Thursday, May 29, 2008 we really have a favourite?

The tulips seem bent on having me change "my favourite" designation.
This new one called 'Akebono' bloomed in the last few days. I think it is quite spectacular. I was surprised at the height, expecting 18", rather than the ~24". Most years 'Ouilliles' is near the top of the list, and she still is lovely. Shirley's Dream is making a nice appearance....shown here with an oak trunk. This is a new group of very dark red ones called 'Peter de Leur'....I haven't seen them in full sun yet... Normally I would have come right out and declared 'Spring Green' to be "the" favourite, BUT..........who said we could be decisive! This late , elegant, quite perennial tulip goes with everything. We plant a few more each year.
'Rajka' is quite unique, and has a lovely blue interior...
I always call this one the "Blush" tulip, the name is long gone, but the tulips persist in spite of any lack of care. It still seems to require a bit of trial and error to select tulip varieties that will dependably "perennialize".

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spring Leaps

Mid-May seems to find the garden growing in leaps and bounds. The early rhododendrons are making their temporary splash.
Several species rhododendrons are the first to bloom.
R. mucronulatum blooms in pink and white shades. This is a seedling from 'Cornell Pink', more of a candy pink than the usual mucronulatum types.
'April Rose' is perhaps the most vivid of the early bloomers. It is very difficult to photograph!This year it actually had the entire bloom period "without" a frost sending the blossoms to mush.
It is one of a series of "April" rhodies.....two others being 'April Snow', a white double; and 'April Mist', quite a delicate lavender.
There are, of course, followed closely by the 'PJM' rhodies, of which we
have a large number. This is a small one in our 'Holland' bed....just coming into bloom.
The group at the front of the house make quite a nice splash.
Among the early lepidotes is quite a new one called 'Anneke Placek', she is a very delicate pink which turns to amost white very quickly.The pace at which new plants are coming into bloom is great, It is almost a full time job to keep track of who is doing what. The named ones are easy, keeping track of the seedlings that bloom seems a bit harder. This plant is in the '98 bed, and the cross information seems at odds with the plants appearance.
These big buds are on a seedling from 'Janet Blair ' x pachysanthum.
The "budding" goes on!

Plant Sale is Over

We had a very successful Plant Sale this year.
It does monopolize our efforts in the early spring, but such is life. Bill even had to build a new set of steps, as the others had seen the end of their life.
There were approximately 8oo plants prepared, and less than 3 dozen left.
This is what was left . Even these have dissipated, as a few people dropped by after the sale days.
We also had a few special "orders" which didn't get into the normal scheme of things. Now we can concentrate on the many jobs to be done, and enjoy the progress of spring.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

We might get " Weather Rage"

It is a rather chilly day here on this Saturday, and the outlook is not nice . The weather forecasts ....
"From Saturday Afternoon to Sunday Morning we expect 5-10 cm of snow and 25-30 mm of rain."
Not the words we like to hear.
Looks like tomorrow will be the day that gets devoted to some indoor transplanting.
The tomatoes need some attention. There are also a lot of little Four O'Clock seedlings that I hope will be OK in their cell packs. This is the first time I have grown them. It seemed every seed sprouted. They were a kind gift from a lady in Ottawa who frequents the Canadian Gardening Forum.
I have a bunch of Impatiens, but think they may need a few more days until they are ready for transplant. I try not to have them ready too soon, since our cool late May weather never lets them see the outdoors until the first week of June.
I think the poor indoor plants may have fallen prey to slight neglect in the last week or so.
We have had a busy few days getting plant together for our Plant Sale next weekend. I expect we are about 75% done, but each miserable day doesn't help the process.
The only positive thing about coolness is that the spring bulbs last a bit longer. We currently have Scilla siberica having their spring romp....they spend as much time out of bed as "in bed". They populate one end of the "gulley" bed area, and Puschkinia populate the other, plus wander down over the bank.
The Star Magnolias are just bursting....
There are loads of narcissus, and the types seem to change daily. This is 'Orangery'.
This is a little species tulip 'Persian Pearl', I think.
I especially enjoy these clumps of Praestans unicum....good bright spots.
Corydalis nobilis is a favourite spring plant. These , I have had for many years. They moved with me almost ten years ago. They give us a few seedling here and there each year.
I haven't tried to purposely get seed. Perhaps I am too busy with other things to notice seed on the early bloomers.
We were quite intrigued to see some Barred Owls in the front yard yesterday. We hear them "hooting" all the time, but rarely see them. There were two that flew into the yard, and perched on the willow tree. One had left before I had presence of mind to try a pic. We were inside, and 150 Ft. away. Of course, the Owl had his head turned.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day....May Day

Here we are at the first of May, rushing in with a cold rain that chills to the bone.
We have barely crept above 5C today, and the drizzle is continuing.
Our Days have been, and will be, spent getting ready for our Plant Sale that happens on May17th and 18th. Prior to that we are participating in a Member Sale for the Rhododendron Soc. in Halifax this coming Tuesday.
The Member Sale for us is very much dependent upon fitting a given number of plants in the car. This year and last we "invited" the members to pre-order plants from a given list. This worked very well for both them and us. The unnecessary lugging of plants was eliminated from our jaunt.
Bill has most of the "ordered" plants all dug and potted. It is quite amazing to us that one of the most popular plants is the humble, but fragrant February Daphne (Daphne mezureum).
We did have a quick walk around the yard today, but everything is looking quite droopy with the rain.
The narcissus are just getting underway, so there will be lots to welcome there.
This little Jetfire is among the first.
This other group was pleasantly surrounded by Chionodoxa...all of which were quite floppy after all the rain.
I was surprised to see Fidelity showing some colour, as are the Hyacinths. I am always pleasantly surprised when they make a good reappearance.Most of the earliest are the yellow trumpet daffodils, and a lot of Ice Follies.
The only tulip showing colour is Prastans unicum.The Crown Imperial Fritillaria are growing quite rapidly. I do hope there is not a nasty frost in the next week to damage the emerging flower buds.
As usual, the Lady's Mantle look fabulous after a rain.