Category: Hemerocallis

I Need My Garden More Than My Garden Needs Me

I Need My Garden More Than My Garden Needs Me

Contributed By Jocelyn Cameron

Some people say that having a garden is too much work. After all, you need to plant it, weed it, water it, and prune it. Who has time for that?

Well, to be honest, I do. In fact, I need to make time for it because of the benefits. How else could I know that spring is here? The crocuses tell me, the forsythia announces it with the quince trees to back them up. Before long, I know its mid-July as the ditch daylilies raise their heads and other cultivars display their ravishing colors. Who would want to miss that? As the mint creeps through the beds, my taste buds come to life. Ever had an outdoor shower with climbing roses scenting the air? Then fall dares to rival the summer’s displays as tri-color leaves wave in the cooling breezes.

I would be remiss not to mention the exercise my garden provides all season. If I don’t manage to get all the weeds in the spring, they greet me almost under every plant all summer. I must dive in and remedy the situation, my arms and legs thanking me for the stretches required. (Well, sometimes they do complain!) Without this activity, I must confess I would miss much of the beauty that lies hidden among the bushes. Never would I notice that anemone standing tall all alone or catch a rosebud about to open. Of course, you don’t want to miss the daylily blooms—you’ve only got a day to do it before they close up their glory in deference to another.

Ah, summer. Now I can create floral designs using my carefully selected (unless they happened to be on sale and could still work for me) garden plants as inspiration. Will I pair my cool greens with white Shasta daisies or should I match yellow and green limelight with my common yellow daylilies? Don’t forget to add some ribbon or zebra grass to help define the shape. I can rely on moss or creeping oregano to cover up the bald spots. If featuring burgundy, euphorbia makes an excellent filler. You see, the possibilities are stunning. And feeling the plant material through my fingers adds pleasure hard to define. Serendipitously at the finish, I may discover a perfect shape, that offers a whimsical finale to the whole design. Even in cleaning up, I get to “re-enjoy” the process as I toss unused bits into the compost. Now that’s what I call an pleasurable afternoon. You can, no doubt, imagine the buzz that comes from repeating this process all day in preparation for a flower show. Exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time.

Then, after garden chores, its time to find an Adirondack chair with its wide-open, comforting arms.

DSC_1377 - editRemember to get a glass of cool lemonade first, though, so that it can cool your insides as much as a shady spot cools the outside—a perfect time to give thanks for both garden and good health. Yes, I need that. In fact, I planned for it—much of the winter. Winter gives me time to anticipate next spring’s resurrection. Even in those short, dark days,

I can still take delight in those seedy-headed grasses that escaped fall pruning as they bow down in deference to the inevitable nor’easters.

Yes, my garden can take up much of my time. As you read between the lines of this article, however, did you catch the psychological benefits it has provided? Consider these: peace (nothing like solitude under the pines to make this happen); calm (the rustling grass sure trumps the sound of a cell phone); decompression (with bare hands, get those lumps out of the soil); confidence (that seedling finally sprouted roots or I guess I really can grow orchids); provides opportunities to make friends and share experiences (join a garden club); rest (drop into a garden swing when finished weeding that stubborn patch), satisfaction (you got rid of that goutweed!); gratification from not overspending (check out those spring plant sales), hope for the future (next year I’ll plant something different in those containers); anticipation (will that freshly planted annual survive?); appreciation of beauty (hard to beat the Stargazer lily); growth in patience (next year don’t plant pansies in a hot location), perseverance (so what if the deer got those bulbs, plant daffodils next time), faithfulness (water those containers!) and finally, confidence (my garden is ready for the garden-tour crowd. OK, that may be pushing it a little, but you get my point).


By now, you can see that I really do need my garden. And, it has always responded amiably to my attention, so I plan to continue seeking out its companionship. For me, garden time surpasses screen time like fresh flowers surpass silks. Best of all, perhaps, gardens require no apps—at least for now.


Spring Cleaning at the Cove Garden

Spring Cleaning at the Cove Garden

After a cloudy start, another warm spring day brought out volunteers to tidy up the Club’s own Cove Garden.  One group set up their tools beside the rosebed that borders the seawall at the head of the harbour.  The photo in the banner above was taken during last year’s spring clean-up, which occurred later in the season when the roses were actually in bloom.

working at edging of rose bed by seawall

Others stopped to catch up on local news before choosing a patch of garden to weed.

Particular care was taken to ensure that the three young fruit trees planted last year were nicely situated and that the bordering grass was neatly trimmed. 

Of course with the warmer weather over the last few days,  a healthy crop of dandelions can be seen on Chester gardens and lawns. As a result,  today some members found themselves on their knees dealing with these invaders as well as re-setting sod where a bench that was recently moved had left a lasting impresssion.

Dates for your calendar

Club members will be meeting a week earlier than usual in May because of the holiday on Monday of the forthcoming “long weekend”. The guest speaker on May 14th  will be Peggy-Anne Pineau, who will talk about her speciality: growing roses in Nova Scotia.  The program committee has also indicated that she will bring some plants from her greenhouse for sale to members. The meeting is slated for its usual time –  6:30 for 7 PM –  at St. Stephen’s Parish Community Centre .

The club’s annual Gardeners Sale will be held on Saturday, May 26th, and will include quality perennials from members’ gardens and commercial growers, plus shrubs and garden accessories. 

Looking farther ahead, the Nova Scotia Daylily Society has announced that it has the honour to be the first Canadian group to hold an Accredited American Hemerocallis Society Exhibition. The event is scheduled for Saturday, July 21st, this summer at the Glooskap Arena in Canning, Nova Scotia. More information on entries, and workshops on how to prepare an exhibit for judging, is available at