Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It’s Good To Be Back

I had my first experience as an outdoor gardener about twenty years ago. Although I was very excited about the prospect of finally building and maintaining a garden, I was also very inexperienced and perhaps a little overzealous. Instead of planning ahead, I simply plowed ahead, basically gardening by the seat of my plants. Er...pants.

I bought too much, planted too much and ended up with a jungle of annuals, perennials and everything in-between; more than I needed. Or wanted. There were too many different types and too many different sizes and too many different colours and too many different care needs. My garden gave new meaning to the word diversity. In addition to there being more greenery than my little garden could accommodate, some of the plants were placed where they didn’t belong. Like sun-loving plants in the shade and shade-loving plants in the sun.

Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t a complete mess and there weren’t many casualties (plants can be remarkably resilient), but it certainly wasn’t the most organized or most eye-pleasing design. And with the heaps of plants to water and feed, it wasn’t the easiest to maintain either. Hey, who knew that some of these annuals that were so tiny at the greenhouse could grow so big – and multiply so quickly?

That was the first year.

With time – and a lot of gardening books - came knowledge. And that knowledge combined with a few years of experience resulted in an attractive garden. And plants in the right places. The sun-lovers basked in the sun. The shade-lovers hid in the shade. And all was well with my little garden. For many years. And as soon as I was at the point in my life where I could say that ‘I know what I’m doing’, I switched to apartment-style living and left it all behind. Aside from a little container gardening once in awhile, outdoor gardening was not a part of my life anymore.

That's what it's been for the past ten years.

In April, we bought a house. And with the house came oodles of gardening potential. There is absolutely nothing interesting growing in the front, back or sides of our home right now. But there will be. Eventually.

Because we’re not officially moving in until June 29, I won’t be able to make many significant changes. Instead, I will spend many weeks removing unwanted vegetation to make room for future plants.

This year will be mostly about clean up and preparation, so there won’t be much to brag about...I mean share. But come next spring, things will be different. As soon as the weather permits, I’ll be out there digging around. Since winters here in Canada are very long (sigh), I will certainly have enough time to plan out my garden.

So I’m glad to be back. Even at a minimal level.

(Some flowers would be nice...)


  1. I don't know, but it seems to me as you can take great advantage of nursery's end-of-season sales with your move date. Look for family-owned stores which usually end their plant sales by mid-July. There's a great perennial place near me that always has the remaining plants 1/2 off the last week. Sure they require a little extra tlc - and definately a little more watering - but if there is a place near you that has such sales you might be able to pick up a few perennials and to give you a start.

    Also you could pick up the lilly bulbs in the bag (that are 1/2 off now) and pot them up and have them as transplants when you move in. (And save a bunch of money over buying a potted lilly).


  2. Hi annf! You are right; I can take advantage of some end-of-season sales, which I will probably do. But I won't be doing too much planting this summer. For one thing, there is a lot of cleaning up to do. There are shrubs and small trees and oodles of weeds that have to be removed all around the house. That will take some time, for sure. I also don't want to rush anything because I haven't decided yet what it is I want to do with the property. So I'll be a little patient, plant or add a few things to add some colour for now and put more effort into the garden next year.

    But Lilies will be picked up ASAP. They are by far my favourites!

  3. Hey Martha ! Welcome to Kingston for good girl !
    Don't forget I did say I have day lilies to split and I'm sure a few other (very easy) plants too .. so when you come over you can take a look and see if you would like any of them .. I am dead tired after a marathon day in the garden .. 7:30 this morning till 1 PM ..good grief I'm totally bolloxed as my Brit friend says ? LOL

  4. Hiya Joy! Thank you; I'm so happy to be here. I love this wonderful city. Don't feel obligated to give me anything. I'll just be happy to finally meet you. We're quite settled, believe it or not, and starting to find some time to relax. I've been working on catching up on my websites, as well as trying to answer all the emails that have piled up. I'll be sending you a more detailed one very soon!