Cleomes and phlox in the garden

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Cleomes are strange looking flowers. They grow on long stocks and bloom as they grow. They have long spidery things that stick out all around the blooms giving them their strange look.

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I plant these flowers along the back edge of my garden. They grow to approximately 4 feet tall so they help screen me from my neighbors once they’ve grown enough. I always try to grow some white ones as well as pink and purple.

Another flower that I grow is Phlox David. I have four clumps of it in my backyard garden and it’s just lovely when it’s in full bloom.

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I like having some white flowers scattered throughout the garden. They seem to highlight certain areas of the garden, and of course at night these flowers are still visible so they add a nice touch if we’re sitting out on the patio.

Sorry my post was a little late today. We seem to have the flu or something like it running through the house and it appears to be my turn to fight the bug. Ugh.

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information. GTS participants remember to check in at As the Garden Grows each week so that we’ll know you made a new post!






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More garden safety tips

As with just about anything you do around the home or in the workplace, it’s important to practice gardening safety when you garden. There’d be nothing worse than seriously injuring yourself while you’re gardening and then ending up being unable to maintain your lovely garden.

Health Precautions

Since one aspect of gardening is digging in the earth, possibly working with thorny plants (roses anyone?) and sometimes working with tools that have a little rust on them it’s important to make sure that your Tetanus shots are up to date. Most people only require a Tetanus booster every ten years, but if you are an avid gardener your doctor might recommend that you get booster shots a little more frequently.

You can get some nasty infections from the fungus on rose thorns or the bacteria in your garden soil so if you are working in the garden and end up getting slivers or thorns stuck in your skin try to remove them as soon as you are finished your tasks. Wash the puncture wounds and any other wounds that you acquire while gardening and then apply an antiseptic to prevent infection.

Tool Safety

One major aspect of gardening safety is the safe use of gardening tools. Be sure to store them in an area where children or possibly even pets can’t get at them. When you are using your gardening tools also try to be mindful of where each tool is located, especially if you have friends or family members out in the yard with you. I’m sure everyone can either remember stepping on a rake that was placed on the ground the wrong way and being hit in the face or watching someone else do it.

Perhaps store you smaller gardening tools in a gardening belt or tool belt so they are handy and close to you at all times. A bucket with a handle would also be a great place to store tools as you work in the garden.

Dull gardening tools often make worse cuts (on plants and on our skin!) so make sure your pruners and other cutting tools and blades are sharp and kept free of rust, and handle with care.

Chemical Safety

If you use chemicals in your garden – fertilizers, weed killers or other chemicals please make sure that you are storing them safely and using them as directed. Of course you can make it really easy on yourself and be like me and just not use any chemicals in the garden at all!

Some chemicals are quite toxic when being used and require that a mask and safety clothing be worn when applying them to your plants. Be sure to read the directions before starting to use a chemical in your yard and where appropriate protection if necessary. Also be sure that family members, friends and neighbors or pets aren’t nearby when using potentially toxic chemicals and keep pets and people away until the level of toxicity goes down whether that be an hour or a few days.

Also remember to read the label when it comes to disposing of used chemical bottles or left over chemicals. Sometimes you can simple put the containers in your recycling and other times you might have to drop them off at a special depot.

If you always make sure that you practice garden safety you, your family, pets and friends will be able to enjoy the time in the garden.

Don’t forget to read the first article on Gardening Safety that I published earlier this month in order to avoid injuring yourself while planting new plants in the garden and more.

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Spring garden maintenance complete and front boulevard planted

I’d like to thank everyone who stopped by to express their condolences on the loss of Chris’ cousin who was a very good friend of ours. I was supposed to be in another city and attending the visitations today, but I got really sick yesterday and our car broke down. So I’m home tonight … Chris can’t even drive back to pick me up as our car hasn’t been repaired yet. You can read a more detailed explanation of what happened on my main blog if you’d like.

So on to garden related stuff …

Last week, in preparation for Green Thumb Sunday, I went out into my yard and took pictures of most of the plants that were either coming up or that were blooming.

The garden looks very nice this year. Chris and I spent two days last weekend cleaning up the garden – trimming plants, getting rid of dead foliage, pruning roses and putting some compost that we picked up at a local park on Saturday thanks to Toronto’s Earth days’. (That’s a green recycling program where the city gives back the compost from the green garbage and other yard related wastes it’s picked up the year prior).

Needless to say my back took a beating and ached for a few days after I over did it in the garden. The effort payed off though as we had cooler temperatures and some rain last week and that really perked up the garden. Since the beds were tidier I could really see how my plants were progressing.

IMG_3325 Now you might remember a post I made about a month ago. It was the one where I showed photos of our front yard still covered in snow and photos of our planted boulevard that I had spent the day cleaning up.

Well the front boulevard looks even nicer now! I planted some peonies that I’d purchased in early April as well as some Dahlias, Gay Feather and a few other plants to go along with the plants that have been growing there for a few years (iris, daylilies, malva, salvia, tulips) and we placed our short bamboo fence in front of it to finish off the look and protect the garden from the teens that like to stand outside my house talking before they go their separate ways after school.

This is what it looks like now:

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and from another angle:

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Just to give you a complete picture of how the front garden looks I’ll throw in a photo of the front flower beds too:

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Now most of my plants are in the backyard. In a day or two I’ll post some photos of how the backyard garden looks right now and maybe a few photos of what’s blooming.

I hope your gardens are doing well right now!

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