Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's All So Very Beige

Earlier today I got a message from a dear friend in Montreal who in less than lady-like language told me that the snow banks were so high there, she's decided to retire her shovel. This past week we've had so much rain (she got the snow), that our snowbanks are a mere memory. More importantly, the soil in my planter finally defrosted so that I've been able to yank out the red tinsel Christmas tree. Would have hated to have to hang shamrocks from it, just wouldn't have seemed right.

It is still hovering around freezing - so only little bits and pieces of things are poking up. In some parts of the world I've read about how beautiful spring is. Here we have Winter, Beige, then 3 days of Spring - followed immediately by the heat of Summer. Took a long walk yesterday - nothing like bright crisp air and the colour of beige all around you. This is 16 Mile Creek - last week, there was lots of ice. This week, the runoff from the red clay soil has turned the river a charming beige brown.

What looks like clods of soil, is actually ice that has picked up bits of soil and of course the splendid beige colour. You can see that the ice is up over the banks and behind the trees here.
Just so you can see the difference in the colour and the water levels take a look at the next two photos - one from yesterday, the other from late Fall. Hard to believe there's a carnival waiting to be had in this sad-toned landscape.

Found a little staircase so I was able to get up top to show you how worn-out everything looks. Again those boulder like pieces down by the creek are soil encrusted ice.

I dare not show you any more, otherwise you'll all want to come to live here. So, to change the topic, I'm moving right along to what I discovered in my mailbox: My Select Seed order. Here's what I got:
Mirabilis jalapa 'Red Glow' - hard to tell just how pink the red is, but it's been ages since I've grown Four-O'Clocks, so that was my reason for this one.
Nasturtium 'Primrose Jewel' - "This gem has semi-double fluted petals of butter-yellow that bloom freely summer and fall." How many plants are a real butter yellow? Just had to see how it measured up.
Browallia 'Blue Lady' - Browallia americana - I'd collected seed of this pretty wild flower (with the help of a docent) at Wave Hill in New York - had it for several years. It is a charming weaver and bobber and not subject to wilts. Unfortunately missed collecting the seed 2 seasons ago - it did self seed, but our growing season isn't long enough for it to put out a decent seed set. And, so had to order it from Select.
Nicotiana mutabilis - looks like another good cottage flower in pinks and white.
And my Free package of Zinnia 'Old Mexico' - dark red & orange, not as nice as beige perhaps, but I'll find a spot for a couple of them.


Frances said...

Hi Barbara, I am so glad you showed the photo from the fall of that landscape. I know how pretty your area is in summer and fall, having been there then. You can keep the beige March. I want yellow daffodils in that month or the world just doesn't seem right to me. Your world must have daffodils in April? Or is it May?

easygardener said...

Beige - not a great colour and rather lacking in cheerfulness.
At least your photo proves that there are other colours to look forward to in the not too distant future!

Cathy said...

Love the photo of trees turning colors in the fall season. I live for fall season. Looks very beige here too and very wet. Soon we shall see the colors of spring!

RainGardener said...

Hi Barbara,
That's exactly how I feel sometimes when they keep showing Washington and Seattle being so close to beaches, mountains and all - not too many pics or everyone will be wanting to move here to our beautiful state!
Hopefully spring will be here for all of us if we can just hold out a little longer. ;-)

Gardenista said...

Rain washing the snow away is a good start on spring! Hopefully you get to see crocuses pop up among the beige sometime soon.

Barbarapc said...

Frances, that colourful fall photo really gives me hope. Our earliest daffs will start in April - with most of the mid-season ones out in May. Although if this warmer weather continues...maybe we will have a pretty April.
E.G. The sky is a beautiful blue today - just have to keep my eyes up for the next few weeks until the green bits really start to come through.
Cathy - sounds like you've been having very similar weather - can't remember seeing this much rain in March.
R.G. Spent some time in Portland last fall - just beautiful. I can see why people come to visit and stay...you just have to have a firm grip in the rainy season - other than that it really is heaven on earth.
Gardenista - after I'm finished my light table, I'm going out to have a bit of a poke. While it's pretty brisk today, the sun feels warm, maybe something has been coaxed to the surface?

Gail said...

Hello Barbara, Our son visited McGill as a possible grad student and was terribly impressed by the signs everywhere warning people of falling ice shards. ~~ I am still laughing from the image of green shamrocks dangling from the red tinsel Christmas tree!~~ I was telling another northern gardener that just when spring bursts forth in your gardens we will be whining about the heat and humidity! Your seed order sounds delightfully colorful...I love four o'clocks...they smell delicious. I hope you start to see more green! gail

Barbarapc said...

Gail, all the time I lived in Montreal I never saw anyone beaned by ice - guess those signs work like a charm. I say thank goodness for your southern March gardens and your photos - whine all you want in the summer - you've so kind to put up with our winter rants and beige blogs, it's the least we can do to listen and imagine what real heat feels like.