Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!

Finally spring.  Finally spring-like weather.  And finally, I've done enough work in the garden so that I'm not running through my mind how I might enter into some sort of witness protection program rather than 'fess up to the mess of my garden.  Between work and the weather, clean-up has been a challenge.  I often leave a lot of leaves in the beds over the winter to help preserve the tender perennials -- snow cover can be spotty.  However, this year, I'm thinking I've got to be a little more industrious in the fall -- and perhaps say goodbye to a few of those sissy perennials.  My schedule and the garden just aren't playing in the same key in spring.  Having less to do would make things that much easier.

You may know that this area has been hit with substantial amounts of rain.  Lake Ontario is up three feet at the moment.  It's also been cold.  This nice part of a cold wet spring is that the bushes are beautiful, tulips are lasting, grass is green, and we're getting good use of all our sweaters and light jackets.

Tomorrow I'm headed out to a preview of the Toronto Botanical Garden's annual Through the Garden Gate tour in North Rosedale & Moore Park.  There will be 30 gardens to see June 10&11th.  Tickets are on sale now.  I'll get to see a sample of these lovely gardens in the pouring rain (if the weather forecast is right - and when it comes to rain, it usually is!).  Boots, trench coat and wipes for my camera lens - should be a great catch-up with my garden buddies.

Mum and I got out to the Royal Botanical Gardens Rock Garden for Mother's Day.  Such a pretty venue.  It gets better each time I see it.  Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary - so there are lots of red and white tulips about.




Chartreuse anyone?  When you don't have a lot of flowers, this is a very bright way to bring some sunshine to the garden:





There has been a bit of a grumble that the Canada 150 tulips (a red and white broken coloured tulip) have not come true to colour.  In fact many of them are yellow, purple, or as my Aunt Carolyn said, "They're an odd beige colour at the base."  So much for hardware store bargains.  Anyway these look quite pretty combined with red and white tulips - wondered if they are the same type or a fancier variety.



Back at home I pulled a few bits of spring from the garden to enjoy.


The garden at it's 50% presentable stage.


Discovery time.  This Epimedium was not cleaned up (the leaves stay green during the winter - then turn brown and ugly just as the new leaves and flowers come up), i.e.  I did not get out there and take off the dead.  Well, guess what, it's never looked so good.  The dead folds back quite nicely on its own and the new leaves cover it all up.  Lesson learned.  Epimedium plants do not need to be "cleaned up".



Mertensia virginica.


Cercis canadensis volunteer from a very clever bird.


Many of our little pathways down by the Lake have been closed because of the height of the water.


The rhodos have been wonderful this year.


When I look at this I want to go out and get a can of paint, and start painting random rooms.



My lovely Exocorda 'Snow Day'.  Planted in 2010, run over by a car a few years later, and doing beautifully this year.



Here are some lovely pink plants from the same garden on our morning walk - really nice combinations:




Another garden by the corner.....This was the year to have blooming bushes and tulips:


Only an Italian designer would match car upholstery and brake doodads.  Zowie.


Back to reality.  Some pretty pink tulips in my own garden:


The Akebia vine.


And for the first time ever - black spot on the Akebia vine.  There's also a black fungal wilt in the Cornus alternafolia that I've never seen before too.  Nothing like cold and wet to bring these fungal diseases out.


My work for this afternoon:





 And a very pretty Proven Winners rose called Rosa at Last.  No note with it -- just arrived on Mother's Day - so lucky me and thank you to Proven Winners!




So it's time to get out there and plant.  Look forward to sharing my TBG photos with you very soon!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Playing Catch Up

January/February/March - swoosh.  My life for the first three months of the year was:  Chronic migraine/cold, flu, dastardly cough/income tax preparation.  But now it's April, so say goodbye to the foolishness that was the first quarter.  My garden, the weather, and life all seem to be moving in concert -- Hooray for Spring!

I've borrowed other gardens for many of these shots.  Thank you to those gardeners who share their blossoms with the neighbours:

A beautiful patch of "Leaf Drops" a.k.a. Gallants nivalis


Who knew moss could be so beautiful?


"Rock Drops"


Winter aconite - Eranthis hyemalis.  My 10 bulbs are now down to 2.  The main difference is that this neighbour's bed is mulched and left alone - perhaps I need to move mine to an area of neglect rather than to a tended spot by the front door?


April in Oakville wouldn't be complete without a bit of snow.  There when we awoke, gone by 10:00 a.m.


Carmen has three of these wonderful Hellebores.  She and I both noticed that that different varieties really differed on performance this year.


I adore little bulbs....


Back to my own garden - pre-cleanup.   I leave the leaves in the back garden so that Bart can scoot around without completely destroying things.  I will clear out the worst of the scramble, but leave most of the needles and some of the leaves as this area has mainly woodlanders that seem to appreciate a bit of decay.



So nice when something you like starts to spread!


A grocery store primula pretending it likes it in my garden!  How's that for almost 2 blossoms.



OK.  I know, ghastly photo.  But I have very high hopes for this little woody Purple Pillar.  As you may know, in this part of the world Rose of Sharon is especially late to leaf out, but these stems are healthy with lots of buds -- well ahead of others I have in the garden.  Last year the flowers on this new tiny plant were exquisite, so I'm hopeful that all will be well and I will fall in love all over again with its flowers that look exactly like the tag.


I'm not sure what these little white flowers are, but they are pretty.


See what I mean about the Hellebores?  This one had always had done well - but this year it's awful.



And this one:  R.I.P.



Hercules is an inside cat, but every now and again, Kevin props him up next to something green and insists I take his picture.  I'm thinking he's thinking, "This is a travesty.  How do I blow this popsicle stand?"


My neighbour's beautiful magnolia.  Will be inhaling the perfume while I work on my garden today.



Forsythia - the opposite of subtle.



An old stand of tulips in the front garden.


Leucothoe really lovely - some years - for a short period of time.  This year is one of those years, that you think - this is really pretty, I should have more of this.



To the Mother Ship - the Royal Botanical Gardens - now that's a Forsythia!


Look how it turns my hair red!  The powers of this brassy bush:




There were a fair number of people on Easter Monday checking out the Rock Garden. The children were working on breaking their limbs in the unfilled waterways having a grand time.  Lots of people in chairs or with walkers.  So lovely for them and their families to be able to see a whole garden from the sloped pathways together.



The gardens are more daff heavy than tulip now.


This weekend should be great for the cherry trees.


Outside the parking lot there were a few old girls blooming away.


Aren't the blossoms lovely?



And that brings us up-to-date more or less.  So it's bye-bye from the RBG from us, and out into the garden for me!  And another hearty cheer:  "Hooray for Spring!"