Saturday, November 12, 2011

What I've Done In Preparation For Next Year

I did a recent post on what did well in the gardens this year, what I'd like to try, and what did not make the cut this time round.

Well a good gardener always plans for next year, and whether I fit that title or not, I have put in quite a bit of new stuff this summer and hope to see the fruits of my labours in 2012.  Some of these items I have blogged individually about, so forgive the repetition.

17 New Tall Bearded Irises - this was my big splurge for 2011.  I ordered 14 new offerings from Schreiner's Iris Gardens in Oregon, and they generously included 3 Bonus Varieties.  This was also my big effort gardening wise, as I had to increase the number of raised beds to accomodate these new varieities, plus the increases in my present varieties.  Retail therapy does rear its ugly head in the male world too.

Daylilies - I did some trading with a friend, and picked up five new varieties, that have found new homes on the south side of the house.  They should be a great addition to my existing varieties. I do love the concept of bartering.

Thornless Blackberries.  I picked up four, year old plants at a going out of stock sale.  These I put in a new bed in front of my greenhouse, where I hope they will be sufficiently protected from the harsh winter winds. Discounted stock, another of my favourite purchases.

Delphiniums.  I purchased several bedraggled late season specimens, and nursed them back to life.  They will help to shore up my blue pallet in the garden, I hope. Resuscitation, probably one of the most satsifying efforts as a gardener.  If I can bring something back from the brink of death, my day is complete.

3 New Siberian Iris varieties, 1 Louisiana - I discovered how to extend the tall bearded iris season with other species.  I had one purple that bloomed this spring and I was most impressed, so I went out got a light blue, a yellow and a white (this was a dig up from a friend's garden).  As well I had a dark purple Louisiana iris blossom a single time this spring - most impressive, so I got a second one (again end of season sale).

Clematis.  I had a great year with most of my new clematis that I planted last fall.  So this fall again I went around to the garden shops and picked up half a dozen more varieties, all for the princely sum of $20 - you pay that for one plant in the spring.  I am going to put them in a few new places, and double up with contrasting colours on other trellises.  I really like the effect of two distinctly different colours on one trellis - also extends bloom season, as they often bloom at different times in the summer. Yes I'm sure this is a fad that will fade, but impulse buys are what fuels the front of store display industry.

Mini iris.  I know I'm starting to sound a bit like irises are all that I grow.  Many long years ago, we had little mini irises that bloomed almost as soon as the snow was gone.  This was back on the farm though, and the second year, we had an extreme mouse population explosion (they girdled many new trees in the bush even - prickly ash, if you can imagine that!).  Unfortunately, they also feasted on mini iris rhizomes, and that spring I had nothing left.  Last spring I saw a few clumps of these in a friend's garden, and decided to see if I could try them again (haven't seen too many mice at our new locale).  So I picked up half a dozen new varieties of iris, all under 12 inches in height - looking forward to irises from May 1st all the way through to July.  Nostalgia purchases - what do you think propels Ebay's success?

And then of course I have added more new tulips and dutch iris bulbs this fall, which I have already fully discussed recently.  I haven't quite sorts my needs vs wants yet when it comes to the garden.

The Daily Quest

This is a new daily feature on The Musical Gardener blog. Below is a question, or puzzle that will change day by day. Do not use the comment section of the blog for your answer.

Answer to Yesterday's Puzzle: a) meteor -> remote b) canoe -> ocean c) observe -> verbose d) admirer -> married

Today's Puzzle:

Which of the following are glaucous?
a) blue spruce and grapes - having a blue and waxy coating 
b) onions and paper birch trees - having many layers which can be peeled off 
c) raspberries and oranges - having separate sections which can be divided
d) quack grass and irises - spreading and propagate by rhizomes
Please respond with your answer to the email below. I apologize but you will have to type my email address in manually (I'm attempting to avoid spammers).
Don't forget my Musical Gardener Contest

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.


  1. Looking forward already to seeing next year's flowers - both on your blog and in my own little plot. I regularly resurrect things from the dead, but not unfortunately as many as I send into terminal decline!

  2. Wow! Your garden is gonna look like a little slice of heaven.

  3. You are certainly going to enjoy the fruits of your labor with all these beauties.

  4. You will have a bunch of beauties in the spring:)


Much appreciated comments from my friends: