Garden Tour Part 1: Up Close with Flora

The more time I spend gardening, the more I start to notice patterns and cycles with my plants and the growing season. Spring around here can be anything from cold and wet to warm and sunny. But once summer officially hits, the weather thermostat sets itself in the "red zone." This, of course, is good for us gardeners. Plants like warmth and this is what helps them grow. However, there comes a time every year that we get a bit of a heat wave. Some heat waves are just hot, while others are oh-my-god-I'm-still-sweating-at-midnight kind of hot. This year we hit the latter and I've been doing my best to keep the poor thirsty plants hydrated. So far nothing has died due to heat exhaustion, but I feel the flowers have hit their peak and, if the heat doesn't give up soon, they might just start to give in. I felt an early (very early) morning photo shoot was in order to preserve their beauty.

I planted a LOT of petunias this year. I didn't even know what colours I was planting, I just stuffed them into pots hoping for the best. They certainly didn't disappoint. Colour exploded all over the yard and these flowers are hugely prolific this year. They are really interesting up close too, with their "little green alien" inhabitants.

One of my favourite planters is the old washer we found on the property. This year Angel suggested we paint it and, voilà, it's now our pink pièce de résistance! A perfect vessel for dahlias and nasturtiums.

With its colourful foliage, coleus hold its own with the flowers. This is the best one I've ever grown and would love if I could over-winter it inside. I'm certainly going to try.

Geraniums are another favourite for my containers. I love that even though this is a delicate white blossom, nature has decided to add its own splash of colour.

The only flowers in the garden that I don't know the name to are some of the most interesting. They open up with full sunshine, but in the evening or on a cloudy day they remain closed. I will just call them sun worshipers.

The front porch needs to be deer resistant. It's also quite hot in the afternoon and heat-loving plants are necessary. My pick for this year was ornamental corn and straw flowers. I haven't grown either before, but they are both beautiful and amazing.

Lastly is the herb garden. This garden was inherited with the property and quite a wild mess at the beginning. With the subtraction of some plants and the addition of others, it has become one of my most loved spots. Not only does the rhubarb, dill and wild strawberry plants provide us with some treats, but when the oregano, lavender, and mint bloom, a gazillion bees and other insects spend every hour of daylight loading up on nectar and pollen. It's a hub of life that is so much fun to watch.

To be honest, I nurture this garden with the insects in mind. It's my good karma gardening, for many of these small creatures are the reason we can enjoy all the beautiful flowers in the first place. Of course, there are ones that make snacks of the flowers too, but they become part of a different purpose (food chain) and I can handle losing a bloom or two for the good of the cycle of nature.

And with that, I conclude part one of the garden tour.