Videos on pruning and training climbing roses

I’m quite excited about my new John Cabot Explorer rose, which can apparently be trained as a climber.  I wanted to find out more about how to prune and train climbing roses, and my research let me to the following vidoes from AshdownRoses. Now I just need my rose to grow some longer so I can start to train it!

Pruning & Controlling a Climbing Rose

Training a Rose on a Trellis

Pegging a Rose

How to Pillar a Rose

And an inspiration photo of a John Cabot Explorer Rose growing on a trellis.


oh no, tomato bugs!

So the first pest has struck! Tiny holes have started to appear in some of the tomato leaves, and the leaves of the eggplant and ground cherries as well.  I noticed that there are tiny black bugs on the plants that jump/fly away when I get close.  I did some googling, and I think they might be flea beetles.

Here are some pictures:

I found a homemade insect repellant recipe online, and I mixed it up tonight.  Here’s the recipe I followed:

1 med onion, diced up very small.
6 cloves of garlic
1 tbs of hot pepper flakes or as much as you want to use
1 tbs of dish liquid. not antibacterial
1 qt. of water

Let it sit over night. 24 hrs is better. Strain pour into a spray bottle. You can buy them at the dollar tree. Soak the leaves early in the morning or very late at night. You have to reapply after watering or rain.

I got the recipe from the I dig my garden forum. Someone else was having a similar issue, and this recipe was recommended.  I found a few other recipes elsewhere, but I liked this one because it combined a lot of the recommended ingredients (onions, garlic, hot pepper).  I actually added another teaspoon cayenne pepper for good measure. I will let you know how it works out.  I’m probably going to have to reapply many times, because we are still watering with the overhead sprinkler (waiting for seedlings to come up).

Article on Ground Cherries

Brian randomly picked out some ‘Aunt Molly Ground Cherry’ seeds while we were at the garden centre a while back, and they seem to be doing quite well.  It turns out that they are well adapted to our climate, having originated in Poland.  This article on the Canadian Gardening website had some good tips on growing ground cherries, so thought I would link to it. Looking forward to tasting this unique plant 🙂

Here’s a picture of one of Brian’s ground cherry seedlings, planted last weekend.

New Perennial Garden!

I’ve been dreaming about it all winter, and over the May long weekend, I finally planted out my new perennial garden:)

Last summer it was a test patch to see if the dog would stay out of it, and it contained the three massive day lillies I dug out of the front garden.   The test garden was a success (Mika was surprisingly good), and so the daylillies were moved beside the compost pile last fall (they mask it quite well!) to make way for a new garden.  In the fall, the garden was planted with spring bulbs (see previous post).  The bulbs have now faded (with the exception of the alliums, which are early summer flowering) and so on the weekend I decided it was time to do some shopping and plant the perennials on my wish list.

Here are some pictures of the garden from further back, and a picture of the daylilies hiding the compost pile.

And here’s the list of what I bought, with close-ups of the plants. I’ve also linked to plant profiles I found on the web so that its easier to find out more about each of these plants.

2 Annabelle Hydrangea.  I wanted to try an Endless Summer Hydrangea as well, but at twice the price I couldn’t commit.  Also, I’ve read that Annabelle Hydrangeas are one of the hardiest, and bloom on new wood.  In fact, they should be cut back completely each winter, because they bloom on new wood.

Festiva Maxima Peony.  Supposed to have amazing large blooms with fuchsia flecks. (Its the plant in front – don’t think I’ll get any blooms this year).

Karl Rosenfield Peony.  I’ve admired the deep fuschia color of this plant in other people’s gardens, and so wanted my own.  Also, the fuchsia should complement the fuschia specks in the centre of the Festiva Maxima Peony.

John Cabot Explorer Rose.  Developed in Ottawa as part of an Agriculture Canada rose breeding program, this is supposed to be a super cold tolerant rose that is quite disease resistant.  It can also be trained as a climber, which is great, since I planted it right next to a fence.

Magnus Superior Coneflower.  I love coneflowers, because of the spectacular late summer flowers.  This variety is supposed to be an improved version of the pink classic.

Primadonna White Coneflower.  I thought that this would complement the pink coneflower and the other white flowers well.

Royal Candles Spike Speedwell. I wanted more purpley-blue flowers, and this one looked pretty cool.

Perennial Sage Salvia Nemorosa Marcus. Another spikey purpley-blue plant.

Dwarf Bearded Iris ‘Blueberry Tart’. More purpley-blue.

White Bloody Cranesbill (hardy gerananium). Small white flowers which should complement the other white flowers.

These new additions are rounded out by the plants I bought at the Civic Hospital Parks Committee Plant Sale, the Purple Sensation Aliums I planted last fall, an astilbe I relocated, a Spotted Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum ‘Pink Pewter’) that I already had and divided up, and some annual Alyssum (Carpet of Snow) that I started from seed. See pictures below and in previous post.

Veggie Update – May 22

So the veggie gardens are planted!!!

Last weekend we planted out the tomato, ground cherry and yellow zuchini plants we started from seed, and this weekend we planted the Black Beauty Eggplants. We also planted the last few seeds (cucumber, Purple Peacock Beans and green zucchini).  Here’s some photos of the three garden beds.

My garden

I planted my tomatoes pretty low in the ground, so they look pretty scrawny right now.  The two rows down the middle are turnips (‘early snowball’ variety, a white turnip) and there’s a Savoy King cabbage at one end and a Mamoth Red Rock cabbage at the other end.  By the fence, there’s the two Black Beauty Eggplants.  I”m still waiting for the cucumbers to come up in the centre, and purple peacock beans to come up at the two corners nearest the fence.


Brian’s garden

Brian’s garden is looking great, in particular his tomatoes and ground cherries. I buried my tomatoes deep, and I’m regretting not planting them higher like Brian did.  The ground cherries also look super healthy.  He also has cabbages at one end of the garden, and peas in the centre.  I think he also planted tomatoes.


Back garden

The back garden was seeded back in April, and is filling in quite nicely, in particular the Astro Arugula and Buttercrunch Lettuce.  The sugar snap peas are also growing well, and are almost tall enough to start training up the fence.

Here’s a picture of all three gardens, and a link to a previous post that has the layout for each of the gardens.


It may have been a bit premature to plant the tomatoes, because we had a couple nights that went down to 4 or 5 degrees, and then then the temperature soared above 30 this past weekend. The tomatoes that look a little worse for wear are the yellow cherry tomatoes, which because they were started a few weeks later, weren’t quite hardened off yet but we were so eager we planted them anyways (we wanted to plant all the tomatoes into the gardens at the same time). They got a bit sunburned, as per the pics below.


Here’s what’s left in terms of seedlings we started.  A couple yellow cherry tomatoes, a black cherry tomato, and a ground cherry. The peppers (super chilis and yellow mini bells) are also still in the process of being hardened off.



Most of the left over tomato seedlings have already been planted into pots.  I decided that to save money, I would grow tomatoes in the planters instead of pricey annuals (this is also how I justified buying a whole bunch of perennials for my new garden – more on that in an upcoming post!).  Plus tomatoes are one of the most satisfying things to grow 🙂 Not giving up completely on the ornamental aspect, I planted some marigolds in the planters as well (I got a big flat for $10 at Costco). Marigolds are also supposed to be great for deterring pests, and apparently like the same soil conditions as tomatoes.  And because that didn’t seem like enough, I also sprinkled some basil seeds 😛 I sprinkled sweet basil in the three smaller pots, and Genovese basil in the larger wooden looking pots.  The sweet basil grew super well in the garden, so I’m hoping it also turns out well in the pots.  And Genovese basil is supposed to be the best for making pesto, so I’m also excited to see how it turns out. In the three smaller pots, there’s a red F1 tumbler tomato. In the larger wooden looking pots, there’s one tomato of each variety: black cherry, yellow cherry, and red F1 tumbler tomato.  I think it will be fascinating to see how much everything grows over the summer.  I’m worried some of the tomatoes might get quite large, so I put bricks in the bottoms of the pots! I also need to buy more cages or start training the tomatoes up stakes! Photos below:)

Soon I will probably be planting the peppers and what’s left of the tomatoes into free plastic containers I got at Loblaws, (unless I give them away first!).

Back Garden – New Plants from the Civic Hospital Parks Committee Plant Sale (May 5)!

So I did end up checking out the Civic Hospital Parks Committee Plant Sale a couple weeks back, and here are some photos of my newest additions.  I spent about 20 bucks, and got quite a few things.  Plus it was in support of a good cause.  I found out that the group doing the plant sale does the gardening at the various parks in the community, including the beautiful perennial gardens at Fairmont Park (near Fairmont and Sherwood dr). Also, since they happened to have extras of these plants, I’m assuming the plants are very hardy and hard to go wrong with.  I did almost end up being sold a mint plant though, which was a narrow escape (don’t want to end up with any invasive plants!).

Here’s a list of what I bought, and some photos.

  • Globe Thistle
  • forget-me-not (has little blue flowers)
  • Miniature Hosta
  • Red monarda (bee balm)
  • Lambs Ears (looks like I forgot to take a picture!)

Spring Bulbs – Back Garden

I dug out a new perennial bed in the back yard last fall, and since I basically had a clean slate, I decided to plant a bunch of bulbs.  Here’s the list of what I planted, listed in approximate order of flowering.

  • 20 Mixed Crocus
  • 10 King of the Blues Hyacinth
  • 10 Passiondale Tulip (purple)
  • 10 Calgary Tulip (named after my birthplace! – white slightly scented tulip with curly leaves)
  • 10 Thalia Mini Rock Garden Daffodil (white)
  • 10 Purple Sensation Allium

I tried to pick out scented flowers when possible, and the Hyacinths and daffodils were definitely scented! The Hyacinths in particular made the whole backyard smell nice.  Anyways, it turned out pretty good, but I don’t think many of the bulbs I planted will perennialize well.  Oh well, I guess that means I get to do more bulb shopping this fall! I really want to try some pink tulips with the daffodils, like I saw at Dows  Lake. And I think the bulbs will look better next year when there are some other perennials emerging in the same garden bed.