Six on Saturday – blooms fit for a Royal Wedding

red Tulips May 18 2018 b small

I sat for many minutes yesterday afternoon, and could have spent many more, just gazing into the luscious velvety red of these most gorgeous Tulips.

Confession: there’s a gorgeous pink sunrise at the moment, but it appears the weather forecast was accurate and it’ll be raining within an hour or so; my Six photos today were taken yesterday or Wednesday.  Just as well, really, since for once, I’d rather be inside watching TV (Horrors!) than out in the garden, laying on my dew tarp taking early morning photos.  It’s Royal Wedding day in England – so as I type I’ve got an eye on the arrivals to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

Cherry Blossom May 18 2018 small

I have only a dozen or so blossom’s on my dwarf cherry trees this year.  They’re pretty, nonetheless.  My trees are from the ‘Romance’ series of trees bred here in Canada, at the University of Saskatchewan.  I have a Romeo and a Juliet.

Narcissus recurvis May 18 2018 vintage camera small

Narcissus recurvis – the last of my daffodil varieties to bloom – has just started to open.  So dainty, so beautiful.  Also called Narcissus poeticus, or the Poet’s Narcissus.  Wikipedia, quoting many sources, says: “Linnaeus, who gave the flower its name, quite possibly did so because he believed it was the one that inspired the tale of Narcissus, handed down by poets since ancient times.”

Serviceberry and Rock May 16 2018 small

This Serviceberry, Amelanchier canadensis, now in full bloom behind The Rock (which I wrote about earlier this week). It’s the best year ever for my Serviceberries.  Pollinators are very happy!

Bleeding Heart May 16 2018 small

Bleeding Hearts do not do that well in my soil.  Too dry, perhaps.  Or too much limestone affecting the Ph.  Nonetheless, this one has hung on since I brought it here about five years ago.  It’s not called a Dicentra any more, but rather Lamprocapnos spectabilis.  It’s the sole species within the genus!

Shileau and F. persica May 16 2018

And finally, looking regal, here’s Shileau admiring the dark purple bells of Fritillaria persica.

That’s it for this rainy Royal Wedding day;  I wish everyone a splendid long Victoria Day weekend, with thanks to The Propagator for starting this lovely garden post theme.

 

Six on Saturday – White Ephemerals and a Heavy Sigh

white Trout Lily May 12 2018 small

White Trout Lily — Erythronium albidum

The spring ephemerals continue to enthrall — here one week and gone the next.  The yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) I wrote about last week has all but disappeared.  In its place, but not in nearly as great a number, is the white Trout Lily. Very pretty when you can spot them.

 

The Canada Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) has leaped out of the ground in the past week.  Like the Trout Lily, it appears to form colonies.  Unlike the Trout Lily, this is about the only time during its life cycle you can clearly see the flower bud.  In a few days the leaves will have unfurled and enlarged to cover the downward facing white bloom.  Also unlike the Trout Lily – the Mayapple foliage persists well into early summer, making a lovely ground cover at the forest edge.

 

Tw more native ephemerals:  white Trillium grandiflorum and Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis).   Bloodroot petals can be bloown away by a gently breeze so I’m happy these have lasted as long as they have, given the high winds this past week.  the root of Bloodroot has been used to make a dye and also is said to have many medicinal attributes.  You can easily research the many uses of this tiny plant.

Those are five of my six (and if you would like to see more collections of six gardening shots please head over to The Propagator’s site) – all lovely spring ephemerals I’m fortunate enough to have growing in the woodlands that border our property.  The final picture represents a disappointment.  I wrote several months ago about the expanding buds of a Chestnut tree I had started from seed about a decade ago.  I keep waiting for it to flower and thought this may be the year, given how fat the buds were.  Alas, it is not to be so.  The buds have broken, no flowers.  My sadness will be brief, however, since I know that in the coming weeks, months and years I will continue to marvel at and admire this beautiful tree, its extraordinary leaves and, in particular, its glossy, fat, sticky buds.

Horse Chestnut leaves opening May 1 2018 small

Six on Saturday – and all of a sudden…

daffs and Hyacinth May 5 2018 small

Daffs and Hyacinth

All of a sudden, it seems, we’re in the middle of spring.  A few days of 20 degree temps and sunshine means the bulbs are bursting, buds are opening, dandelions are blooming and there’s way too much gardening to do in a day!  Here’s a quick Six taken this morning, with a nod to The Propagator, who started this theme.

Hardening Off May 5 2018

Flats of Hollyhock, Echinacea, Liatris, chard, parsley, basil and a few other things got their first taste of the great outdoors this morning as the hardening off process begins.  So exciting!!!

Frtillaria persica May 5 2018

Fritillaria persica are looking good this year.

emerging fern Peony May 5 2018

I really love fern leaf Peony – it’s always the first Peony to bloom and the foliage is really romantic.

emerging Chestnut bud May 5 2018 small

Expanding buds of the chestnut tree I started from seed 10 or so years ago — in a few days I’ll know if this will be its first year to bloom…report next week!

emerging Solomon Seal May 5 2018

I know I’m behind schedule when the Solomon Seal is this high and I haven’t yet transplanted any!  My goal in life is to have this magnificent woodland perennial throughout the property – all starting from a single small clump a neighbour gave me many years ago.  Tomorrow’s project. (Well, one of tomorrow’s projects!)

 

 

Six on Saturday – receding floodwaters

 

Chionodoxa luciliae April 21 2018 small 2

After last weekend’s ice pellets and freezing rain came a full day of heavy rain – which stayed on top of the ice and caused quite a bit of flooding in the yard.  Flooding isn’t unusual in the spring here, we have pretty bad overall drainage on the property despite a contractor’s promise several years ago…

Here is my weekly selection for you, six things for this garden blogger’s meme started by The Propagator.

This is what the Island Bed looks like this morning – anything wet looking (including the grass I stood on to take the photo) was covered in water all week, finally receding a bit yesterday.  The floods usually don’t bother me – I plan the gardens around it although this week’s water levels were higher than ever before, very close to water-logging bulbs and perennials.  The water usually mainly covers much of the driveway and a lot of the grassy areas.

Island April 21 2018

White Spruce cones falling onto back patio

The small cones from a large white spruce (Picea glauca) started to fall last week; I need to rake this small patio frequently this time of year.

Ice Plant flower April 21 2018

This lovely little Ice Plant (Delosperma) – was given to me in mid March and has been sitting in a sunny window.  Here is its first bloom — I’m not sure if the flowers are always so small or if, when planted, they will somehow be larger…it’s pretty none the less, supposed to be a hardy, drought tolerant perennial.  Needs good drainage so I’ll have to plant it well away from flood prone areas!

first real leaves ob Echinacea pallida April 21 2018

The first real leaves on the Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida) seedlings have emerged!

1st Tete a Tete daffodils April 21 2018

With today’s warm sun these tiny Tete a Tete daffodils will open fully.

Finally – two Chianodoxa’s – each a slightly different shade of blue.  I planted hundreds last fall and in a few years they will have naturalized to form thick carpets of blue each April.

Six on Saturday – emerging seeds and a slow spring

Shileau inspecting the new spruces April 6 2018

Shileau inspecting two new spruce trees.  A good friend buys them every fall, keeping them in their pots to decorate her city patio; then I plant them in the yard in early spring.  They generally (but not always) survive, although I have to do a lot of root pruning and root untangling after removing them from their 10 or 15 gallon plastic containers.

This past week brought blustery cold winds to the County and all Southern Ontario – lots of downed trees, fallen branches, rain, snow flurries and power outages.  We were fortunate to escape wind damage or flooding even with the sump pump out of action for a few hours at the height of Wednesday night’s storm.  That said, bulbs continued to push up outside, and seeds started to sprout inside.  Here are my Six on Saturday, with a tip of my Tilly to The Propagator for this theme.

emerging Tulips April 6 2018

These short red early kaufmanniana Tulips have a lovely mottled leaf.  This is their third spring in my heavy clay soil – I’m hoping they’ll continue to bloom for a few more years.

Allium Globemaster April 6 2018

Hard to imagine but within a month this little rosette of leaves will have become a three foot Allium Globemaster.  First time growing them so I’m looking forward to a nice show.

Allium Purple Sensation April 6 2018

I’ve had Allium Purple Sensation for many, many years.  These are new bulbs  I planted last fall but I also collected seeds and have started to propagate larger numbers (I hope!).

Chocolate Sprinkles grape tomatoe - yogurt vs Jiffee pot April 6 2018 1

Grape tomato seedlings started two weeks ago – I’m experimenting using different growing containers.

Chocolate Sprinkles grape tomatoe - yogurt vs Jiffee pot April 6 2018

I was surprised to notice that the tomatoes started in yogurt containers are almost twice as large as the ones grown in more traditional peat pots.  Wow!  Is it maybe because moisture levels are more easily managed?  ie growing media in plastic doesn’t dry out as quickly as in the peat pot?

Six on Saturday – Footprints in the Snow, mainly

We had a few inches of heavy snow Thursday night – with temperatures above zero in the foreseeable future  it’ll likely be gone within a few days but this morning it’s still there.  You can see lots of small footprints in the snow – many more than in previous weeks, so I’m thinking a lot of critters have come out of hibernation and are looking for food (aka spring bulbs…) to munch on.  The woodpeckers are hard at it as well, we can hear them all day, and there seems to be plenty of bugs in the dead or dying trees around us.

I asked an experienced nature photographer, Bill Johnson, if he had any tips on shooting in the winter, when all is snow covered and rather bleak looking.  He said try black and white, so I have.

Here’s my Six on Saturday, with thanks to The Propagator for this theme idea.

6 on 6 animal prints in the snow March 3 2018 b small

I started a new composter compartment yesterday afternoon by dumping a bucket of kitchen waste on top of the snow.  This morning there were tracks all around it – I’m assuming from the rabbits that we see back there, going in and out of the burn pile where they’ve spent the winter.

6 on 6 animal prints in the snow March 3 2018 small

I have no idea what these tracks are from — they look alien to me — but they were near the road, just out from under the buckthorn hedge.  Shileau and I are always disturbing a large bird from that area, a grouse or partridge I think –  perhaps it’s scratching away here?

6 on 6 chipmunk prints 2 March 3 2018 small

A family of chipmunks have lived in this stone wall for a few years.  Today is the first I’ve seen of them this year and they’ve been busy, emerging from several holes in the wall to quickly scurry across the yard to another pile of stone…

6 on 6 chipmunk prints 1 March 3 2018 small

…here.  I’m already worried about the perennials and bulbs that are planted here.

6 on 6 dead tree leaning March 3 2018 small

One of several leaning dead trees along the fence line.  Luckily most are far enough from the driveway that, even if they topple, I won’t have to do any major cutting up.  I like to leave fallen trees as they are for the most part, to provide food and habitat for bugs and critters.

6 on 6 Sedum and Snow March 3 2018

I’ve added this Sedum just because.