Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'm Tossing Out My Calendar - It Still Feels Like March

While I've been mired in statistics, bookkeeping and tax returns, the weather was stuck on cold and rainy.  There has been the odd day to give me hope, and provide just enough daylight to get out into the garden to do cleanup until my back fuses into a pre-operative situation. 

So here it all is on April 9th - the snow finally gone - and the garage well stocked with ready and waiting Costco refuse bags for the spring cleanup.

Just to show you how late everything is - my doorstep Hepatica (and personal spring joy) - is more like a teenager that's been awoken at 9:30a.m. on a Saturday morning.

Amazingly under the leaves and needles is one of these wonderful Texas wildflowers Ipomopsis rubra.  It is a biennial with the most brilliantly shocking red/orange flowers.  And, fortunately once again, it looks as if I'm going to have a good crop.

Decided at one point that I'd had enough of dead leaves and stocks and what I really needed was some quick retail therapy.  So while I could still climb into the car without assistance, I headed over to Sheridan and put together a little colour for the front door.

Bart strangely enough doesn't seem to care at all about the weather, providing we don't engage in "sweater dress-up".

Jumping ahead a week, you can see that without heat, my spring-interest pot looks, just about the same....

This bamboo - I believe it is Red Panda - makes a really good - evergreen plant in our climate - I never would have guessed.  It is a tough location - gets a lot of snow dumped on it, but comes back better than many bushes.  This is its third year and I'm thinking I'd like to add more.

 Last year Richard Birkett was kind enough to share some of his treasures with me before his house was sold - here is some Sanguinaria canadensis.  Late in the year, I was digging blind, but was pleased to see that it has all worked out!

Poor little Hepatica - at least I can go inside and work on taxes.....

By mid-month we had a lovely shower of ice pellets. 

I'm becoming a whiny little wuss - notice how I didn't even step off the balcony to capture this shot.

This little house is on an expensive piece of land, and so will be razed.  Fortunately the skunks got in there first for their tasty grub snacks.

April 23rd, and the Hepatica is finally looking like a flowering plant!

The S.c. looks like it too may actually bloom as well!

Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart' starts out the most marvellous shade of pink.

Only two daffs are left of the 150 I planted - they're wonderful the first year or so, but with our sandy soil they really don't last very long.

Was very pleased to see that two of the new trial plants I got last year made it through.  Many of the earlier varieties of coral/yellow/orange Echinacea were really just expensive single-bloom annuals - this looks very positive for both Tangerine Dream and  Firebird from Terra Nova.

More rain and cloud on April 27th.  In between the showers, I've been able to get quite a bit of the garden in shape - still so much more to do.

Dicentra culcularia - such sweet leaves - this is another rescue from an old bungalow down the street at least 15 years ago.

Open, closed, open closed.....

 Fuzzy wuzzy tulips.

Perhaps this year, I'll get some blooms.

New leaves, old berries.

Go bloodroot go!

Still so much to get done in the backyard.

"Ta Da", says the Hepatica and S.c.

 The little neighbourhood bulbs are starting to shine.

The sun appears on the 28th.  But as you can see - not much has happened in the garden.

High of the day - some new trial plants from Terra Nova!

Sadly the low of the day was realizing that we had no small children to sell and would find an alternative method to paying our income tax.  However, with new plants on the back porch, seeds to get planted and a veggie patch waiting for a few days of sunshine, things are looking up.  All in all, our weather has been downright strange, cold, cloudy and wet - but for the most part benign - something so many other North Americans have not been able to enjoy sadly.  So here's to May and its flowers and much better times ahead!

May 1:


Gail said...

Barbara, I love your commentary! I have been in a similar mood during much of the past month! We've had more rain then we need now, but will surely want this summer. I am glad to see your fantastic Bloodroots! What a mess this weather has been for folks south of me~Tragic. Here's to a better may for all. gail

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

We really have had a terrible spring haven't we. My garden is just as behind as yours! You have lots of interesting and unusual plants. The Red Panda Bamboo is interesting- It doesn't spread?

Grace Peterson said...

Your weather sounds so similar to mine. Lots and lots of clouds and rain with an occasional warm dry day just to tease us. But it could be so much worse. Your plants are beautiful and with you cheering them on, how could they be anything but?

Barbarapc said...

Gail - things have finally turned for the better. The skies are clear and there are little tiny green things on the end of the branches of the trees. I think they're called leaves - at last!
Jennifer - had it for 3 years and noticed this year just a couple of sprouts about 6" from the centre of the plant so, not bad at all.
Grace - you're so nice! And when the sun finally came out, it just felt marvellous. I'm really enjoying my weeding and clean-up this year - so nice when you've got the warmth of the sun on your back.

Northern Shade said...

You may have had a slow start, but the end of the month photos look like they were catching up quick. Thank goodness for those plants that start the gardening year, when we are so impatient for signs of growth.

You Hepatica looks more full than mine. I planted a few two years ago, and they only got about 6 flowers between them this year. Perhaps they will fill in more with time.

Your Sanguinaria is beautiful. They are particularly attractive with the way they rise up all furled around the bud. Mine just opened fully today. Unlike the Hepatica, they are spreading and filling in nicely.

You must have lots of blooms now.

garden girl said...

Really enjoyed your romp through the month Barbara! The weather here's been much like yours, punctuated with the odd unseasonably warm day here and there. I brought some Dutchman's breeches here from my mom's woods last spring - no blooms this year, so it was really nice seeing yours. Hopefully they'll come back in my garden and go on to bloom next spring.

Patty said...

I am writing in to commiserate with you on the gardens this Spring. Even after an additional two weeks (since your post) we only get rain rain rain. My veggie seedlings are drowning! I should mention I am in Burlington and fed up of the cold and damp. Here's hoping for warm sunny weather real soon.

Knatolee said...

Are you getting as much rain as we are? The wettest spring I can remember! I haven't planted my potatoes yet, my gardens are a big soggy mess, and the farmer who rents our land hasn't been able to plant our fields. But I do love all your beautiful photos!