Happy Birthday!

One hundred and fifty years ago, on July 1st 1867, the British colonies of Upper Canada (Ontario), Lower Canada (Quebec), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia came together under the British North America Act to form the Dominion of Canada. The anniversary of this confederation had been called “Dominion Day” until being changed to Canada Day at some point. Searching on Google, I found that the  new name of this statutory holiday came about when  a private member’s bill (C-201) passed quickly, and rather sneakily,  in October 1982.  Only thirteen parliamentarians were present for the vote! (see CBC’s  Inside Politics Blog, posted June 30th, 2012) Interestingly, a survey conducted by the blog’s author (Kady O’Malley) showed that 48% of Respondents preferred “Dominion Day” while only 41% preferred “Canada Day”. H-m-m-m.

Whatever your preference – I hope you celebrate this very special occasion!

Happy Birthday Canada!

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June Garden

Flowers have bloomed and faded away over the course of June. Early in the month, our wisteria actually bloomed for the second time in sixteen years. flowers-1

Unfortunately, its flowers were all at the bottom of the plant!

Irises bloomed profusely. They will need to be divided next spring.

This Columbine had been growing wild along the road last year until I rescued it. The town insists on  mowing down all the wildflowers which grow beside the road and make walking such a pleasure.



Bachelors buttons and bridal wreath spirea came into bloom at the same time as the irises.


I’m not sure whether chives are grown for their flowers, but I do like them.flowers-6

Encouraged by the success I had with the two rose bushes I planted in 2015, I splurged and added two more plants this spring:

The purple one is a floribunda and the pink one is a David Austen.  It is thrilling to see their first flowers.

Coinciding with the first day of summer,  hollyhocks behind the house began to bloom.


The lavender flowers are ready to be harvested and dried.


I love hydrangeas and have several plants. I try to encourage the flowers to turn blue by adding aluminum sulphate to the soil at the base.  It appears that this plant needs a little more.



Finally, after all the digging, lifting, planting, watering, and weeding, we can take a break  and enjoy the garden.






Garden Inspiration

Until last weekend, it has been perfect spring for plants growing and thriving in our garden. With the continuous cooler temperatures and moist grounds, the flowers have never looked better nor held onto their blooms as long as they have this year. The cooperative weather motivated me to be outside puttering in my flower beds and herb garden.

Regretfully, I do not have the proverbial green thumb but I have found inspiration by visiting some  famous gardens including Butchart Gardens in British Columbia,  the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario and the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture near Niagara Falls Ontario. However, the one garden I found most inspiring was a not-so-famous garden outside Waterford City, Ireland.

Abbey Road Gardens is only open to the public by appointment, but in my naivety, I wandered through the open gate leading off Abbey Road. I was greeted by a friendly ginger cat who encouraged me to further explore the delightfully arranged gardens. Shortly, the owner came from her house to explain that the garden wasn’t open to the public for another month. I apologized and explained to her that I couldn’t visit then. We talked for quite awhile about gardening and her plants. Several times she apologized that the garden needed straightening up and several times stooped to pluck out an errant weed. (The sign of a true gardener.) I asked about the soil, which looked so easy to work with. Apparently it was clay soil that had been enriched with decades, even centuries of sheep manure. The property had been the site of a monastery where sheep had been kept.  After seeing how interested I was in her gardens she graciously invited me to take as much time as I needed to browse around.

While, my pictures do not do Abbey Road Gardens justice, I hope you’ll have an idea of its charm:

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