a fairy tale of roses

This rose, which is Floral Fairy Tale, opened right in the middle of an intense heat wave a few days ago. My very first rose bloom ! And it’s a gorgeous one !

I was expecting this to be a little more pink, but I love the light peach so I’m not at all disappointed. I counted just over 30 buds on this plant, and Pomponella has double that… is this even possible after planting bareroots less than 2 months ago ?! Perhaps it’s because they are floribunda roses, so that helps with the amount of buds on a plant. I am anxious for what’s to come with these roses.

Isn’t it a beauty ?



Also known as Summer Snapdragon.
Angelonia angustifolia 

“Angelonias made their appearance on the gardening scene in the late 1990s. The first cultivars available, such as the 1998 Florida Plant of the Year, Hilo Princess, were beautiful, but had some problems. Growing up to 3 feet tall, these plants were rather leggy and tended to sprawl. Breeders and plant development companies, however, saw the great potential in this fine plant, and worked on expanding the color range and producing types that are stockier, shorter and heavy-flowering.”

This lovely variety is Serena Purple. I have grown the purple variety for a couple of years, though Serena also comes in lavender, pink and white. A friend is growing the white in her garden this year and I love how it looks – all pretty and dainty. I might have to try the white with the purple next year.
Its heat tolerance is another great thing about this plant. It is one of my very few annuals that can tolerate our heat waves.

My plants are always covered in blooms from spring to frost and spread quite nicely without looking leggy. This is one of those annuals I wish were a perennial here, but I’m happy replanting them each year. If you have not tried these in your garden, I recommend giving them a go. The butterflies go crazy !

lilies of the garden

Lilies are a favourite of mine. They perform beautifully no matter the temperature, weather or humidex levels. While this scorching sun and some hard rains have killed off the last of my peony blooms, made the dahlia leaves limp and the roses wilty-looking, the lilies look amazing through it all. The temps are going to be in the low 40’s [celsius, that is] with the humidex this week.
Though the colouring does fade a bit in the sun, they are still lovely with very striking colours. My husband’s brother’s new girlfriend stopped on her way up our front porch to look at the lilies in bloom yesterday afternoon.

Here are a few from the garden. I adore peachy-pink lilies with Melissa Jamie being my favourite and Buff Pixie a very close second. Miss Alice, Pink Pixie and Blackout have yet to open their buds.

Melissa Jamie 

Raspberry on Whip, this had a darker raspberry colour in the centre when it first opened

Buff Pixie

Peach Butterflies


Lollypop, almost looks like someone spray painted the petals

New Wave, so simple yet so stunning

Red Galaxy

the annual

Annual flowers complete their life cycle – vegetative plant, bloom, setting seed, death of the plant – in one growing season. Most annuals need to be replanted each year, though there are some that easily re-sow themselves. Their seed which could be scattered by wind, weather and wildlife, will pop up the next season when conditions are favourable. These unexpected visitors are usually called “volunteers” and can be a delight to see again or a source of frustration, depending on your outlook and how rigidly you follow the garden’s original design! Larkspur, cornflower, poppies, desert marigold, calendula, scarlet flax, gaillardia and Johnnyjump-ups are a few flowers that are easy to grow and readily reseed.

I love my celosia plumosa blooms this year. They are performing wonderfully.

Annuals are loved for their riotous colours, they are very quick to perform [especially if transplants are used], and provide relatively long periods of bloom – usually all season until the first frost. Annuals are particularly useful to conceal bare spots while landscape plants become established; create masses of color as a focal point; or fill containers to establish a cheerful presence at entryways and entertainment areas of the yard. At the end of the annual’s growing season, the entire plant tossed away and the spot is ready for another annual to take its place following the season.

Many of us gardeners find it fun to experiment with different annuals. Simply, if you don’t like the colour combinations you chose, plant something else next season. You have all winter to plan what’s next.

My ruffled pansies have been ever so reliable this year… and so cute, too.

I am a little surprised at myself for letting these pansies stay in the garden past spring. These flowers have never been a real favourite, but I’m liking them more and more each time I look at them and how well they are complimenting my garden this year.

oh, the fragrance

There is nothing more spectacular than fragrance in the garden ! And accompanying the lovely scent there is wonderful flowers –

Mock Orange ‘Snowbelle’. I have never smelled anything quite as amazing as these gorgeous double flowers.



Double Freesia

And a few other things in bloom at the moment –

Weigela ‘Wine & Roses’

Variegated Weigela


waiting on the roses

A few of you may remember a post on the bare root roses I planted just over a month ago. All three are doing very well and leafed out in no time at all, so I thought I would share some photos.

One rose bush is covered in with these tiny buds ! After doing some reading when I planted the roses I came to the conclusion that I would not see any of them in bloom this year, but possibly the next season. I guess bare root roses are somewhat behind in growth than the potted roses, and since I saw rows and rows of them in bloom at a garden centre a few weeks ago and in other gardens I figured there would be no rose blooms this year. But, earlier this week I noticed at least 10 buds on one plant. I haven’t noticed any on the other two just yet though. If only one plant blooms this summer I’ll be very happy with that.

nepeta is taking over

Dropmore Blue Catmint
 Nepeta x faassenii

This plant has spread like wildfire this season. It has filled in a corner of one of my garden beds quite nicely, right beside a rhododendron. Though I have noticed it is migrating behind and around the rhododendron so I may have to cut the plant back some. This nepeta will bloom profusely for the entire summer which is what I love so much about this plant. The lavender blue flowers offer a slight scent, but the foliage is very fragrant. So much so that most people that walk up our front steps ask if that scent is from the peonies. I don’t remember the scent being this strong last year, but I love stepping out the front door each morning when the scent seems to be at its strongest. So lovely.