For city dwellers like me, there is a certain brisk romance in the coming, and stately moving forward, of Spring. Not only does this mean less of ‘the white stuff’, it also prods me to start planning and ‘plot’ting. My garden is small. Ideally, it would be lovely to live out in the country and have a great big acreage. But in reality, size matters, and in this case, small suits me just fine!
I’ve been waiting awhile, and look eagerly for signs that it’s time to begin another round of the Great Gardening Adventure!
So when the sunlight hit the window in the morning one fine day, I realized with a burst of gladness that it was indeed warming up. Enough that the robins were back and the garden centres were opening for business. Though Spring comes officially in late March, here in Ontario, we wait till the Victoria Day weekend (May 21st) to kickstart our great gardening adventures.
I waited impatiently for the weekend plant-shopping, spending the interim dusting off my prized gardening books and magazines, just to look at the pictures, mutter names of plants like mantras, and dream about living refreshed again. The scent of lilac, freshly-watered plants and the murmur of bees in my garden infuses me with a dose of joie de vivre like nothing else.
Of course, since April, the tulip bulbs were lit like fire. Fat and content, they sat at the edges of the borders. I noticed with a pang of joy that the heath I bought last year, flowered early. Tiny pink bells studding the dark green foliage were a joy to see every morning from my upstairs bedroom window. This Bell Heather from the Erica family is scheduled to be a prolific grower all through Fall.
The last weekend, my husband and I started early. We drove around to Norval, a pretty small town near to where we live. Driving up through the countryside brings its own rewards. Glorious wild lilac on the roadsides, barns with grazing horses, and green, green as far as the eye could see!
Spotting a lane which led to a nursery, we scrambled out into a busy parking lot. People were cramming their cars with colourful blooms. Yes, who can stay away from annuals? For a much-needed colour fix, you can’t beat annuals. Inside the nursery, was a kind of plant heaven. The selection was terrific. I was at a loss to decide which ones to carry off with me.
Apart from the usual petunias and impatiens (large and showy), I decided on osteospermum, commonly known as African Daisy. It’s an annual that likes the sun and dry conditions, just like in Africa! This is also my first time trying Lobelia. This midnight blue diminutive charmer is shy all by itself, so you will need to plant in quantities for the effect. Tumbling around a border, this annual looks stunning paired with the colourful petunias.
You can’t get away from the cheery gold and orange Marigolds. They’re such steady performers! Year after year, I have never had any problems with them. They are dependable, reliable, and easy-to-grow. I tried out another new annual this time – Lantana. With deep globes of pink, coral and rust-red, their fire warms a container like nothing else.
Will keep you updated on the performance of my garden this summer.