Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Ups and Downs of a Gardening Day

I'm too tired to talk!

Started early to weed a small area in the Hillside Garden. Last summer's drought was so bad I lost heart and, sometime in July, quit weeding entirely. In fact, I quit even looking at the garden. So the crabgrass got happy and took over a patch about 15' by 20' in the middle of the border.

Practically as soon as I got started I broke the new garden fork I bought yesterday. Grrrrr. It's going back - it should not have broken. All I was doing was digging up grass; I wasn't even digging up rocks. I had to get the old bent fork back out of the garbage and go on with it, but felt I deserved a short walk-around first.


 Took a look at the Pussy Willow bush in the Sand Hill
Garden. The kitties were gorgeous today. So soft and large.... silver in the sunlight.

 This bush came up on its own and in a good place, but
I have to keep after it to make sure it doesn't turn into
a 40' tall tree!

Then the phone rang (inside my bucket where I keep it
so I don't lose it) and dang, a customer wants to come and
buy a gift for her daughter. Sure, I'll be home today, come
on out.


   Also in the sand garden, a beautiful blue
   Glory-of-the-snow blooming in front of a
   chunk of granite.

   Guess the squirrels missed one....bulb, I mean,
   not granite chunk.


There was a nice patch of it's pink cousin in the Sampler
Garden. For some reason, this one never gets eaten. From
a few bulbs the patch has grown to some dozens now.

I'm afraid to step anywhere in the Sampler. It is my
woodland garden, and the leaves are still covering just
about everything. Trilliums are coming up, looking quite
comical with caps of brown leaves tilted on their heads.

That so-called pond really needs work. I've decided to
get rid of it and changed my mind about six times already
and it is bugging me. Next week, a decision MUST be

 Digging out crabgrass again,  I got to thinking, so
  many of our worst weeds are imports from Europe.

 Where does Europe get its weeds? 

Down at the edge of the Rockery the little pot of
Anemone blanda 'enem' (what a name, who came up
with this one?) made it through the winter.

What a lovely soft clear violet colour!

I didn't really expect it to survive. A. blanda is barely hardy
here. This one is tucked into a sun pocket in the rocks,
maybe that will help.

Drat, here's my customer.

She is nice enough and is happy to select a
large platter with a sunflower on it. Her husband, however,
needs work. First thing out of his mouth, he tells me he 'hates
gardening'. Alright, lots of people do, but does he have
to tell me three times?

I'll bet he watches sports on TV.

Ah, never mind. For sheer purpleness of being, nothing can
beat Iris reticulata. This small clump is pushing up from
under a prostrate white Spruce.

This Spruce survived the drought, most of the others
didn't. On the other hand, it may need to move. It is growing
across my path and the spot it is in doesn't do it justice. It
deserves a starring role. Must give this some thought....

My favorite little Daffodil, 'Tete-a-tete', so-called because every stem has two flowers on it, is blooming everywhere. I wanted to show you 'Rip van Winkle', but I couldn't find him; guess he is still asleep.

Tete-a-tete seeds itself around. You can move the clumps around anytime you find them, they never even
slow down.

Which is more than you can say for crabgrass. It neither sleeps nor slows ....

But I got the spot done, and never mind that I feel wrecked, it was a Grand Day in the Garden!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Some Cuttings

There's WHAT coming down???

Here's what we woke up to today:

Kip and I were NOT IMPRESSED! Yesterday the only snow left was under the trees and now look at it!

Mind you, now it is mid-afternoon and the stuff coming down is more rain than snow. But I'm staying holed up in my cosy office with a nice cup of hot coffee nearby.


I was a bit worried that not many of my Amaryllis were going to bloom this year, but over the winter practically all of them have. I'm guessing that the bulbs you buy have all been grown to bloom at a specific time, but then when you grow them on, over time they drift to their own schedules. Many of them also put up a big crop of leaves before they bloom, unlike the ones you get from the stores.

So if all you get at first is leaves, don't give up. They may bloom yet!


One more of my seedling Clivias has bloomed. It didn't have the wonderful soft fragrance of the other yellow one, but the flowers are a better shape and the colour is much more yellow. A beauty!

Fletcher Fern Garden

Stopped by the Fletcher the other day to check out the Fern Garden. The Garden itself was still covered with a layer of ice, but I was sorry to see bad news when I looked up at the Ash trees. I think they are pretty much all dead. Almost every one of them had large areas of bark picked off by woodpeckers, a sure sign of Emerald Ash Borer infestation. The Garden is in a area known as the Ash Woodlot, so this is a very sad thing. There are Maples in the understory, some of them 20' or more high, but it will be some time before they form a good new canopy.

I'm not sure what effect the lack of the overhead cover will have on the ferns. Obviously there will be less shade, but what worries me almost as much is that the lack of the larger trees will mean much less wind and weather protection. It is already a windy hilltop, now it might just be too dry and windy for them.

Not to mention that removing the trees will be a huge disruption and very damaging to the wildflowers.

OK. Head shake. We can plant new ones.


Yesterday, before that nasty white stuff re-appeared, I had Snowdrops in bloom. I was surprised to see them - it has been very cold and there are still piles of icy snow under the trees, but there they were. Clusters of tiny white 'propellers' hanging gracefully over their emerging leaves.

Not a very good picture, I'm afraid. It was cold and getting dark. Typical snowdrop weather!

Snowdrops always remind me a garden in Manotick that I saw years ago. It belonged to very sweet person who had never cultivated them but had left them alone to take over her yard. There were thousands of flowers every spring. To the best of my knowledge they were all the same, but at the time I didn't know enough about them to check. I was a new gardener, and actually thought that, well, snowdrops were snowdrops.

Snowdrops are a major cult plant in the UK. Do a Google search and you'll see!