We’re about to plunge headlong into the whirlwind of activity that is the third annual Saltscapes East Coast Expo. For those of you in Nova Scotia, or nearby—if you don’t come see the show, you’re missing a HUGE treat. What a LOT of exhibitors, many there for the first time, many of them related to gardening. I can’t wait to actually MEET James Chadwick of Metal Petals Garden Art, among other artisans, craftspeople, and so on. I’ll have to keep a tight rein on the grocery money, lest I succumb to one of James’ marvelous flowers…though it WOULD look marvelous in the back garden.
Of course I got to see my friends from Blomidon Nurseries, Bunchberry Nursery, Baldwin Nurseries and Springvale Nurseries, and met two interesting new growers from Foggy Hollow nursery in Noel, Hants County. Many people weren’t at the park when I arrived; the show doesn’t open until noon tomorrow, (Friday) and some exhibitors are old hands at coming in to do setup and going out to rest up for the next few days. It will be hectic, but it will be SO worth it!
I got back from Halifax about 1930, and thought I’d take a stroll around the garden, even though a chilly wind is blasting in off the Bay this evening. A few quick snapshots to show just where we are in the scheme of growing things.
First, a little tease: Who knows what these little furry brown things are? (No scrolling down to find the answers, either.)
Those of you who are ardent readers of Kate Smudges know she’s been rejoicing in hepaticas (liverworts) for quite a few days now. Well, I’m really happy about that, though I was somewhat in despair too, because my hepatica were buried in snow until a few days ago. However, to show how far my part of Nova Scotia is behind Kate’s Regina, Sask garden….
This would be one of MY hepatica. Patience, patience, jodi….
There are a happy host of crocus around the garden, and one dazzling yellow iris (Iris danfordiae, one of the miniature/dwarf iris like Iris reticulata, though not as reliably hardy in my garden.). The chionodoxa are popping up nicely, I spied one scilla straggling out from under some mulch, and the puschkinia are definitely happening—plus more (single) snowdrops and some snowflakes, too (Leucojum). And the perennials are popping up where welcome sunlight and warmth is smiling on them. In fact, as soon as the snow came off the pulmonaria, it obligingly shook its leaves and started opening flower buds. Still small, yet, but coming along nicely.
Have you figured out yet what that funny looking plant is? Patience, gentle readers…
A couple of interesting things to tell you about. I had an email from a gentleman from Hants county the other day, telling me about his family business, Lavender Grange. Since lavender is one of my favourite scents/plants, I was excited to read about this. THEN yesterday, in Wolfville, I found some of Rob and Annette’s products; I bought the shampoo and body lotion. Well…they’re going to do SO well with these products. They’re gorgeous—richly brimming with lavender essential oils, lovely quality, no dyes, and wonderful tasteful labeling. I can’t wait to go visit a little later this spring, and to try more of their products.
You’re going to hear me talking about another company now and again, too. I’ve taken on a project as a field consultant for Trail Blazer Products of Dartmouth. Trail Blazer is maybe best known for their outdoor equipment, such as their famous takedown saw…but they’ve developed a whole line of gardening tools too; very high quality, well made, and with a lifetime guarantee! (Though if my longsuffering spouse ran over the cultivator with the tractor lawnmower, I wonder if they’d consider that a valid reason for replacement?) Anyway, I’m going to be fieldtesting their gear in my garden, and letting you know more about it in the coming weeks. I’m really impressed by the company’s integrity and commitment to quality products—and they’re local, proudly Nova Scotian, but selling in 40 countries around the world. Pretty exciting stuff.
Okay…I’ve teased you long enough. Here’s a bit of a hint…
Yup. It’s true. That’s the young growth of a Meconopsis (I think this is grandis rather than betonicifolia, but both are glorious.) In other words…one of my blue poppies is awake—it’s in the warmest site of the four different spots where I’ve got blue poppies happening. Those three furry little creatures are all part of one plant, and this is a very good thing. Some blue poppies are prone to monocarpic behaviour, meaning they flower and die, especially if they only have one crown. I let one plant bloom last year with only one crown formed, just to see whether it would come back or not. This one, I bit my lip and disbudded. The purple Meconopsis, I let flower too, (and I forget its variation) and while I’m not sure, it looks like either seedlings or the crown is awaking from THAT spot.
So, my dear friends who are coaxing/nurturing/bribing/pleading with blue poppies: take courage. All good things come to those who are patient with these lovely, sometimes cantankerous plants.
And I heard spring peepers earlier this evening, and had a purple finch at the feeder this morning. Spring HAS returned to Scotts Bay.
See you at the Expo!