Snowdrops are always the first to emerge. Galanthus elwesii. Crocus shoots are showing green tips.
With above zero temps and rain instead of snow, it’s safe to believe it’s spring. Although we had some well-past-their-welcome snowflakes in early April—causing much wailing and gnashing of teeth from gardeners—the growing season is now upon us and can only get better from here on in.
A new garden season always gets the blood pumping in a gardener’s veins. Now, it’s daily checking to see what’s popping up, scanning for green shoots—any green shoots!
Spring bulbs are the first shoots we spy, and snowdrops show their faces first. The large flowered variety, Galanthus elwesii, are the best in my garden: they pack a bigger punch, even in a small group. I’d love to have a huge swath of snowdrops, but in my tough, sandy garden full of competitive Norway maple tree roots, I am lucky to see a few snowdrops here and there. To behold a real flower emerging from the soil, after the winter we’ve had is an exquisite thrill. Plus it’s good exercise to bend low—in the case of snowdrops, very low—in order to see the delicate flowers close up. Consider it your gardener’s spring warm up?
Hello sunshine! Isn’t it nice to see a bright blue sky at seven p.m., the snow receding from your lawn, the chill of winter air mingling with the occasional warm breeze…and in just eleven days – it’s hard to believe – it will be spring, the vernal equinox, the day that the sun’s path, moving from the southern hemisphere to the north, crosses the equator. On March 20, the day is the same length as the night, which for many of means only one thing; it’s time to clean up the trusty barbecue and get it ready for the first grilling of the year! Continue »
A Good Thing: Snow cover is a great insulator for garden perennials.
Before we know it, we are going to be complaining about the heat. Is that even possible? I have a faint memory of doing just that in the not so distant past. In the meantime, even though I am not a skier, I’m very happy to see those massive piles of snow, which are doing a great job of insulating the perennials in the garden. The snow doesn’t insulate as in keeping warm, it insulates by keeping plants (and soil) cold, and therefore dormant, so they don’t start growing, only to met with another icy blast.
A “doubled colour” effect when the house colour matches garden material, like this yellow magnolia.
Does the garden shrub match the drapes, er, shutters? Or even a door? Let’s hope yes! Garden elements, like colours of flowers, shrubs or trees doubly compliment your front yard curb appeal when you provide a matching paint colour. It’s a effect that guarantees a pleasing colour harmony on your front step.
There are many effective examples of harmonious paint and plant pairings. Consider orange daylilies, or a Japanese Maple with orange bark against an orange door. While these opportune colour pairings may only last part of the season, they are worth keeping in mind when selecting either house paint or plants. This yellow magnolia comes into bloom with a sunny cheerfulness in early spring and warms the whole corner. The yellow flowers wouldn’t have the same satisfying effect against red brick.
The Baroque twisty-ness of the Walking Onion.
Do these onions really walk like an Egyptian? Read on. This unique, heirloom perennial onion plant (Allium proliferum) serves both an ornamental and edible garden function. Once you have Egyptian walking onions in your garden, you’ll never again have a “we’re out of onions” moment. Your onion supply will be there, faithfully waiting. Yes, the onion bulbs, or bulblets, that grow on the top of its stalk are small, like teeny shallots. Still, they make a great addition to any recipe when you need onions and are out of the big round ones.