Six on Saturday – 24/04/200 – Over my Shoulder

My time in the garden this past week has been spent looking over my shoulder – an involuntary reflex I developed, it seems, over the past 10 years of gardening with my dog, Shileau, tagging along behind me. She died last Saturday morning; I wrote about it and posted some of my favourite Shileau photos yesterday.

Although gardening will not be the same without her, spring continues to unfold, with new awakenings every day. It’s been a dry month, which is not good for the garden, really, nor our well, and yesterday’s cloud cover brought approximately six drops of rain with it so I’m hoping that the precipitation forecast for tomorrow and Monday does, in fact, arrive.

Here are Six things from my garden. Be sure to visit The Propagator‘s post as well – he’ll have links to scads of other Sixes from around the world.

1 – One of this week’s Spring Awakenings is Veronica ‘Whitley’s Speedwell.’ Look at all the teeny tiny flower buds – this evergreen spreading ground cover will soon be a blanket of sky blue.
2 – I have three rose bushes, and they all seem to have survived. This one is a yellow blooming floribunda called ‘Freesia;’ I’m thrilled to see these little dormant buds breaking because I forgot to mound it up last fall. It was totally exposed to our bitter winter winds.
3 – This is the first of the Red Emperor tulips I planted last fall. If it had been sunny yesterday, and a titch warmer, I bet it would have been fully open. I’m loving the green hips on this tulip, and looking forward to seeing what they look like on the inside. Today perhaps…
4 – Another patch of tulips – a short, botanical variety. I really love the foliage – the leaves remind me of variegated Hosta leaves unfurling in the spring. Must have more for next year…
5 – Another Muscari species – probably armeniacum – when in a happy spot, these just multiply like crazy. Good thing I’m crazy about them!
6 – and finally, the other major awakening this week – Forsythia. ‘Ottawa Early’ I think. This is growing near the front of the property, and I’ve been able to watch it get yellower day by day this year, working from home as I and so many other are, watching it from my ‘office’ window.


  1. Those red emperor tulips are glorious. The forsythia is wonderful, too. I’ve never seen the Muscari in real life, so that helps to keep them in the “odd” category for me, but the color certainly is glorious.

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  2. Oh, Veronica often has the most amazing blue flowers! I used to have one, now that I think of it, I wonder where it went. It was this type, not the tall spikes of flowers.

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  3. So sorry to hear about Shileau. I too have my dog around me allot in the garden. I know it feels strange when they’re not there. Those red tulips are going to look fantastic in full flower.

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  4. I think it will be some time before you stop looking over your shoulder. Our black cat kept me company for many years after he died.
    I love your little tulips. Are they what is called species tulips? I have planted some of those and they give great pleasure, especially as they don’t have to be lifted each year and can be left to spread. It will interesting to see a photo of yours when they open.

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  5. Lots of lovely spring colour there, and what a joy to see those buds on the rose! Looking forward to seeing the tulip flowers when they open. Funny how I did not like the Forsythia in our garden back home, but now I notice just how pretty those yellow flowers are on the bare stems.

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  6. sorry to hear about your four legged friend, sad news in these weird times. roses are very robust plants aren’t they! I too like the foliage on your not-quite-open tulips. tulip foliage is usually terrible so it’s nice to see something a bit different.

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  7. I agree w/Jane that Shileau’ll be w/you for a while yet. Every morning, I check Mr BigNoseDog (~17 yo) for breathing. The vet says he’s got a strong heart & I fear being in your position. What a selfless act you did for her. I loved seeing all these wonderful garden photos (that speedwell!) but I loved the photo of Shileau running in the snow the best. She gave you many great memories, to be sure.

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  8. So sorry to hear about your four-legged friend, it will be a long time before you stop looking over your shoulder. Our pets become part of the family and we miss them when they are gone. One reason why I haven’t, so far, got another dog or cat. And at this stage they’d probably outlive me! Love those tulips, the botanical ones with the variegated foliage are lovely. And your Veronica is doing so much better than mine! Is yours growing in sunlight? Mine is on my woodland border which gets no sun at all in the winter months and it was very wet all winter so I wonder if that is why it is suffering. Beautiful photos as usual Chris.

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