Six on Saturday – Inside and Out

It’s been a wild winter weather week (😁) featuring snow, rain, lots of freezing rain and ice pellets, 90 km per hour wind and a pendulum of swinging temperatures. Suffice to say, there’s still nothing growing in the garden. Here then are six shots from last weekend, from in and around my yard. To see some actual garden SoSes, with actual flowers actually in bloom, just head on over to The Propagator‘s page!

1 – What’s happening inside #1 – an ode to our host – I cut some red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) twigs to bring inside and brighten up the place. Put them in water and voilà! Leaves, flowers and roots! New shrubs to give to friends in a few months.

2 – What’s happening inside #2 – more propagating, this time with more seeds! These are all new to me, aside from Echinacea of course, but even that is a new to me variety. These are from a lovely new, small Canadian source, Apocryphal Seeds. I need to start stratifying this weekend!


3 – What’s happening inside #3 – I’m looking after this tiny succulent for a friend while she’s wintering in Spain. It’s grown by a third since being in my care (in a lovely and sunny west window), and, in keeping with the propagation theme, has even started to procreate (see the even tinier new leaves at the bottom?) I can’t find the botanical name for this tropical beauty, but an Instagram visitor (@CountyGardening) calls it ‘ogre ears’ !!! rev. very early in the morning – Matthew Jeffery, the alpine botanical horticulturist at Royal Botanic Garden, Kew (that’s in England!!), has kindly identified this as Crassula ovata “Gollum”. Thanks Matthew!

4 – Moving outdoors, to a place where there is no propagation occurring at the moment, this hornet’s nest (bee nest? wasp nest?) is high in a tree on our road, just beyond the driveway. I’ve walked or run or driven under these trees a thousand times in the past year but just last weekend noticed the nest!

5 – Even further afield from the garden, I love the cedar split rail fences you see all over the countryside. This one, about 5 km away, is close to the lake and right beside my favourite patch of wild grapes. Yes, I made jelly last year. Last Friday the fence was very picturesque.


6 – Finally, just beyond the fence, there’s a bit of a clearing with a few trees. I love the view of the lake from here but this time of year it often can’t be seen thanks to hills and dunes created by ground up ice that gets blown to shore.

That’s it for this week. Hopefully some day soon the snowdrops and crocus will appear. Until then, I’m enjoying the snow and crisp temperatures! Staf warm!!


  1. Still this blue snow… amazing and beautiful !
    How are you going to stratify these seeds? With the cold? I put my agastache seeds in the fridge for 1 month and now I’m going to sow them. What is your technique?

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  2. Really beautiful outdoor scenes….. I am always amazed at what nature offers when I truly take the time to look…..Who would have thought that’s where a bee’s nest would be? I am truly impressed with the red dogwood too!

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  3. I love how easily you got “new” red osier dogwoods to share! I’ve done that with Dappled Willow — we have an entire “wall” of it along our back fence all from one plant — but now I want to do this with our dogwoods too! Great photos!

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  4. Ice PELLETS!?!?! WHAT?! That sounds dangerous! Why on earth would anyone want to live there?! I mean, when people came across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe centuries ago, WHO stopped there and thought, “This might be a good place to live.”?!?!?!?! It is beautiful in pictures that I can see thousands of miles away; but such pictures make me appreciate the climate here even more. SOMEDAY, I intend to experience wintry weather. I don’t know where or when, but I WILL do it (and probably return home promptly). It sounds so fascinating. I want to see spruce trees in the snow in the wild . . . the sort of spruce trees that live up past Minnesota, and can tolerate anything that the weather drops onto them.
    Anyway, enough of all that. Your red osier dogwood looks just like our red twig dogwood, although more colorful. They are just chestnut brown for us. Are all of the garden varieties of red osier dogwood Cornus sericea? Is Cornus stolonifera available in nurseries or even endemic there, and if so, does it color well in winter?

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    1. I’m told C. stolonifera is the new name for C. sericea and yes, it’s native here – grows all over the place, but you can indeed purchase them in garden centres. Although for me that would obviously be a huge waste of money!! There are many cultivars available with different coloured bark and of course variegated leaves, although I’ve found most of these to be less hardy.

      Ice pellets…yes….not so bad unless it’s windy and you’re walking into the wind. Then, quite painful! As it accumulates it’s like walking through mounds of broken safety glass – the glass that breaks into small pieces, not shards. Better than freezing rain, by a long shot!!!

      When you do visit a state or country with real winters, make sure it’s in February. When it’s cold. Buy a parka (not Canada Goose brand). And mittens. And long johns. And a warm toque. You’ll love it!!

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      1. Mounds of broken safety glass is not so bad. I remember that when those powerful winds sucked the facades off of some of the big skyscrapers around Pasadena a few years ago. It was not cold though.
        I have seen cultivars of Cornus sericea in nurseries, and wondered who would buy it. It does not get cold enough here for them to develop good color, and even if it did, there is not snow for it to contrast against. They just look rather sickly, especially those with yellow bark. Even the native id not very colorful. I realy did not think fo them as the same specie. I have always known ours as Cornus stolonifera.

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