The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Summer 2023


By Lori


Hello friends! It’s better than half way thro ‘23, so time for another blog. alas! I have so many pictures on my aging laptop that it will not let me download anymore from my (also aging) camera. I find myself humming “This Old House” and “the Old Gray Mare” lol… nothing works anymore! But…. I will try to paint my garden with words… so here goes!
This spring was the warmest in 10 years! we did have a short spell of frosty nights in mid-May which caused the loss of some emerging foliage on the trees and shrubs, but thankfully we have little green apples here at almost the end of July. The black walnut suffered some loss of blossom but we have a few nuts this year which is cause for celebration because last year we had NONE! May of ’22 we had a super-cell that cut swathes through the forests three counties across! I lost dozens of trees, mostly aspen, and a few beech, maples and spruce that were in the way of the falling aspens.
My cousin came to visit early this spring with his ATV, chainsaw and power winch and took down two ash for fire wood, as well as cleared out the fallen limbs and debris from the trails. As a result my woodshed is full. Bless you, Floyd!
There are still many logs up the hill which I want to use to make a cabin… I’ve been wanting to get to that since we moved here 12 years ago! So, they say if you’re given lemons, make lemonade! Along with the logs the uprooted stumps are providing some frustration… they will have to be pulled out and I’m not getting any younger, so I will be hoping I can recruit my dear cousin again. The pond which I was always kvetching about has almost filled in with silt… more mechanization needed! but the two streams have been running for the last two years. my small frog pond near the house sprung a leak in the liner last summer as well and the water level over winter was so low that I was sure I’d lose my nymphaea, but, even though it had a slow start it’s come back beautifully and I even have extra roots to share with my cousin and his wife, for their pond. I’m making a pond alligator for them out of one of the huge aspen logs. it’s a work in progress… it’s going to be jointed so it can change it’s orientation when the wind blows! I’m now a chainsaw sculptor!
Our hot temps this month has seen a slowing of the flow and my water Iris is up on the banks instead of being in the water! The rest of my siberians, Dutch and beardies were lovely this year…a great improvement over last year.
Hostas! I was desperate this spring to see if my hosta collection would return as they were grazed to the knubs by deer last year… so far they’ve taken a few nibbles but the hostas in the creek valley have blossom this year because I have been keeping the very tall Johnson grass cut down (where the mommas like to stash their fawns) and that discourages them from their creek valley shortcut. (Also, all the work pulling trees and cutting trails up the hill has altered their runs thro our bush.) and #3, I am now the proud owner of a very nice roto tiller which I am putting to good use making garden paths and new beds for my burgeoning iris collection… and the deer are leery of turned earth, it seems.
the march of time has cut into my stamina, but the last year with it’s challenges has made me more determined than ever to accomplish what I had hoped to do here 12 years ago, and that is have a recognizable garden rather than a collection of trees, shrubs and perennials..
although I was very late planting it, we have a veggie garden this year.. nothing too fantastic, just climbing beans, carrots, beets, kale, peas, chard, lettuce and radishes (for Ryot). oh! and the little pear tree which I bought last year, and which was pruned by the deer, has managed to survive the horrendous cold of winter and the flood of early spring. no blossom but lots of growth which I want to espalier at some point.. I have lots of rocks to build a south-facing wall! …another project/dream. lol…
Hollyhocks! they are magnificent! I’ve never known a plant to performs so beautifully with little or no work. ( a bit of staking aside) Therese Bugnet roses, and peonies and Vermeer lilies…did/doing great. I love plants that scent the air and I have a number of them… one that I value for sentimental reasons is saponaria.. laundry herb! it smells so sweet and clean. Lemon lilies, roses, lily-of-the-valley, daphodils, acidanthera, spring wild flowers like Claytonia, and of course, the lilacs.. all add that extra facet to the garden. Drifting off to sleep with the scent of the garden wafting thro the window is heavenly.
Another surprise this spring is the wisteria! I thought it was gone, but this year it’s giving the old man’s beard a run for it’s money on the trellis.
The greenhouse has been standing for a decade now, and considering that it was put together as a kit by an old lady and has weathered several strong wind storms, it’s beginning to look a little decrepit… been thinking that it might benefit from an overhaul this winter.
We had our first wildfire scare this spring as well. on June 4th. we awoke to smoke so heavy it was a discomfort. Some of our neighbours who have cottages and homes along Centennial Lake had to be evacuated while the fire was brought under control and finally extinguished. Since June we have been under a province-wide fire ban… no garbage burning, no yard waste burning, no campfires… in fact, no burning of any kind has been enforced. Happily last weekend the ban was lifted with the specification that only small campfires were allowed. We have had a very active “fire season” here and in the West, North and East… (Quebec and Nova Scotia) Breathing that carbon is not good for people and animals alike.
I think this about rounds out the year so far… will try to update as we get on into autumn… (can’t believe it’s July already!)
Time to post and check out my inbox. Hope everyone is well and enjoying life. :-) :-)

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What a lovely blog Klahanie! Who needs photos - I can picture it all! You take care when you build your cabin please!

27 Jul, 2023



I wish you well with all the major fires going on in Canada this year! I know how it is living in fire country. Here in San Diego it’s an all-year fire season.

It sounds like you’ve made big progress with your huge forest garden. I can’t imagine having such a large property and all the time-consuming work involved.

Happy Gardening!

27 Jul, 2023


Lori, lovely to hear from you again. I agree with Sue, we don't really need the pics, you've described everything perfectly in your blog!
I'm sorry to hear you've been suffering as many of your fellow Canadians and Americans have been with the intense heat and wildfires. It must be so very frightening.
Hopefully you and your family and friends are safe and well.
You're 'garden' sounds wonderful. The endless list of fragrant and beautiful flowers/plants...
Take care with all the hard work! Look after yourselves.
Best wishes.

28 Jul, 2023

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