Monday, January 28, 2013

A Little Horticultural Excitement Here in Oakville

I'd been looking for a shot for the front our Oakville Horticultural Society Newsletter.  Unfortunately I'd missed the last meeting and had no 'people' shots.  Using the President's message cue, I went over to the Oakville Municipal Greenhouse where I was thrilled to find not one, but four Agave blooming their little hearts out.  In the wild, this can take 100 years.  However, these fabulous plants took less than 10.  According to Tim Rivers, the greenhouse manager, they had started their life in our town as median plants in north Oakville.  He'd put them in the polyhouse over the summer and was really surprised to discover they were about to perform.  He dug holes and planted them pots and all into the greenhouse beds.  As you may know, they are monocarpic and die after they bloom, producing seed and small pups at the base of the plant.  I don't suppose most people who go to the greenhouse have any idea what they're looking at or how rare it is to see one bloom.   Anyway, here are three to share with those of you who are unable to get over to the greenhouse.

This is one of those - hold the camera and shoot, hoping for the best shots:

Will definitely have to go back to take another look later this week.

On Friday, we went out for dinner with friends.  Kevin and I came back and sat in the living room having a drink, looking out onto the magical scene.  Just had to try to see if I could use the night feature to get a shot.  Not brilliant, but it does give you an idea of the type of snowfall we were having (and how worthwhile a Cornus alternifolia is) - soft with no wind - so it all started to accumulate wherever it fell.  Fingers crossed that the wind wouldn't pick up and I'd be able to get out the next day for photos.

The next morning it looked as if my hopes and prayers answered - the snow had continued to fall and the wind was silent.

The trick is to get out between the point when the light comes up, but before the wind picks up.

The light makes for difficult snow pictures - although pretty sky & tree photos.

You can see how the sun is beginning to paint the edges of the snow.

It's about the only time I'd think of this Berberis as being soft and fuzzy.

I think I'm pretty much done with kale for this year.

You can never have enough Japanese Maples.

And then, it happened, out came the sun.

The Mahonia started to sparkle.

Caught the Ipomopsis rubra in the middle of a hair wash.

World's cuddliest rosemary.

This shot, just because.

Did anyone ever have one of those pompom kits when they were young?

Kevin and I planted this hemlock so many years ago.  It took forever to look like it might grow, but now it's gorgeous.

And one last shot of the folks from the local walking/running club, blue skies and some of the prettiest snow ever.


Barbee' said...


Paul Jung said...

Nice shots of the pagoda dogwood with the perfect type of snow to show off its branching. A pity that it's underplanted/underused in the GTA...

I need to check out your local greenhouse!

Jennifer said...

Well, we certainly got some snow here in Ontario today! I shovelled the driveway early this morning and now need to do it all over again. Drivers couldn't make it up the hill and out of our little river valley. The police had Mississauga Rd. blocked off for about an hour this morning.
I love your snowy pictures and laughed at some of the captions.
I did not know about the blooming habits of Agave. Interesting! I am sure it made a nice addition to the newsletter.
I did get my invite for Canada Blooms. I must say that I thought the show was awful last year. Canada Blooms was so much grander 5 or 6 years ago! I would be tempted not to go if it were not for the writer's workshops/lunch. Sadly, money is however in short supply right now. We just spent 10 K on a new furnace. I will have to see as even $40 is a lot to spend at the moment. It would be great to meet you though. If I decide to through caution to the wind, and splurge on tickets, maybe we can meet for lunch. Have a great weekend!

Barbarapc said...

Thank you Barbee - it really was dreamlike to be in the middle of it.

Barbarapc said...

And such an easy plant to grow - the little creatures like it, and it looks fabulous no matter the season.

Barbarapc said...

It certainly was grander - you're right there. My sister-in-law just put in a new furnace too. The killer is you can't invite folks down into the basement to ooooow and ahhhhhh over it like you could new furniture - essential and expensive. I do hope you're able to make it, but completely understand if you can't. Maybe we could meet up at the Fun with Gardening show coming up this Feb?