27 February 2017

Pansies, milkweed & daffs, oh my!

Yes, it's been a while since I've posted. All is well...just very, very busy. There isn't a lot of time these days to post free stuff, or even to donate a column to LocalXpress, so we have to make do when we can. I trust everyone is getting through the winter without too much distress. We've just had a very welcome few days of unseasonably warm weather, which melted a great deal of the heaps of snow we got the week before. And as always, every day marches us closer to spring. 

Every year, the National Garden Bureau in the US announces the perennial, annual, bulb and edible of the year; and the Perennial Plant Association also chooses a Perennial of the Year. The NBG's annual of the year this year is the lovely pansy, in its large-flowered form. But in my garden, all types of violas, from the sweetly scented to the pansies to the petite and boisterous Johnny Jump Ups, are more than welcome.

While I always purchase a few named cultivars of pansies, Johnnys and violas every spring, I also have volunteers pop up around the yard, and I encourage those as well. There were even flowers in December last year! 

The PPA's perennial of the year is an excellent choice this year; Asclepias tuberosa, aka butterfly weed, which is a superb plant not only for Monarch butterflies but for many other butterflies, bees and numerous other pollinators. Best suited for a sunny, well-drained spot, this native North American plant is drought tolerant once established, long blooming, and gorgeous, and generally left alone by deer and other pests. What's not to love?

The bulb of the year is the glorious daffodil, which I have adored since I was an elementary student and introduced to Wordsworth's poem of the same name. Deer resistant, tough, and gorgeous, daffs and narcissus come in a wide range of varieties, featuring bicolours, doubles, singles, some with large trumpets, others with more subdued centres. They all tend to be fragrant, long-lived cut flowers, and look spectacular planted in drifts. 

 One useful tidbit you may not know--daffs should never be put in cut flower arrangements with other types of flowers, as sap from the daffodils will kill other flowers. So do a big massed vase of daffs and narcissus, and put other types of spring flowers in other vases to enjoy.

04 July 2016

To our American Neighbours--Happy Independence Day!

 Yes, I know our neighbours to the south spell neighbours as 'neighbors'. That's not the point...

Wherever you are today, whether travelling or at home, celebrating with friends and community, on vacation or at work (not everyone gets a holiday), 

Here's wishing you a joyous, safe, and peaceful Independence Day!
Three  cheers for the Red...


And blue!

29 June 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Catching up with closeups

Suddenly, it's the end of June, and it's been almost two months since I've posted. Good reasons for that--it's gardening and nature photography time! Plus it's a busy time of year for work. So today, you get only a bit of a slide show, with captions and a couple of info notes:
1. I continue to donate a column to Local Xpress, the news website set up by the striking journalists of the provincial newspaper, the Chronicle Herald. I don't wish to have my name affiliated with what is left of that paper, so I write a column for my friends who were forced out nearly six months ago. Since I AM donating, it only gets done when I have time, but you can find them here.

2. This is going to be the last year for Canning Daylily Gardens to be open, as Wayne is retiring. I'll have more to say about that soon, but in the meantime, he's having a real sale at the nursery. The nursery website is not updated, but you can find contact information on it.

That's it for this time! Now to the photos:

 Clematis 'Diamantina'.

Echium 'Red Feathers'.

 Asclepias 'Monarch Promise'.

 One of several currently unidentified penstemons. I'm working on figuring them out.

 Finally blooming, yellow Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa)

 Petunia 'Picasso in Purple'. A vast improvement over 'Pretty Much Picasso.'

Primula vialii with stupid white crab spider. Soon to be ex crab spider.

White, nightblooming angel trumpet, Datura. 
Oh, and at the top? Meconopsis x, aka the Himalayan blue poppy. Of course. :-)

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