Friday, February 29, 2008

The Late Valentine Bouquet

A bit late for Valentines Day, but still very much appreciated. This bouquet had all sorts of interesting floral bits. This also was a chance to experiment with clickable images. These seem to work , but any foray into the "html" realm is always dicey. These pics were taken a week and a half ago, so nothing is very up to date! The size factor needs a bit of tweaking. Images are linked to Photobucket, which is not being very cooperative these days. They seem to be having "issues" with new & improved photo editing. Alstromeria A very interesting "leaf" with jagged edges, the identity of which I have no clue , plus the very nice variegated "grass blade",these bits of grass seem to be prevalent in recent arrangements. We even have a nice white lily.... the image of which will not seem to appear!
The roses seemed a little out of place.
There were a couple of pale pink snapdragons, which in "captivity", don't have very vivid colour. There were 2 large pieces of a variegated evergreen, much like a daphne. It doesn't take much to entertain me these days!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Garden Bloggers Geography Project

Jodi DeLong has initiated a blogger's location survey( her logo above), so we can all put ourselves on the MAP! We are located about 15Km outside Antigonish, Nova Scotia in a rural area called Maryvale. It is located due North of Antigonish, and a stones throw from the waters of St George's Bay, and the Northumberland Strait. The "shore road," as we call it, is actually Route 245, and is a very scenic route towards the town of New Glasgow. We actually live on The Old Maryvale Road, which seems to some to be the middle of nowhere, but a few minutes of travel can quickly change that. The town of Antigonish is quite a bustling little town, the home of St. Francis Xavier University. In the fall and winter, the population has a decided increase. Welcome to "The Willow Garden" Here we are with directions a la Google Maps. View Larger Map

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Boogie Woogie

"Tree Lilies", the Ultimate in Botanical Hyperbole

Each year I come across people who are totally intrigued by Breck's sales's pitch for "Tree Lilies".
We have had quite a number of discussions on the Canadian Gardening Forum about this. I guess I have very little patience for botanical hyperbole!
These lilies are from the group called OrienPet lilies, a cross between the Trumpet lilies, and Orientals. Here in our garden they bloom just before the main Orientals. We have Boogie Woogie, and they have improved each year (didn't get them from Breck's)
The height has "improved "each year, but they are still quite stocky (which is not a bad thing) We also have other Oriental lilies that get to the same dimensions as their "trees"! This one called Simplon was 7Ft....(shown with our 6Ft2" yardstick) I have no idea whether the bulbs have increased to the degree they predict, and I have no intention of digging them up to investigate! Brecks is quite pricey. I expect one can find many of their items at an alternate place. There are several relatively convenient, and good sources for the OrienPet lilies of which Boogie Woogie is one. I didn't closely examine to see if there was a significant difference in bulb size from one supplier to another. We got our Boogie Woogie at Veseys. They list it this year.
(Their price is 3/$15.95)
I also see that Lindenberg Seed from Brandon, Manitoba has several varieties listed for only $4.49 each. That is half price compared to Breck's. They may have a mix of true Trumpets and Orienpets, but Boogie Woogie is there. I am not familiar with Touch, Triumphator, Purple Prince or Scheherazade. One could look them up on the web to check. Those in colder areas would need to check the hardiness issue. If you want to phone Lindenberg for a catalogue the # is 204-727-0575 They don't have a very functional website (last I looked!) Garden Import has several (6) listed as well, but Boogie Woogie isn't among them. Their prices range from $4.95- $6.95 each(not bad!)
Breck's "Tale of Lily Trees" must have precipitated some comments to them, as they have included some explanation of the expectations one might have .
I think everyone needs to be prepared for a fairly "wimpy" first year growth, with improvements in succeeding years(if all goes well!).
See a little slide show at the bottom of posts.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nova Scotia Chinook

We have had about 48 hours of mild temperatures with a lot of wind and rain, so we are in the midst of a February thaw. Not all of the snow is gone, but a lot of areas are now more muddy than icy. There seems to be optimism in the ground, since there are many instances of bulb noses poking through to today's sunshine. This patch of Snow Drops always pokeup very early. The rhododendrons are having a respite from the cold, and are all plumped up. It is nice to be reminded of impending blooms, even though we know it will still be quite awhile before anything actually happens. Much of the residual perennial foliage now looks a bit flattened, but here and there a few bright spots appear. I have been experimenting with a bit of embedding today. There is a slideshow from Webshots at the bottom of the post. Click to activate the show. It is simply a few images from last July, no particular theme as of now. There are also slideshows conjured from PhotoBucket and Picasa Web Albums. A bit of trial & error will show which works best.

Monday, February 11, 2008


We got dumped on again last night so part of today was spent clearing the path, and cleaning off the car. We are fortunate to have a neighbor who does the driveway with a snowblower.
There seemed to be ~8 inches of fresh snow, and the only activity early this morning was due to the dogs, the squirrel, and the birds.
It was a cold, blustery day, which may get worse. This picture was taken through the window.
To help brighten up this gloom I took some pics of our current Amaryllis seems to be the Appleblossom sort.
It wouldn't stop growing tall, so it's a wonder it hasn't tipped over.
A very pretty bouquet "followed" me home the other day, so here are a couple pics of that as well.
Just a bit of rotation.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Snowy February ... But Thoughts of Spring

We seem to be having another of our interminable winter days, so I have entertained myself by concocting an Album of tulip images to post on our website
It is always a cheery process to view the flowers of spring.
We seem to accumulate tulips in dribs and drabs over the years, with some getting to be great favourites.
Those that perform well, and are good "perennializers" fit that bill.
Our earliest tulips seem to consist of many unnamed varieties, but they are welcome never-the-less.
I try to get a new species type or two each year, since they tend to repeat quite well.
Praestans unicum is one of the earliest, and most vivid of these. The variegated version is great for foliage alone.
Tulipa tarda is another very prolific species, and seems to spread by seed as well as new bulbs.
Many of the quite late Darwin tulips seem to be good choices. Among our favourites is the very beautiful, and elegant 'Spring Green'.
I sometime think if I could only have one tulip (a laughable notion!) this would be the one. It blends beautifully with all the spring garden plants, and has a long bloom period.
Pink flowers of any species are among those I choose, and 'Ouilliles' is probably my choice here.
Too bad the word is so unpronounceable, and a downright challenge to spell!

Monday, February 4, 2008

February Entrance

We are 4 days late getting February started, but that is not much of a loss, since it has been downright miserable with snow, freezing rain, rain, high winds, and plummeting temperatures. So much for the lament. At least the sun is shining today, the Groundhog didn't see his shadow,and hopefully we will not break our neck on ice. We are now in the midst of the ARHS Seed Exchange, and have been receiving orders in the mail on a regular basis. It is "members only" until the end of February, but open to the world at large after that. Gardening ventures are very much on the back-burner, but we have been planning a two day Gardening Workshop to be in the Antigonish Co. Recreation Spring offerings. They are planned for May15th and 22nd, here at our garden in the early evening. There are many topics that can be conjured, but we have settled on three.
  • Soil Building - since gardening works from the ground up.
  • Growing Rhododendrons & Azaleas - people need to have advice. We will cover the basics of soil preparation, site choices, and varieties that do well here in Nova Scotia.
  • Spring Flowering Bulbs - they will be in full bloom at the time of the course. Bloom time is a very good time to plan for the fall planting.