A second lean-to has appeared….

Regular readers will recall that sometime last year, a lean-to appeared out back.

Ok fine, there’s plenty of room back there. I can live with the lean-to. Then the goose moved in.

Now a second lean-to has appeared, at the north side of the property.

Is this some kind of alien encampment in my back yard?

OK, but if more geese show up, I’m drawing a line in the sand.

Canoe Garden

After taking the dogs for their Sunday morning walk, I snapped a few shots of the canoe garden. Strange sky. Is it going to rain? It’s still so humid my camera lens fogs up when I start taking pictures. A few notes on the new gardens. New gardens are new gardens. They look stark and too empty. I want to fill them up, but I know that they will grow and fill in and be just fine. Patience. The bow and the stern of the canoe are empty. We’re going to use the two ends of the canoe for annuals. The middle area of the canoe is wider and I’ve taken the bottom out – I think it’s more likely we can get perennials to winter in the centre than on the ends where the canoe still has some bottom and where it narrows right down. As soon as we see them around, we’re going to put an ornamental cabbage on each end.

We had a rain that created a water path through the new garden behind the canoe. I used some pieces of flagstone and some pea gravel to strengthen that path so each rainstorm doesn’t erode away the gardens. The garden behind the water path is not yet fully planted. We’ll get to it…

The garden on the near side of the path is mostly an ornamental grass garden. Some of those grasses will grow quite tall and will partially obscure the path and the view of the canoe from the street. Hey, what’s that in there, behind the grasses? Is that a canoe garden? There may even be another garden in front of the ornamental grass garden at some point in the future, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

I suppose a front yard canoe garden will seem unusual to some folks but it’s no more unusual than having a six foot tall mosaic owl stuck to the front of the house.

The canoe is sunken into the ground a bit on the stern side, runs along ground level for most of it’s length and on the bow comes just above ground level. We wanted it to sit as naturally as possible in our little landscape, just as if it belonged there.

The giant lime-green hosta from another planet is such a striking element in the garden, it seems to explode over the bow of the canoe. You can see the paddles, which came with the canoe, lying against the canoe. That’s temporary. We haven’t decided how we’re going to use them yet. The folks who sold us the canoe commented that we can’t go canoeing without paddles. I neglected to tell them that this canoe would never float again.

Leading you down the garden path….

We have a little wooded area in the back of the backyard. I cleaned up the path a little bit today.

New Garden

A couple weeks ago I decided to add another new garden out back, this time a checkerboard garden. I finally got around to doing the grunt work today. It’s no great shakes yet – some black-eyed susans and some begonias and some ground cover – but next year, I’ll start thinking about some interesting perennials for the space.


I planted one spiderwort plant on each side of the clematis in the front garden. I love the contrast between the bright blue flowers and light green foliage. These add unexpected accents to the big garden out front.


Looking for an inexpensive 12 foot canoe…

In a couple weeks, we’re putting a path across the yard. Strangely, our house does not have a path from the driveway to the front walk. Neither does the house to the south of us. When we arrive home in a vehicle, we¬† have two choices…walk across the lawn or walk down the driveway, across the sidewalk, and up the front path. We walk across the lawn. We’re going to put in a flagstone path from the front walk to the driveway, and extend the front garden down to the new path.

Tuffy P came up with the idea of adding a canoe garden at the same time. Her idea was to find a very inexpensive canoe, put holes in the bottom, integrate it with the path as if the path were a rapids, fill it with soil, and plant a garden. We’ve never had a canoe garden before. However, a google search on canoe garden images shows us it has been done. To fit our garden path, a canoe no longer than 12 feet is the ticket. Now there are lots of old canoes advertised sites like kijiji, but most of them are either too expensive or too long. We’ve found a couple possibilities but for one reason or another we haven’t been able to nail down the transaction.

The canoe doesn’t even have to be sea worthy. It just has to look sharp (we don’t mind painting it up….or maybe even adding mosaics) and be able to hold soil….and be 12 feet max. I know that canoe is out there. It’s sitting out behind the shed or taking up room in the garage. I know there is someone out there thinking, “I wish I could get rid of this old canoe, but who would want it?” We do. We’re running out of time to get the canoe before the path goes in, and ideally the canoe garden will be integrated with the path. The only thing left to do is turn to you, gentle readers. Please email me if can help.


I was about to jump in the car to take the dogs for a walk in the Enchanted Mushroom Forest when this peony caught my eye.

Rossi and Toni’s Garden

Since Rossi’s stroke, two significant things have changed. The first is he has to be underfoot at all times. Now we have to be so careful we don’t step on the little guy because he gets tangled up in our feet. The second change is an obsessive need to go through any door that opens. Now if we open a door we have to check for Rossi before closing. This morning I took the shot above just before hopping into my car on my way to work. Rossi saw me heading to my car and was trying to get himself tangled up in my feet one more time before I left. Beside Rossi is the garden that our friend Toni created when she stayed with us recently.

I also took a shot of our front garden this morning. We now have three colours of irises blooming and many other flowers including plenty of allium. Peonies will bloom any day. I added a star shaped item to the clematis trellis, to the side. It’s a bit hard to see in the photo because of the barberry hedge behind, but you can see the clematis, which had run out of trellis, leaning on it.


The irises in our front garden come from my brother Salvelinas’ garden. They’re really beautiful this year, especially the purple ones.


In the Garden

Regular visitors will have figured out by now that I like gardening, and I usually have some garden project or another under way. Today I’m going to post some shots of the back gardens.

The garden on the left in the photo above doesn’t look like it’s up to much yet but give it some time. I have several young tomato plants in there along with some herbs and some greens that will hopefully be ready before the tomatoes get big. I’ve also put in a few marigolds around the edges just because. Behind that garden, I made a little log bench. There’s a woodsy bit in behind with a path that goes around it, and I’ve now extended that path out to meet the tomato garden and the perennial garden behind it.

I’ve added more material to the lean-to, including an old antler and a broken ukulele and loads more sticks. There’s a honeysuckle starting to climb the shovel, and when it achieves that, I’m going to train it over to the lean-to.

We don’t need enough garden veggies to stock a grocery store. This little raised patch gives us plenty. I’ve picked enough for a huge salad every day for the past week.

There is a family of sparrows living in the bird house. In fact, it’s time for flight school. Everytime I look at the bird house there is a bird either on top of it, on the perch, jumping in the hole, or emerging from the hole. That is, unless I have a camera in my hand, which renders them invisible.