Oh Belgian Nursery, How I Miss You

Yesterday, I spent about 30 minutes planting all the stuff I have to plant. When I say that, you should know that in years past when I planted for the summer I usually spent about 12 hours. 

I love where I live now, but it is a restricted area for perennials and annuals.  We are designated a hardiness zone of 4b. 

To give you some idea of how 'hardy' that is, Buffalo, NY is a 6a. Where I lived in Ontario was a 6b. That means it was warmer than Buffalo.

My positions on the map are approximate.  Had Canada been rendered here it
would have been much easier.  As usual Canada is a gray zone of nothingness.

Originally I enjoyed the warm, hazy lagoon of the green zone of Southwestern Ontario, secured on a latitude shared with Northern California, where temperatures were moderate due to lake affects and where I could grow a cactus garden. I am now in the magenta coloured area that starts just a bit west of the tip of Lake Superior and travels west along the border on this map and due to mountain affect an area very nearby me in geography can be even lower on the hardiness zone.

In my former province, I bought my annuals at Belgian Nursery. Their website is here. Where my Alberta gardening centres house a few rolling stands of tiny geraniums in two or three colours, Belgian Nursery has an entire green house with geraniums organized by colour in several shades. That goes for impatiens and every other annual you can think of.

Look....LOOK at the hanging baskets!!!

Here, in December, the grocery stores will have a weary selection of red or white poinsettas in the produce section, Belgian had an entire green house devoted to them.

Home Depot has a gardening department all year round and will carry a few tropical house plants, bromeliads and succulents. Belgian? They had an entire section of the estate growing as a cactus showcase.  Did I mention I used to have a cactus garden...

You could literally spend hours just admiring what they were growing simply for display purposes.

They have water features for you to relax beside. They have entertainment.  They had a steel band announce the spring one year. Nothing like the sound of a steel band to make you feel like you're in the tropics.

I will learn what annuals and perennials I can grow here eventually. Up until now it has seemed an insurmountable task. I can't even grow a tomato to ripeness the season is so short. This year I bought nearly fully grown tomato plants. Let's the season cheat me again!

The downside to the lushness of hot humid summers, was a disgustingly horrible air quality, sometimes the worst in all of N. America, and the need for air conditioning. I feel ill and lack energy in hot, humid weather. I love the weather here far more so, really, I'm not complaining. I'm simply remarking on how much I have to learn and learning requires several years of growing seasons. Sometimes I don't feel like I have the time left to acquire this experience. I need to acquire a lot of gardening information for my area quickly. You know what that means? I may have to join a local garden club.


Angie said...

I have no such place here and I'm zone 5. I'm feeling very jealous right now.

Frimmy said...

I think I will start using mail order services again. There's a really nice one I used to use for perennials. Vessey's. I think I'll go back to that for bulbs and perennials and so on. Right now I need peonies. Desperately.

Noelle said...

You are up there! I'm sad your just an x in the grey matter of the map. Beautiful nurseries!

Frimmy said...

Beautiful nurseries I'll never shop at again!

No one suffers as I do™


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