaughter painted hers and I painted her baby brother’s right after Christmas when she was still coming here for her online school lessons.
My youngest granddaughter painted hers this past week as I painted her baby brother’s while the latter was napping.
I also painted my eldest grandson’s as he had no interest in painting indoors, was keener to go on an outdoor adventure. Appropriately, I had reserved the turtle for him. He’s the grandson that loves to search for turtles at Mud Lake, our frequent adventure spot.
Although the calendar says early September, the summer weather (heat and humidity) is still going strong. That means many of the perennials blooming last month are still looking good…
Coming into their own this month are the seedheads of the fall grasses that look awesome in the garden or in containers on a deck or veranda…
…as well as another perennial called Turtlehead (I had never heard of it, but it looked promising at the nursery), and an annual vine called Cardinal Climber…
I have lots of roses thriving in Gardens4me, in many different varieties and colours. I love the roses because they bloom off and on all summer and well into the fall. They are also (believe it or not!) relatively low maintenance. Last month I posted a picture of one such rose just starting a second bloom. Here it is (first pic) this week with (just) a few more of its thorny cousins…
My two and a half year old granddaughter loves to play hide and seek in Gardens4me. Now that she has discovered the stepping stones leading into each corner and was taught how to gently move the plants out of the way, she runs from one corner to the next. She is still young enough to think that if she can’t see all of me I can’t see her. So precious!
One of my clients was disenchanted with the statues in his garden, (at least his wife was) so I brought them home and added them to mine knowing my grandkids would love them. The black bear is a favourite; this granddaughter likes to pet it and give it a bath with the hose while my three-and-a-half year old, bug-loving grandson searches for the bugs hiding underneath the bear!
The frog (a mothers day gift from my son years ago), the racoon family (from my father’s garden), and the heron are well loved too. The rabbit hiding in the hostasis pretty banged up now as this same granddaughter used to carry (and drop it) it around everywhere.
Coming into focus soon are the fall favourites such as sedum “Autumn Joy” and more grasses. Although this grass is an annual, I plant it in containers each year and am never disappointed with its pinky-purple plumes this time of year.
Those lily trees I told you about in a previous post have now popped, adding incredible colour and fragrance to my mid-July Gardens4me gardens.
Also in bloom, this time of year are drought-tolerant perennials in every colour of the rainbow. The filipendula sprays are turning from white to their signature pale pink, the monarda is still going strong, and the delphiniums are bluer than blue. Reblooming daylilies are still showing off as well…
The annuals I planted in containers and bare spots in the garden are also still blooming well in mid-July. I always choose annuals that offer interesting foliage as well as flowers. For these containers, I use colours that are opposites (contrasting) on the colour wheel for maximum effect. This way you get pops of colour; for example, look at the purple next to the orange in this first picture:
Now I’m hoping for some rain to help me keep all these blooms hydrated. Stay tuned for the next batch of pictures from Gardens4me. My next Gardens4u project will be completed soon as well, will be sure to post pictures of it too.
I am so excited! Ontario’s premier Doug Ford has announced landscapers can start back to work starting today, May 4th. That means Gardens4u is officially opened for the season. While I was waiting for this to happen (the re-opening) I worked (with the help of my hubby) exclusively on my own gardens. They are probably in the best shape they have ever been this early in the season, except maybe for the spring my son got married. When my gardens and pond were all cleaned up, ready for summer, I got extra creative and painted a Gardens4me sign on the gateway to my gardens.
It has been a long time coming, but I am grateful we landscapers are included in the first step of reopening the economy that is getting decimated by COVID-19. That means Gardens4me will have to step aside so I can now concentrate on Gardens4u.
At least one month later than usual, hopefully, I can breeze through spring maintenance and cleanup, moving on to planting and designing gardens and containers.
I have been keeping up with my planks in preparation for this day, now if Mother Nature would only cooperate, all would be good. At least in my relatively covid-free bubble.