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The Reluctant Spring ... 2013


We had snow and nights well below the freezing point until the end of April…in fact…Earth Day, April 22nd. we had snowflurries.
The strange thing about late cold periods seems to be the strengthening effect it has on emerging plants.
With the beginning of May, we have enjoyed almost 5 days of wonderful temperatures (some days in the 20’s C.) with night readings of above zero…it’s been so long coming, and is so welcome, that a person is delirious with the flood of emergent green, and forgets to gird their loins (and their plants) for winter’s last swipe. It’s coming, I’m sure, but for now the joy of bursting buds and wildflower blossom has taken the sting out of this long cold winter and given rise to some optimism.
Last autumn, I worked very hard to clear away dead grasses etc. in anticipation of a better looking garden this spring. The raking, digging, rock piling and streambank grading seems to have payed off because it looks a little more like my imagined yard/garden than it did last year at this time…progress is good.
Mighty Oaks from Tiny Acorns Grow!

I thought that I might lose this little crab apple because it was situated badly and had to me moved…delighted to say that it seems to have come thro the long winter.

The Manitoba Maple has such pretty “fringe” catkins…have thought many times about removing this tree as it is badly placed also, but every spring it looks like an exotic dancer with all it’s fringes!

In a previous blog and question I wrote about discovering this lovely pair of trees…commonly called Ropebark..they have scented flowers born so early in the spring that few other plants are in flower and so the bees seem to gravitate to them.

It’s a bit of a contradiction…it’s wood is very soft…but the bark is so tough that it may be used as cordage.

To look at this lilac, syringa vulgaris, you might think it’s a little overgrown. Gave some thought to pruning it and using the suckers to start new clumps (and I may do that yet) but have observed naturalized clumps on deserted properties which have not been pruned of cared for in decades and they are blossoming so prolifically that I’m wondering if I shouldn’t just leave it to itself. Just as a passive experiment?…lol

As a Mother’s Day gift my hubby bought me two more shrubs and a rose. The rose is Therese Bugnet…like the one I left in the last garden, and a variegated Silverleaf dogwood (Cornus alba Elegantissima), and a Mint Julep Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Mint Julep’) so I now have a variety of shrubs to evaluate. Think I may buy more of the juniper as it grows like a green explosion…lovely lacy limbs heading off in all directions. This is the first time I’ve been able to explore the world of LARGE shrubs…it’s such fun! The Shrubbery project is at last getting started.

The T.Bugnet rose is dangerous! the thorns are small and viscious, but the flowers are things of heaven…scented pinky purple and the scent floats like an enveloping cloud. I planted the one in my last garden near the sidewalk…it was loved by all and sundry.

I don’t think there’s anything prettier than Bergenia…it has weathered that horrible winter out on the margin of the stream on an exposed spot that has the Brunnera just poking it’s leaves above the ground. I think it has earned a place of prominence…oddly, the bergenia that I planted in the bed with the iris is not doing so well. I think there is a ground squirrel or a mouse pruning it’s roots.

I bought a collection of Hosta roots…30 in all…and had to dig a transfer bed behind the greenhouse as the other transfer bed is being emptied and phased out.

Can’t decide where all the hosta will go…have some digging to do along the forest margin..that is, if my back holds out. Digging the stream and building the bridges will have to take precedence…Have a hillside spot under some fir trees which might be a good place…still thinking about that one.
I’m indoors doing this blog after my wander thro the woods accompanied by mosquitoes and blackflies…makes it a pleasure to sit down in front of the computer for a while. However, there is no rest to be had…plenty to do outdoors and I still have a dozen photos of wildflowers to post…perhaps tomorrow during rest period! Next blog. No signs of the Arisaema yet…will report. ( Note for Amy)
Rufus attack!

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Great to hear that the temps are up at last Amy! Hope it continues, and hope your back does hold out as you have so many great ideas to bring to fruition!

4 May, 2013


What an enormous task you've set yourself. It will be fantastic allowing yourself to buy lots of shrubs - most of us have the awful question of how to choose! The flowers on the ropebark are very interesting - never seen anything like those before.

4 May, 2013


garden 'to-do' lists are never short are they Lori? Well worth the input & anxst! Looking forward to seeing the seasons changing in your neck of the woods.

5 May, 2013


After that long silent winter, you and Spring have emerged, we hope in good fettle, ready to carry on your project. Plenty of water about you for sure. A bit too much is better than hardly any that you might need. What a battle with the climate we and the plants have had this last year or so. I agree with you that many plants, shrubs and trees seem to relish the cold but they sure do welcome the warm sunshine and longer days. I have just done my Spring blog too. Out in the country side all is green and fresh. Yet 3 weeks ago everything was way behind. Everyone was fed up with daily grey skies and night frosts. Strength to you but take care.

6 May, 2013


sorry I confused things with my reference to the arisema, Karen...did a little revision. makes more sense
Discovered the ropebark last year at this time, Steragram. senior week (never mind moment) can't seem to pull the botanical name for it from my still frozen memory! There are a pair of them and I would love to move them into my garden but fear to do so would do them harm. leaving them where they are. Just a gorgeous tree/shrub though.
Hello Bampy... leaves are out on the trees...(well almost) it is wonderful to see the hill with a furze of spring green in all it's variant hues! How is Turbo these days?
It's been a very confused and confusing spring,'re so right. It's great to check in at GOY and hear everyone's spring news... Thanks for the strength...every year a little older but not going to let it stop me...another decade or two and I may just have things the way I envision them! Enjoy your sunshine...we've finally got some here too and everything is just jumping out of the ground!

6 May, 2013

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