In response to Barry’s post on Margery Fish’s book ‘A Flower Every Day’, I’ve gone through my 2012 photography files to see how gardening on the prairies compares to gardening in southern Ontario’s banana-belt – with a greenhouse. Understandably, I haven’t been able to manage a flower for every month from the balcony garden – but travels further afield and leaps of faith have helped fill in the winter gaps.
For example, in January the pickings were pretty slim. Best I could do is the pretty rosettes (I know it’s a reach – green roses?) on this London Pride saxifrage, revealed during a Chinook.
In February I was on the west coast where spring bulbs were getting an early start, like these tiny crocus.
In March, the balcony garden started to wake up, and as always the Draba were first to bloom.
Saxifraga oppositifolia started to bloom in April. This pretty pink one was in bloom for most of the month.
Blue was added to the alpine colour palette when Veronica whitleyi flowered in May.
June brought the start of the poppy blooms, which lasted through most of the summer. These pretty alpine poppies were a hit last year, and you’ll see them in the balcony garden again in 2013.
My tiny hosta bloomed in July. The container is now wintering over indoors in the windowsill garden and has a new shoot peeking through the soil.
The Jackmanii Clematis vine put on a big show for most of the summer, looking pretty good through August.
In September the pansies by the pond were still blooming, but the ferns were the real show stopper – specifically the Japanese Painted Fern.
The only real colour left on the balcony in October was the foliage of the columbines – which flower blue in the early spring.
With the garden closed up and tucked in for the winter, November took me on a wander to the east village, where the development models included plantings on the balconies. Colourful, but not that many flowers and the trees used throughout the model might not be that realistic for our growing zone.
And to close off the year, the troughs in December were snowbound and resting. Colour brought to you by dried foliage and evergreens. Not a flower bloom in sight, but in mind…work with me.
I’m pretty sure I need a greenhouse.