Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The First Bug on the Window Declares That Spring is Just Around the Corner

As you probably know, this has been an exceptionally mild winter in this part of Ontario.   However, on the 24th of February, the storm gods once again frowned on my "It's so Darn Cold, Let's Have a Soup Party!" for my garden writer buddies.  Lorraine Flanigan from the Toronto Botanical Gardens has now nicknamed me The Snow Queen - after two consecutive years of the having my party coincide with the worst possible weather.

In spite of the snow and ice, those who were able to make it had a great time.  Here's Mary Fran McQuade, Tara Nolan, Margaret Bennet-Alder and Ken Brown - with Bart on the floor.

Around the table waiting for our soup - clockwise Bruce and Juleigh Zimmerman, Mary Fran, Jennifer Connell, me, Lorraine Flanigan, Lorraine Hunter, Margaret, Tara and Ken.

Harold Connell joined us later with his and Jennifer's new puppy (the dog that puts the "3" in Three Dogs in a Garden).  We are flashing Tara's promotional postcard for her new book:  Raised Bed Revolution - that will be released in May.  Yay Tara!

Getting some puppy time before everyone heads out.  Must say Piper and Bart got along famously.  Was so pleased that the last of the Amaryllis held out for my party.  It's resting at the moment.  I'll put it out in the garden and fertilize it throughout the summer, for next winter's display.

Several days later, all was calm and bright.  Here's my neighbour Heather's lovely Galanthus.

My own Hamamelis was beginning to show some colour:

However, it didn't stay calm for long.  March 1st blew in like a lion and we were hit with a blast of snow - about 15cm or so.  But by the next day, all the bluster was gone.  We were left with winter wonderland perfection.

On our morning walk we were surprised to find some ice formations left over from the storm.

Unfortunately the pathway and streets were completely ice-covered in sections too, cutting our walk several blocks shorter.

Less than a week later this is all that's left of the snow.

Through my favourite morning window - look at my Hamamelis now.

It's about 4C - 38F.  Kevin said, "That's one cool plant - pun intended!"

As I've said before, how can you not like a plant that looks just like yellow desiccated coconut?

When the light shines on it, the scent is everywhere.

Wondering if the fly on the window was drawn in by the scent?  If it was, there will be lots more of them as our weather hits double digits this week - perhaps as high as 14C (57F).

I'll be at Canada Blooms on Friday and Saturday checking things out, getting myself primed for spring and fortified for the odd bit of winter that is probably on the horizon.  After all, my Grandma Stokes always said, "March can be the snowiest month."  Between parties, book keeping and brochures, I've been scanning old slides.  Here's Grandma in an old photo I found pushing my cousin Rick around between weeding duties.

And one more old photo to round out today's post - found this one of Mum, Grandpa Stokes and myself - don't we look like we are posing for a catalogue?  I've definitely got to raise the bar when I start this year's gardening.  Who knew I had this tradition of gardening glamour to uphold?


Paul Jung said...

Love, love, love the witch hazel! Only the truly discriminating appreciate its bizarre flowers (*grinning*)

My "Arnold Promise" has been holding its blooms since Christmas without complaint.

Have fun at Blooms, I'll enjoy the Show vicariously through your post along with others.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

OMG Barb ! After saying you haven't felt a lot like posting you did one heck of a job here !
Wish I was close enough to fish an invitation to that soup party ! You all look like you are having a blast and look at Piper (puppies are just too cute and almost make me wish I had one .. but Emma and Sophie would object BIG time ! haha) .. Bart must have been excited to have another pup to play with : )
Love those ice pictures ... one year I should take some of the ones running off limestone rock faces here ... they can be stunning .
I have always wanted a witch hazel and yours makes me want one even more .. to have a tree bloom and have scent this time of year is darn near a miracle .. Paul made me laugh with the grinning flowers comment ! haha
I can't make it to Blooms this year (wish I could meet up with you girl!) but I might by next year ... really want to have a look at what it is like now .. can't wait to see your pictures !!.. take lots !! and have fun : )
Take care
Joy thawing in Kingston !

Barbarapc said...

Never thought of a grin Paul - terrific. Fingers crossed for a bloom-filled-Blooms! So nice that you met up with Helen - she's great.
Joy, you are the best. Emma & Sophie would have the dog trained in no time at all - our old tom-cat had our Saints just where he wanted them. Can't recommend Witch Hazel enough. Blooming when they should know better - and such a good orange red in the fall. They stay pretty small too - so all the boxes ticked on these fine plants. Wonder how they'd do in Kingston? Did I mention that they haven't had any pests......

Jennifer said...

Hi Barbara, Thanks again for hosting another great soup party. We had such a nice time. Where did you get your Witch Hazel? I have always wanted one. See you on Saturday!

Barbarapc said...

It was an end-of-season Weall and Cullen special - untagged with a rock bottom price. Glad you're coming on Saturday! See you soon.