My Summer 2012 Garden

Ottawa, Canada

This past summer I decided to try my hand at a small backyard garden... I had to overcome a few obstacles including but not limited to: feral cats that call the yard home, squirrels that seem to be spying my every move, and some weird treasures in the soil, such as 50 year old nails and pieces of old patio stones. Well I made it and what a fun ride it was! I had no plan, no plant knowledge and I literally threw seeds into my shopping cart and figured by faith, it will all work out! I ended up planting morning glories (by seed) along the garage side wall, then sunflowers (by seed) mixed with gladiolus (from bulbs) of a light orange colour, then some four o'clocks (seeds) and a beautiful Dahlia from bulbs. I tossed in some random annuals that I cannot remember the names of and they flourished as well. I knew nothing about soil but trusted a few novice gardeners I knew and added a good portion of topsoil to my earth and black cedar mulch. I don't know if the ground soil can be credited for my 15 foot tall sunflowers but nonetheless they attracted a LOT of attention from passersby! The last picture is the sunflowers seen from the roadside, well above the garage! The second picture is the beginning of my garden with a protective fence around and over it to protect it from cats and squirrels! This experience has created a passion in me and although I know I'll never be a true green thumb, I hope to be at least a green pinkie! Can't wait for Spring 2013! I'm moving further south and have tons of yard space for landscaping and gardening! My research has begun and the new challenge is a shade garden under predominately cedar trees! Any ideas for a zone 4/5 shade garden?

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Worcester, MA

WOW! Love it! Congratulations on your success.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Congrats on your first garden....BRAVO!!! Sorry I can't help with the shade garden...hope others chime in for you..I have only sun available so far. Will you have any sun to work with in your new landscape? Remember to collect seed from your plants, will save $$$$ next time. Just love the morning glories and the mamouth sunflowers.......Good job and I hope for your continued successes in the future!! Once you get bitten by the gardening bug it just keeps growing (play on words).
Just an about signing up for some seed catalogs. Great entertainment for the winter. They are usually free and will get ideas flowing. And then when your ready jump to perennials as they will require less replanting every season and may save some $$$. One to try is They have annuals and perenns and most with fragrance. They were half priced a month or so ago...
Good luck and I wish you continued Beauty....
Hint...when you get moved to the other property, take note of the available light and how long it lasts for each area you might like to will dictate what can be planted where and whether you truely only have shade or some areas that could be planted with some sunlovers.
Will you be staying in Canada or moving to the US? Kathy (Pix are all perenns)

Pix 1 a scene from my sun garden
Pix 2 How 'bout trying Aquilegia(columbine), if deadheaded they will bloom for months...
Pix3 another Columbine
Pix4 many Campanulas can handle full sun to total shade, probably about 50 or so varieties to choose from. This one is rotundifolia.
Pix5 These are Viola (Johnny Jump Ups), they reseed through out my garden and at my altitude (6800ft) they bloom pretty much the whole season....I do have extra seed if you're interested. D-mail me.

Oooops.. pix 4 and 5 are reversed....

This message was edited Dec 5, 2012 8:10 PM

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Ottawa, Canada

Thank you both so much! I did have fun and plan on continuing that fun this spring/summer. Thanks for the advice warriorwisdomkathy! I have heard of the seed catalogues and I do plan on researching them as well. Thanks for the tip. The landscape I'm moving to is still in Canada, still cold, and yes, its mostly going to be shade. I noticed the previous owners had some hostas planted throughout and some other creeping vines, but I need to investigate further in order to determine their species. We bought the property in late summer, so most of the plants were done blooming and many more have been in severe neglect for years. I was told though that the landscape was once quite beautiful so maybe I'll be able to turn back the clock a bit and add some of my own flare as well. I also have to be careful to not plant any plants that are toxic to dogs or cats since we are a large family with both. I would love to get into seed swaping but how does one go about shipping them? Is there any limitations between countries? I have no idea... Again thanks for the comments and I wish you both well with your gardens. PS warrior, your flowers are gorgeous and the scenery looks divine :>

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b) was many years of turn a feild into a garden...still working on Let me ask over in the seed trading forum about shipping across the border...I know in some of the trades I've been in on they don't usually ship plants but I do remember seeds being traded....

Pix 1 Dicentra spectabalis (bleeding hearts)
Pix 2 Astilbe chinensis
Pix 3 upper far right is a perennial Geranium (purple) (Rozanne), altho there are many geraniums (perennial), that could be planted in the shade, this is one that is an all summer bloomer

This message was edited Dec 5, 2012 10:04 PM

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Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Here are a few links that may be of help to you. Covers zone 3 to 5 for shade plants.

Ottawa, Canada

Thank you both! I'll take a look at those sites!


Wailuku, HI(Zone 14)

Love your garden. Looks to me like you have more than a green thumb - your plants look so healthy. The orange colors in your gladiolas are terrific. It's really tough to find flowering plants that do well in shade, but I've had success with New Guinea Impatiens. Mine bloom year round, do take a lot of water, but they are a very forgiving plant - can droop to the point you are sure they are gonners, but within minutes come back to life with water. If you remove the less than healthy stems, the plant goes on producing great flowers (almost all colors) for years.

Good luck in your new garden. Jean Tessmer Hawaii

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Staten Island, NY(Zone 6a)

Hi Cubeye and Warroir what beautiful gardens ,I had a garden this year to but I should get some tips from the both of you

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Thankyou cytf, truely it's not hard...just patients and a bit of dedication, or maybe it's just a love of things beautiful. We started a thread on garden design, (be back in a moment let me look where it is).

Pix is (pink) Centranthus ruber, (purple) perennial Geranium Rozanne, and (chartreuse green leaf is Golden Hops vine) Humulus lupulus 'Aureus'.

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Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Cytf...the thread we are working on is Beginner Landscaping, (DJ'S Sharing Garden Design "What to Grow Where???". Come join us and ask away!!!! I will be posting throughout the winter with ideas for myself (new borders, or what I call rooms) for the upcomming year and other's ideas from some of the gals we have done plant and seed trading with here at Dave's through the year. Any and ALL are welcome so come join. There truely are some gifted and generous people here at Dave's. I'm thinking I did about 20+ trades this year...most were for plants. It's like Christmas all year long.

Hope to see some of you there, or in the trade rooms, and lurkers are welcome also....

pix Santas helpers were busy last night bringing all sorts of goodies!
pix 2-5, "No gift is as beautiful as a flower. In their colors, scents, and shapes, flowers are as various as the moods of the human heart. These are reasons why flowers are so often the messengers through which emotions, wishes, and thoughts are expressed.
The flowers are all around, waiting to speak." (from the book: The Language of Flowers, edited by Gregory C. Aaron)

Merry Christmas

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