Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Plant Collector Eludes Detection

Kevin and I had a very exciting morning last week. (Previous post might explain where we had 'allegedly' driven.) Somehow we were in the car with a shovel and 7 empty pots with no 'intention' of going anywhere near where there were plants that needed to be rescued, when all of a sudden, something happened and we discovered we were driving home with rescued plants in the back of the car. After much discussion we decided that even not knowing how they got there, we better hurry up and plant them in order that they come to no harm. So far so good - except for the gang of squirrels and a rather destructive raccoon obviously sent over from the the builder's team to create havoc - the orphans seem to be settling into their new digs.

Well, it's been gorgeous here - freezing (and yes, I do mean freezing as in frost in the a.m.) - but clear and beautiful. So Monday, Kevin and I headed off to one of Oakville's best viewed-in-the-Spring walking trail in order to see the Mertensia virginica that grow wild along the banks of 16 Mile Creek. As you can see the trail is really well taken care of - and also you might notice the rather steep incline - down at the beginning - and a butt crunching climb as you head back to the car.

In order to plant this sign - someone would have had to stand in the middle of the largest patches of poison ivy I'd ever seen.
There are lots of wild flowers along the pathway - a very pretty geranium.

Here's a view of the red clay that gardeners to the north of the highway have to content with.

Looking at these pictures, wonder if you can really see what I saw when we were there....this was the first sight of the Bluebells.

Glad we got there this weekend - as you can see, they're just starting to decline.

Such a lovely colour on the forest floor.

So glad we made the time to go for a walk in the woods.
Back at home - it really is a wonderful time of year. Even those little bits of remaining tulips from mass plantings of years ago manage to enchant.

Just one of whatever these were - and so absolutely perfect.

I always think these Parroty tulips look so girlie.
A sweet little scramble of plants. Later I'll take a shovel to that Lily of the Valley....it was a very good year for it - it is everywhere.

Worked hard on edging this bed on Saturday. Death toll quite surprising - 3 very large Ajuga, two shocking chartreuse Hypericum & a fancy Brugmansia. They had all looked really good coming out of the winter in April - just one of the things you learn when you garden in this climate - alive in April means very little - always wait until May to see what you've got.

So much tidier with a better edge. This bed is about 50 feet long. I've given up having much grass under this Norway Spruce.

There's no time to rest on my laurels. At some point soon, I've got to tackle this Monarda - all this from a 4" pot 3 years ago.
Hosta 'June' looking fresh and pretty.

Another little weird feature of gardening - this Inula (the kind that is never bothered by insects) is looking perfectly revolting at the moment.

25 feet away - same type of Inula, same seed package - different bed - and look - not a mark on it.This is Berberis thunbergerii 'Gold Ring'. I bought it as a whip and the chartreuse ring around the edge of the dark leaves (there were about 5 of them) was very distinct. Now, not so much. Just had to tuck my camera in to get a bee's eye view - he was very, very cross - had to hot-foot it across the lawn to get away from him.
It is a pretty view - well worth the effort.
And to end it all, some Mertensia virginica in my own garden (bought from a very nice nursery! Honest.).


Northern Shade said...

That blue colour on the Mertensia is one of my favourites. It looks like those pink tulips are holding their own against the Monarda, bobbing along above the sea of green. I especially like that photo of Phlox and lily of the valley. It's such a sweet spring mixture.

Teza said...

For a minute I thought you had stumbled upon a Rare Plant Sale and made off with the best of show! There are times when a gardener has to make a split second decision in the name of preservation and conservation. I am glad that you were able to witness the stands of Mertensia. I too have three plants in the garden, but they look so much better in large drifts in the woodland settings where they truly shine!

Barbarapc said...

N.S. Can't think of another place to ever see that colour except in the sky. Some of my favourite combinations happen by accident. The phlox for the first time ever has seeded itself everywhere.
Teza, it really was dreamlike seeing all those dancing blue blossoms in the forest. With the 30C degree weather coming up - will really have to water and keep my fingers crossed that the new children will limp along until they are established.

Kim and Victoria said...

Your garden is looking just lovely!

Frances said...

Hi Barbara, temporary insanity is a good defense if anyone asks you about how those plants came to live in your garden. The sea of blue is magnificent. Thank goodness for places that protect those sorts of things. It would be hard to have a display like that in even the largest of gardens. Great bee shot and the next one is lovely too. I have started Inula magnifica or something like that from seed this year, hoping for some large leaves and flowers. Your uneaten plant looks great, the other one not so good.

Gail said...

Barbara, I have rescued plants and never regretted it, but often regretted not rescuing them from the developers heavy hand and equipment.

I missed the big bluebell show in our parks this year, but love seeing it in your woodland. We also have hillsides of troutlily that are magnificent...nature is so grand!

Your garden looks good and the grassy area under the Maple...looks fine to me!


easygardener said...

Love the Mertensia. I tried to grow it once but it didn't like my soil. It is such a beautiful clear blue.