18 July 2017

Front Yards in Bloom II, 2017

Here are some highlights from my second batch of signing and pre-judging for Front Yards in Bloom 2017.  There were some astounding yards as you can see.

This has been so much fun!

09 July 2017

Front Yards in Bloom 2017 part 1

Good morning.  It's Front Yards in Bloom 2017 time and I am going through the photos I took of some of the nominees the end of June.  Today I have 31 more signs to place and it's going to be a hot one!  With the humidex values it will feel like 34 C but at least there's a breeze.

While K and I were out placing signs and doing some preliminary judging, we had three gardeners invite us into their back gardens.  I love when they do that!  We saw a lovely peony garden in one back garden, some beautifully designed pots and a beautiful shade garden in another (I do love a shade garden!) and then our last stop, which wasn't even on our list, was a sweet little lady whose garden we were drawn to and had to nominate.  She took us on a tour, explaining the old Virginia Creeper with a massive trunk and how it came to be the shade for their sunroom.  She grows climbing roses, one of which is a John Cabot and has extensive beds on the side garden and all around.  It's obviously a labour of love and she does most of it herself.  She explained how she had her son come help her tie up the heavy white climbing rose to an archway.  We left with an open invitation to return any time.  How lovely is that?

The following collage is of homes I saw enroute and enjoyed the impact they make on their neighbourhood.

This last collage is of a magnificent home with a brass turret.  K's favourite!  It hasn't been nominated but it is a beautiful composition of textures and greenery and no obvious flowers.  It has astounding curb appeal and was too lovely not to share.  Sadly, I realized later that I have no photos of the turret!

Off to another day of beautiful neighbourhoods!  Enjoy your day!

Rose Delights

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” 

As June drew to a close, the roses became the star of the show amongst the shrubs at the greenhouse and in the city, roses blossomed eagerly. The following collages are a mix of both locations where roses stole the spotlight.  

“I feel as if I had opened a book and found roses of yesterday sweet and fragrant, between its leaves.” 

This post is in honour of my mom who taught me the love of gardening and especially the beauty beyond the thorns.  Today her garden has a dedicated rose bed that fails to contain her enthusiasm for this magnificent shrub, nor mine as I love to add to her collection.

31 May 2017

Canadian Celebration Tulip

To honour Canada's 150 anniversary of confederation, the Canadian Celebration tulip was planted across the country.  This lovely white with red tulip resembles our Canadian flag.  It's a mid-season bloomer and can now be seen blooming in my area.  Here are some photos of this striking spring bulb.

22 May 2017

Spring 2017 Has Been a Blur of Activity

Hello all.  I've been a little MIA and I apologize.  It's been a bit hectic here and I'll let  you in on all the latest news.

Weatherwise, spring didn't come in like a lion, so we've been fortunate here in that respect.  By comparison, May 2016  was likely the fourth wettest on record.  But it has been a cooler and wetter spring than we're accustomed to.  While that may be good for perennials it certainly presents challenges to local farmers who have still not been able to get into their fields to bring in last fall's crops.  North of us, some farmers' fields were flooded beyond recognition.  Still, not as wet as last year.

In other news, we have a new grandson!  Born March 29, one day after his daddy's birthday, he was just over a week overdue.  He's a cute little chubbers who easily doubled his birth weight and then some.  He has his days and nights mixed up thanks to colic which seems to be abating now.  Big brother is beyond thrilled to have a little brother.  He loves to hold him and share his toys with him.  They'll be great pals.  Too bad they're a province away.

My son's wife's two daughters are finally here in Canada. :) They arrived from the Philippines the end of April.  They're two lovely and shy girls.  Canada feels a bit cold to them compared to high 30's (celsius).

I'm back to work at the greenhouse and it's incredibly busy now that May long weekend has arrived.  Everyone is eager to get their plants and dig in to their gardens and containers!  I got my Mathiola (evening scented stock) and a Chocolate Sprinkles tomato plant!  I'm slow to start because I've been so busy! Besides working at the greenhouse, I am a moderator for the greenhouse's Facebook page and recently started acting as community manager for a new Alberta gardener site.  This site is for the gardening community and if you love to garden and live in Alberta you should join.  We share tips, get advice, share photos and recipes.  We help each other solve problems and give inspiration for those tough areas.  We brainstorm together and generally just share our love of gardening together.  (abgrows.ca)

The day is drawing to a close here so I'd love to share just a few photos of what's happening in the garden world.  Til next time Cheers and happy planting!

A Canada goose thought this pot would make a lovely nest.

Prairie sunsets are the perfect ending to a spring day.

Until next time,

~Cheers and happy gardening~

16 April 2017

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!  While some of you are enjoying a bright snow free day, enjoying the songs of robins (mom), we are just happy to see the sun shine though the ground is covered in snow.  We've had snow since Friday.  In fact we had snowfall warnings which didn't amount to much here in the city but much further north in the province they lost power due to power line breakage from snow laden lines.  We are fortunate and we have more moisture which is needed.

Our grandsons attended an Easter egg hunt yesterday.  It looks like L slept through most of it while K had a blast on the slides and making new friends.  It's K's second birthday tomorrow and I wish we could be there.  I'm sure many photos will be sent our way though.  Awe, the joys of grandchildren...our babies' babies.  

Hope you have a lovely Easter, remembering the reason for this blessed day.  God bless you.



25 March 2017

House Plant Journal by Darryl Cheng

Today as I was perusing Facebook I came across a time lapse video made by Darryl Cheng of House Plant Journal.  Darryl has a few time lapse videos but the ones that are most sensational are the changes to plants following watering.

Darryl is a house plant parent residing in Toronto and his collection of houseplants is extensive, as is his knowledge.  So if you have a moment, I highly recommend checking out House Plant Journal!  Darryl is on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/houseplantjournal),  his blog  (www.houseplantjournal.com/blog/2017/1/25/house-plant-jouarnal-monstera-deliciosa) Tumbler and YouTube.

03 March 2017

Full House Lottery #3 (The Greenwich)

If you prefer the rustic look of a loft but want a house, this is the home for you.  Not only do you have the rugged beauty of beams, open ceilings, brick facade; this home offers a private lounge, a restaurant inspired kitchen complete with a pot tap by the cook top!!  There's a custom table for dining that is just gorgeous, a photographer's room, four bedrooms and four bathrooms.  An open staircase with smooth wood stairs leads you up to the bonus room (photographer's room), master bedroom and two bedrooms.  The main floor features kitchen, dining area, great room, den and a bathroom.  The lower level features what they call an Underground Soho Pub, a bedroom and a separate bathroom, and storage.  This house wows!!  Even if you don't consider the New York loft look your style, I'm sure you'll be wowed by this home built by Perry Homes!

Let's begin with the butler's pantry where you find the stainless steel fridge and then you enter the kitchen with brick back splash; a tall pot filling tap at the stove; a gorgeous range (btw); and wine fridges, lots of them!!

The custom table is gorgeous flanked on one side by a bench and on the other by sleek black dining chairs.  Each of the lottery homes has a built in dining area adjacent to the kitchen island.  Top left you see two fridges that resemble restaurant fridges.  No putting your messy packages in these, that's what the butler fridge is for.  Between the two fridges in the kitchen is a large wine unit.    There are two more glassed in wine storage units to the left of the dining table (not shown).  Also in this image are two photos taken from the upper level looking down on the living and dining room area.  It's all open concept.

Upper right and middle right, as you enter from the garage there's a bank of lockers, ahead is a unique display of photos, using overlays of frames. 
The main entrance, top left, took my breath away!!  Wow!! Also shown here is one bathroom and the views from the front door.
The master bedroom features a wall or metal ornate tiles behind which is the master bathroom.  The master bedroom also has a room size closet.

Above, the boy's bedroom and a washroom.  Below, the girl's bedroom.
At the top of the landing, adjacent to the bonus room is a rec room.
From the main entrance you may go downstairs to the lounge, ahead to the main floor living room or upstairs to the bedrooms and rec area and bonus room.

On to your private lounge, Underground Soho Pub style:

The lower level has a bathroom (above) and another bedroom (not photographed).

4 bedrooms
4 bathrooms
Builder:  Perry Homes
4552 square feet



02 March 2017

Full House Lottery Dream Home #2 (Dog Owner's Dream) - The Princeton (Grand Prize 2)

Families with dogs will love to call this home!  This house features a doggie door, a dog bath station, and a designated feeding spot.  Not only that!  I think the builder was channeling their inner child as they included a slide from the main floor to the ball pit on the lower level.  On the lower level is a media room with built in seating (not super comfy), a really cool Batman coffee table, two bedrooms and a family room.  The kitchen is fabulous!!  There's lots to love in this house and I would choose it from the three show homes if I were to win.  

So here it is!  Be prepared to drool just a little!!

We'll start with the garage entrance:

I  LOVE this covered "outdoor" living area complete with extra large bbq, fireplace, sectional and louvered doors that stack for easy access to the back yard.  This, my friends, is a dream!!  I imagine a gorgeous garden with a water feature that you can sit and enjoy no matter the weather because you are covered overhead.  Edson style string lighting hangs overhead from the rafters, an easy to clean floor, and the brick facade.... a gardener's dream!!
The master bedroom above, bathroom below.  The walk-in closet is basically a room complete with small stacked washer and dryer, jewellery island and multiple shelves and rods for clothes storage.

From the closet you enter the bathroom with a large glass shower, a sunken tub (careful, there are no safety handles to enter or exit this tub.  But it looks great, right?!!), a large vanity with makeup desk.  The bathroom is designed in a "U" - shower to the left, sunken tub ahead and then the last arm of the "U" is the vanity.  If only I had a wide angle lens, it would make perfect sense!!
Going downstairs you may either take the stairs or slide into the ball pit!!  Ahead is the sunken entertainment area, to the right is a scotch tasting room and billiards room and to the left are two bedrooms and two kids' bathrooms.

To the right of the entertainment area is the scotch tasting room complete with a sliding barn door and just beyond in the billiards room.
This is the cutest little retreat with lots of storage.  I can imagine  as a child curling up in the bed with a good book or a sleepover!!
Check this out!! Our four boys would have loved this!!  Four bunk beds and an attached bathroom!!
Above, the office space, a bathroom (of which this house has five), and a spectacular light fixture!

bedrooms:  3
bathrooms: 5
4280 square feet
Builder:  Parkwood Master Builder


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