Mary Mary Quite Contrary

How does your garden grow?

Well thanks for asking. In fact, it kicks the shit out of all the gardens on my street. 😀garden_May2013

My front yard, May 2013. It was quite an attraction to passers-by. Sorry about the crummy iPhone photo with poor lighting.

I know this because lots of people stopped for a closer look, to take pictures, or to exclaim how big the tulips were. I sat on the porch accepting compliments with a cheshire grin like a proud mama with a lazy secret…

I didn’t lift a finger all spring. All of the plants are perennials, so they come back on their own every year. The forget-me-nots (the little blue flowered plants) are annuals but they reseed themselves and fill in any available space.  Of course I did spend time the last two autumns planting lots of tulip bulbs. I love tulips. It’s like hiding your own Easter eggs…you plant them in the fall, and by spring you’ve forgotten where/what you planted so all kinds of colourful surprises pop up all over the place. It’s more fun than a middle-aged gal can handle.

These were the most amazing tulips in the garden: Simple Pleasures brand "El Nino" bulbs.

These were the most amazing tulips in the garden: Simple Pleasures brand “El Nino” bulbs.

Above is a picture of the packaging for what turned out to be the most amazing tulips I’ve ever seen. (I keep the packages for reference in the spring.) They were about 3 feet high, had huge flowers, and were the most amazing blend of colours, kind of like a painted watercolour. I want to get more of these but I forget where I bought them. It might have been from SweetPea’s garden shop on Roncesvalles Ave. in Toronto or Sheridan Nurseries in Etobicoke. Full disclosure: I have no affiliation with this tulip bulb company or these garden centres whatsoever.

My other not-so-secret secret is that I’m not a very committed gardener. (Well, ok, I did dig out all the dandelions.) Now that it’s June, the front yard is a bit of an overgrown dog’s breakfast — with some actual dog’s shit from irresponsible walk-by dog owners thrown in for good measure. For two weeks in Spring it’s the nicest garden on the street, because years ago I got excited about gardening in early spring (when everyone gets excited about gardening), bought all the plants that were in flower at the moment, and threw them in the ground. Didn’t plan for “year-round interest”, as my very talented gardener mother-in-law would say.

So I’ll take my two weeks of glory, and accept the fact that I have to pull dog poop and tossed pop cans out of the overgrowth the rest of the season.

Some of the plants in the garden include: phlox, pinks, creeping thyme, forget-me-nots, golden spirea, bleeding heart, dogwood, woodruff, hostas, and not yet in bloom: irises (dwarf and regular varieties), purple cone flower, goldenrod, sage, gayfeather, and other stuff I’ll forget about until they show up like a forgotten easter egg. Oh, and the tree is a young Linden, with a dying Lilac tree on the left. It’s more than half-dead this year…don’t know why. Will have to ask someone who actually knows about gardening.