Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Welcome to my Spring Garden

In the middle distance: maroon colored Clematis 'Bourbon' reaches a height of 4-5 feet.

Wild, untamed and wonderfully fragrant! Welcome to my spring garden!

Gas Plant with blue Amsonia in the foreground. Manchurian Lilac 'Miss Kim' in the distance.

Gas Plant with blue Amsonia.

Gas plant, Dictamnus albus forms a bushy, upright clump of bright green leaves and has tall spires of white flowers in late May/early June. The plant gets its common name from the tiny amount of methane gas its flowers produce. A lighted match will flair if held near the flowers.
This plant is very slow to establish. Average soil is fine. Height: 60-90 cm ( 23-35 inches), Spread 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9.

Catmint, Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low' 

Catmint, Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low' 

Deutzia x lemoinei 'Compacta': has an upright habit and white flowers in spring. Plant it in sun to part-shade in average garden soil. It likes growing conditions to be on the moist side. Height: 4-6', Spread: the same. USDA Zones: 4-8. No serious diseases or problems. Prune in spring after flowering.

Lychnis viscaria 'Splendens': When not in flower forms Lychnis viscaria 'Splendens' forms a low mound of grass-like foliage. Then in early spring magenta flowers appear on tall stems. Height: 45-50 cm (18-20 inches), Spread: 30 cm (12 inches). USDA zones: 3-7.

Centaurea montana 'Amethyst in Snow' has shaggy white flowers with a purple centre. The foliage has a downy texture and a silver-grey-green color. Full sun and average garden soil. Cut the plant back hard after it finishes flowering and it will bloom again. (Note: the common blue form of this plant, Centaurea montana has proved to be problematic in some areas of the Canada and the States. I could not find an notations about this cultivar being invasive). Height: 30-40 cm (12-16 inches), Spread: 30-60 cm (12-23 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.

Just inside the back gate is the beginnings of a white garden.

The almost-blind, 18 year old Buddy who we've nicknamed "Old Man".

Looking toward the back garden. 

One of the birdbath planters.

Sweet Rocket and Anemone canadensis.

The infamously invasive Anemone canadensis from my last post.


The first of the Siberian Iris.

Columbine and alliums with a hosta in the near distance.

An apartment style birdhouse and a Dogwood tree on the right.


Lupins grown from seed.

Columbine and Lupins.

Pink Columbine and and an Allium.

The path leading toward my four raised beds. 
Dwarf Korean Lilac tree form, Syringa meyeri 'Palibin' in the near distance.

'Boomerang' Lilac on the left. 

'Boomerang' Lilac blooms in the spring, and then after a short rest through the heat of summer, again in the late summer/fall. Fragrant. Full sun. Height: 4-5 ft, Spread: 4-5 ft. USDA zones:3-7.


Not sure of this one. Geranium cantabrigiense ' Biokovo Karmina' maybe?

Prairie Smoke, Geum triflorum is a western native with decorative seed heads that look like puffs of smoke. Well-drained soil is crucial for this plant. Full sun and summer weather that is not too hot are best. Once established Geum triflorum is pretty low maintenance and is very drought tolerant. Height: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches), Spread: 40-60 cm (16-24 inches). USDA zones 3-7.

Viola sororia 'Freckles' has white flowers with china-blue speckles and heart-shaped, bright green leaves. This violet is native to Eastern North America. Part-shade or full shade. Average garden soil and average moisture levels will suit this violet. Viola sororia 'Freckles' will spread through self-seeding. Height: 15-20 cm (6-8 inches), Spread: 15-30 cm (6-12 inches). USDA zones:3-9.

The herb garden.

Pinks, Dianthus are sold as an annual here, but they usually come back the second year. 

My fairy garden project from a few weeks ago.

Tall bearded Iris with a Columbine in the background.


Woodland Phlox, Phlox divaricata

Blue Forget-me-nots, Geranium 'Sambour' (burgundy flowers) 
and a white variety of Woodland Phlox on the right.

Woodland Phlox, Phlox divaricata 'May Breeze' has fragrant, star-shaped white flowers in early spring. Unlike more familiar Phlox paniculata that blooms much later in the summer, this plant has fine, delicate foliage. Phlox divaricata 'May Breeze' slowly spreads to form a small clump. Divide in the fall. Moist soil and part to full shade are this plants preferences. Height: 30-40 cm (12-16 inches), Spread: 30-60 cm ( 12-23 inches). USDA zones: 3-9.

My picture does not do the unusual blue-grey color of this hosta justice.

Hosta 'Joy Ride' not only has great curves, it also has foliage with a wonderful powdery, blue-green color. Light lavender flowers appear mid-summer. Part-shade to full shade. Height: 40-45 cm (16-18 inches), Spread: 90 cm ( 35 inches). USDA zones: 3-9.

An island-shaped shade garden in the back part of the yard.

A Buddha meditating in the same island-shaped bed.

Mourning Widow Cranesbill, Geranium phaeum 'Samobor' has deep red flowers and green foliage splashed with maroon. One great thing about many geraniums are their versatility in terms of sun exposure; full sun, part-shade or full shade will often work for them. Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'  is a prolific self-seeder. Cut the plant back hard to the ground after it flowers and you'll get rid of unwanted seedlings and have nice, fresh green leaves in a week or two. Height: 60-80 cm (23-31 inches), Spread: 60-70 cm (23-27 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Shooting Star, Dodecatheon meadia is a short-lived perennial that takes a year or so to flower. Typically they put on their best display in year three and then they disappear. Plant it in rich, moist soil. Full sun to part-shade. Height: 20-30 cm ( 8-12 inches), Spread: 15-20 cm (6-8 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9.

Pots of Pansies at the very back of the garden.

Such a weird color combination, but I love it!

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of my spring garden!


  1. Beautiful garden. Where did you get the rust colored bird and rabbit stakes? They are adorable.

    1. I bought them locally at the Toronto Botanical Gardens gift shop, but there is an online source as well:

  2. Thanks for sharing the source.

  3. Is that a wisteria you have growing over your rounded arbor? Your yard is breathtaking!

    1. Thanks ver much. The round arbor is covered with two euonymus (one up each side).

  4. Absolutely stunning. What a paradise you've created! Thank you so much for letting us inside your lovely corner of heaven!

  5. Thank you for sharing your spring garden it's absolutely serene.

  6. This is truly breathtaking. I love the creativity using a birdbath as a planter. Your garden is an amazing inspiration!

  7. You garden us beyond amazing! What a lovely thing to enjoy.

  8. Your garden is absolutely stunning! So many beautiful flowers. June is definitely my favorite month in the garden.

  9. Oh, Jenifer, your June garden is awesome! So many blooming plants. I liked most you Columbines, nice collection.
    Happy week!

  10. WOW! No words to express the beauty of your garden. You have lot of colorful flowers in your garden:)

  11. Jennifer, your spring garden is spectacular! Thanks so much for sharing. I wrote down many names!

  12. I don't think I can begin to tell you how beautiful this all is. I wish I could experience it in person, it must be even lovelier when seen in the altogether. Thank you so much for sharing - it gives me something to strive for.

  13. Wow ! How stunning. Thank you for pointing out the sweet rocket. We have that growing on the side of the road here and I've been trying to identify it. So there - now you've helped me identify two plants around here. Also nice to see your dwarf korean lilac - I have a baby korean lilac.

  14. You've created such a beautiful garden Jennifer, full of so many lovely plantings. I especially love your lupines! Thanks for sharing with us.

  15. I thoroughly enjoyed a tour of your spring garden. It is jaw dropping. We are in the throws of summer and seeing all your spring blooms is very refreshing. Love your color combos and layering in the beds.

    1. Thanks Karin! In the house I seem to gravitate to yellows, reds and orange. In the garden I seem to go for purple, pink and blue. Not surprisingly, one color I like anywhere is green.

  16. There is so many beautiful colours in your garden. Colours and flowers. I love dogs and dogs in the garden are even better view.
    I am looking at your hostas with jealousy. Don't you have problems with slugs and snails as we do in UK?

    1. Oh, l do have issues with slugs and snails! There is one hosta that gets riddled with holes, but some other varieties hold up much better. I find the hosta with thick, grey-green leaves are the best for slug resistance.

  17. Absolutely beautiful, Jennifer! I love all the different kinds of columbines you have as well as the lupins. Lupins are something I've never grown; I'm not sure if they do well here. Enjoyed seeing all your garden helpers as well--handsome fellows!


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