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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

When is Annual – Not Annual - Gardening

I just adore this time of the year, as the garden starts to wake-up from its long winter’s nap, adding an array of colors to our days.

I first started gardening 7 years ago, when I purchased my home in the city. Like any new home owner you want your entertaining area to look inviting and fabulous – so I headed to the local nursery. I carefully selected flowers for the half moon flowerbeds (13’x3’x 2’ depth for new soil) – which I had taken on the task of doing myself. Keep in mind up to this point in my life gardening to me was going to the florist picking up some flowers and placing them in vases throughout my home (I have always loved fresh cut flowers throughout my home).
My selection was amazing, I received rave reviews when friends visited and I was quite pleased with myself. My nails and hands were very happy when I discovered “gardening gloves” who knew. As summer turned to fall and winter, I waited eagerly for spring to arrive and the anticipation of that glorious collection of colour and texture I had so lovingly nurtured. When spring arrived – I waited- and waited …. and waited, but the majority of my beautiful flowers did not spring up. What could have happened?

I set out to the nursery, receipts and little plastic flower identity pixs in hand, determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. As I spoke with the elderly gentlemen, he listened enthusiastically – I explained that I was aware of their 1 year warranty and how hard I had worked on my garden… he just nodded and listen. I presented my receipts and flower pixs – I always kept track of everything. He looked over each receipt carefully … and said in a sweet almost grandfatherly way … Dear you purchased “annuals” – yes, annuals like the Annual sale at Holts, or the Annual lighting of the Christmas lights at Nathan Philips Square – these flowers should come up every year. Needless to say that day I learned the difference between Annual and Perennial in the Gardening world. To help me get started “again” the nursery staff directed me to the Perennial section, offered some very helpful suggestions and also gave me a huge discount, to soften my faux pas. It was a long time before I ventured back into the Annual section at a nursery.

The garden area at my city home is small, compared to the available garden area I am faced with at our home in the country. The thought of planning various gardens is overwhelming (a challenge I would have welcomed with open arms 3 ½ years ago) - not to mention the energy that is exhausted trying to plant and maintain. I have however been determined to not give up gardening – so much so that aside from pushing myself “stupidly” – I would lay on the ground so that I could utilize every bit of energy to plant and weed (I would be out of commission for the following few days not to mention the aches and pains).
As the gardening season starts this year Mr. G has already had "the talk" with me – about pacing myself and accepting help. So far so good, I have not over done it. Oh did I mention, I we haven’t yet started. We are in the process of planning this season’s gardens (we plan to add 2-3) and the areas for additional gardens to be added over the next 3-4 years. The past couple of summers, we have been working on a butterfly garden, cutting garden, Angel garden and a vegetable garden.
The images are of our country property over the past couple of summers. Yes, those are geese running across the grass -they return every year with their babies. I will be posting the progress of our gardening adventures on upcoming Mondays.


  1. Ugh I made the same mistake when I first planted a garden! I had no idea what any of it was besides the pretty colours lol! OOPS!!!

    You get street cred for doing it yourself! I just buy the flowers and have someone else plant them!


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