In a garden

Yet another beautiful Canadian garden.  Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 2007

Yet another beautiful Canadian garden. Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 2007

The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the birds for mirth
One is nearer God’s heart in the garden
Than anywhere else on earth

Dorothy Gurney

I don’t know what it is about Canada, whether it’s the climate or the eagerness for warm weather or the souls of its people, but I see many of the most beautiful gardens in the world in that country.  Lucky USA, to have such talented gardeners as next-door neighbors!

It may help that our neighbors to the north are spared the blistering heat that most of our states experience.  By this time of the summer, some of our blooms have already faded in the withering temperatures.  Fortunately, they are replaced by others that will keep things colorful until well into autumn.  In Virginia, I’ve had begonias blooming as late as December.

What’s blooming in your neck of the woods right now?  Which flowers are “on deck” for late summer and fall?

Whether you are a gifted gardener whose efforts bless everyone around you, or just an amateur such as I, tickled pink over every bloom that survives my blundering attempts, I hope you have lots of flowers to enjoy this year.  Here’s to the talented neighbors and friends, as well as local parks, nurseries and greenhouses, who fill our summers with color!


  1. Eric

    I take the explanation from our uncle, Jackie (yes, readers, he laments it is a girl’s name): the cooler “high” temperatures, combined with shorter periods of direct sun produce more brilliant colors among the same species of flowers. You were precise to link fading and withering temperatures. Jackie introduced me to Buchart Gardens, on Vancouver Island; and since that time, I have introduced Carla to its dazzling carnival of color. Did you not notice the same effect in the American state of Alaska?

    • Hi Eric, we saw a few flowers in downtown Juneau, but other than that I don’t remember seeing any gardens at all in Alaska. It could be simply because we did not choose those sites to visit during our very brief stay there. Believe it or not, I have never been to Buchart Gardens, although I have always wanted to go, and have that on my “next time we go to BC” list. I believe the Disney version (in the Canadian pavilion at EPCOT) was modeled as a very miniature copy of those gardens. That may be where I first learned of Buchart, but have heard many people talk of its beauty. Apparently it’s the Keukenhof of the western hemisphere, a place where the photos (stunning though they are) do not do justice to the visual splendor.

  2. How nice of you to say, I’ll be bold and say “thank you on behalf of us northerners” 😀

    I think it’s probably the ‘eagerness for warm weather’ that gets the gardeners so motivated in Edmonton. Winters can be so dang long (like this past one) that by the time the garden centres open up we’re all a little banana’s and buy everything in site. I do think too, we get a fair bit of rain in june followed by warm and sunny days with cooler nights. So they get a lot of moisture and rest from the heat overnight. I’d have to learn to garden all over again if I lived in the south. The schedule is so different. I’ve got a few pots on the front steps, filled with Pinks and Yellows this year. There’s not a ton of room so it doesn’t take much to ‘look’ like an expert, ha

    • What a nice perk to living in a cooler climate! We had a similar, though less pronounced, gardening experience while we lived on the central coast of California, near Lompoc, where one of the local industries is growing flowers for seed; there are “flower fields” that look like giant quilts of color on the landscape. I got my first real experience with flower gardening there and initially thought myself quite good at it, not realizing the cool misty mornings, sunny afternoons and cool foggy evenings, which varied little year round, were responsible for the dazzling success. Not only were my flowers colorful, they were HUGE. Jeff’s mom sent me some Hollyhock seeds from her garden, which I planted next to the house, and they were soon taller than our roof! It definitely takes a lot more work and TLC in warmer climates. During summer I like to garden in the evenings, when it’s cooler, but then I get eaten alive by bugs if I don’t put on lots of Skin-so-soft or some sort of botanical repellent (I won’t use DEET or anything toxic).

  3. MaryAnn

    You speak of “blundering” in the garden. Smile! What I tell people is that God does a great job, even w/ me involved…haha…right now in our front yard, the plumbago is a very large & riotous color splash…in the backyard, the small carnations are showing off nicely: petite, white blossoms w/purple outline….
    I love how God displays His wonders for us! Praising His Name! (Julia: what a fabulous way to get my mind centered on the Important…THANK YOU! Love, MaryAnn)

    • Thanks Mary Ann. No matter how busy or frustrating the day is, I can always get an instant boost from seeing flowers in bloom. Apparently there’s some scientific research that documents this wonderful perk of enjoying flowers.

  4. What a beautiful photograph. Wish we were there now. Wandering about, free of cares and this awful heat. Praying all is well with you. I have been meaning to take a photo of my hydrangea but never got it done. Tonight if it cools off I will have a glass of tea out there and snap a shot for you. I got five blooms on it this year and the leaves are beautiful It cheers me and I think of you of course whenever I see it. Praying all is well. Love you.

    • Hi Amy, it is beyond ridiculous that we STILL have not been able to get together in all these weeks – is life crazy or what??? We are doing OK and actually got some very good news this week, hooray! Plus I was very blessed to visit in the past 2 days with 3 friends, one of whom I haven’t seen in 35 years, and two of whom I met face to face for the very first time! So overall I’d say we are doing better than OK. I’m so glad your hydrangea is blooming and I can’t wait to see it in person – be sure and warn the family deer I am coming so they won’t try to block the driveway this time 🙂 Thanks for the prayers, I will tell you soon how they are being answered. Love you too!

  5. Sheila

    Happy Friday, Julia. Our yard is different, with flowers that must withstand the sun, as well as salty breezes that are so drying. I always have geraraniums, hydrangea’s and lots of knockout roses! That is such a lovely garden that you have shared. Wishing a good weekend for y’all …. Sheila

    • Hi Sheila, your flowers sound beautiful! One thing that surprised me in California was how easy it was to grow roses. They love the sun so much! Geraniums are some of my very favorites. They are so easy to sprout into new plants. Hope you have a good weekend too! Thanks for being here.


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