Saturday, October 30, 2010

I have been googling around for roses for the front yard. Originally I had planned on just planting one, but I don't know how I could possibly narrow down my list that far. My criteria: hardy, unfinicky, and as long a blooming season as possible, because I cannot tell you how charmed I am by the blooms on the Fairy rose that are STILL GOING at the end of October. And fragrant is a plus, too.

The finalists:

JOHN DAVIS - Explorer rose

A large shrub or small climber that tops out at 8-10'. Galetta Nurseries tells me that it has a "light fragrance" and that it "blooms profusely from June until frost". Eeeeexcellent.

ALCHYMIST - hardy rose

Also largeish at 5-6' tall and wide. Only blooms the once, but it's apparently deliciously smelly. I've also read about this brilliant idea of sending a clematis to grow up the canes of a climbing rose, so that as the rose is finishing the clematis is just starting up.

SEAFOAM - groundcover rose

As posted about before - similar to the Fairy, I gather, only white instead; Canadian Gardening had all kinds of good things to say about it.

MORDEN BLUSH - Canadian Parkland rose

More compact than most of the others, 2-3' tall and wide; but Galetta says it's another profuse and continuous bloomer, and that it tolerates heat and drought very well, which would definitely be a plus in the spots I have in mind for it.

CHAMPLAIN - Explorer rose

Also in the 3' range and a continuous bloomer. I am a sucker for a really red rose.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The other day while chasing the Zoodle around Carlingwood mall I actually spied a piece of garden statuary I really like. It was similar to this, about 8" or 10" high and a couple feet long:

I'm thinking this would be really nice in the wall bed between the oregano and the Fairy rose (although it might have to sit on some bricks so as not to be completely obscured/overrun by said oregano).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Progress!! Bwahahahahaaa!



This is about 1/4 of the path, I think, and it took me about 2h to naptimes over this weekend and next ought to be enough to have it done and ready to fill. Although tomorrow it's supposed to rain - dammit. Hopefully it will keep to a drizzle in the early afternoon.

Also, while browsing, I came across an ad for a pile of Fine Gardening magazines. When I responded, it turns out they also had a stack of Canadian Gardening issues for sale. 90 new garden magazines - RAWK. If I restrain myself to one magazine a day, this will almost keep me in garden daydreaming material through the whole winter. I don't know if I have such ninja-like willpower in me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The digging - it starts!!! For future reference - so as to start the pavers level with the driveway:

4" gravel
+ 2" sand
+ 2 5/8" pavers
- 3/8" final compacting
dig down 8 1/4"

I'm thinking, though, that they should mostly stick up at least 1" above the grade, since I will be heaping dirt and mulch on top of the existing grade to create garden beds. SO, while I will dig to the depth above for the first row, for the rest:

4" gravel
+ 2" sand
+ 2 5/8" pavers
- 3/8" final compacting
- 1" above grade
dig down 7 1/4"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thanks to one awesome neighbour, I have a new spirea (smallish and pink-flowering), some gooseneck loosestrife (which is apparently apt to be thuggish, so I'll have to plant it in a pot, I think), an astilbe, and some silver deadnettle.

Another awesome neighbour is redoing her driveway and has offered to share the cost of delivery for crushed stone and sand, making the aggregates for the spiral walkway a lot more affordable.

The bricks, meanwhile, have been found and delivered! Cobblestone interlock pavers, actually. They were more expensive than what I'd originally been hoping to spend, but they are so gorgeous that I'm thrilled to pieces anyway. I did a dry run this weekend and totally should have taken pictures...for my absent-mindedness I will just have to wait for a few weeks until we can get it done for realz.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

And because I am just this dorky: season retrospective!

Picture post for October!

Front yard:

Dun dun DUNNNNNNN - foundation bed expansion begun! This will be the leaf dumping ground for the season, and in the spring I will pile on some more mulch and/or topsoil. Now I just have to finish my bulb-planting extravaganza by chopping some holes in the cardboard and putting in the last several alliums and tulips.

The view from above, with the future spiral laid out in orange mason's line. MY GOD it will be awesome. Of course, the cheapest bricks I've been able to locate ($0.50 apiece on kijiji) would STILL run me $400 plus the cost of aggregates. Siiiiiigh. Must brainstorm other hardscaping materials. Large stepping stones in a bed of river rocks/gravel over landscape fabric, maybe? That's probably not much cheaper, although it might be somewhat less labour.

Back yard:

Overall. Not as colourful as I would have liked, although that Japanese Blood Grass sure rocks the fall foliage.

Shade bed, with beans gone and rheum palmatum lurking at the back.

Sun bed. I'm thinking I may prune the willow now-ish and try to root the cuttings over the winter. This is supposed to be ridiculously easy to do. Then I could plant a few of these in the front yard to round out the shrub selection in the foundation bed expansion. Also, I suspect the Blaze rose has developed the dreaded black spot. Not really a big deal this late in the season, since the leaves would be dropping soon anyway, but I'd better muster out there and pick off all the affected foliage so this problem doesn't come back in the spring.

Wall bed. The Fairy rose is still going!! And the toad lilies did in fact emerge from the oregano with a couple of little buds. Must rein in the oregano, though.

Corner bed, particularly messy-looking. Next year I will stake the Joe Pye weed so it stays more upright.

East bed, devoid of ferns for the season.