Monday, May 3, 2010

Birthday Bed Complete!

The week started with a big sigh of relief, when I was able to find some Blue Star Petunias, I went to a (gasp) different garden centre, and they had a few. I couldn't leave them and risk not being able to find them again, so I brought home 24 plants. I'm not exactly sure what to do with them, other than hope they don't grow too much or get too stressed over the next few weeks.

Later in the week we were under a blizzard warning, I have lost tulips to this before, so this time I took protective measures. Canoes come in handy for things other than boating. We only got a light dusting of snow, so it wasn't actually needed, but you just never know what you're going to wake up to!

What do you answer when someone asks 'what do you want for your birthday?', standard reply: 'more plants' (which were purchased last weekend). Then the work began....

And was more or less completed the next day. The shape didn't turn out exactly as I had envisioned, and will need a little reshaping, but overall I am pleased with it. So far, there are the shrubs Coralberry 'Amethyst', Blue Muffin Arrowwood, a dwarf lilac, 2 rose bushes, the peony 'bowl of beauty', Miss Lucy Asiatic Lily, & a rescued Shasta from the (now dog area of the) backyard. I think the moss phlox and a dahlia will be planted here too, as well as some white daffs with yellow trumpets next fall (put here as note to self).

As you can see, a strip of grass was left between the bed and the driveway/sidewalk. Two of the shrubs were dug in last fall (just into little circles), and I discovered that the grass made a very effective berm of sorts, to keep mulch/moisture in. I know it looks a little goofy, but until I come up with a good border system I will leave it in place. The problem is I don't like most borders, or at least not once they start to shift or wear. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, I like bangchik's coconut husk border, but I don't think it would work in my zone ;). Now we just need to find a way to get rid of the sod squares, and things will be looking good.

This is the bed that I made last fall, you can see it in bloom here. Although not large, I am getting a lot of enjoyment from it, and I hope it does well this summer.

2 out of 3 of my Hydrangeas are ok, and as I have been told by my blogging friends, they are late to start, and the buds will emerge from the bottom (pictured below). One of them is in very poor shape, the crown in split down the middle. I don't know if it will recover, I'll leave it for a few months an then may replace it with another.

The daffodils are starting, I believe this one is the impressive Dutch Master.

The smallest garden helper went shopping with me yesterday, and chose these violas. I'm not sure where they will go, so they will stay in the pot for a little while.

Happy Gardening!


  1. Oh, I just love Shasta Daisies. I can't wait for you to post pictures of them this summer. I would have grabbed the Petunias as never know when if and when you will find them again. Isn't it so nice to be out in the garden again?

  2. There is no better birthday present for a gardener than plants! Happy birthday! New bed will look lovely.
    I just got red Hydrangea. I know that the color depends on soil they are in. I just hope that they will keep the red color next year also. Your Hydrangea has a few buds, I think it will recover.

  3. Happy (belated) birthday, Rebecca! What better presents can there be for a spring birthday than plants. I'm happy to see that one of your birthday plants is a peony. I wanted to let you know that all the ones I planted in the fall not only survived, but they all have flower buds on them! -Jean

  4. A canoe...I love how resourceful we are sometimes as gardeners. A canoe? Why not!? I'm sure your tulips were most grateful! Your daffodil is lovely, we have a number of Dutch Master here, although, sadly, they are long since done for the season, but we look forward to seeing them again next spring.

  5. Only a true gardener would think of using the canoe - bravo! I clicked on your bed from last year - very nice! I too went garden shopping this weekend (finally!) and will post soon. Such an exciting time of year!

    Glad your birthday was so nice. :-)

  6. Happy birthday AND happy gardening;-) I think all gardeners seem instinctively able to come up with spur of the moment solutions, at least temporarily...and your canoe was perfect! Your beds look great and I am sure you'll be in bloom-heaven when they begin to fill up;-) I think you got some great plants and I want nothing more than the same when it's my birthday! I'm glad you are getting some daffodils finally! It must be so hard to have had to wait so long. Ours are long gone! Gardening environments are so different around the world, yet, we all seem to carry that same passion!

  7. I saw that Southern Alberta is in for a snowstorm warning tonight, so you'll want to keep the canoe handy. I did my first rounds of the greenhouses this weekend, too, and found some interesting plants, and added to some old favourites. I picked up some double flowering impatiens while they were available, so they will have to be in and out, until the weather improves.

    Your Hydrangea have more green than mine do so far. They like to play it safe, and wait for the all clear. It's such fun to plan a new bed. I'm always changing the shapes of mine.To edge mine I just use a trench around them, which works well in most areas, but I see how you want to keep the mulch off the sidewalk.

    Happy birthday.

  8. Happy Birthday! Love your bed and those pansies are sweet! I just hope the blizzard doesn't come or at least may it be mild. Happy Gardening!

  9. Rebecca girl ! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!
    I didn't know or I would have wished it sooner for you : ) and wow ! nothing like getting loads of garden goodies eh ? .. wait a minute .. you can do it again with Mother's Day girl !!!
    I have so many plants coming from Mail order nurseries .. I try to get them nestled in the group I already have to plant eeekkk !
    Your beds will look wonderful once the weather settles down and you can work with the soil .. don't worry ? be happy ? LOL
    I just snapped a gorgeous sunrise here .. it makes me warm and fuzzy inside ? LOL
    In any case .. ENJOY those goodies and don't work too hard !

  10. I love that curvy bed.., pleasing. Happy birthday! ~bangchik

  11. Hi Noelle, it's WONDERFUL to be out in the garden again! I'll be sure to post some shastas for you this summer. It's funny how we take certain plants for granted here (shastas, lilacs etc..) whereas your bougainvillas have us swooning. We always want what we can't have lol.

    Hi vrtlarica, thanks for the birthday wishes. I am also considering a soil pH dependant hydrangea, but am not sure if I can commit to the work of it. I hope yours turns out well. :)

    Hi Jean, Wonderful update about your peonies, the 3 I planted last fall are coming up, but I won't know for some time if they will set buds. I hope I got the planting depth right on this one, and I have one more to plant still. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

    Hi curbstonevalley, I'm glad you liked my canoe idea, desperate times call for desperate measures! If your daffs are done, then you must be onto even more exciting things! :)

    Hi MsS, thanks for your message, it was either a canoe or an old ikea coffee table with a blue tarp over it lol. I look forward to the post about your purchases!

    Hi Jan, it's true, things can differ widely from region to region. Although having lived in Canada my whole life I hadn't given much thought to the timing of plants in other zones. Visiting blogs has me green with envy at how some early spring starts for some, but it's wonderful to see other fresh blooms while we're under snow. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

    Hi Northern, I am keeping it handy, just in case! I'm glad you found some new additions, I look forward to seeing them. I don't think I'll start taking the petunias in and out just yet, I don't want the poor things to go into shock. I am also constantly reshaping (enlarging) beds, and am unable to commit to a final shape. One of the first changes we made here was to remove all edging, there was a lot. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

    Hi Chandramouli, Thanks for your message, so far the snow is quite light and is melting on contact. Although it's very cold, wet and windy, so I'll be staying in for a while...

    Hi Joy, It's easy to buy the plants, it much more difficult to find a spot for them. I still can't decide where to put Jack or Alastair. Can't wait to see your new additions. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

    Hi Bangchik, thanks so much for your comment, I'm so flattered that you like the shape. Maybe I will leave it for a while and see if I get use to it, it's just different than I had imagined.

  12. Happy Birthday! Plants are my favorite birthday gift too. It's great you are removing grass for more flower beds. Flowers are more fun than grass any day! :)
    Glad your Hydrangeas are coming back!

  13. Gardening With Canoes, a great idea for a post. Strangely, I've never heard of this alternative use for canoes, even with three Canadian brothers-in-law. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a used canoe to add to my garden tools.

    Christine in Alaska

  14. Happy Birthday Rebecca, what great presents you got. Good (and bad) news on the hydrangeas, mine are just starting to leaf out. I have to wait a month will my b'day, love having them at a time of year where you can get plants for them.