Friday, April 11, 2014

A Very Different Spring

Taxes done.  Kevin's newsletter in the turning-the-numbers-into-words phase.  Next week hope to have it into production while I pack 900 packages of seeds that we send to his clients - the closest I'll ever get to feeling like a drug dealer.

And the garden.  I've never seen anything like it.  After my desk work, I've been turning my attention to garden clean-up.  This is the first year that I'm not apologizing for stepping on burgeoning tulips, hosta and new perennials during my first leaf rake off the beds.  There are none - the ground is still frozen.  In fact there are patches of snow on the lawn.  The Eastern White branches are still frozen where they fell in December.  It is the oddest thing to go back into a bed with my little wire hand rake and hear the sound of metal scraping off ice under the leaves.

Clean-up is so much easier not having to worry about decapitation.  Although I suspect I may have raked more than a couple of i.d. tags into the compost.  Rob Howard of the Spec said that the ground in Hamilton was frozen to the depth of 5 feet.  I suspect we were pretty close here, as neighbours (many long-standing) had their pipes burst for the first time ever.  So it will be very interesting to see when things appear.

Here are a few (well more than a few) shots of morning walks, ice, and precious few garden shots:

Taken a few weeks ago - you can see just how colourless everything is.  Usually by now the branches of the large trees are in bud:

This is my new favourite recommendation for areas with lots of snow and ice - Fargesia 'Red Panda'. It was completely covered in snow - got so fed-up with winter and the shovelling, we just piled it on top - figured it would never pop back up, but look - it has - and that ice at the base is about 10cm thick.

Bed in front raked - many of those leaf bits are stuck in ice.

About 5-weeks late, but finally in bloom - Hamamelis:

As the snow melts, there are a few bits of snow mould here and there.  Fortunately a good rake and the first hard rain clears it away.

When there's just one plant in bloom, and even though the focus is poor (this is when I want a camera where I can select the focus!), I just have to include it.

Not the best year for broadleaf evergreens.  This is a Mahonia that will have to shed its leaves to look like something.

In a couple weeks with a hard rain this will end up splattered on the road below.

The Town of Oakville has been run off their feet trying to attend to the trees damaged in the December ice storm.

The green bits here are pine needles - the grass is completely brown.

Taken a couple of weeks ago - interesting how some plants manage to create pockets of warmth.

At least the birds think spring is here - notice the ice in Lake Ontario in the upper left of the photo.

There were days that looked like we lived much farther north than we do.

Pretty, cold and bright.

Easter bunnies on the move.

Beyond comprehension how sturdy plants like this one have taken such a hit.

We're close to the hospital (and hospital parking is very expensive), but surely this can't be very good for the car?

And, it's been a while.....Burlap Crimes:

And a few little bits of hope - not from my garden, but heck, these days I'll take it wherever I find it:

Forecast 17C today - with any luck the remaining snow will melt into memory.


Jennifer said...

I hope the martinis were good. I laughed when I read your comment. We are down to a few stubborn patches of snow that are in the shade. The rest is finally gone.
Gosh, what a winter we have had! My garden at the back was flattened by huge tree limbs. Hubby is off on vacation and so today we went and purchased a chainsaw. If you see smoke signals in the sky to the north, it may be us burning the cut up pieces.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello Barbara girl !
Red Panda has me infatuated : )
I have two patches of Green Panda and they are just not doing what I hoped they would do .. only come up 3 feet at best .. really disappointed with it.
In any case .. I have garden clean up to do yet .. I put it off waiting for the last of the snow to leave and finally it has, so in a couple of days when the sunny weather comes back (it is raining here in Kingston right now) .. hubby and I will be Spring cleaning the gardens !
Nice pictures girl !
Did some one mention martinis ???

Barbarapc said...

Indeed they were. Man and a chainsaw.....hope you have a remote control on it you can work from the kitchen. I find that once they get started, there's always one more thing they want to cut down.
Green Panda isn't all that tall - but found that between year 4 & 5 Red Panda really started to grow, maybe the same thing will happen with Mr. Green. Hope you've managed to avoid that flooding and that you didn't get too much snow. I swear we'll be cutting stuff back in July this year.
p.s. Martinis are always every friday night, should you ever find yourself in town.

Kim and Victoria said...

Oh, I hope spring is springing soon for you.