Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Two New Flower Beds

Two new flower beds were put in yesterday, amongst new sod, 
 to fill the space once occupied by mature trees.  

This bed is now home to six peony plants, three that were moved from the backyard and three new plants.  The three new peonies are Claire de Lune,  Shirley Temple and Karl Rosenfield.

This bed boasts three perennial grasses, a Weeping Caragana and several Bergenia plants.  
The grasses are Overdam Variegated Feather Reed. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Morden Snowbeauty Rose

Hardiness Zone 3B
This hardy rose  grows in a garden tucked beside the house  with 
a northeast exposure in Red Deer, Alberta.  It has clusters of lightly fragrant, semi-double white flowers the bloom continuously amid shiny, dark green foliage.  To learn more click Morden Snowbeauty

Hope for Humanity Roses

Hardiness Zone 3B

This hardy rose  grows in a backyard garden (Benny's garden) with 
a southwest exposure in Red Deer, Alberta.   
This year (2012) the bush began blooming in early July.  
Hope for Humanity is a low growing ever-blooming hardy rose. The beautiful double blood red flowers are produced over a 10-14 week period, starting in late June.  Flower buds are pointed and a deep wine red colour.  Flowers are double, cup shaped and average about 8 centimeters in diameter.  There are small white spots at the base of the inner side of the petal, and a white and yellow spot at the base of the outer side of the petal.  They are slightly fragrant. Click Hope for Humanity, Heirloom Roses or Nature Hills to learn more.

Albuquerque Memory Day Lily

Hardiness Zone 3B

This day lily  grows in a backyard garden by a pond with a southwest exposure in Red Deer, Alberta.   The flowers are small with a diameter of about 3 inches.  The apricot melon petals bleed to pink frost in full sun.  2012 the first bloom was seen on July 21.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Maltese Cross/Lychnis chalcedonica

Hardiness Zone 3B

This perennial grows in a backyard garden (Benny's garden) with a southwest exposure in Red Deer, Alberta. The Maltese Cross is  an heirloom perennial, popular in Cottage gardens.  It is a rugged and easy perennial that grows good in a sunny garden but will tolerate partial shade.  The plants form an upright clump of bright green leaves, with taller stems in summer that bear large clusters of scarlet-orange flowers that are excellent for cutting.  This year the blooms were larger than in the past .  It is best to stake the plant early in the season to prevent flopping.
The height is generally 3 to 4 feet and it is hardy to minus 46 (zones 2-9 USDA).
Other common names for this perennial are Jerusalem Cross and London Pride.

Friday, June 15, 2012

U Pick Strawberries and More

USDA hardiness zones 5-9
 This area is abound in U-pick farms and on this sunny 
mid-June morning only days before the official start of summer we ventured out with the little ones to pick strawberries. A good time was had by all and the harvest plentiful.  We came home with enough strawberries to treat ourselves to strawberries and vanilla ice cream for lunch and made a delicious strawberry pie served with more ice cream for supper dessert.  Truly the way to bring in summer.  

  Once the strawberry picking was done we walked by the orchard to see what would be in store for us later in the season and saw peach and pear trees.............

.......and further to our delight Jenny knew where to find the raspberry patch so we picked a pint to add to our strawberry and ice cream lunch.

To visit the site of this U-pick click Berry Picking.

Strawberry Pie
Pie Crust for Top and Bottom Crust
4 cups strawberries (quartered, halved or whole depending on size)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. tapioca
1 tbsp. lemon juice
lemon zest if available

Roll out 2 pie crusts and put one crust in pie plate .  Combine strawberries, sugar, tapioca and lemon juice in bowl.  Pour strawberry mixture into crust.  Place second crust over filling and crimp edges.  Vent top with knife slits.  Brush top with milk and sprinkle with a little sugar.  Pie can be frozen at this point to cook later or baked right away.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 75 minutes if frozen and 45 minutes if fresh. 

Monday, June 4, 2012


USDA hardiness zones 5-9

This azalea bush grows in sandy soil in Lansing, New York with a southwest exposure.  Sitting in the sunroom you can look out the window to see a multitude of tiny dark pink flowers.  This azalea bloomed in May and continued to have showy flowers into June.  

Azaleas are generally slow-growing and do best in well-drained acidic soil.  They are shade tolerant and they prefer living near or under trees.

In Chinese culture, the azalea is known as "thinking of home bush" (siangish shu).

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dogwood Tree

USDA hardiness zones: 3B through 7

This small tree grows in the front yard of a home in Lansing, New York. This year it bloomed in the middle of May and had blossoms that lasted about 2 weeks.     

To find more information on the dogwood tree click dogwood.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Red Roses

USDA hardiness zones 5-9

This Red Rose bush grows in sandy soil in Lansing, New York with a southern exposure.  Sitting in the sunroom you can look out the window to see a multitude of small but showy flowers.  This rosebush bloomed this year on Oliver's birthday, May 23, 2012.  

Rose Petal Jam
1 cup fresh rose petals 
(red or pink are best colour choices/must not have been sprayed with chemicals)
1 1/2 cup water
Juice of one lemon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 pkg of powdered pectin
Put rose petals, 3/4 cup water and lemon juice in a blender. Puree until smooth.  Slowly add sugar.  Blend until all sugar has dissolved.  Pour this rose syrup mixture into a large bowl.  In a small saucepan, stir 1 package pectin into 3/4 cup water.  Bring to a boil, and boil HARD for 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Pour pectin mixture into syrup and stir it in gently but quickly.  It sets up fast.  Work FAST to pour it into jars before it gets too thick and gloppy. Put covers on the jars.  Let set for 6 hours til firm.  (It may set faster.)  Refrigerate for up to one month or freeze to keep longer.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Flowering Almond Bush

Hardiness Zone 3B

This flowering almond bush grows in the front yard with a northern exposure in Red Deer, Alberta.   This year it began to show signs of blooming on Mother's Day and now almost one week later it is in full bloom.                                                                            
This hardy bush has been slow to grow and has been in the same location for about 20 years.  Nonetheless it has always bloomed, some years more than others.  Last fall we removed the large trees in the front yard  and this bush will now receive more sunlight.
According to a variety of sources the dainty pink blossoms should last three to four weeks.  

Monday, April 30, 2012


Hardiness Zone 3B

This crocus grows among Black Rundle stepping stones by the pond in a partly shady garden with an eastern exposure in Red Deer, Alberta.   
This year it waited until the very last day of April to bloom.  
The crocus is a member of the iris family that grows from corms.  
Unable to find more information on the white crocus I leave my post simply with the thought that this small and beautiful flower is a welcome surprise that brings hope to the garden that has been sleeping through a prairie winter.