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Garden Bliss & Blunder, Issue #036
May 14, 2024



I think Lucy must have been working away at my newsletter

because it came through to many of you "wonky",

"unreadable", "too big" and on top of that - the new content

was overwritten by last month's..

This will replace what you got....

Please accept my apologies on her behalf.

Of course. ..she admits to nothing .

Spring Fever !

I have Spring Fever and am using that reason for my newsletter being these few days late.... I was going to apologize, but who in their right mind would be sorry for having the scents, sounds and glorious-ness of spring in their noses (sorry allergy sufferers), dirt on their knees, bees in their hair and best of all.... FLOWERS ARE BLOOMING ! Really, how can you blame me?

Do you know how to tell if a bee has visited your Forget-Me-Nots? In each flower their is a ring of pollen.... If the ring is white, a bee has been... and if still yellow? Waiting for a bee.

The magical Magnolia at the end of our street.... the next day, a heavy rain push all the blossoms to the ground. But in the meantime, how lovely.

Photo by Jen Bird

These were my friend Mary's favourite and since she passed, each spring they are just one more reminder of our friendship and her love of gardening.

Green Mulch

Ooh, lots of controversy here.... There are many who feel these are weeds - yes, they spread, yes we are not sure if they are "native" or not. But where the violets are in my garden, there are no weeds. They keep the roots of the roses damp and if I don't like where they are, pulling them is so easy and in the grass, the mower cuts them.

So perhaps think about what role they can, or do play in your garden. They are not welcome in forested areas unless they are wild. I did not plant these, then who did?

I want these to be wild, because they grow with joyous abandon and they cover bare, dry soil along the side of the house where nothing else seems to want to grow.

You decide.... do your research and plant because they work, because you love them, because the bees love them (yup, they love these) or .. because you can. But be intentional.

Watch for Turtles...

The Ontario Turtle Conservation is a turtle hospital that treats, rehabilitates, and releases injured turtles, by performing extensive research in the field to further conservation initiatives, and by running a comprehensive education and outreach program.

An injured turtle needs medical attention as soon as possible!

CALL US IMMEDIATELY at 705-741-5000 even if you live outside Peterborough Ontario.... they is likely a facility like this in your area.

Keep our endangered turtles happy.

turtle trauma


I didn't know there were so many different Cicadas.

Perdue University- Extension Entomology

There are ANNUAL Cicadas such as those in Canada called the Dog-Day Cicadas with an annual cycle emerging pretty much every year. These have dark green and black bodies with green-veined wings- easier to camouflage from predators.

PERIODICAL Cicadas have both 13 year and 17 year cycles. They are more colourful with red eyes, black bodies and reddish orange veined wings.

For the first time since the early 1800's, these 2 broods will emerge around the same time sending trillions (yes, trillions) of these singing incense into the northeastern and midwest US.

Their "song" is loud enough to drown out a jet engine but in France, when the Cicada sings, it is time to pick the grapes.

Native Plants...

As you may know, there is a huge push for us to plant Native Plants.... it has not always been easy as many big box stores have put the Native plants in with the annuals and other perennials.

But this spring, in Canada, here is one company making a start: our local Canadian Tire...and more will follow.

Bee Jobs...

From Grass to Garden...

There is a lot to be said about having less grass and more garden: daunting though it can be, here are a few tips to make it a little easier:

1. A limited plant palate works in smaller spaces = smaller space, smaller plants 2. Use a simple green based layer or ground cover to tie it all together 3. Try to have at least 2 or 4 plants in bloom at the same time but too many gets overwhelming in a small space 4. Keep plants short if near sidewalks or driveways to keep visibility clear. 5. Add a feature - statue, fountain or bench if you wish. 6. No aggressive or invasive species: do your research

See what we did here:


Pruning Oaks or Roses...



What you can do: DON'T PRUNE FROM APRIL 1 -NOVEMBER 30 Don't move firewood Check oak trees for signs of oak wilt Prevent the spread

Oak wilt can kill an oak tree in a single season. If you see signs and symptoms of this disease, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency immediately


Learn more at

oak wilt


Best time is when the Forsythia blooms - but if you haven't yet, there is still time.

See below for more.


The "Chelsea Chop"...

This centre plant is a Phlox I cut back last season - mid-May... in less than 2 weeks it have this new growth.

I cut back Phlox in the front of the bed to about 3 inches in height... mid-way about 6-8 inches and then leave the back plants full...

This way there are blooms from low down to higher up... otherwise they will all bloom at the same time and at the same height.

I do this with Phlox, Daisies, Salvia and Sedum.

When you cut back Sedum, take the cut stem and just stick it into the ground in groups of 3 and by the end of the season you will have a new plant. How cool is that?

Cedar Apple Rust...

Cedar-apple rust is the common name for the disease caused by the fungus Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae.

It rarely causes significant damage to the junipers (cedar) where it lives for half of its life.

Although this disease does not threaten the health of the cedar, it can prematurely defoliate non-resistant apples, crab apples and hawthorn where it lands and completes it life cycle later this summer.

Leaves will first show a classic spot that typically is bright orange to yellow with a lighter, outer ring. The underside of the leaf may show light colored, cup-shaped structures. Fruit can also be disfigured.

Removing the alternate host (cedar) that is in close proximity


Quick facts-

The term 'weed' is subjective and can be defined as a plant growing where it is not wanted. But you knew that.

Fast growing weeds can compete with - and possibly smother, other plants 

Hand weeding a bed provides a good opportunity for close-up inspection of all your plants- and 10 minutes a day is over an hour of weeding a week... We all know that 10 minutes will stretch to 20 but as long as we take breaks and overdo things, it won't be such a huge chore.

Then: MULCH… NO BARE SOIL - because dormant weed seeds love bare soil and will grow while your back is turned.

And, until next time...

Help where you can - even if you are not asked

and you see a neighbour (or even a stranger) struggling

.... offer to help.

In our neighbourhood,

we are so fortunate for folks like that all around us.

Lucy says....

.... play lots of music and sing out loud...

She likes when Elvis croons

and is now practising her "Elvis-lip"

...Then take a nap in the sun,

on the deck



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