This year’s garden is more beautiful than last year, and last year is better than the year before. This was all going as planned, so in sheer excitement I pulled out the drone to take pictures.

Welcome to an aerial view of an English country house garden. As soon as I launched the drone, Philip the Standard Poodle lunged at me with his tail tucked between his legs.

So he went inside when I finished working.

This is not a perfect garden and I’m not a landscape architect or a retired person who has an entire day obsessed with it. It’s a work in progress, just like me, as it is with Philip.

Okay, let’s wander around.

Colin Mooney Formal ornamental dahlias in an English cottage garden.

Colin Mooney

The decorative dahlia flower is dark purple with lots of petals

Most of the dahlias this year are in my community garden where I can cut them up and forgo the flower arrangements and donate them. Dahlias in Front yard On the other side also I get my head cut off for flower arranging and donation, I don’t do it with that much abandon.

A divided apple tree with apples protected by plastic covers.

I will have my largest apple crop ever from two ornamental apple trees on my front porch. In 2016 I planted two apple trees that I got from Home Depot.

Things always start out great with hundreds of apples forming, and then the squirrels make a little secret plan about how best to ruin my life. They inevitably agree that picking apples and throwing them around the neighborhood is the way to go.

Every year I try a new way to keep squirrels away, including bagging apples, using clear deli containers over the fruit and the method you see above: cutting green plastic wrap from the dollar store and stapling it around the apples.

I’ve used this method before and returned to it again this year. It looks ugly, but I don’t care anymore. It’s the best way I’ve found to save home grown apples from squirrels.

The covers last for a few years so you can reuse them until they become brittle.

The same clothes are available on Amazon US if you don’t have a Dollarama around.

It is also available on Amazon Canada.


Formal decorative dahlia in peach/orange and white with different variations.

This is the first year I’ve had any real earwig damage in my flowers. You can see in the photo above how all the petals are chewed.

This fall I’ll be testing two ways to deal with these annoying bugs.

English cottage garden with picket fencing, brick path, flower beds and lawn path.

The drone I use is the DJI Mini 2

Yes, I still have the grass and plan to keep it because I like the little bit of calm it brings to the riot of flower beds.

Marigolds, alyssum, phlox, lavender, and hydrangea in the garden.

Big duck plush

These AAS seeds went to me earlier this year. I wasn’t sure how big the plush was but as it turns out…really big. The plant resembles a shrub and the main stem resembles a trunk. Each plant is approximately 30cm high and 2cm wide.

I’m not a big fan of marigolds but this plant is huge with countless 3 inch flowers and they are long-lived cut flowers too.

English cottage garden with bird bath, brick path, flower beds with dahlias etc.

As I mentioned before, if you plant marigolds once, you won’t have to plant them again. This is more true of some varieties than others – Opopeo, for example, is uncompromising.

I remove thousands of seedlings every year, leaving only the ones I want.

Pink hydrangeas next to small shrubby marigolds.

Compared to the large duck amaranth, the small fern plants to the right of the hydrangea in my garden are also duck amaranths. This one has no flowers.

But they make up for this by tasting just like sweet black jelly beans.

Ideal for salads where fennel and apples are usually used.

The English cottage garden is steps from the white front porch.

Another new variety of AAS is Doubleshot snapdragon above. It is a two-tone Chantilly-style orange and is very prolific.

Black Satin is a dark, formal decorative dahlia that mixes and goes with almost any flower arrangement.

An old picket fence surrounds the garden.

Outside the picket fence, small raised beds are filled with self-seeding snapdragons, alyssums and, in spring, tulips.

A winding apple tree, a brick path and a bed of alyssum.

Alyssum is one of my favorite things in the garden. I can’t smell it anymore, but anyone who comes to my house comments on how wonderful the yard smells.

I love the scented garden.

Scented garden plants

The ones I personally mark with *

  • Alyssum*
  • bloodstone*
  • honeysuckle*
  • sweetened peas*
  • Roses*
  • purple
  • Gardenia
  • whistling*

Alyssum will replant itself year after year and is very accommodating when it comes to transplanting.

You can pull the seedlings right from the ground without much care and stick them wherever you want. I took rotten seedlings that were growing through the cracks in the bricks and planted them in front of the apples.

I hope to have enough by next year that I can fill the entire front bed with a circle cut around the base of the apple tree.

We’ll end with Dahlia that started it all for me.

Yvonne Dahlia factory next to Colin Mooney.


Yvonne is a dahlia-shaped water lily (similar to a water lily). It was the first dahlia I knew I wanted to buy when I first started growing it. I planted it once and everything I’ve planted since has croaked at me.

Because things, even though they are supposed to go as planned, rarely do.

I gave them another chance as I do every year, and this year they seem happy and look beautiful next to the purple Colleen Mooney.

For now, I’m still doing the apple picking and earwig trapping, but when the time comes, I’ll walk you through the apple picking and earwig trapping process.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: