Those beautiful tropical blooms look amazing in the garden, but they are not fans of our long, cold winters here in southern Ontario. If you want those blooms to come back next year, you’ll have to do a bit of work, but it’s sooo worth it. Use this technique with bulbs that aren’t winter-hardy in our zone, like Canna lilies, Gladiolus, Calla Lily, tuberous begonias, and more.
There are a few things that are different about summer plantings. The most important is that we are working with living plant material that is actively growing – so we need to be aware of the soil / root zone and take a few extra steps...
We have heard folks talk about ‘an inch of water a week’… Which is in many cases, not the right amount. Sigh. So – let's start with the ‘what the heck is an ‘inch’ of water?’… Rainfall is measured in cm in most countries, or inches in that largish country just a wee bit south of us.
Rhododendrons and Azaleas both need winter protection in Ontario gardens as they are evergreen and hold their leaves all winter. Their leaves are a bit delicate and subject to burn in winter plus they set their flower buds in the fall, so we have to keep those buds alive. If that is not enough Rhododendrons and Azaleas also have some picky nutrition and watering needs. Not impossible – but just a little different than the rest of the garden.
We really like to have some patio pots of veggies around the deck. Veggies add to the overall feel of summer and make a nice compliment to the flowers that occupy most of our patio pots. For those with balcony gardens you know that container veggies are the only way to get super-fresh, homegrown flavour.