Monday, April 8, 2013

Sunshine and Taxes

The unbridled joy of spring and flowers and the promise of a new gardening season, as well as that old hand-in-the-blender feeling of income tax preparation.  Today it's tax day.  And, they're knocking down a house two doors down.  So I can be ok with being inside today now that I've done the dog walk - far too dusty and noisy to do anything with the giant claw eating Ted's old house.

Yesterday was a gift - 18C (64F).  Was able to do some more cleanup in the back garden with just a shirt and light sweater.  Have discovered that I've got a bit of a problem with Parthenocissus tricuspidata.  The house next door used to be covered in it.  I suspect some sweet little birds have shared the seeds and this being a more natural area of my garden and completely full of perennials, it's managed to take hold quite nicely.  Only when I pulled the leaves and old bits away did I discover one meter vines that had taken hold.   Every other leaf node appeared to have established a good root system.  Always nice to have another gardening project to add to the list.

Kevin, Bart and I got over to the RBG Cherry Hill Trail late on Sunday afternoon - was delighted to see the parking lot absolutely full and all sorts of families out and about enjoying the warmer day.

There were trumpeter swans with patagial markers - you can click on the photo to see better.  (patagial - my new word for the day)

I swear red-winged blackbirds sound like they're smokers.  Their call sounds like they just got up after a long night.  Started to giggle when I looked at this photograph, even enlarged, you really can't tell that that's what they are....but I assure you there are three of them, and they are rwbs.

The exotic weed Tussilago farfara  Colt's foot.  Notice how brown everything is.  We really need some rain.

Almost looks sepia toned doesn't it?

So excited that it was above 6C, I forgot that 18C with gusting winds of 60K really isn't all that warm.  At about this point we decided to turn back.

It won't be long until the leaves start to peak out.

A few bits of green.

And then back at home, more of the Hamamelis still blooming.

Buds on the Pieris japonica.  At this stage I can see how it belongs to Ericaceae family.  It's one of those shrubs that I bought because it was supposed to do everything but clean my oven  - new foliage red/pink/burgundy marvellous, shiny leaves, takes shade, beautiful shape, flowers in early spring, evergreen.  Unfortunately under every descriptive I'd give it a 4/10.  Would never put it into garden design unless someone asked, and then I'd suggest almost any other plant.

Stopped by Susan and Paul's house this a.m. to exchange book club books.  Here's a few flowers from their garden.  This is a sweet idea, and for those who are lawn-scilla-adverse, perhaps something to consider.

Thank goodness for early blossoms of Helleborus.

Crocus must always be planted in groups of at least 25.

Here's Sisi watching me take photographs.   She's so much fancier than Bart, and yet enjoys so many of the same things.

And finally, because I really have to get to my taxes, one last photo.  By the hospital there's still this pile of snow, showing it must be time for some warmer weather and a good dump of rain.   For anyone who's out of freezer snowballs - always nice to know there's a source so close at hand.


Jennifer said...

Hi Barbara, The warmer weather seems like a faint memory today. There is a dusting of white over the garden and sadly they are not snowdrops. I agree about the crocus. I have planted small clusters of 5 or so and they look like nothing. I laughed when I read your descriptive for the Pieris japonica. What is it about it you don't like? It does looks a bit unkempt in the shot.
I contacted Jennifer re the Loblaw's Sneak Peek and think that I have gotten myself on the guest list. Thanks so much for letting me know about it. Perhaps I can meet up with you there. Maybe we can finally have lunch!
Has your club set its garden tour date yet? I have never been on the Oakville tour and hope I can attend (if the date works in with everything else).

Barbarapc said...

Yes, let's sit together. The tour is scheduled for the 9th of June. It has become more of a show by high-end landscapers - very few done-by-owners, but will double check with the organizer to see what the mix will be this year. The Pieris is floppy, unpredictable, sometimes lives, sometimes dies, red new leaf show isn't worth the space, flowers at an awkward time - not flashy enough to show for this time of year. Have seen them on the west coast - they're much happier, beefier and there's much more going on in the garden when they bloom so they're more like a good background plant. It probably is a good enough plant for the right space - unfortunately here just doesn't suit it and hence, it really can't shine.