Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Lot Less Snow & A Little More Seed Starting

This weekend, I took my computer off my desk and zippered it into its case. No checking Email, no writing, no blogging. Very, very relaxing. The living room up until last evening was almost completely covered in newspapers and books.

The sun has been shining - the weather seasonal. Cold perhaps, but not snowy. And lots of the existing snow has melted - pure bliss. It was nice to tip-toe around the garden checking out some of my old plant friends that have resurfaced.

Spent more time walking - doesn't the lake look gorgeous?
Back at home, look at those two amazing brown patches - the one to the left and the little one to the right! And, that sidewalk - not a bit of snow in sight.I'm about a kilometer from the lake. Just shows the difference one kilometer makes, and the slight difference in the plants folks can grow who are on Lake Ontario.Here is my Mahonia repens. I've had it for over 10 years and it's only bloomed twice. The snow cover was a blessing last year. The blooms were gorgeous - sort of wish I could pick and choose which plants I'd like to have snow-covered. Now, this is a Mahonia I found on a walk -different variety - some sort of Mahonia aquifolium - Oregon Grape. These cool looking leaves are suffering from winter wind damage. They'll be this very nice red colour and turn a sad brown shortly. So that the plant doesn't look too disgusting in the spring, all of this will have to be cut off. A good sharp clipper & gloves sort of job.

Inside, I've got a few seeds started (with a tonne waiting for the appropriate moment). I'm doing Browallia Marine Bells. I'm hoping for better luck this year. I've had problems for the last two. It's such a good annual for the shade when it works. The colour is so pretty and it seems to have fallen off as something that was easy to find in the trade, perhaps because it doesn't show all that well on the bench in spring, or maybe they've been having crop failure too?
Also am trying Red Rooster Carex. Just noticed on the Stokes seed package that I should avoid extremes in both temperature and moisture for this one. Welcome to Southern Ontario Mr. Rooster! Don't know if you don't try?
T&M's Echinacea 'Pink Parasol' that is supposed to bloom this year if I start it now. The seed package is wonderful, so perhaps will just stick that in if it doesn't work out.
And the last one from yesterday was Corydalis ochotensis var. raddeana. I can't for the life of me remember what it is supposed to look like, but it's from Gardens North outside of Ottawa, and I'm sure the description was tremendous. I don't expect to see anything in this pot until this summer, and nothing as far as flowers for a year or two - so it will be a lovely surprise as I expect the tag will probably be completely illegible by that point.
Am meeting two of my favourite garden buddies for lunch today - Gill & Stephanie. Hiding my car keys so I'll walk - about 2-1/2 k each way, so not too far and it will take me past 16 Mile Creek - with any luck I'll have some good ice shots tomorrow.

8 comments:

easygardener said...

The lake does look lovely. I've started some seeds off too and have put them in the cold frame outside. I'm blindly assuming the weather is going to get warmer and warmer. Here's hoping your snow has gone for good.

Peggy said...

It is amazing the snow covering can actually protect some plants from wind and frost damage. I love your lake photos, you are very lucky to live so near.

Cathy said...

The lake looks really lovely, great photos!

Gail said...

Hi...Your lake is gorgeous! I've scattered a few seeds in the beds and am hoping for the best! There just isn't room to bring seeds into the house...I love the purple leaved mahonia and it's sweet yellow flowers...it is just not happy here in the middle south.

So tell me more bout this special Canada weather event that is heading your way!
Gail

Frances said...

Hi Barbara, it is always a delight to go walking about with you. Seeing bare ground and no snow was a surprise too! I love the idea of sticking the seed packet in the ground if the seeds don't work out too, so funny! HA Loved going to the botanical garden with you before also. Don't know about the bugs, but the flowers were great!
Frances

Mariaberg said...

It is a big diffrent if you live close by the sea/lake. It is pitty without the snow and I feel sorry for your Mhonia.
I have not started witk my seeds yet - I will wait until I can plant on my terasse wiyh roof.

MB

Barbarapc said...

E.G. - only a whisper of snow yesterday and brilliant sunshine today. Fingers crossed for better weather & happy little creatures in your coldframe.
Peggy - saw a plant from the African Violet family growing in a garden north of Quebec City - By November it was covered in 3 feet of snow - hard to imagine something so cold could do so much good.
Cathy - thanks for that. Enjoying your lovely blog as well.
Gail - very embarrassing this "special" event - there was a little rain, some puffy snowflakes and this morning a bit of tricky ice here and there on the sidewalks. They must have hired someone new at the weather service who likes the word special. Although all points to the east and north did get hammered - don't think President Obama will be venturing outside in Ottawa - they got close to a foot of "special" snow.
Frances - and a pleasure to have you with me. I'm waiting for the plumber today so no trips. But the sun is shining hard, so, there'll be even more bare ground tomorrow!
Mariaberg: Our first frost free date is May 10th - I'll do some outdoor seed planting in April.

Northern Shade said...

It looks like great weather there for walking and exploring. Looking for plant growth in the garden, and checking out what is growing in the neighbourhood is always fun. My plants don't have to worry about losing their snow blanket yet.