Garden Photo of the Day

Canadian Garden

By Alexandra Dittrich

Dianne Dalzell experiences zone denial while gardening in Canada.

"I live in Marathon, Ontario, Canada on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior. Our winters are long and cold. Needless to say, I am very happy when spring arrives and I can get out into my garden. Our area is zone 2b, but I've been known to plant up to zone 4 with some success (zone denial)."

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 08/15/2016

    Oh what a cracker of a garden you have, Dianne! Love the feature fence supporting the potted petunias. I cannot relate to the climate zones you guys have in Nth. America, but I love your 'Zone Denial' concept. I simply don't know how you tolerate the long, cold winters, but admire how you spring into action in your gardens when it warms up. However, you must be knackered after that spurt of hectic activity (love the Canadian pronunciation - it's nak-er-ed, not naked). I guess you get used to your own weather conditions, but it would make me cranky and drive me absolutely crazy if I couldn't garden all year round (our winters are temperate here in Victoria, Australia). Probably would end up in divorce proceedings.

    Lovely to hear from Marathon, Ontario, and thanks for showcasing your garden, Dianne. You deserve a Gold medal! Cheers from Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - Oi, Oi, Oi.

  2. user-7007498 08/15/2016

    Dianne: While I am currently baking in 95 degree heat and 200% humidity (at least that is what it feels like), Zone 2b sounds like a great place to be. However, the thought of your long winters scare me to death. You are a very brave and hearty soul.

    I love the design of the fence in the 3rd photo. Just stunning. Your long border is fabulous, and I love the ligularia anchoring the corner.

    Wonderful garden. Thanks for sharing.

  3. ClareRocky 08/15/2016

    Dianne, I love the way your borders are so neat and orderly. Your delphiniums are absolutely fabulous and I also love the ligularias. The stepping stones with the grass between them also look great. What a beautiful garden!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/15/2016

    Good morning, Dianne, I'm thinking that the tradeoff in your zone 2b garden vs my southern 7a is that you can actually enjoy your delightful patio in August instead of running for the air conditioned house. And, wow, love the shooting yellow rockets of the ligularia flowers...makes me feel like a kid celebrating our 4th of July.
    Did you make the leaf shaped stepping stones yourself? They are a lovely touch of whimsy.

  5. user-7008217 08/15/2016

    What a beautiful garden - you put my zone 5b garden to shame! Is that a blue poppy in the second photo??

  6. User avater
    user-7007816 08/15/2016

    Congratulations! What an amazing fete. Very nice plant combinations.

  7. user-4691082 08/15/2016

    Beautiful Dianne! The delphiniums are fabulous, and I,too, want to know if that is a Himalayan blue poppy. Thank goodness for micro climates! Thanks for sharing!

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/15/2016

    2b? Yikes. What a treat to see what you have accomplished and the amazing plants you can grow. Kudos for growing what those of us in warmers zones can't: Meconopsis and Delphinium. So gorgeous. I'm in zone denial too, and although I've had some surprising success, I am an expert in 'horticide'. Looks great!

    1. sheila_schultz 08/15/2016

      'Horticide' is so self-explanatory! I feel like my mug shot should be posted next to the word!

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/15/2016

        Fortunately horticide is not a crime, otherwise all of our faces would be plastering post offices across the nation.

        1. sheila_schultz 08/15/2016

          We're in pretty good company then ;)

        2. User avater
          LindaonWhidbey 08/15/2016

          I can just hear the judge" No more plants for you!!"

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/15/2016

            I would definitely need to appeal to the Supreme Court, contending that such a sentence would be cruel and unusual punishment. Although, come to think of it, my wife has said those same words to me........

    2. User avater
      meander_michaele 08/15/2016

      Oh, the fun of it all...between you, Sheila and Linda,...I am thoroughly entertained with this little sub thread. "Horticide" is one of those words that is almost too perfect...I love it!

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/15/2016

        I like to share my genius in public....or was that word theft? Good thing I can't remember if I came up with that myself or not!

        1. User avater
          meander_michaele 08/15/2016

          Well, it's a little like the word "cramscaping" here on the gpod board...was it David (NC Yarden) who was the first user ? I know we all love that word and the imagery it communicates and now "horticide" joins it as a gold star winner.

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/16/2016

            I'll take credit for helping to bring cramscaping to GPOD. I do remember that I stole it from the ladies at PlantLust, knowing it was a perfect portmanteau.

          2. User avater
            meander_michaele 08/16/2016

            Wow...two for two when it comes to the home turf here on are guilty of enriching our vocabulary. Plus, I have to add "portmanteau" since I just now had to look it up.

  9. VikkiVA 08/15/2016

    You are truly an inspiration. Look at your containers and how beautiful your beds are.Does everything in the ground come back each summer? The ligularias are a highlight. Vikki in VA

  10. sheila_schultz 08/15/2016

    One of the things I adore about gardeners is the determination to surround ourselves with beauty, one way or another! Zone 2b? I'm etching this post in my mind whenever I whine about my 5b!!! Diane, your tenacity is apparent as I view your thriving garden beds. I don't believe I have ever seen such robust ligularia's and delphinium's... they are incredible! Enjoy the remaining days of your summer!!!

  11. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 08/15/2016

    Dianne, having grown up in Zone 4 ( just to the south of you) and spending most of my gardening life in zone 5, you have really impressed me with what you've been able to accomplish up there in 2b. Your ligularias and delphiniums are so impressive and like others, I'm curious if that is a blue poppy. All of your potted plants look so happy up there in the cooler weather. Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden and brightening up a foggy Mon. morning.

  12. schatzi 08/15/2016

    Beautiful! Great job.

  13. NCYarden 08/15/2016

    Quite a ways away from me. 2B? - sounds like an outlier. But wow what a garden - even if for a shorter season. Those delphiniums are magnificent. Such a tidy garden as well. And I bet you are actually enjoying Summer there. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Quiltingmamma 08/15/2016

    This is a great garden! Moving to Ottawa from Victoria 8b/9a to Ottawa 4b/5a was a shock for me, but I learned there were a lot of choices for cold zones and 'developed for Canada' plants. I will admit, I hated the risk of horticide, so erred on the side of colder than Ottawa varieties until I understood my garden better.
    From the look of it, your fencing and neighboring house protection may really create a little heat trap allowing for the higher zone success.

    I am very impressed with the blue poppy. Do you reseed every year, or does it come up on its own?

    ..and those delphiniums! You are definitely the owner of a successful dirty thumb.
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. user-7008204 08/15/2016

    A most beautiful garden, please add names of flowers when possible.

  16. diane_lasauce 08/15/2016

    How pretty and lush! Well done! I would kill for some of your perennials here in central VA.

  17. grannieannie1 08/15/2016

    Experiencing serious delphinium envy right now since mine always die and also think your fence shelf is a wonderful way to show off flowers. And ditto: what is that sky blue flower by the iris clump? You've created a beautiful garden. Thank you for showing it to us.

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