This landscaping feature is a product of laziness. I didn’t want to put tons of money or time into building a mound, so when the garage was torn down I asked the crew to just leave the rubble where it was bulldozed. They were a bit shocked by the idea but did as I asked. All I had to do was to cover it with some good dirt and here it is: the perfect spot for all the feature plants in the garden.


I recognized this as a columbine by its leaves, but having had no luck with them previously, I left it in the back of the garden for years. It never bloomed but continued to survive so I finally moved it to a sunnier location. Here it is, blooming for the first time in maybe decades. I think it’s smiling.

Shirley’s Iris

I was driving by and noticed the side of a neighbour’s house glowing with colour. I couldn’t see individual flowers from the road so it was like somebody painted her garden a vibrant lavender hue. I asked her if I could have one of the flowers and this spring the back of my house is beginning to glow too.

Undiscovered Flower

The yellow globe flower (trollius) in the foreground is a remarkably hardy and showy plant, yet it’s almost unknown in Edmonton. Where I grew up in Poland it was plentiful along streams, yet it’s perfectly adapted to the dry prairie summers. Perhaps it’s one of those plants that hasn’t been discovered yet. Maybe this one in my garden will become a trend setter.

Nothing Better

I can’t think of anything better in life than working in the garden for a few days and then sitting down with a cup of tea and looking at the results. It’s especially true in the spring when the warm weather still seems like a magic spell.

Heavenly Blue

Some of my most beautiful flowers are rescue plants. Irises are so hardy and prolific that most gardeners want to get rid of theirs.

An innocuous looking shoot of a dwarf iris was one of the last remaining plants at a church garage sale. It looked like it was heading for the compost pile. I nabbed it and now it’s blooming in my and most of my friends’ gardens: its spectacular blue glow can be seen throughout Edmonton.

Not Camera Shy

This rescue fern-leaf peony has thrived in my garden. I dug it out from a yard that was getting demolished and didn’t expect it to survive. It looked too delicate and exotic. This one is growing right by the sidewalk, it’s fun to see people stopping to take pictures of it almost every day. This is not a flower that minds being seen. Maybe it’s grateful that I saved it from the dumpster.

Life Stages

These irises have a mysterious habit of changing hues. When the flower emerges in the spring it’s almost black, in mid life it becomes violet and turns pink-purple in old age. As it begins to die it darkens into a black-violet again.

It’s not uncommon for flowers to bleach in the sun but this iris is in a league of its own, and each stage brings some of the most beautiful purple hues I have ever seen.

Pink Snow

The crabapple tree was pruned last year and now it’s snowing pink petals all through the garden. They stick to my shoes and, despite efforts to clean up, I find the petals in odd corners of the house.

It’s a wonderful problem to have after one of the longest winters ever. The pandemic is finally subsiding in Alberta and hopefully those forlorn lawn chairs in the back of the garden will soon be filled with friends.


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I ran across a video about regrowing various vegetables and decided to give it a try. It didn’t seem possible but this celery is growing fast and starting to sprout small roots. I will replant it in the garden and see what happens. These small moments of gardening delight never fade, no matter how complicated the world beyond the garden fence becomes.