The Joy of Gardening in Southern Ontario

I love gardening in my Zone 5 garden. To many it would not seem like an exciting place to garden. The ground is frozen from December to April and four large Maple Trees shade the West facing back garden all Summer. Dispite this, much magic and joy happens in this small space every year.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Gardening, World Cup and Smelling the Roses

Ummm, it's late spring, so much to do, so many seedlings to tend and plant, so much tidying and the World Cup!

I got through the long list of things that I had to do and still saw a lot of football. It was really cold in the night. Consequently there were no mosquitoes enabling me to garden until it was too dark to see what was a weed and what was a self-set seedling. That enabled me to watch the football and get down the list. Then you realise, "wait, I'm rushing about, the racoon is looking at me from the tree as if to say, what is this idiot doing, I'm not appreciating this incredible miracle that is my garden. The lavender scent is so beautiful, the garden has flowers everywhere. The aquilegia, geranium, peony and iris are in bloom. The flowers of the helebore are still poking their heads through the hosta, the ornamental grasses are pushing higher with everyday and rampant growth is happening everywhere."

You breathe, a smile bursts from inside and the feeling bursts from your heart. The Buddhists call it Loving Kindness. You realise that you are truly blessed.

It is really amazing to see the difference between the mulched and un-mulched flower beds. The mulch really does hold the moisture in the soil. I really have to cover the whole garden.

This year, instead of trying to grow basil in the ground, I started it in large pots and moved them outside when the weather became warm enough, this really seems to have worked well, however it needs a lot of light to avoid becoming too stringy (I think the word is etiolated). The rosemary really survived well in the cold frame, now they are all back in the herb garden.

Starting the tomatoes in March was really advantageous, they are quite mature plants now and are flower.

Under the large maples in out back garden, the hosta, astilbe and fern garden is doing really well this year; they have completely covered the ground and choked off the weeds. The front is starting to fill out but still needs some work. I'm trying to create an English cottage garden on one side, with many flowers of different heights, colour and texture. I'm hoping that it will be airy enough to see all the different flowers. When it's up I will take photos.

I went to a talk today on the urban forest, all the trees in a city. The speaker was from a Toronto organisation called LEAF. He was an excellent speaker who talked about care of the trees in our city, how they need watering and should really be mulched rather than have grass under them. It is amazing how much they cool the city and cut down the need for air conditioning. The three 20metre maple trees in our back garden shelter the house from the hot afternoon sun in the summer and in the winter allow the sun through to warm the house. LEAF help people plant the right native trees in their garden.

Well, there is so much to say but that’s enough.

Happy gardening, hope your garden and the glories of nature fill your heart with Loving Kindness.