We had a bit of a reprieve yesterday and Thursday, with temperatures several degrees above freezing, which led to much of Monday’s snow melting. It’s minus 11 right now, though, so very happy to have taken these pictures yesterday, even though it was VERY grey and windy. Could be worse though, eh? This is kinda normal for us (although Monday did set snowfall and cold records all over southern Ontario), unlike the weather I’ve read about in other parts of the world and even in the southern U.S. The silver lining to snow on the ground is it brings an abrupt halt to most ‘gardening’ activities, allowing time for other things, like organizing seeds that were collected earlier in the fall, cleaning tools and, oh yes, reading a book or two.
Here are six things in my garden; to see other, non-snow related, sixes from around the world, you might visit The Propagator’s site.
1 – The last rose petal is on the Kordes grandiflora Crimson Bouquet.’ The never-to-open buds on the featured photo here is from the Kordes floribunda ‘Friesia’ – both were beautiful in their second year in my garden, but not performing to expectations. More on that in a later post, I think.
2 – A week ago today, with no snow on the ground, there was a scattering of brave little cobalt blue flowers appearing in the Veronica ‘Whitley’s Speedwell.’ The whole patch of this lovely groundcover was buried in snow on Monday, but by the end of the afternoon yesterday there were a few green sections showing. The flowers, unsurprisingly, are a tad shriveled.
3 – This Thuja occidentalis ‘Rheingold’ has been a slow grower, spreading only a few inches a year, it seems, but its golden foliage and mounding shape offer a nice contrast in summer to the taller, greener shrubs around it and, in winter, to the snow.
4 – This is the time of year when Sedum spectabile, most of the year so attractive, looks a bit icky (that’s a botanical term, right?). The leaves are pale and mushy, the flower heads like brown bristles. Still…
5 – I don’t have many shrubs that retain berries in winter (I’m not counting the dreaded Buckthorn – Rhamnus cathartica); I need to try and rectify that. The birds might appreciate it. One shrub I’ve planted here and there that does have berries is the Snowberry – Symphoricarpos albus. The berries, if not eaten, will soon begin to shrivel and fall.
6 – Finally, Solomon Seal is possibly my favourite woodland perennial. Tough, grows in shade and in very dry conditions, pretty flowers in spring that bumble bees adore, and in fall, the arching stems and the leaves turn a lovely golden brown. I brought a small pot with me when we bought this property and I’ve been spreading it around ever since. Here is what a small patch looks like right now. It’s next to the driveway.