Six on Saturday – 22/05/2021 – the long weekend edition

Canada is part of the British Commonwealth, as such, the Queen is our official head of state. There has long been debate about this situation – many folks think we should cut those ties once and for all because the monarchy has been nothing more than a symbol for many decades. The Queen, and her Governor General (national) plus all the Lieutenant Governors (one for each province) are present for ceremonial purposes only. That being said, I doubt there is ANYONE who does not applaud having the last Monday preceding May 25 as a national holiday, ostensibly to celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria, in 1819. For Canadians, this long weekend is the unofficial start of four months we call summer, when not a flake of snow will be seen. (At least, not a flake of snow will be seen in most of the southern part of the country!) It’s been in the low 20’s all week and although we’re due for a temperature correction soon, this weekend is all about summer as best we can, given various degrees of lockdown across the country.

Every week Jon, The Propagator, invites gardeners to share six things happening in their gardens. First up for me is this lovely purple leaf sand cherry – Prunus x cistena. A cross between Prunus cerasifera (cherry plum) and Prunus pumila (sand cherry), it was hybridized in 1910 at South Dakota University and has successfully adapted to my dry clay soil. Now in full bloom:

Camassia quamash – sometimes known as camass – is a small bulb – native to western North America. It shares the same lovely shade of blue as many Muscari and appears just as Muscari are fading to a memory – great timing!
Striped Maple, aka Moose Maple, aka Pennsylvania Maple – Acer pensylvanicum is a small understory tree often found in the forest about 500 km north of here. I love the unusual leaf shape (for a maple) and the dangly flower clusters.
It’s still spring, so we must still have spring bulbs, right? In this case, Narcissus poeticus var. recurvis, surrounded by a small pond of Sweet Woodruff – Galium odoratum. They each have a light and lovely fragrance – it was quite intoxicating prepping (and planting) a nearby dahlia bed yesterday afternoon!

I’ll be enjoying my long weekend, where else, in the garden! Hope you all have a safe and happy weekend too.


  1. I like your last photo with the narcissii and the Sweet Woodruff .
    Here too we have a long weekend since Monday is a public holiday. Unfortunately the rain and the freshness are still there, I will be better to garden in my greenhouse. Have a good week-end

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  2. A lovely six this week, Chris. I love your bed of Poeticus and Woodruff – beautiful!
    Are you still having heavy frosts? Our last frost was April 24, about a month earlier than what we used to get until the last decade. I guess one can’t complain about a longer growing season!

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    1. Thanks so much Eliza – I’ll soon have to start yanking out sweet woodruff – never thought I’d say that! 😁 We’ve had some chilly nights but no frost since mid April, as well. Very strange, as we normally get it well into May. It’s been too warm this past week (prompting tall bearded Iris into bloom!) but thankfully cooler, seasonal temps are forecast for next week. No rain tho, sadly… Your garden is looking wonderful!!!


  3. The camassia looks enough like our death camas that I had to look up both. They’re in different genera, but sure enough; a common name for your camassia is ‘small camas.’


  4. Hey, I tried to grow striped maple or moose maple from seed. It intrigues me enough that I may try it again. (Those that I tried to grow died in the fire. I do not know why, but they did not regenerate from the roots.) It is so different from the few maples that I know of here (in California).

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      1. In this region, it would likely prefer to be an understory tree among the redwoods. (Redwoods are so tall that even bigleaf maple is an understory tree.) Maples do not like the arid climate here. A bit of shade makes them a bit more comfortable. In Southern California, maples are rare.

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  5. The Camassia quamash is a gorgeous blue, mine aren’t as deep as that one and are still in bud! I do like your Poeticus with the Sweet Woodruff. Maybe I should plant some of mine where the narcissus are.

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