Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can Winter Really Be Behind Us?

Maybe. There are telltale signs everywhere: The teenagers in the neighbourhood have been sporting shorts in the afternoon (after all it's a balmy 12C (52F)). Canada Blooms is next week. And my Hamamelis is in bloom - a full week ahead of schedule. Although I can still hear Grandma Stokes whispering in my ear, "March can be the snowiest month of the year. " Let's just hope that it's not so this year.

Can't get over that it's been over 3 weeks since I've blogged. While I've been on the computer, my attentions have been focused on finishing off the books, working on a rooftop garden at a Seniors residence and generally getting things in order for next week when Mum goes in for the first of her two brand spanking new knees. If I'm unable to get an Internet connection, I'm going to spend my time labelling my photos. I've kept them in date order - find that I'm often looking for something that will be colourful at a certain time and so it's far easier for me to just go look at what I photographed blooming at that time.

My thinking changed a bit last week when I was hunting for a particular photo of a cultivar. The Dynascape software I'm using for my design work has some rather pedestrian photos of plants that I wanted to replace with my own. It was so frustrating trying to find just the perfect shot now that I have such a large collection of photos. It's nice to know I can blind you with photos x 10 to the power of 12 of what's in bloom the second week of July for about the past 5 years, but it would have been nicer to have been able to have a second file with what a Hydrangea quercifolia looks like in 4 seasons. There's nothing like running up against a problem to make me figure out a solution.

So, very quickly, here's what's been going on the garden for the last three weeks....fingers crossed the snow will hold off and there will be tonnes more flowers in the days ahead.

The Hamamelis today:

The Hamamelis a few days ago:

Can you believe just how tropical it all looks?

And this was the first week of March....look at that lovely white stuff all around.

It must be time for spring - all that winter interest stuff is starting to look really ratty.

The Mahonia aquifolium turns a neat purple red colour before it goes brown and dead in spots over the next month.
I really enjoy the look of all the daisy like plants as they give up their seeds.

The first two are coneflowers - the third a ligularia.
Here's Bart with his favourite bit of ruffage:

Now I know why they call it Carex 'Ice Dancer'.

And the last shot, and perhaps the last time I'll include a snowy photo for the winter of 2009-2010. Fingers crossed.


Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

I have my fingers crossed for an early spring and no more snow!! There were snowdrops flowering at Courthouse Square, lovely to see them.

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

I have my fingers crossed for an early spring and no more snow!! There were snowdrops flowering at Courthouse Square, lovely to see them.

Gail said...

barbara, I just love hamamelis~any of them is fine with me. Although, my most ever favorite is H vernalis. It smells divine and likes my yard! That's an important quality in a plant;) I am with you on photos of coneflowers in winter ~I think they look stellar...and the ligularia, very interesting. The mahonia is a beauty...that is a winter color for sure.

I've been cleaning out photos from my iphoto program...what was I thinking to keep all those blurry photos! They are now gone.

I hope all goes well with your mom's surgeries...Two new knees. That's marvelous.

Btw, glad you're back...Are the ovens still working?


Teza said...

Fingers crossed! I cannot get over how this gorgeous weather has people thinking that we're in April. I have had so many nursery customers asking for plants that we don't stock until April. 'But what's taking so long?' I dare not mention the s/f words but one never knows.

Off for the weekend so will be out in the garden on hands and knees to see what is peeking up..... saw my first Galanthus this morning.

Hope all is well with you. I hope to get a few posts written this weekend..... It feels strange not posting as frequently, but damn it all, I actually do have a life!

Grace Peterson said...

Barbara, The Hamamelis knows. It wouldn't lie. It wouldn't make such a deliciously tropical appearance just to be gobsmacked by old man winter. Would it?

I hope you have success with your photo sorting and btw, Bart is adorable.

Peggy said...

Hi Barbara I hope your winter is well and truly over but you still havbe alot of snow to contend with.
I am glad to read the oven saga has come to an end at last!
I was amazed to read of your granny Stokes because I also had a granny Stokes!My mother's maiden name was Stokes from Co Tipperary

Barbarapc said...

Deborah, every year I vow to put in snowdrops - especially after seeing all the European blogs with a cadillion different varieties - our springs are so short, anything that adds to the anticipation needs to find a spot in my garden.
Gail, H. vernalis is really unusual here. Saw one blooming away in January - no scent - probably because it was frozen solid, but what lovely little shready blooms. I'm finding the same thing with my photos - I'm filing some of the really awful ones in the "don't do this" for a talk I'm planning on how to photo the garden. Yes, and ovens still working beautifully, it was seared steak and roast potatoes last night - yummmm.
Teza, with all the sunshine, thought I might head up to Humber Nurseries - like to poke my head in the donotgothere areas to see what they've got started for spring. The ground here yesterday finally had some give - although all this rain is sitting in pools in the deep edges of the garden beds - obviously things are still very frozen - galanthus is a real sign that spring is really on its way.
Grace, I'm with you, and am so tempted to get another two or three hamamelis so I can have a real shock of early spring next year - while they don't do too much during the summer, the autumn show is also excellent...see how easy it is to talk myself into more plants. Bart says thanks.
Peggy, that's quite cool, we could be related. I'll have to ask my mum about where his family came from - they arrived from England in the early 1900s - as did the Cudmores - my dad's side - they were from Ireland and lived briefly in London. Kevin's dad's family, the Conroys, are from Carraroe - he learned English when he came to Canada when he was 19. He still plays the box like a madman.