Sunday, 25 February 2018

Black Knot.... also known as "Cat Crap on a Stick"

It's not quite spring here yet, but it's coming. It's now full-on daytime when I leave to go to school in the mornings -- when I started back in early January, it was pitch-dark when I left home at 7:55am to catch my bus!
Now, though, the sun has been up for a half-hour or so before I have to leave. For those of us this far north, it's putting a spring in our step to have the increased daylight hours, because it's really hard on all of us in wintertime to leave for work in the morning in pitch blackness at 8am, and return home at 4:30 and it's almost dark already. Having sunshine for more of our waking hours makes such a nice difference! It's no longer the dead of winter! YAY!

With spring almost here, it's time to do a bit of housekeeping in our yards. It's the perfect time of year to have a walk around the yard to inspect trees & shrubs, while they're still bald. It makes it a lot easier to see the branches -- which leads to what I'm going to talk about....

The dreaded Black Knot.

Also known as Cat Crap on a Stick -- because that's exactly what it looks like.

Black Knot affects the following trees or shrubs -- if you have any of them, be on the lookout now, before they start to leaf out. It's better, also to get those pruners out & snip the infected branches off, before the sap starts flowing in spring.
  • Flowering Almond
  • Mayday
  • Wild Plum
  • Apricot
  • Flowering Plum
  • Mongolian Cherry
  • Japanese Plum
  • Nanking Cherry
  • Korean Cherry
  • Choke Cherry
  • Sour Cherry
  • Pin Cherry
  • Prunus hybrids
Below is a link to the County of Strathcona's website with information on how to deal with Black Knot, as well as some phone numbers to call if you spot a diseased tree anywhere in the County. I was informed today that the City of Edmonton doesn't seem to take time to get out there & talk to residents who have infected trees, so I wanted to make a post so that people who have infected trees in neighbouring yards can maybe open a conversation with the owners about their tree, and that this disease WILL kill it.

This page on the County of Strathcona website has some great info, as well as phone numbers you can call if you need more info or if you have tried & tried to educate neighbours on how they need to manage it and you're being ignored, they will go out to talk to the people & be a bit pushier about getting a handle on it.

If you have a tree with black knot, you will need some good, sharp pruners. If some of the branches are waaaayyyyy up, you'll need telescoping pruners. You'll also need a bucket large enough to dip the blades of the pruners into it after each & every cut you make, to prevent spreading the spores into uninfected areas. Pour some water & bleach -- 75% water & 25% bleach; measure both if you have to, in order to ensure that there is enough bleach to kill spores on the blades. If there isn't enough bleach in the water, it won't do anything to the sprores and you'll just be spreading them around, which you don't want!

If you don't have any pruners right now, Dollarama usually stocks some decent ones for only about $3. No matter what pruners you have, be sure that you dry the blades & the hinge completely before you put them away! It's also a good idea to oil the hinge as well, because the bleaching & cleaning will probably remove the hinge oil, so the hinge will get stiff & difficult to open or close them. If you take care of your pruners, they will last a long time.

When you're done trimming off the affected branches, use your pruners to chop them small enough to fit in a black garbage bag. Seal the bag and place it in your black garbage bin for pickup. I always attach a note to the bag itself, stating "Black Knot infected branches - MUST go to landfill" because my municipality has a waste management system that requires organic matter to go into a green bin for composting, BUT black knot survives the composting process, and will just spread the disease further if the compost stream is contaminated with Black Knot spores. DO NOT compost any part of the tree, including leaves, in your own compost bin! Get rid of them & be sure that your pruners are sterilized & fully dry before you put them away.

I hope that this post is helpful to those of you with Mayday trees or plums or cherries. I haven't got any of them in my own yard, because a neighbour's Mayday tree is terribly infected with Black Knot & it overhangs into my yard. I prune off whatever infected parts I can reach, but it's a losing battle, unfortunately.

If you have any tips or tricks to deal with this disease, I'd love to hear it so I can' add it to this post.  If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help out.

See you in the next post!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Growing Sweet Corn in the Edmonton, Alberta Area

I have to dispel the myths about growing corn in colder climates -- because there are new varieties that wipe out all the rules about growing corn in Northern/Central Alberta!

The trick to sweet corn in Northern Alberta is NEVER buy corn seeds just "off the rack" in whatever store... "Early Canada" varieties refer to being early Toronto.
Which is NOT early for here!

We have a much shorter growing season here than they have there!

The Early Canada off the rack seeds require VERY warm soil in order to sprout, and by the time our soil here warms to the right temperature, it's barely the nick-of-time for sowing those kinds that will give them enough time to grow & ripen decent ears of corn.You have to be able to trust planting super-early (mid-April, IF the snow is gone yet) for our area, since the May Long Weekend is usually the cut-off -- corn seedlings will not survive a hard frost, and since it won't sprout in cooler soil ... well it's the main reasons for people thinking they "have no luck with corn".

So, right off the starting line, germination can be VERY spotty with the pop-up garden centre or grocery store seed-rack corn seeds. Even if daytime temps are really warm & the soil seems warm, if the nights are cool, then the soil will chill considerably. PLUS the sun's rays aren't that strong yet, and the back & forths just make the seeds rot (even treated ones will rot in those conditions) or stalls the seedlings. And, even if the corn seems to be going well, sprouted & a few inches tall, a cold spell or late frost or even a late blizzard (as we tend to get here sometimes) can severely stunt it, and it takes time to catch up again, IF it ever does.

So, that is a huge part of what makes growing corn so difficult, because you cannot really plant those seeds in April, without taking a huge risk -- UNLESS it's an El Nino winter, like last year, and spring is in full swing by early March.... and even then, it's still a gigantic risk, because they are very sensitive to frost on the other end of the cycle... fall. And whenever we have an El Nino winter, it's extremely mild, often not a lot of snow, then there is an early spring, and a gorgeous summer, with plants kinda going crazy because of having so much more time at the start of their growing cycle... but what always seems to happen on the other end of an EL Nino is an early fall with harder frosts coming much earlier... then a very hard winter the year after El Nino. This past winter was the perfect example of how harsh of a winter we get the year after EL Nino (lots of -30Cs, lots of snow, and we tend to lose more perennials, bulbs, trees & shrubs to winter-kill because they can't hack the cold after being used to be so warm!)

The last time I planted a regular SE/SU Early Canada kind of corn, it was an early spring, and summer went well, it was growing and forming ears.... then we had a severe frost on Sept 6 -- so I lost EVERYTHING
And since corn requires A LOT of space and fertilizing (&/or soil amending) and time, it just wasted so many of my resources*.
*Hours of checking each stalk for pests, watering every second or third day through our usually very dry summers, weeding, obtaining grass clippings to mulch the corn bed, fertilizing once per week, not to mention the space it takes to grow corn -- well over half of my 50' x 20' garden space.

I almost cried.

A few years ago I started requesting seed catalogues from a few companies, one of which was Vesey's Seeds in PEI. And they all have a lot of interesting things that regular stores do not have.

Which is where I first heard of Synergistic corn... I did a lot of reading on the various new Synergistic corn varieties... there are several that are "specialists" for sprouting in colder soil, AND they are much earlier than SU or SE varieties... PLUS, another added bonus, is that they remain sweet on the stalk (OR once picked!) A LOT longer than the SE/SUs... so you can pick a cob here & there, you're not waiting on pins & needles for harvest day & having to drop everything because the corn's ready.

I ordered one of the SY's called Espresso Synergistic Bi-Colour Corn, because one of the things the catalogue said was "great cold soil vigour".

I got a package of 200 seeds 3 years ago -- what struck me first was that I got 100% germination on them -- utterly unheardof in "Early Canada" & other SE/SU varieties (one of the "rules" of growing corn was always "start with brand-new seed every year").... so I was royally impressed right off the hop. Of course, having experience only in the Early Canadas before that, I over-sowed, expecting only half of them to sprout. Who knew?

When it was ready I picked the biggest cobs, and they were so sweet that we were nibbling cobs raw. I stored the picked cobs in my fridge and they were just as sweet a week later as they were the day I picked them! Which is also unheardof in regular SE/SU varieties -- with those kinds, once you pick it, it starts to degrade rapidly, it has to be eaten or frozen or canned within 2 days MAX. By three days post-harvest, with regular sweet corn, it's already getting mealy & bitter (or at the very least, not sweet).

I got the most amazing harvest that year! I was sold on Synergistics! The cobs were beautiful. Espresso is a bi-colour corn just packed with sweet corn flavour, not a mealy kernel to be found!

Last year, I messed up... it was too dry at first to till my garden & prep the corn bed, then too wet. By the time I was able to prep it properly it was already the end of May, and by the time I got the seeds in the ground it was June 5... and I double-sowed again because one thing corn is famous for is having terrible germination rates on everything but the absolute freshest of seeds... 

Umm, yeah, every single one sprouted. 

So I had to quickly dig up & carefully separate them & replant. Which probably also set them back, because corn doesn't take well to having any root disturbance, but they sure weren't going to do well so close together, and I really didn't want to just cut one of every 2 off at soil level, I have a very difficult time killing something I've nurtured & grown. So dig & transplant it was.

The corn did beautifully, but I planted too late -- totally my own fault! By the time we were starting to get frosts most of it just wasn't quite ready. I got a few really good cobs off it, but it was a learning the hard way lesson that you just can't wait to sow with ANY corn. It needs to be in the ground early enough.

This year I had 41 seeds left, and the same too wet/too dry thing was going on, so I sowed in peat pots with potting soil... and even with 3-year-old seeds, every single one sprouted! I ended up losing 2 to cutworms (the little bugger crawled right up the side of the plastic bin I had the peat pots in, and up the sides of the peat pots! JERK.). I didn't have the bins indoors or under light or anything like that, I just set them in a warm sunny spot in my back yard. And when I went to plant them, I was THRILLED with all the good strong roots coming out the sides & bottom of the peat pots! That's big. And there was NO transplant shock at all, despite those roots that were sticking out getting somewhat disturbed being put in the ground. I put a plastic cup around the seedlings as I planted them int he ground, because cutworms were AWFUL again this year -- people in local groups losing everything, plus I had already lost 2 corn seedlings, a gladiola, a specialty dwarf iris I'd just divided, a day lily baby, 2 muscari (and a clematis last fall) -- wasn't willing to lose more!

I will never EVER again plant anything other than a synergistic variety that says "cold soil vigour" in the blurb! And I will probably order from Vesey's again, because I know their seed is extremely fresh, whereas I don't know for sure about seed from other companies.  

Three Sisters ... Another thing to note about growing corn here ... the wind. A storm moved in here early yesterday evening, and it brought rain, high winds, and COLD air. Corn is VERY shallow-rooted, and part of the reason the Native Americans planted beans around the corn is not only because beans are a legume that pulls nitrogen from t he air & puts it in the soil (thus feeding the corn) it also is more deeply rooted, and helps anchor the corn stalks on windy days.
I have really bad luck with most beans -- I spent $$ last year on beautiful unusual beans, like Purple Peacock (I don't eat beans but I think there are several varieties that are too gorgeous to pass up), and not one ever sprouted. I had gotten others and they didn't grow either. (NONE of which were from Vesey's! They were all off the rack, however the rack was in a local pricey greenhouse).

I'm not sure why they didn't sprout or grow -- it is possible cutworms got them before they popped through the soil surface, since I know plenty of people that thought their seeds didn't sprout, then dug around & found some very fat cutworms and sprouts that were cut off below ground. 

I had saved Scarlet Runner beans a few years ago, and I really should have planted them with the corn, but I was taking too much time getting the bed tilled & amendments in & holes dug, and by the time I was done that I needed to get other stuff planted. I planted them last year in the corn, but since the corn was planted late, so were the beans & I didn't get any seeds from them (they froze solid before they were mature enough, whoops).

Lesson learned: plant the damn scarlet runner beans.

Looking out the window at the corn right now ... I'm probably going to have to go back out in the rain & wind & pile up some soil around the base of each corn stalk (I was already outside for an hour, bailing out overflowing rain barrels & putting the water on the lawn). It's VERY cold, and VERY windy right now, and I don't want to lose it all to this wind!

Anyway.... I really would love for everyone else to have the WONDERFUL corn-growing experience that I've had with the Synergistic corn and wonderful experience I've had with all of the Vesey's Seeds items I ordered!! (I got several types of seeds, as well as a Jump-Start 4' grow-light system that I adore, and spare bulbs once mine burned out.)

PLEASE NOTE: My blog isn't sponsored by Vesey's Seeds, I receive nothing from them for this post, I just simply love the company and their products and hope others would, too.          

You can request a free catalogue from Vesey's Seeds here --
Vesey's also has a separate website for USA customers --

When you request a catalogue, you will get your seed catalogue in January (-ish), plus they send out Spring Bulb catalogues (usually they send one every second month or so for spring), then they send out the Fall Bubs catalogues starting in June-ish, and you often get more than one of that one too. I think they expect that people will loan them out & never get them back, haha. Their prices are really good, especially compared to other mail-order bulb companies and especially because they always run a special offer on the bulb catalogues of free shipping for orders over $25 OR $50 off purchase of $150* (33% off) OR $100 off purchase over $250* (a savings of 40%). It puts the price per bulb or perennial really reasonable! And if you're like me & you don't drive, having them come right to your door is awesome!

Updated in Fall 2017 to show more pictures of the 2017 corn....

A huge wind & rainstorm knocked most of the corn over in late July ... I had to go out to carefully prop them back upright again &  pile dirt (mud) all around the stalks. It was kinda fascinating how, within a week, the corn stalks started growing finger-like roots right at the soil line! I always knew corn was shallow-rooted, but I didn't know that they insisted on being shallow-rooted!

 Another shot of the new roots

  Aaannnnddd another shot of the new roots.
Weird, huh?

 The corn really likes the heat in my garden -- the garden faces south, and the sun & heat gets reflected from the stucco of my house. There is no shade in this garden after 8am for most of the summer. When it's 25C it will be at least 35C in this garden! I usually have to wait till later in the day to work in here, or get out there before  9am, before it heats up in here.

Summer 2017 has been extremely dry (no rain of any consequence since July 24/25), and while corn always attracts aphids, hot & dry weather makes for billions of aphids, ugh. This is the underside of one of the leaves on the corn stalks. I don't use pesticides in my garden for the most part, I usually hand-pick, but I left the aphids alone so the ladybugs would have their food source.

This is the underside of a leaf that had a huge wrinkle in the middle. Thankfully, the ladybugs that I so carefully gave winter accommodations to also had a population explosion. I'm not positive, but I think the little white wormy things are newborn ladybug larvae. Isn't it just disgusting, all those aphids???

 This is a more mature ladybug larvae. I had never before seen ladybug larvae, but once I saw one, I saw them everywhere! They have absolutely voracious appetites for aphids, eating their own weight every day.  They were all over the leaves, and especially a lot of them between the layers of husks, and many were right in the silks. I had to be really careful harvesting the corn that I didn't squish any! I made sure to drop  the babies on other parts of the corn plants so they could continue eating & growing. I think they are so beautiful!

As I was harvesting corn, I was finding huge clusters of ladybugs huddling together to stay warm overnight. I'm just thrilled to find so many! I moved them to other parts of the corn stalks and some to other areas with aphid issues (yarrow for instance, were just covered in aphids, ugh!)

As I was peeling outer husks of the corn, I found a ladybug that was so young it hadn't developed its spots yet! So cute, and a rare sight indeed!

So, one thing's for sure ... I'm getting Synergistic again. And planting beans with them next year! Anyone reading this ... what's your favourite corn? Do you plant the Three Sisters? When do you sow? I'd love to hear from you :)

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Day Lily Midges Are Assholes...

So a couple of years ago, out of nowhere, my day lily flowerbuds suddenly started getting deformed. I opened a few of the buds, but there was nothing inside.... or so I thought.

It turned out that there was something inside, but at the stage that I was looking inside them, the things weren't big enough to be seen with the naked eye.

In fact, they were so miniscule, they weren't even visible with a magnifying glass.

I took several pictures of the buds, just mystified as to what the heck was going on. Did my day lilies have a disease? Was I going to have to rush to rip them all out before it could spread to my "good" day lilies*??

Anyway... I had looked inside several & saw nothing.... Then a friend was over a week or so later & I showed her the deformities, and she cracked one open... and there they were....

Little maggoty things.

LOTS AND LOTS of little maggoty things! Yeesh.

I tried googling what they could be, but found nothing that seemed to work. I probably did see some day lily midge results, but the websites had been published a few years ago & stated that the range was the USA & British Columbia, so I just passed over those.

But I wasn't taking into account climate change. Day Lily Midges were on the move, into new areas, thanks to the climate changing so much. And it wasn't until they officially changed our zone in 2016* that I considered that maybe this was the issue, maybe these things have gotten in here.
(*Edmonton, Alberta is now classified as Zone 4 -- we used to be zone 3 - 3b on the Canadian Zone Map)

AND/OR... maybe they came in on a shipment of day lilies from somewhere that was infested*. That happens a lot, despite the border agents checking things over, these midges, even the adults, are so tiny they are barely visible on the wing, so I highly doubt that they would have been able to see the pupae or pupae casings if they checked. And they probably weren't shipping day lilies that had flower buds yet, because they try to time it so that they start booming in whatever greenhouse or garden centre they end up in.
(*that's where Scarlet Lily Beetles came from -- but that is an entirely other post!)

They are migrating from Western Canada to Eastern Canada, as well as coming north from the USA, and probably tagging along in shipments of day lilies from places where they are common.

 Deformed Day Lily buds

 More deformed buds

 Sooo many deformed flower buds!

This one is just chock full of midge larvae! They eat the flower petals, as they try to grow,
from the inside... then when they've eaten enough & grown big enough, they drop down
out of the flower bud into the soil, where they burrow in to pupate.
They overwinter as pupae, and the adults come up from the soil in early spring to mate & use their long ovipositors to pierce the flower buds as they start growing. It's like a hypodermic needle; I
think everyone has seen those wasps with them, they look like a huge stinger,
but they're not stingers, they are for laying eggs, usually inside something.
 The adults lay their eggs inside the flower buds, and once they're done, they die.
From what I have read online, the adults are so tiny that you really can't see
 them, even if you're standing there watching the day lilies.

 Ewwww! I was trying to get decent pictures of these things to show everyone. There were just thousands of them.

 A bit closer so you can really see how small they can be.

Now, the question is:  How do we control these things??

Don't bother using pesticide sprays, because the larvae don't eat the surfaces that would be hit with the sprays.

The adults are so hard to spot, so trying to just randomly sp[ray the air around the bloom buds wouldn't be of much use -- AND you'd kill every insect flying around the flowerbed, which would be VERY BAD! I doubt anyone would want to start digging around in the soil at the base of the day lily looking for pupae, since they are so tiny it would be pretty easy to miss them.

You would have to interrupt their life cycle somewhere along the way.

And birds? Forget it, they're not even aware there is anything inside the flower buds. Not that many people would want birds destroying the flower buds to get at them anyway, right?

The easiest stage to interrupt their life cycle is the larvae stage.

Check your day lilies every day when they are growing flower buds. The minute a flower bud looks deformed, snap it off, break it open and drop it in a bucket with hot, soapy water. Between the heat & the soap they will cook or drown.
(I am a drowner, not a squisher or sprayer when it comes to pests in my yard).

I have several day lilies is my yard, so I make my rounds as soon as they start growing flower buds. I check at least once per day

DON'T just leave them on the plant!
And whatever you do, do not break them off & drop them on the ground! The larvae will continue to eat & then just crawl out into the soil to pupate.
And don't compost them! The larvae will survive just fine inside the flower bud in the middle of a compost bin or heap, and they will instead pupate in the compost bin or in whatever soil they've landed on!

They can completely ruin a day lily in the course of a year or two. 

Have you been hit with Day Lily Midges yet? Were you aware they even existed?
If you are east of at least Manitoba, they may not have reached you just yet -- but keep your eyes on  your day lilies!

* At first, it was just the Tawny Day Lily that was affected.... and I was planning to rip them out anyway because I was told they were "tiger lilies" back before I knew much about gardening, but it turns out they're a super-common, kinda invasive day lily also known as "The Ditch Lily" in some places because they have escaped & are just spreading everywhere... which they are trying to do in my yard, too, grr. Anyway, it was only those ones affected... turns out it's because they start setting buds & blooming first. So now, I've decided to leave them in, although I will tame them a bit, just to act as "bait" for the midges to lay their eggs. If I rip them all out, any pupae left in the soil, or adults flying around looking for suitable nurseries, they will go to my much-nicer day lilies....I'd rather keep them somewhat confined to the Tawny ones if I can!

Some pictures of my healthy day lilies...

 This is one of the "Tawny" day lilies. The flower stalks get to be at least my height (5'6")! Unfortunately these ones are really bad for sending out babies, and they will take over if they can. I'll leave a few as bait for the midges, but otherwise, I'm trying to get some nicer ones instead.

 This beauty I got a few years ago. I can't remember the name right now, but the blooms are HUGE and just gorgeous! I love this one. (So far, no midges in this one --yay!)

 This was one from a bag of roots I'd gotten several years ago from Costco. It's supposed 
to be "Think Pink" but it's peach coloured, not pink! Gah! 
I've divided it in the years since, so I have two of this one.

 I have no idea where I got this one -- it's a dwarf day lily, with the same flower shape 
as the Tawny.

 This gorgeous one is one that I started from seed that I won in a seed-swap group. The seeds had been donated by a member who breeds day lilies for a living. Lucky me! 
I started with 2 that sprouted, and I've anxiously awaited them blooming to see what I ended up with... they both flowered for the first time in 2017! I love this one!

 Another shot of the beautiful red one. It is just stunning.

 This is the second one that I grew from seed. It also flowered for the first time in 2017. They are both in a temporary location, in my veggie garden, but I would like to yank out a tawny day lily or two and replace them with these. They're just fabulous!

I hope you enjoyed this post -- if you did, please pass the link around to your friends, especially those with day lilies! We've gotta stick together if we're going to at least keep the midges in check. Thank you for reading my posts! :)

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Welcome to my Corner of the Garden!

I'm so excited to start this blog. I've meant to, for a very long time, then usually don't have time or whatever, or I think "Nobody's gonna read it" even though I know people read what I say in all my online garden groups.

Or, I type a long comment in one of my local groups about something like Scarlet Lily Beetles, because most people here get blindsided by them, then I don't have time to come here and write something decent.

Well, no more! I'm going to start keeping my answers & comments to put here. It will be much easier for me to include pictures of what the heck I'm talking about, rather than trying to add them to a facebook post & ending up with 12 separate comments to something because I've tried to put pictures (which blows up everyone's notifications, which is annoying).

As I post things, you might see that I'm doing something totally different than you do, and if you have a system that works, GREAT... I'd love to hear about your garden & your techniques, too!

So, now that I'm here and you're here, pull up a chair pour a glass of wine, or a coffee or crack a beer and relax ... and enjoy!

Before I go I'll take you on a quick tour of some of my gardens....please note, I am updating this post in  November 2017, so I have loads more pictures I've added from the 2017 growing season.

I adore this clematis -- it looks almost metallic, like pewter or something like that. The foliage is also very different from my other clematises, it's more feathery or ferny, for lack of a better word. I have absolutely no idea which one this is.... it might be a Vancouver Sea Breeze, but I'm not sure. I kept the tags from all the clematises I planted but I only wrote "north fence" on the backs.

An absolutely enormous begonia -- I bought a bag of 3 tubers at WalMart back in early April (I have a thing about orange & red on one bloom, or yellow & pink, so I just had to try these out!). I had never just bought begonia tubers before, and like my gladiolas, I wanted to start small; I'll learn on the cheap ones then once I have more confidence I will buy some pricey ones.

Some lilies I bought on clearance last year for $3 per pot of 4 (I bought 3 pots -- I thought they would all be sunshine yellow, but, I'm thrilled with these! These look identical to a  Mango Tango, which are usually about $5 per bulb, so I got a steal of a deal! I separated them all (there was over 200 baby bulblets in the pots, too!) and planted the main bulbs and a few of the biggest babies, and so far have 7 that flowered in this colour.

This begonia (and the one below) was given to me at a garden centre last year -- it was unsellable, broken & dried up. I gave it a good haircut & watering, and it came back beautifully. I overwintered this one in my grow room (I didn't have the heart to force it into dormancy), and it is absolutely enormous this year.
It's a "Million Kisses" Begonia -- "Amour"

This little one had already gone dormant when it was given to me. I love the colours on this one! I clearly need to get more shepherd hooks to put hanging pots on for all these begonias -- either that or tall planters!
This one is also a "Million Kisses" Begonia --"Honeymoon".

Proven Winners Invincibelle Spirit Hydrangea

A Mystery Lily -- These were mixed in with other named varieties I'd gotten in the huge bags at Costco. It's stunning, and the freckles almost look like gel icing dotted on them.

This clematis is blooming more this year than ever before -- I love it!

This little oddball just started blooming last week -- I think that a Kaveri Lily cross-pollinated with one of the others, and this is what came of it (I let my bulb-flowers set seed if they want to).

 A wonky little violas that is a self-hybridized self-sow. I started with a random solid purple one several years ago, now they're all over my yard.... most are more purple but this one was so odd-looking I had to get a picture!

A Yarrow I got last year on clearance for $1. I don't usually like yarrow but I really liked the red!

 My "north fence" flowerbed. This one I have put thousands of hours into (it started out just lawn many years ago). It "morphs" from being flat with one shrub to just a riot of colour. It changes about every month as things fade back then new things bloom.

 Gladiola.... these were originally from Dollar Tree. I'm quite impressed with the blooms!

 Another from Dollar Tree "Plum Tart" I think this was called.

 I've searched around online, and apparently this one is called Vista. I ADORE blue flowers, so m quite taken by this!

I have no idea why I have this one... there were no others like it. But it's probably my favourite out of all of them!

I'm now confident in my ability to not kill gladiolas, so I'm planning to add some other colours to my collection, but this was another one that was very unusual. I couldn't find it online so I had no name for it so I called it "Raspberry Vista" just to be able to have something to remember it with.

 A friend gave me some of her little Sweet Williams that were self-sowing everywhere -- this one is another oddball self-hybridize, because she's never seen anything like it in her yard, yet here it is. I love the colour, and I"m hoping it gets bigger & spreads more next year!

 A gorgeous Salmon Geranium I got on clearance at WalMart for 90¢ each. I'm hoping to overwinter these. I just LOVE the colour if this one!

 Proven Winner Little Lime Hydrangea -- I got this one last year, very late in the year, when big box garden centres were trying to get rid of things... it looked mostly dead, several of the branches had been broken. It was regularly priced $24.99, I got it for $10 (they wouldn't go lower because of the PW brand) I had to give it a haircut, and kinda graft the broken branches back together with velcro tape & splints... It really should NOT have been strong enough to bloom yet this year, but it bloomed very nicely! Even on the branches that were grafted back onto it! The blooms start out light green, as you can see in the background, then start turning pink later in the summer

 My original clump of lilies. When I planted these ones I wasn't great at saving the tags or bulb bags so I have no clue what they were supposed to be to begin with. I suspect they were probably something not quite as orange, but reverted. I have dug one clump of these out to give away, and moved others around. It's weird because some are a darker reddish orange & are outward-facing, and others are pure orange with little freckles (but they're not Tiger Lilies) and they are upward-facing.

 Blue Flax volunteer.
I LOVE blue flowers, and I love that these just boom and bloom and bloom all summer long!

This is one of several freckled pink lilies -- I never bought plain pink freckled lilies, so they used to be something else and reverted, grr. Still, they'r lovely and provide an interesting pop of colour.

This is one of my first day lilies, The blooms are just little guys, but it just chugs away on its own, despite being in mostly-shade and semi-ignored.

So that just some of the flowers I have growing in summer, ther are many more, but I don't want to put too
many up on one post!
THANK YOU FOR READING THIS -- if you know the names of any of those gladiolas, I'd love to know.
I look forward to hearing from you!