Green Thumb Sunday


This is my first contribution to green thumb Sunday, so I thought I’d start with a shot that indicated exactly what we were up against when we began. When we arrived in Canada, we found so much that was unfamiliar. I grew up in warm, balmy weather. Our only seasons consisted of hot beach days and cloudy beach days! Gardening was a pleasure because you just put a seed in the ground and it grew! That’s all.

When we arrived in Canada, the ground was already frozen, so there was no advance preparation for the season to come. I couldn’t see much under all the snow, but I loved the hoare frost on the trees and bushes and the plenitude of animals that were with us through the winter. I determined then that I would make our yard friendly for any living thing that wanted to wander or spend some time with us.

Spring eventually came. MUD. Another new experience. And then the realization, as the snow cleared and we could see the state of the land, that this old farm had been seriously neglected for some time. I enjoy hard work though, and my pets loved being outside with me as we cleaned up layer after layer of lost toys, old carburetors, nuts and bolts, buckets, boards, beer cans — getting the idea? Eventually we had hauled away the pieces I could actually move by myself and then I enlisted the aid of wubby for the larger things.

Next step was seeing what was under all the overgrowth. We found some treasures. I had never seen a mallow plant except in pictures. I gave them room to grow and they were prolific for us. We had some beautiful, old, lilac bushes. We discovered a beautiful blue flower. I’m still not positive that we’ve correctly identified it. Anyway, there were lots of treasures to be found. Lots of hard labor and a little patience and we began to “know” the terrain.

We eventually had a green and thriving piece of land and even had a place to plant the pine tree our foster daughter brought home from school one day. I still want to go back and rescue that plant for her.

This year we are finally in our own home. It also has some challenges to be addressed, but we are so looking forward to that first weekend in June when we can begin our planting and creating. Our season is very short, but our days are very long and sunny, so I’ll be sharing some of the things that are new to me as I progress this year.

In light of all that, I wanted my first contribution to Green Thumb Sunday to reflect some of the difficulties we encountered so you will realize the joy we felt at seeing the stubborn little plant try and thrive where it was planted.

2006 Aug 14 P1010001059This is what the ground looked like after the cleaning and amending took place. These poor little plants barely got started and the first hard freeze hit! Oh well, I’m learning. I’ve spent many hours reading about plants that grow in Canadian zones 2 and 3 and expect we’ll have a better year this time.

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information. See or Here to view other participants entries.

~ by byrningbunny on March 9, 2008.

10 Responses to “Green Thumb Sunday”

  1. hi thats a nice post you have. Happy GTS!

  2. Welcome to Green Thumb Sundays and real winters 🙂

    A lot of us northern gardeners are getting a bit anxious for spring but I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t want to leave for warmer climates. I for one wish for winter in August when the heat gets me down.

    Zone 2 -3 sounds a bit harsh. You might find some solace if winter gets you down by visiting:

    Northern Exposure

    ZONE 1B – geeze and I thought I had it bad with a borderline 3

  3. Welcome to GTS, I’m looking forward to what you get up to, as it sounds like you have your work cut out.

    Cheers Mark

  4. Welcome to Green Thumb Sunday and to Canada. I’m not sure where you live, but possibly in Ontario? Please let me know. I’m alway happy to met fellow Canadians and any other bloggers. Making friends is so much fun.

    Your plant will thrive, I’m sure. I am looking forward to seeing other photos when some of the snow has melted. My daughter had tulips coming up before we got this wonderful white stuff. It is pretty, but the roads have been treacherous.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my spider plant. I am very happy to met you and hope we will get to know one another better.


  5. Welcome, welcome, welcome – you have a great writing style and should love the camaraderie of this little weekend treat. Having been a Southern California landscape architect for all of my career, I still have trouble fathoming the challenges of other parts of the world. Enjoy your seasons and keep tapping on those keys.

    PS – love the blog header of the boy on the lawn. Your munchkin?

  6. Hi byrning Bunny,

    Welcome to GTS! It’s a great way to get to know new gardening. I have a feeling you live in the same general area as I do judging from the look of the soil in your photograph. It must be a wonderful challenge trying to reclaim a neglected farm. Hopefully, the raspberry bushes have survived!

    You asked about the Bougainvillea courageously growing on my living room window ledge. It seems to like this east-facing exposure. There is a plant nursery here that grows several tropical vines and sells them cheaply. My Bougainvillea was one small stalk when I planted it last spring. It grew like a weed all summer long. The growth definitely slowed over the winter and, at one point, I thought that it was dying. Many leaves fell off. And then one day – there were new leaves growing and new bracts and, right now, it is looking amazing. It truly has gotten me through the winter … my hope was just to keep it alive. (If I can do it here, then it’s possible where you live!)

    I hope you will be able to adopt your son! I enjoyed reading about you … have linked to my blog, if that’s okay!

  7. Welcome to GTS, and thanks for visiting my blog. Your lone flower is a nod to the perservance of nature.Was your climate change to Canada an extreme? You didn’t say where you moved from.

  8. Welcome to GTS 🙂
    That photo shouts “perserverence” loud and clear :=)

  9. The ground does look hard to grow things in – but you have a beauty there that insists on making it! Lovely post!

  10. Welcome to GTS. I’ve just added your site to the blogroll. 😉

    Looks like you have some gardening challenges ahead of you but I’m sure you’ll do fine.

    Are you in Sask? I’m in Ontario – Zone 5b or 6b depending on whether you’re reading an American or Canadian zone chart. LOL However, I tend to choose plants that are hardy to lower zones so I don’t have to go overboard protecting them for winter.

    If you’re in the midst of planning your garden you might want to read some good gardening sites (associated with gardening magazines) like Canadian Gardening and Gardening Life. Both always talk about quite a few zone 2 and 3 plants.

    Good luck with your garden! I’m looking forward to seeing how things progress for you.

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