Wednesday, 22 May 2013

I Got That Polish Spirit!

Just as promised, I have been fussing over the backyard this spring season to avoid repeating the disaster of 2012. Step one was researching my hardiness zone. I learned that knowing this is essential when choosing plants for your garden. Plants are categorized based on how well they can adapt to a specified climate. I am in zone 6a or 6b, depending on which map you look at. So off I went researching which plants like my area.

Anyhoo, right from the beginning I knew I wanted to plant a Clematis because my grandmother always had a beautiful one growing in her front yard. I remember hers having many dark purple blooms each summer and it would climb two stories high. It was definitely a staple in her garden.  I was determined to have the same beautiful plant in her honour.

I wanted one that bloomed later in the season and that was hardy in my 6ish zone. And then I found my Polish Spirit. Nope, not joking. It was meant for me! I am Polish through and through and so was this Clematis. It was bred by a Polish fellow who named it after the "indomitable spirit the Polish people had while under communist control." YES POLSKA! Who's got that Polish Spirit! I do! Now in more ways than one :)

This is what I have to look forward to:

I don't know for sure if my grandmother had this exact species but it definitely looks very similar! I wouldn't be surprised if it is since she lives in Poland. Apparently this clematis is very beginner-friendly, low maintenance, and  likes partial shade. Perf.

Following planting instructions super carefully, into the ground he went.

The plan is for him to grow giganto and cover that whole wall. Think he can do it? I check on him every day and every day he grows so much! Seriously, it's nuts! I am convinced we will see blooms this year. I believe in you, Clematis! You can do it! Awww such a wonderful addition to the family. (Is it weird to treat plants like your children? I mean, they are alive. ...don't judge.)
xoxo, E

Friday, 17 May 2013

Welcome to the Jungle

Spring has fully sprung. With that, we put on our gardening gloves and embarked upon our first ever landscaping adventure.

We moved into our house mid July of last year and between wedding and honeymoon excitement, we didn't do much in our backyard or frontyard. Really the only thing we did was mow the lawn..... once. It got so ridic long that we had to do something about it.

It was almost as tall as Neptune. Our little jungle oasis. So we borrowed an old non-powered push mower from the in-laws and put in our best effort.

Look at those weeds! I vowed that next year we would do a better job. And given that our backyard is so small there's really no excuse.

Next year is now and last week we mowed again. I also tried to dig out as many dandelions (maskros, in Swedish!) as I could with my little trowel shovel. And that means tons of little holes in the lawn. It was patchy as is so we made the obvious decision to reseed.

We bought ten bags of topsoil and one bag of grass seed. I insisted that we do it right away since they were calling for a lot of rain in the next few days. This meant doing everything at 10pm in the dark. Oh and it was already raining. Fun! We did our best at putting down an even layer and let the rain do the rest of the work. Looks like we did an ok job. We were able to admire our work the following morning:

A week later, we sprinkled on another bag of grass seed, this time with fertilizer. When mother nature doesn't bless us with precipitation, I get the hose out and water manually.

So here's hoping we have a nice lush lawn in the weeks to come!

xoxo, E

Thursday, 16 May 2013


So it's been a while since I blogged. Our doggie passed away last month and I have not been in the mood to do any house stuff or write about anything.

Neptune was honestly the best dog ever. I had him since he was a baby. Words can not explain the relationship we had or the loss I felt after his passing. Having never dealt with death before, coping was very difficult. I miss him madly. He was my best friend for 15 years.

I miss the way he licked my hands (and feet!), the way he would always greet me at the top of the stairs when I came home, the sound he made while drinking his water, the way he would always run to the first tree at the beginning of our walks, the way he loved rolling around in snow and on grass, the way he would chew on his bone, the way he would nudge our elbows with his nose so we would pet him. I miss the way my hands felt on his head, seeing his fur on our hardwood floors, having to go for midnight walks. I miss everything. I will always miss everything.

I can only think of the positives now -- all the amazing times we had together and the unconditional love we had for each other. I know he is looking down at me from doggie heaven (which is filled with warm timbits, lakes to swim in, and bones). I know his leggies are now healthy and the tumor he had in his belly is gone. He no longer feels pain. And I know he is surrounded by other doggie friends.

I love you Neptune. Now I carry you in my heart. You no longer have to wait for me at the top of the stairs. We are always together now.