Posts tagged muscari

A Birds Eye View 2013

Lucky you, it is that time of year again, where I brave life and limbs, standing on the roof to take photos of my garden. Don’t hold back your screams of delight, I can tell how excited you are.

So this is where it stands this spring, our 7th,

Front Garden

Last spring I planted Acer campestre ‘Carnival’ here, and you can just see it against the cedar hedge. What you can’t see is a purple smoke bush, Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ just to the side and behind it. I think it will be a lovely contrast between the Acer and the Cornus alternofolia ‘Golden Shadows’.


You can just see the Fritillaria meleagris (at least the white ones) in the grass.

Lime Walk

Note to self, finish extending the muscari the length of the walk!!!!!

Nothing to report on the Lime Walk, although my friend David Leeman had been here the week before,

 and had tamed the shaggy monsters the box balls had become.

Now I just have to keep them in line.

The Serviceberry Allee

The Allee just keeps ticking long, although I do have to get in, divide the Narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’ and space them through the length of the allee. These were forced pots from work, and I just threw them in the ground when I started the very first bed.

The Flora Glade and The Kitchen Garden

Here you can see the Flora Glade and Kitchen Garden.

Ooops, still have not got my path finished, the one that I was working on last spring, lol. That has to go on the list for the fall, it would be really, really embarrassing to show you the Flora Glade next spring, with the path not done.  Added a couple of shrubs here this spring, hopefully I remembered to take some photos of them before I left and I can update you.

And just for your viewing pleasure, a bit of a further away shot, called not using the zoom on the camera.

You can probably see what looks like a tall post to the left of the garage. This was a diseased red maple that we had cut down in the fall. I have the bright idea of growing a clematis up it, just another thing to add to the list.

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Ah Spring, please continue…

Spring, how I love you, let me count the ways…

And I wish you to continue on and on. Since that is not possible in real life, lets at least continue the spring tour at Kilbourne Grove.

Another new to me spring bulb is Corydalis solida.  I purchased some of these bulbs trying to increase my viewing pleasure during the only times of the year I am in Canada. And I want a show, this one certainly provided one.

Both of these varieties came from GardenImport in Toronto,

George Baker, a lovely soft red,

and Beth Evans, a gorgeous pink.

I also purchased a couple of years earlier a soft unnamed lilac corydalis. This one, although smaller has proved it likes it here, seeding over by my magnolia.

Pieris 2013

This is the second year that my Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ has flowered.

Pieris 2012

Last year it was in March due to the very early spring and I totally missed it. However I got to enjoy it this year, looking forward to it increasing in size.

And my muscari looked better then ever, just ignore the end where I still have to transplant some, still loving the ribbon effect.


Now you can see the balcony/balconies at the back of the Deliverance house, no stairs down to ground level yet, but I am sure they are coming. Just praying for my hedge to grow.

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A Birds Eye View 2012

Are you all addicted to seeing me in high places? Do you like the idea of me on my roof, bracing myself against the wind? Come on, want the truth here.

The third most popular post ever, (about my garden) is this one. My first is this, makes sense, people want to get ideas for Christmas, who better to come to then a florist. This one, I was a bit surprised about, I think it is just starting to get popular, however I have had mine for a couple of years, and just love it. But number three, lucky number three. This is the one where I climb up on the roof, and risk life and limb to show you (and me) a bird’s eye view of the garden. Of course, the best time to do so is in early spring. I have a lot of big, old trees around the house and garden, when the leaves are out they really screen it. But now, you can see every detail.  For me, it is a great way to plan out my garden, does something look wrong or out-of-place or scale from the roof. I am always surprised how small the garden areas look from the roof, when I am in them they seem enormous. Take the Kitchen garden for example. Looks tiny doesn’t it. The space actually measures 20 feet x 20 feet, that is actually larger than our whole backyard when we lived in our first house.

I had really hoped by now, (this is the 6th spring for us in Kilbourne Grove), there would be more accomplished.  I guess it is not too bad, after all we have never lived in the house full-time, only weekends for the first 4 years and then the last two, in Barbados. How much can you really accomplish, not actually living there, all the weeding and lawn cutting to take care of, never mind life and relaxation, (after all it is the weekend). My father kept cautioning me, (every spring), don’t make so many gardens that you can’t maintain them all, and I had no intention of listening to him, lol. However, a job transfer accomplished what parental advise never could. There has been no time to design anything new, although certainly in my mind’s eye I have.

So this is where it stands this spring, our 6th,

Front Garden

Not many changes in the front garden, although I did add a Cornus ‘Golden Shadows’ to the top right hand corner. This Cornus becomes a tiered beauty of chartreuse and green variegated leaves, and should add a lovely light look against the dark green of the cedar hedge. You can hardly see the Daybreak and Magic Fire here, they will have to get a lot larger to be seen from the roof at this time of year.

Front Garden

Can you see the dark dirt spot, just under the maple leaves, that is where Golden Shadows is planted? I can’t see it either, the darn program cut off the end of my photo and I can’t figure out how to change it, trust me, it is there!

Lime Walk

Lime Walk April 2010

Lime Walk

Lime Walk 2012

The muscari in the Lime Walk  are even thicker this year, although they are just about finished, what a difference an early spring makes. . On the right, the path will lead into the Yew Garden, on the left, I still need to move the plants to create a path to the croquet Lawn. I love seeing these two photos together, just when I feel like my hedges are not growing, here is some hard evidence that they are.

The Serviceberry Allee

The Serviceberry Allee 2010

The Serviceberry Allee

This is the hardest one to see, hidden at the back of the garden, and a huge maple branch in the way.

The Serviceberry Allee at the top of the photo, leads into the Kitchen Garden.  I finally added the last two serviceberry to the Allee, for a total of 11.  Now, it is finished, except for the growing part, tee hee.

The Flora Glade and The Kitchen Garden

Here you can see the Flora Glade and Kitchen Garden.

Flora Glade 2010

Flora Glade 2011

Flora Glade 2012

Except for the plants (hopefully) getting larger nothing was changed here. Although I am in the process of moving the path, filled it in on the left hand side, and slowly changing it on the right. Moved the perennials last fall, and in the process of moving the bulbs after they flower. Hopefully I will be able to finish it in the fall. The stone paths and the pedestals certainly make a difference in the way it looks just 2 years ago. If you want to read about me (Ian) building the pedestals, you can here.

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What a Difference a Year Makes

When I was looking at my photos from last April, I realized there was quite a difference (approx 3 weeks) between where the garden was in April 2011 and April 2112.  So I thought that I would share a few with you.

The Allee

The Allee 2011

The Allee 2012

You can see how much larger the helleborus are this year, finally bulking up, and I found a few seedlings when I was weeding, yay!

Flora Glade

Flora Glade 2011

Flora Glade 2012

Usually I coppice these willows, but they (obviously) started leafing out really early this spring. I think I might leave them alone this year and see how they look in the fall.

Flora Glade 2011

Flora Glade 2012

Hmmm, do not know what to say, but the big difference (to me) is the path. You can see where I filled it in on the left hand side ,and (hopefully) you can see a bit of an opening on the right hand side now. Last fall I moved all the shrubs/perennials that were in the way. I was just waiting for the bulbs to come up, and they will be moved on this visit, and (hopefully) the path gravelled.

Flora Glade 2011

Flora Glade 2012

This is the bed where my mums memorial tree is, last year was the first time the Cornus kousa flowered, hopefully it will again this year.

Lime Walk

Lime Walk 2011

Well other than the muscari are all flowering earlier this year, I think you can see the other change here, lol.

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Calling all Gardeners

I need some help, and it is the kind that you are qualified for.

If you look at this picture, you will see a mass of blue muscari, running the length of my Lime Walk. I love it when it flowers, not so much after. The foliage hangs on forever, not to mention sending up fresh leaves in the fall.

And looking the other way.

 I am looking at planting something over top of the muscari, something that will come up a bit late and hide the dying leaves. But I do not want it too tall, I do not think the hydrangea will every grow and I do not want to compete  with them.  And I prefer one type of plant to run the whole length, I do not want to get into mixing perennials. I trialed a Nepeta last summer, but all the neighbourhood cats, came and went into ecstasy, rolling over it, and killed it. I do not want to run a halfway house for drug addicted cats!

Any thoughts?

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A History Lesson: Chapter III

We move on to the piece de resistance at Kilbourne Grove.   

When I was taking a garden design course, and in all the garden design books I have read, one piece of advice is to design from the inside out. You should start with the views from your windows. There are three windows on the ground floor of Kilbourne Grove that this could apply to. A bay window in the front parlour, looks out at our neighbour,  and the bay window in the library looks out at the street. Neither of them give me much room to work with, but the kitchen window looks out the back of the house and there is 100 feet to the fence.  
This is where I stand much of the day, after all, the kitchen is the heart of the home. So this is where I placed my Lime Walk.  
In England, Tillia or Linden trees are called Lime Trees. I am not sure why this is. But there is a beautiful Lime Walk at Sissinghurst, and it was one of my first garden influences.     
After spending my summer holidays laying out the Kitchen Garden and the Flora Glade, I didn’t have any free time until early November. Luckily it was a beautiful Indian summer.     

November 2007

After pegging a straight line, cedars were planted in a line. This will be pruned into a hedge, and back the pleached limes.     

Newly planted cedars, November 2007

November 2007

The cedars were free, yay, dug up from my brothers farm. They are a bit wonky, but in time they will grow and you will never know.    

You can see  that we have planted a few cedars at the end of the walk, in front of the maple tree. This will provide a backdrop to a focal point, an urn or a statue. You can also see that only the east side is planted, we ran out of cedars before the west side was planted, so that had to wait until 2008.    

May 2008

In early May 2008,  I starting making beds.  More bricks, (where were they all coming from?) outlined the beds. Four cubic yards of triple mix had been delivered, and was wheelbarrowed into place.    


Then it was time to haul out my booty, no, not the one behind me,(thank you J Lo for making them popular). Look at all the goodies that I got  free from work.  I got busy and planted a line of leftover Easter hydrangea. If they live, fab, if they don’t, oh well, they didn’t cost me anything. in front of them a mass of muscari. This was it for 2008, except for planting some Allium “Purple Sensation” in the fall.    

May 2009

 The muscari was beautiful in May 2009 (thank god, I finally got that digital camera)!    


The alliums look beautiful, I am so glad that I purchased another 100, fall 2009.    


The Lindens were purchased bare root (and very small, approx 5-6 feet tall), spring 2009. There are 12 planted in the Lime Walk 6 per side. I am hoping that they will be tall enough this spring to start with my first tier of pleaching, it will start at six feet of the ground.    


Boxwoods were planted in June 2009, they were largish specimens, loosely clipped into balls.    


Hydrangea stay in flower a long time, until a heavy frost.    


This is the view from my kitchen window.

If you want, you can read more here.  

Future plans are very limited, I need a focal point at the end of the walk, where the bird bath is now, I am thinking of a large urn on a pedestal, or a statue, but it needs to be 7-8 feet tall for the scale to be correct.  The limes have to be pleached, and the hedges to be shaped. I am unsure if I will plant a perennial in front of the hydrangea.  I hadn’t planned on it, but I find the muscari foliage is very messy and takes away from the look. The only other project I am toying with is using the bricks as a mowing strip, edging is a pain, so it doesn’t get down as often as it should.  

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The House

Ian decided to check out my blog at work the other day after he realized that someone he knew (Hi Kaaren) had looked at it.  He was horrified to realize that you could see a picture of the neighbours (we call it the Deliverance house) behind us and people would think that it is our house.

So just to clarify matters, I thought that I would post a picture of the house, only to realise that I do not have one.  All my pictures have been of the more important (to me anyway) garden, and I am in Toronto at the moment so I going to post the only one that I can find. 


The House

The House


This picture was taken from the other end of what will be the Lime Walk, looking towards our house.  As you can see, this was taken before the linden trees were planted and our muscari that I wrote about in Free Plants Are Great are in bloom.  If you feel compelled to check out the Deliverance house click here

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