At this time last year I was just home from Thailand and dying (at least it felt like I was dying) from jetlag so severe, it still pains me to think about it. Back in Feb I posted photos of dragon fruit taken at a fruit farm in Rayong, with the promise of more photos from that particular trip. It took me a while to circle back, but here they are.
The first few images in this slideshow are of the tram waiting area where several types of fruit were on display. Once the tram arrived our tour of the farm began with the requisite giant novelty fruit, and a series of appropriately bad, lost in translation jokes made by our tour guide, Mafia Bangkok. That’s him in the bright blue golf shirt, cradling a durian freshly picked off of the tree.
Last fall, once the summer annuals had died off, I began the process of dividing up the right side of my garden into smaller beds separated and accessible by paths. While I managed to move a few perennials out of the newly formed pathways before the ground froze, there were a few borderline tender(ish) perennials that I kept in place for their own good. It was simply too late to uproot and establish them elsewhere.
I am now in the process of transplanting those that remain to new beds and accidentally dug up this species tulip in the process. Since it was out of the ground I figured that I might as well take its picture.
Soon, once the flowering bulbs have finished doing their thing, I will carefully remove those that are sitting in the middle of pathways and replant them as well. Since I’m bound to find fault with some of these new plantings, I’ll likely dig up and replant a few of the perennials again in the fall once I see how the garden looks with its new form. We gardeners are rarely satisfied.
They are out early this year, especially this plant, a variety named ‘Red Bells’ that I planted last spring in my own garden — it is already on its third bloom!
Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is one of my favourite spring ephemerals and a wonderful perennial plant that thrives in full sun or part shade rock gardens. I have mine planted just at the edge of my dry bed/rock garden where dry pea gravel meets a slightly moister wood chip pathway and early morning shade is cast by the house. Pulsatilla is a good choice for dry spots underneath slightly shady trees as it seems to grow tolerant to drought once established.
I find the soft and delicate hairiness of this plant irresistible and after flowering the silky seed pods leave behind something to look as well as some seeds to help it spread.
I’ve been down for the count these past few days with some sort of epic plague. My brain is slow and foggy so now is the perfect time to republish a few of my Globe and Mail Kitchen Gardening articles.
This one on good soil for your vegetable garden is the perfect companion to my recent HGTV article on reusing container soil. Speaking of… I have a new article up on HGTV that answers the ever popular question, “Are there any edibles that I can grow in the shade?”
Originally published in the Globe and Mail on May. 23, 2009.
The subject of garden soil is conversational codeine to most people. Yet refer to that brown stuff as “dirt” in the wrong company and be prepared to have some thrown in your face.
“It’s soil, you moron, not dirt!” an obviously superior gardener recently informed me. “Only idiots like you call it dirt.”
‘Yalta’ is another of the crocus varieties that I planted last fall. It has alternating purple and soft, silvery lavender petals with a delicate and long throat. Apparently it is a C. tommasinianus hybrid, which is another species that I prefer, particularly ‘Ruby Giant’.