More of what goes on in our garden here
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

June 24, 2018

Above, Our now extensive double purple Clematis; Mme Alfred Carriere spreads over most of our large arbor at the front door of the house; and American Pillar also grows along part of our arbor. Below, just one of the old climbers that were here when we arrived—at the front of the house, near the front door; Deutzia rosea growing on the east side of the house; and the honeysuckle (Lonicera) given us by Louise Wall growing high above the front fence. Author photos.




As this is written we are only a few days into the ‘official’ summer and here in Parksville it is looking as if we are going to have another hot summer just like last year.

We have a double purple Clematis out in bloom that had not done well where it was planted originally and so Yves moved it and this year it had over a dozen double blooms on it! Also in bloom right now is a honeysuckle (Lonicera) growing on our front fence—but right at the top, so difficult to get a decent photo!

Early this week our irrigation system had a problem with its pressure-setting mechanism and so we had no water for a couple of days. We had the plumber in and he got it running fine and then later that night off it went again. When he came back the next day he ascertained that the pressure-setting gauge was likely to blame and replaced it with a new one that he happened to have on his truck! [N.B. a plumber not having to leave to go and buy a piece of equipment—unusual to say the least don’t you think!]

Having no water for a total of three days meant that we were not able to run any of our three irrigation systems [front waterside, side, and street-garden] and so some things, particularly the lawn on the waterside which gets absolute full sun got somewhat dry!

Our roses (bushes and climbers particularly) did and continue to do well. Our two largest climbers are Mme Alfred Carriere, a creamy white to soft pink that is very vigorous as you will see from my photo attached, and American Pillar (a dear, old single rose) which is also quite prolific at this time of year; it is a deep pink with a white centre. We also have at least three other climbers at the front (streetside) of the house but they were all here when we moved in and I have not been able to identify them.

Also in full bloom here now are a honeysuckle (Lonicera) which grows at our front fence and actually towers over it with its flowers. It was a gift from our friend Louise wall. And, our lovely pink-flowering Deutzia rosea on the east side of the house is looking quite good as well. (Also in a photo here.)

Our bush lupines (the shrubby yellow-flowered ones) are now finished and Yves has cut most of them back. They did not last very long this year primarily I think because they came out at their best right during a week of quite hot weather that we had (30oC) That is quite hot for us and it lasted about four days!

Many of our lilies are getting ready to bloom, but only a small orange one is actually in bloom now. The Grevillea ‘Cranberry Gem’ (which I mention here often it seems to me). Thai is because it is one of my favourite plants. It is still in full bloom. I mentioned some weeks ago that it looked then that it would be a good year for it after a not-so-good year last year. That was totally due to severe die-back caused by the long tough winter we had in 2016-17. As it has turned out while it has plenty of flowers (and the bees they bring) it is still not as prolific as it has been.

One shrub that I also loved was my Himalyan Honeysuckle (Lycesteria formosa) which it appears succumbed this past winter. Why that should happen is unknown to me as it was quite a light winter--with hardly any snow and no terribly cold temperatures.

This item is rather short this week for which I apologize. I hope you found it of interest in any case!


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