Welcome to The Tranquil Garden

I hope you will enjoy the journey I'm starting today. I welcome all your comments and questions on my blog posts and hope you will find my observations about my garden interesting and possibly helpful. I am not an expert (far from it!), so this will be a learning experience all round. I'm planning to do research when questions come up that I can't answer. Frankly, the only reason I feel qualified to write a blog is because anyone can do it! The reason I chose to blog about gardening is because I love it, and I think it's therapeutic to get one's hands (or gardening gloves) dirty by planting things that with luck, educated guesses and a bit of sun and rain, will grow!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day One

Today I planted a new Day Lily. I've been gazing at some neighbourhood day lilies and feeling quite envious of them so when I was at Reno Depot yesterday buying wasp traps I impulsively bought two of them. (At $6.99 per plant I thought it was a deal). They're large and when I cut open the first pot to get ready to plant it, I found that it was quite root-bound, not surprising, given the lateness of the season. They look healthy though so I hope that soaking them in water before planting them will loosen the roots enough to help them on their way to adapting to their new space. I even decided to try dividing the first plant (called Hemerocallis 'Cape Cod'- a gorgeous deep pink one) since it looked like it was ready for it. I really hope it works because that corner of the garden really needs a good sized bed of something that will look good from a distance. I'm sick of the perennial geranium that has taken over that bed and is starting to threaten the clematis it shares it with. I ruthlessly dug it out today, hoping I got all the roots. I doubt whether I've seen the last of it though, tenacious little begger!

I'm pretty excited about keeping this garden diary because up until now I've been absolutely awful about learning proper names for plants, especially the latin names! Species, cultivars, genus....all Greek to me. I tend to remember the homey names for plants, but that's not always reliable as they change from region to region sometimes. I'm hoping that by documenting my daily (or almost) forays into the garden I will keep better track of what I've planted and when, as well as the proper names!

I recently visited Le Jardin de Métis, (aka, The Reford Gardens) near Grand Métis, Québec. It was unbelievably beautiful and I had a glorious time there. My friends and I spent six hours that absolutely flew by, just wandering around the different beds and visiting the Garden Festival that is a yearly installation there. Elsie Reford, the original creator of the garden back in the first half of the 20th century, kept a scrupulous garden diary, jotting down notes on an almost daily basis. That was my inspiration! Her garden meanders; it has very few formal points and it is a garden after my own heart. Her creative process was impulsive, like mine. I don't think it's my nature to plan the way the books say you're supposed to. I start a new bed whenever I want a new plant (or an old one needs to be divided) and have nowhere to put it! I love that kind of organic process. At the same time I often procrastinate on projects because I'm "not sure", so I suppose there are drawbacks to my seat-of-my-pants approach.

Tomorrow I must plant the other Day Lily (Chicago Petitcoat's- a peachy coloured one) because I ran out of energy today and I'm going away for the weekend. A demain!


  1. Nice blog, Vivian. Can you post some pictures of the whole garden, because I think people might like to see it!

  2. Hi Vivian,
    I agree with David. We want to see the whole garden. I am a hopeless at gardening but used to be very good with the Latin names. I don't mind planting but I hate the upkeep. Maybe you can convince me to try it again through your blog. FYI Elsie Reford was married to my great-grandmother's brother, which makes her my great aunt I guess. I have never been to the gardens but I have been to presentations by my cousin Alexander Reford, who runs them. He's very good looking so between him and the flowers, it is a pleasant way to spend an hour. Best of luck in your green endeavours!

  3. Verb,

    Does Maureen know that you are a cousin of Alexander Reford? Her friend, Nichola is also his cousin, so you must know her, I guess? What a small world!! Maureen, Tessa and I went to the Reford Gardens about 2 weeks ago. Loved it!!

    I will post a photo of the whole garden, or as much as I can fit in a photo. It's hard to get one that is really representational. I will take a shot from Maureen's balcony, that should work!

    Thanks for posting and I hope I can inspire you to get into the garden and meditate while weeding. It's very soothing, I swear.

    Thanks, Dave, for checking out my blog. I will post more photos. Right now!

  4. Nice work Viv! I'll be following along when I can - it's making me think that I should re-start Eloise's blog. She's got LOTS going on these days... including keeping her mama and dad up all night... with that, I'm off for a nap! Best wishes for your blog...

  5. Thanks, Em!! I hope you start getting more sleep and I'd love to read more about Eloise, so go for it!

  6. Hi Viv,
    Thanks for checking out why my comment didn't get through. This is my test and I will keep you posted on the lady with the 124 varieties of day lilies in her garden. It is worth a visit!

  7. Hi, Julie,

    I still find it strange that you assigned this random name! Did you try signing in as "anonymous"? Next time you could do that and just sign your name in the body of the post. Thanks for checking in!


  8. nice blog Viv, nice garden too...
    we got into it in NS this summer, not much rain so it is stunted, and too many of those pushy flowers you suggest removing, but we did hard time moving rocks and planting a friendship garden of friends perennials and we are right some proud :-)
    take a look while you're in the area next week, our tenants are friendly