Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wildflower Wednesday in the Land of Ice and Snow

Ah yes, spring!  Where the robins wear toques* and skates.  (*A tight knit hat that skiers wear. Canadian pronunciation rhymes with "look".  Say it with me:  "Look, that robin is wearing a toque!") This is a shot of my bird bath this a.m.  


But in spite of the very slow spring and the foolish cold, there are enough bits of life in both my garden and on the Cherry Hill Trail of the Royal Botanical Gardens to warrant participation in Gail's most excellent Wild Flower Wednesday.

Carex grayi blooming under and through the leaves in a section of garden I've yet to tackle.  So many of the Carex family stay green over the winter.  This particular one has very cool seed heads produced mid-summer.



Sanguinaria canadensis Bloodroot one of the first of my spring ephemerals to bloom.


Podophyllum peltatum  or Mayapple - one of the coolest looking natives.  It definitely needs room to spread, but in the perfect spot, it's fun to see how it progresses and shape-shifts.


Trillium grandiflorum, our provincial flower.  Hopefully I'll see some blossoms this weekend when it warms up a bit.



Dicentra culcullaria and not-yet-in bloom Mertensia virginica. 



Asarum canadense just waiting for warmth.  Notice how so many of the woodlanders' leaves look like capes.



And the most valuable Prunerus vertus 'Garant'....will let you know how they work after an unintended stay in the garden for a couple of nights.



Now to the flowers on the trail.  As you can see, they're not obvious yet:


If you walk too quickly, you'll sail by these little treasures.  Look at the closest tree - draw a line toward you between 5 and 6 and you'll find....



Anemone hepatica



In damper sections there are these pretty yellow flowers:




The early stages of Symplocarpus foetidus Skunk Cabbage.



One of many.



In addition to the flowers and beginning of spring, there were little snakes looking for warmth.



And bandits sleeping off the night before.



So I'll leave you with one of the last pictures from the trail, and a little tease of what's to come in the months ahead:





when the flowers and greenery will be everywhere!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

It Has Been a Very Silly Month

We have had more snow this month than we did in January and February.  I know, more than next to nothing isn't much.  But enough already.  I'm tired of building snowmen.



On our morning walk two Sundays ago, heard this hideous honking racket.  Looking up I found these two bad-boys, honking up a storm, looking for action.



For the folks who live below, I can't imagine they're getting much sleep these days.


Back at home, the Hamamelis is earning its stars:


Last Saturday we had an ice and snow squall.  Coming back from Aurora after dinner, the road signs were completely blanked out from the sticky mess.  But in the dark you could see how magical the trees looked.  It was a little disappointing that the wind picked up overnight and knocked the white off - but you can see, still very pretty.


The Hydrangea looking lovely frosted.  



Couldn't have staged this one if I'd tried.


Clematis seeds at their cuddly-buddly best.  This is one of the few vines that is showing new buds.


More snow, and yet the Hamamelis still looks great!


It's at times like this when I'm glad, I didn't get around to doing an early spring-cutback.


Bart looking none-too-impressed with the weather or his outfit.


You really have to be wise when you look for things that are very early.  Who knew the question you had to ask was, "Will it grow tall enough so I can still see it after it snows?"


Ice, snow and bits of colour.


It may be snowy, it may be cold, but the Lake is still beautiful.


And beneath the bits of snow, you can see in spots that some greening-up action is going on.


But then we got another dump of snow.  Found Mr. Robin out in the garden.  Used my telephoto to capture him.  Well, almost.


Too high, better a little lower.  Thank goodness I'm not licensed to carry a weapon.


Third time's the charm.  A good breath hold, press down with right hand lightly, press up with left to steady the camera and Bob's your uncle.  One confounded robin wondering what on earth is going on.




So from my snowy world to yours....hope it's warming up in your garden, and that April shakes its silliness very, very soon.


p.s.  Just because I can - here are the latest photographs of the only performing plant in my garden:


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring is a Calendar Concept, Not Reality

The freezing rain started early this a.m. and continues to fall.  The trees are making odd hollow clacking sounds as the branches brush up against each other.  Much better than sickening crack, crunch and crash when there's just too much weight to carry.  Lucky for us, the power is still on, the house is warm and I'm thinking it's going to be time for another pot of coffee very soon.

There have been abundant signs of spring:  We've had some very spring-like weather; visited Canada Blooms; and this weekend is Easter.  Everything pointed to the fact that spring was here today except for the weather that is very wintery.  

Under the category of "I am old enough and have gardened long enough to know better", I picked up this wonderful Hellebore Pink Frost at Canada Blooms.  (Problems again with iPhoto and Blogger - apologies for having to turn neck sideways.) Isn't it beautiful?


Now that's a good plant!  It looks equally as lovely in its professional photo as it does sitting on my deck in my photo.


At least it did.  Yes, like a fool I left it out on one of those -10C nights.  And the next morning, oh my, not so good.  Brought it in.  Tied it up gently, trying to convince it to revive itself, and fortunately for me, about 75% of it seems to be fine.  I have apologized and promised to keep it in a choice spot on the kitchen counter until Spring on the calendar matches the weather completely.

Ice photos are so much prettier with good light.  Unfortunately it looks as if we're going straight from freezing rain to rain and then clouds and more rain.  So no sparkles here, just little bits of ice chicklettes on the Chasmanthium.


And on the mini-evergreen.




And of course on the Hamamelis.  Thank goodness for just this wee bit of colour.


Fortunately this Japanese Maple is well tucked away.


I bet this Hellebore is wondering why only the new Hellebore get to go inside....


Heuchera 'Vienna'


My Akebia vine:


For all of you caught in the path of the storm, may your trees stay strong, and may we be celebrating spring on both the calendar and garden very, very soon!