Replanting spring flowers

Okay…. Back to the gardening business!

Here in Montreal (zone 5), spring comes to the supermarkets and flower shops way before the official spring, March 21th. I personally find it so hard to resist coming back home from shopping without a pot or two of tulips, narcissus or hyacinth. I need them for my norooz sofreh anyway, and lots of people need them for their Easter or for no particular reason at all! The point is, you can easily preserve this beautiful plants and have them flower next year if you replant them in your garden by following the simple instructions below:

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Vase ideas1

Flower arrangement and photography ideas while awaiting the gardening season!



Fall is here

Time to bring garden plants indoors

If you live in Montreal or anywhere with “zone 5”, you are probably already preparing for the winter – or at least thinking of it! Well, as sad as it might sound, it is time to bring in some of your garden plants indoors. I hope you did take them out for the summer vacation in the first place!

My Geranium, Shamrock, and Arabian jasmine got a real growth boost during the summer and thrived to much of my delight. To make them survive the winter, I now move them indoor. A couple of steps before doing so: 1. I trim them 2. I make sure they are clean (foliage free), which I learned here and successfully implemented: Just swish the plant upside down in a large bowl of lukewarm water mixed with few drops of dish washing liquid. Once they are indoors, I keep them in a sunny or very bright spot and water them only when their soil goes completely dry. They do not flourish during the summer (I don’t expect them to!) but they do keep alive and look forward to the spring

The joy of harvesting home grown vegetables

The joy of harvesting these organic home-grown mild peppers and round carrots beat the actual consumption of them.




Dahlia and Rose of Sharon, perennials that bloom by mid July and last till early September. Dahlia needs more sun than Rose of Sharon, but both tolerate most soil types and need little water (in Montreal weather). Dahlia’s bulbs need storing before the end of October.


Perennials3: Hosta

Frangrant jasmine

Jasmine, this heavenly smelling summer flower is apparently known as “Arabian Jasmine”; we call it razeghi in Persian.  Back home, we had it in our yard -a good majority of people did.  Here in Montreal, I longed for it for such a long time before I received a kindling some 10 years ago. The best gift ever!

For Montreal’s weather (zone 5) this is certainly considered a houseplant, but it could benefit the fresh air, nice warmth and thereby fully flourish for a couple of months from June to August, depending on the weather. I take mine out in a half-sun spot once we have at least 25 Centigrade outside. Soon, it comes to life with glowing green leaves and delightful white buds. I just love the scent of its full grown delicate flowers, and sometimes collect the ones which have fallen off, put them in a saucepan full of water and keep them a bit longer on my dining table. Before bringing the plant in again, I wash it thoroughly and make sure it is pets free, and I also prune in back to a manageable size, as it does grow a lot while enjoying the warm weather.

A magic called fresh garlic

Green garlic and garlic scapes add delicate, refreshing flavor to salads, and any type of dish you would normally use garlic for. I use them particularly in herbs-mixed polo with fish. They are easy, fun, and extremely rewarding to grow – even in pots. Simply break the bulbs and plant them 5 cm deep in a sunny spot. They should be at least 10 cm apart in a rich, weed-free soil. In Montreal, the  planting time is mid September.



The playful rainbow of my garden, perennials: from early July to August (updated 8 July 2012): In the first part of my perennials post, I introduced the types of flowers I get in my garden from May to mid June here in Zone 5. Well, as soon as they start to go to sleep, I get a new range of colors, more or less in the following order:

Lilis: You know they are everywhere, in the backyards and off the streets, right? That’s because all these flowers need in order to flourish are half to full sun and rain water – no matter how little their share might be. Lilies’ bulbs spread slowly but steadily over the years. So, pay attention to where you first plant them.

Clematis is a climbing plant of course and it is often used to cover ugly walls. My poor baby is by a fence and does not have much room as height to climb on and that’s why it sort of spreads instead of climbing! Most Clematis come in pink and purple hues. Mine starts to bloom late June, by mid July you can hardly see any green leaves behind the dense web of purple flowers, and they last till late in August. Clematis needs care and pruning at the end of the season.

I have two types of very classic summer bushes in my garden: Gold fire, which blooms around the time Lilies do and does not require much care, except proper pruning at least once a year. And Hydrangea, which needs lots of water in addition to proper pruning.

The hardy, long stemmed Daises make beautiful cut flowers. I have planted “Moon Beam” at the base of my long-stem flowers. They almost illuminate in sunset light and add a very gentle and charming touch to my yard.

The lovely Dahlia and Rose of Sharon are on their way, stay tuned!