A garden is an evolving living ‘family of beings’ that has a genuine power to captivate our imaginations, enlist our creative energy and propel us – trowels in hand – into another growing season. I know many of you throughout the world are at the beginning of winter, but here in North America we are experiencing late spring and moving towards another WILD RIDE and GLORIOUS ASCENT into summer. I invite you to come along for a brief walk through my own prairie garden – share some blooming inspiration and answer the question…”how does your garden grow?”.
Taking a step back before we dive into what’s been happening in my yard. I’ve never been a major fall cleanup person. A few top reasons for that being the seed heads of faded flowers offer a valuable food source for wintering birds and the growth left standing holds the snow and provides a protective blanket for wintering perennials. Of course, there are certain things that always need to be done for fall cleanup but for me it is very minimal.
So what does that translate to in action? Well, come springtime…I am a very busy woman!
Spring being a season of renewal, tends to saturate me with the right type of energy to meet the challenge. And this year, I’m happy to say – I had some welcome assistance from my visiting sister, Pat 💚
SPRING GARDEN CHORES – SO WHERE TO BEGIN?
That’s a very good question – and frankly, one that changes every year depending on what the overall desire for the garden may be each season. I know I’m always going to need a good Gardener’s Vacation each spring to get the garden cleaned up and planted for the coming summer.
What’s the MAIN FOCUS or task you want to accomplish this summer?
The main focus for me is growing the most beautiful, healthy Dahlias possible. They are going to be the centerpieces of reception tables for an incredibly special wedding this August. Believe me, they are going to be treated with VIP treatment this summer!
Full sun and the best soil I have available means the Dahlias have been planted (tubers as well as starter plants found at garden centres) in the VEGETABLE GARDEN. Close to water source and marked off with colourful edging fences to keep the dogs from trampling over them.
Some of the plants I bought already had flowers and buds on them so after planting them in the ground I had to do the unthinkable – remove the existing flowers to push the energy into good root growth. We’re aiming for mid August blooms…so it had to be done.
Top dress existing garden beds
Have you heard the garden saying about planting perennials…“The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap”?
It’s a fitting seque into my next order of business. I have a 30 foot long herbaceous border that I top dressed with some good organic sea soil. It’s the third year since I planted it – so I figured it would enjoy some special TLC for all the ‘LEAPING’ I know it’s going to be doing this summer.
Top dressing is just laying a few inches of good compost or soil right on top of existing garden beds around the plants. It rejuvenates the soil and adds nutrients that will eventually make their way down to feed the soil and keep it healthy.
I found a great article on this practice on the Eartheasy blog if you want to learn more of the benefits of no-till gardening.
The ‘leaping’ has begun! Giant Alliums have almost finished blooming, Bearded Irises are just starting, lilies, hollyhocks, Monarda, carnations and lambs ears are all pictured below.
VEGETABLES POTTED UP IN THE GREENHOUSE
- Roma tomatoes 🍅
- Tom Thumb cherry tomatoes in hanging basket
- Heartland tomatoes in two big pots
- Super Chili peppers 🌶
- Everbearing Strawberry hanging basket🍓
VEGETABLES IN THE GARDEN
Kept to a minimum this year because of the Dahlias.
- Russian garlic planted last fall
- Kale – always plant at least six plants for my smoothies
- Scarlet Runner beans at base of teepee
- Heirloom peas – mostly for the dogs because they LOVE them
EXCITING NEW POND ADDITIONS!
A garden is so much more than just a sum total of the plants growing in your yard. It’s the overall design and energetic feel of the space you’ve created as well as all the elements you add to make it a unique expression of your own creative efforts working with nature. The goldfish living in our pond are no exception – they are connected to the whole as much as anything else here.
Along with our little group of well loved goldfish born in the pond, we now have some rather LARGE goldfish that have become quite special to us as well. Just added this spring, gifts from our dear to ❤️ neighbours and friends, Pat and Brian down the road from us. These 9 big goldfish were also born in their pond and are over 12 years old – hence the size! They have been more than entertaining to watch as they swim full speed around their new space and leap and breach like tiny whales! LOVE THEM!
EMBRACE THE SPECIAL MOMENTS ALONG THE WAY…
Our gardens often provide special moments when nature reaches out and speaks directly to our hearts. One such moment for me this spring was when an Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly fluttered along beside me for a time as I puttered in the garden, finally landing on my hand for a brief magical visit. It just so happened I had my iPhone in my back pocket and was able to capture the moment to share with you here!
THAT’S HOW MY GARDEN IS GROWING SO FAR…
I’d love to hear from you – how is your garden growing? Do you have a particular dream you want to accomplish this season in your garden? Your shared thoughts are ALWAYS a welcome inspiration for me and I sure appreciate you taking this little walk through my garden with me – thank you for being here!
A parting ‘wink’ from the Green Man to you! Have a beautiful week everyone 💚