"Friendship Garden"

"Friendship Garden"

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How my gardens began.

I started my gardens in spring of 1988 and slowly formed it into an Old English style over the years. I have a real passion for lilies and irises as well as numerous other perennials. A few perennials, annuals and some veggies are started under lights in our basement in late March to early  April so they will have a head start in our Zone 4+ climate. We enjoy planting a mid-size veggie garden with many varieties of tomatoes, in shades of yellow, pink and red as well as small, yellow, pear-shaped and sweet, red, cherry style. Yellow and dark purple beans are always a staple as well as carrots, Swiss chard, cucumbers, squash, cantalope and watermelon. We also grow many of our own herbs such as basil, garlic chives, rosemary, tarragon, thyme and oregano. We enjoy being able to walk out to the garden and pick our fresh produce during the summer months. There is nothing like the first, ripe tomato.

I always had a vision of how I hoped my gardens would eventually look and slowly, with the help of my son's Jaye & Bryan and my hubby Paul, things started to come together. We hauled three pick-up truck loads of huge, limestone rocks from my in-laws farm and made a long, raised flowerbed along the length of our main driveway. We started with a Purple Sand Cherry shrub planted in the middle of the bed then slowly added Creeping Phlox, Cranesbill and Daylilies through-out. The mixed colours of Creeping Phlox (Phlox, stolonifera) are very beautiful in mid May through to mid June. Colours range from white to delicate pinks as well as mauve and magenta. Cranesbil, (Geranium sanguineum) continues to bloom right through to frost. If clipped back in late summer the dense, creeping mats will re-bloom a second time.

The Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are among the most adaptable perennials as they will grow in almost any climate and any soil type in Zones 3 to 10. They do prefer not to have soggy roots. These sun loving plants come in a wide range of colours, from a pale, lemon yellow to a deep, flaming red and deep, rich purple. They can start to bloom as early as late spring and some continue blooming right into the fall. Some have wonderful scents that gently waft through the air while others are simply breathtaking with their wide range of colour variations. These amazing plants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, some with ruffled edges and sometimes with double rows of petals. Their trumpet shaped flowers can easily grow 1 to 10 inches with heights reaching well over 4 feet. To keep them looking their best they should be dead-headed daily. Daylilies are easy to propagate and if the extra soil is washed off the roots it is easy to see where they should be split.They do their best if the clumps are divided every 3 to 5 years. 

We had been trying to come up with a suitable name for our gardens for a few years but nothing seemed to pop out at us. My dear friend Carole C. wrote a beautiful poem for my birthday and the name came easily after reading her words. Thanks Carole for your encouragement, inspiration and amazing thoughts. To have a friend such as you is to have one of the sweetest gifts that life can bring.

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