Progress Saturday, May 21 2016 

It is remarkable how something as simple as lifting and resetting a brick edge improves the whole look of a garden.  The vegetable garden beds are edged with brick and it has been several years since anything was done.  I have gotten almost halfway through the process of a simple lift/re-set.  And the garden looks ever so much nicer with those clear edges.  Which means I should keep going…..

There is a lot of brick out there…..

Still, it is an important consideration in garden design: wild can be lovely, but it works best when it is balanced by that touch of formality. Or vice versa.  Order and chaos working together in balance (or eternal tension), I seem to recall some interesting classical Greek commentary on that….

Changes Thursday, May 19 2016 

Pretty much the same view….just about sixty years apart! Use the Ginkgo for reference, the angle is not quite the same, but close enough to give the sense of it.  There is a reason no one sees the place anymore from the road, at least not in summer.

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Trillium Tuesday, May 17 2016 

One of the quiet glories of the garden is the trillium.  This is the classic white trillium that I will forever associate with Mont-Royal in Montreal.  But also with here.  Planted by my grandmother, it has slowly, slowly spread.  It takes seven years from seed germination to flower…if all goes well.  And the germination rate is low.  One of the best things is that the patch, once concentrated in one spot, has now spread out.  Helped by human hands, and its old friends the ants which carry the seed, there are now a few trillium on the other side of the drive, elsewhere in the garden, and under a few other trees.  This is good.

They had made me nervous this year, with very little rain, they had come up small and tight. And since that single whorl of leaves is all they have for the year, that is worrisome.  But with that week of rain, the leaves expanded and they are blooming away. Perhaps fifty plants now. Maybe more.

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Sweet Woodruff Monday, May 2 2016 

A very nice ground-cover, even though it really can’t compete with heavy mulch or cold, dry winters; so it is best to let it amble about in a number of places where it can be an unexpected delight and not asked to really fulfill a Function as a ground-cover.  It likes these old stone steps:

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Bold combinations Friday, Apr 29 2016 

I couldn’t actually get a good photograph of this, the framing was all wrong, as is the placement; but, a good example of how once in awhile a really bold color combination can work.  This is accidental, but the orange and the pink don’t seem to clash. Perhaps because none of them are really ‘pastel’ or ‘soft’; the phlox isn’t due to its sheer size, the tulips by nature. I’m not really a fan of ‘hot’ borders and that sort of thing, but bold colors as accents do catch the eye.

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Tulipa Sylvestris Wednesday, Apr 27 2016 

I planted them on the old tennis court, the soil type may be right, but it may be too shady for effective blooming.  Also known as the Florentine Tulip, the shape is lovely.  And yes, sometimes there is a very faint scent. The flowers don’t last very many days though.  Are they naturalizing perennials? That I don’t know, though after three years, they are all still there. They might, which would be nice.

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Frozen daffodils Saturday, Apr 9 2016 

I am intrigued by the daffodils, which have been solidly frozen this last week.  They are very limp out in the garden and, if they opened before this cold spell, they are essentially done: rapidly heading towards that translucent stage which speaks of their age.  However, if mostly closed, they can be brought inside; there, in a matter of hours, they will open quite nicely.  They will also, I suspect, last as long as any other cut daffodil. I suppose that this is the same mechanism which permits the florist to have a cooler of unopened buds and time them perfectly for the event in question.  Interesting to see it in action in nature!

The question is, how long can they last in this dormant stage outside?

Polar vortex gardening Thursday, Apr 7 2016 

Well, I think the daffodil bank is unlikely to recover its full glory. It was just starting into bloom when the cold and snow came. Because those daffodils (genuine King Alfreds) are long stemmed, many of them got broken by the weight of the snow.  But we will see, I’ll collect the broken ones this evening once I know for sure.

On the other hand, we will likely have the only Star Magnolia to bloom this year. Ours is always two weeks behind, even our neighbors, and had not yet even thought about budding out. Unlike everyone else’s.

Hard to say on the peaches and the apples, they hadn’t begun to bud out though, so maybe.  Not that I need more apples, still plenty in the freezer!

The snow was a good thing though, as long as it didn’t break things, it protected them.

Now what is forecast for tomorrow….

Continuing the theme Saturday, Apr 2 2016 

from the other day:

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I am going to figure out how to make crocus work in a naturalistic fashion, someday! These are a species crocus with a fairly good, saturated color planted in a tall grass section of the lawn. The deeper color is more effective against the light background of the dead grass than the paler pastels. (pure white also works)  Now, if I can get past the vole issue….

Nice sunset tonight Friday, Mar 25 2016 

Heavy fog this morning, gave way to a pleasant evening. Almost tempting to sit outside and watch the sunset while supper cooked, but not quite there yet.  One of the nice things about a good western view though!

Spring clean up continues apace, very much a team effort.  I chopped back some big old burning bushes this year, on the theory the volunteer dogwoods and yew deserved the space more. The brush (log!) piles vanished while I was at work, magic that 🙂

And some peas are in the ground! Also a team effort.

The white crocus vernus seems to be the survivor, good thing it looks good.  Yellow apparently gets eaten first, then cream blue/rose shades.  Curious.

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