Care for Calirachoa; they are worth it!

Calirachoa is known as “million bells”, because it produces many blooms during the growing season. They are similar to petunia, only more elegant and less aromatic.  I love the million-colored, million bells because they make gorgeous hanging baskets, although they do quite well in garden as well.  This picture, by the way, I took from an open flower market apparently run by two families “Wilson et. files/ Martino et filles”.  They offer a diverse variety of annuals and vegetables with fair price, and friendly service.

Here are a few tips about Calirachoa: 1) Needs full to partial sun, well drained, fertilized pest free soil. 2) Try to keep the soil moist, but it can tolerate drought but not for long (always avoid watering the leaves thereby avoiding cultivating fungus). 3) Pinch off dead leaves and dried blossoms by hand. This keeps the plant healthy looking and nice of course, AND will encourage more blossoms.

As always, please don’t hesitate to share your experience, and Happy Gardening!




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.


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!

Shamrock loves summer

Shamrock loves summer! Take’em out, water regularly, and let them thrive.


Perennials: The playful rainbow of my garden from May to June: updated 23 May, 2012

Perennials are such a joy to have, as most of them require minimal maintenance, live a relatively long life and most important of all keep surprising you throughout the summer. Over the years, I have planted many types of perennials (trying to restrict my urge to buy diverse gorgeous annuals). The trick is taking into account the blooming period of each perennial type so that by the time one type dies out, another comes to life. This way your flowerbed(s) are always beautiful and colorful. By the way I am far from an expert in gardening, but I do have my own share of experimenting and I absolutely LOVE gardening.  Here are some pictures and reports from my yard:

In Montreal (zone 5), tulips and narcissus bulbs come to full growth and bloom from end of April and mid May, depending how warm the weather might be (1).

They are still in bloom, when palm cherries’ leave turn red and gradually bloom their pink and scented little flowers. These lovely flowers last only about 15 days unfortunately (2).

Next come the hardy and “invasive” iris, again the flowers won’t last beyond 1-12 days, and they make excellent cut flowers for you vase (3).

Columbine is the name of this tall delicate flower in picture 4, I have four different colors of them in one of my flowerbeds, and they keep rejuvenating themselves each year through their seeds.   For a long time I was convinced that pansy was an annual. Nope! My bi-colored pansies keeps coming up every year.


My gillyflowers  start blooming from Mid June and keep it up right to the end of July.  Sometime, I get another round of flowers in Mid August!  These, too, reproduce themselves through the seeds they shed on the earth.

Finally  – for this period of the year, is the night blooming eglantines. I did not even plant them myself, but I love their deep pink and heavenly fragrance which reminds of Kerman (Iran) and its rose fields and the whole process of extracting rosewater from the very similar types of flowers.

Simple gardening tips:

  • Prepare and work in your garden one step at the time, so it won’t exhaust you. Do so in harmony with nature. For instance, a day after heavy rain is ideal for weeding.
  • Always use insect repellent before going to the garden to start working. Nasty insect bites could take out all the pleasure at the very least!
  • Direct, mid day sun, is good only for the plants; not a good time to water, to cut flowers or to work for long hours without protection.
  • Use environment friendly pesticides and compost.

Well, keep busy in the garden and stay tuned, there are much more flowers to come soon!