Tuesday 11 August 2020


In this time of staying close to home and limiting our social contacts, thank goodness for my garden.We have made a few changes this year to accommodate the extra time we are spending out there.

Many of you are aware that about 5 years ago we downsized to a teensy sized lot and a slightly smaller house. We have tried ever since to maximize every square inch of garden space. I think we are doing a fairly good job on that part, but alas, the flower blooms themselves are not what they have been in past years!

Usually my Montana clematis has a hundred blossoms or more in the springtime. This year it had 6 or 7. A couple of months later, it bloomed again and had about 10 more blossoms. Weird!

Two other trellises that have two different  clematis each, are even worse. One trellis had one blossom and the other had....NONE AT ALL...sigh Here is a photo of last years Montana clematis

Luckily, the clematis closest to the front of the garden seems to be blooming up a storm to make up for the others. I keep a diary with a hand drawn map of what grows where in the garden. I list names of flowers and even tape the name tags (if I have them) into the book. I went to look up the name of this blooming clematis and although I have carefully taped in the tag, the name is not on the tag! And of course, I had not written down the name yet, thinking I could just rewrite it off the tag.

I chat with a couple of ladies via email and promised to post photos of my clematis and garden bed. So here they are...please remember I mentioned that I have a teensy, teensy lot! Perfect for my arthritis as I can garden and yet not tire myself out!

This is the back edge of the patio that adjoins the flower bed I showed above. As you can see, the evergreen that is in the foreground has a lot of brown needles in the bottom area of the tree.
Some of the clematis have that browning too, as well as all the ivy in my big pots and hanging baskets. I had to cut the ivy back to the ground and even then, some rusty coloured leaves grew back.
Normally, I would just take a few sample leaves into my master gardener booth at the local nursery, but not this year, with COVID. I think it is perhaps a virus of some sort, or maybe rust...


We removed some river rock edging around the lower patio and changed it over to brick patterned slabs. We needed the extra room as we added a portable hot tub. When it wears out, we will change over to a pack and play hot tub, They are sold out right now across Canada. In some cases, the factories have not yet reopened and in others the manufacturers delivery dates are running into mid October. The main factory that we want to purchase from (through Costco) is still shut down due to COVID.
This one we bought is just a cheapie, but serves its purpose well. Al has been in soaking nearly every night. It is easily maintaining 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Luckily the patio doors to our walk out basement are right beside this tub. So it is just a few steps inside to a bathroom with a shower for a quick rinse off afterwards!

The antique looking trunk was Al's grandfathers. He bought his tools in it when he left Wisconsin to come and make a home in Canada. We are now keeping the spa chemicals in it.

The tall topiary tree in one of the large pots behind the tub, is a California lilac. We had masses of beautiful teensy blue blooms earlier in the year. I think there are still a few left in this photo...
We are going to take out the small evergreen trees you see in the other pots and replant with two more California Lilac. It is a nice way to create a visual screen between the neighbour's house and ours. An added bonus is that it keeps those glossy green leaves all winter!

We are very lucky that our neighbours are not outdoor people. We have only seen them out in their back garden once, in the last 5 years. Al always mows their grass when he does ours as the front gardens are so teensy here. It is easier to mow straight up to their sidewalk, than guess at the arbitrary line down the middle. He asked if they minded, when we first moved in and they burst into huge smiles and said they were not garden people at all and would love it. He also shovels their sidewalks when it snows, as he is out there anyway and he knows that they have to go out to work. Each Christmas, they bring us a bottle of very pricey wine, and a lovely box of chocolates. 
Here is a shot from the main sidewalk, just inside the gate to the garage..

Hope you enjoyed this little peek into my back garden!


Christine Alexander said...

your back yard looks wonderful, mine is a bit of jungle at the moment. Everyone has been spending more time in the back yard it's the one place we feel save even with the odd visitor :)
Take care

Mrs A. said...

Your Garden looks delightful. It might be a tiny plot but it packs a punch! I too have been so thankful for the garden this year.I managed to get a lot of plants including tomato plants delivered so have been able to have lots of posts and hanging baskets. I have managed to buy everything that I have needed on the internet so we have not been out at all during the lockdown. Now that hairdressers and the dentist is back open they are the only two places we have been out to. Hope you are continuing to be safe and healthy. Hugs mrs A.

Bunny said...

It's lovely to look at your garden. It's a nice space.

If I was your neighbor I would be handing over a few gift certificates every 3 or 4 months. Y'all are the epitome of a great neighbor. [Bunny]

Greta said...

Looks like a lovely place to be isolated during the pandemic, Maureen! The California Lilac looks beautiful & how great that it keeps it's leaves! My lilac had beautiful blooms this year, but it will loose the leaves for the winter. Thanks for sharing the pictures! Stay safe!

Sue's Crafty Corner said...

You've made your garden into a perfect play spot for these times Maureen. Hope you didn't work Al too hard.

Sue xx

cotnob said...

Your garden looks lovely Maureen, you certainly are making great use of all of your space. My Rheumatoid Arthritis means that I don't bend in the middle very well and if I kneel down, I can't get back up so hubby does most of our garden - he starts of with great enthusiasm, planting lots of plants and shrubs but then looses interest, I think I'm going to have to get a gardener!
Pauline - Crafting with Cotnob

Sandra H said...

Beautiful garden l can see you take a lot of pride in doing what you have created here just love the pictures and each space created is different must give of lots of different fragrances too! your hot tub looks inviting they seem to be the in thing in my neck of the woods so lovely and well needed with this lovely weather thank you for sharing take care stay safe x

Alice (scrAPpamondo) said...

Beautiful garden! Even if the pink clmatis have a few flowers, they are still a joy to see :)

cuilliesocks said...

Gosh you have put a lot of work into your garden which is just so lovely, and I'm sure it's a pleasure to sit in it. Your blooms are so beautiful, stay safe, Kate x

Verna Angerhofer said...

Beautiful scenery and gorgeous garden.

Kris said...

Your garden is lovely!! Looks peaceful, and I expect just gorgeous in the winter. The hot tub will be a great addition! Thanks for sharing your pictures! Take care and God bless.

Brenda said...

Your garden is a beautiful spot to quarantine in Maureen! I love how welcoming it looks, I think one could really relax there and read a good book or have a good soak in the hot tub. I love the size of that hot tub too, so nice and not so intrusive. I didn't know there was a CA Lilac, will have to check that out. I do know that pine do "shed" brown needles but if your ivy and other plants have it too, then maybe that isn't the cause. I hope you find out why these are doing this. I have no clue about the clematis. I am thinking your ground might need some lime or something. Maybe your soil needs testing, but at this time that isn't going to happen unfortunately. Anyway, enjoy that garden, I think it is fabulous! I also think your hubby is fabulous and your neighbors could do more than a bottle of wine and chocolates once a year! That is nice, but your hubby is doing this year 'round, not just once in a while. Mowing and shoveling is a job. Hugs, Brenda

Jules said...

Hi Maureen

Your garden looks like a beautiful paradise .. .. anyone would love spending time out there! I know I certainly would.

Hope all is good with you.

Love Jules xx

Kathleen said...

Looks fabulous Maureen.

Kath x

Unknown said...

I've loved visiting your beautiful garden, Maureen! I know you must enjoy sitting out there and taking in the view!

lichazul said...

so beautiful garden , great look !!
thasnks for share with us
hugs from Chile

Craftychris said...

It is so lovely having a look round your garden. Thank you for showing it to us! Take care and stay safe xxx

Jenny L said...

Hi Maureen,
your garden looks very lovely and green and such a lovely format too.
Super plants and foilage as well.
MY garden looks awful as we have had such hot weather and have been told not to use water only for hygiene and cooking as there is a drout in my area.
My water butt is empty also.
I don't understand we struggle for water each summer, and yet they are building lots! and lots! of more house and an so many flats here.
We were told about 5 years ago there wasn't enough water to go round in our area so why oh why are they building more properties without addressing the water situation.
Lots of crafty love. Jenny L.

Pia S said...

Lovely photos. We don’t have our own garden, but a common one for all the apartments in the building we live. Gardeners are taking care of it all. I like it that way. I seem to kill everything with flowers and plants, so I’m not allowed to touch the ones we have in our apartment. Hubby takes care of the watering.

Carol L said...

You have a tiny slice of paradise just outside your back door and it looks lovely! Gardens are a lot of hard work, and with a bad back, I'm unable to do gardening, so I'm always enjoying other's beautiful gardens and outdoor spaces! I never did have a green thumb to begin with, so I'll sit back and enjoy what everyone else creates :)

Sue - said...

Your garden looks lovely. It must be a pleasure to sit out there.

Linby said...

Your garden is looking lovely. things have moved on since I saw it!