Garden Tour: Thea Morris from Time with Thea

Friday, August 15, 2014

This week, our Blogger Garden Tour comes from Alberta blogger Thea Morris from the blog Time with Thea. Today she's sharing her colourful and mature artist-inspired garden. Read more about Thea's garden below.

Tell me a little about your blog, where you live, and how long you’ve been blogging.

My blog goes by the name Time With Thea. Thea is my name and it is pronounced ‘Taya’ even though it isn’t spelled that way. My blog is a place where I share all of my interests and projects that I share with my readers who come to spend some “Time With Thea”. I live in Alberta in a small town west of Calgary.

My blog Time WIth Thea is just over two years old but I have been blogging a little bit longer than that. I started a blog for my work and loved it so much I decided to start a personal blog but it was difficult juggling two blogs and working full time. Along the way my blog went through a name change and more recently a blog redesign. I also retired a year ago and I am having a lot of fun pursuing the interests and passions I never had time for before and sharing them on the blog.

What do you love most about your garden? What makes it special to you?

One passion I have is gardening. Living in Alberta near the Rocky Mountains makes it interesting. I live in a Gardening Zone 3 but during the summer the sun rises really early and sets really late making for a lot of sunshine during the day. My backyard also faces direct south. It can get pretty hot back there in the summer.

I have been developing this garden for about eight years beginning ever since we moved into this home. The major landscaping with the raised garden beds and stone work was done by the previous owner. They had made it into a vegetable garden with only a few flowers. I began with planting vegetables with some success for a few years but gave up when the deer enjoyed my beets and carrots before I could harvest them. Come to think of it my husband and I have gradually changed all of the garden beds on all four sides of the house.

My garden at the back of the house is now entirely made up of different kinds of perennials. I see myself as the artist and the garden is the canvas. I don’t have a specific design for my garden but rather it is created more on a collection of ideas and concepts:

I wanted to create a ‘splash of colours’ just like Monet did in his paintings. I tried to have every colour possible from perennials represented somewhere in my garden.

Each plant adds different textures and shapes to my garden canvas. I love all the different types of blooms. I also think that the green leaves and stems add a lot to a garden and they are not to be overlooked.

Another important thing for my garden was to have different heights. This is achieved with with adding obelisks and planting tall, medium height and low level perennials.

I have very few annuals planted directly in the ground because I find they are too much work. The exception are my sweet peas that I grow from seed and have them growing up the three obelisks. I used to plant them along the back fence but the deer were enjoying them a little too much for their dinner. I also have about twenty different pots placed in my garden beds among the perennials and on my patio where I create a variety of container gardens just using annuals.

When creating a garden I also believe it isn’t just about the plants, but beautiful gardens can also be created with different garden accessories. I have a variety throughout my garden just to add more interest and unexpected delights, but I am careful not to overdo it to avoid things not looking too busy and junky.

I also created a garden that changes from month-to-month, week-to-week and even day-to-day because different flowers are blooming at different times. It is like my garden is a different painting every time different flowers have stopped and new ones have begun blooming. The numerous bees and butterflies add a nice touch to the painting as well!

What have you learned along the way that you can share with others about gardening or setting up a backyard oasis?

I have learned that gardening is a lot more than just putting some plants in the garden and expecting them to grow. There is a lot of before, during and after work that needs to be done. I would say that I probably spend about half my time preparing the soil by adding amendments like compost, peat moss and bone meal every year in the spring and fall. Then I spend about one tenth of the time doing the planting. The rest of the time is spent with the maintenance work as in cutting back plants, deheading blooms, watering and weeding as well as cleaning up the garden at the end of the growing season in the fall.

I also learned that it is a fabulous wellness lifestyle activity. It is great exercise for working on your stretching, bending, lifting, balance and core. It is also very therapeutic to be outdoors working in your own little oasis amongst the beauty and fragrances. I really love mucking about in the soil with my bare hands.

Do you have any future plans for your garden or do you love it just the way it is?

I don’t have any major future plans for my garden because it is now to a point that it is well established. I can see that I am going to have to split some of my perennials and I always like to add a couple of new ones just to see how they will grow. I do want to be careful that my garden doesn’t become too busy and overgrown so I end up giving away a lot of the perennials that I end up splitting. I am a firm believer in sometimes ‘less is more.”

One thing I am trying to do is create a four season garden by creating interest in my garden for each season. I am exploring ways to create a spring, summer, fall and winter garden thinking about the different textures colours and heights. There also is a beauty in plants that have gone dormant but are still showing in a blanket of white snow on a sunny winter day.

Thanks for sharing your garden Thea! 
You can follow Thea and find out more about her here:

Next week, I'll feature the garden of Cynthia Zamaria from Recreational Decorator.

Blogger Garden Tour Series
and my garden!

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