23 May 2008
The Advantage of a Cool Climate
As promised after Wednesday night, it's time to return to our regularly scheduled programming--er, make that blogging--which naturally has to do with plants. Now, this has been a week of much rain here at Sunflower Hill, which is good for the crops and the woods and gardens and so on. But it makes it hard to get anything down in the garden, so things are growing at an alarming rate, including the weeds, of course.
We're now well into May, and the weather is mostly warm, with no frosts for several weeks (at least not here on the hill.) It has been chilly at times, and very windy. Every time we have a big rain, we usually have a day or so of strong winds too. Now, I'm talking about weather here on the hill, with winds off the Bay a lot of the time. In the Annapolis Valley below us, the temperatures are quite a bit milder for the most part. We're generally two weeks or more behind the Valley, but there are advantages to this.
In the first place, our cooler weather may bring things on slower in our spring, but plants also last in bloom much longer. I still have plenty of daffodils, though this glorious yellow double daff is at my friend's place year Yarmouth, also right on the water. In the Valley, the daffs are mostly done, as are many of the tulips and fruit trees are starting to bloom.
Many of you may well remember how long our autumns go, with some plants lasting well into November.
Most people won't see grape hyacinths now until next March. Ours, on the other hand, are doing just fine, and some are just getting around to opening.
This little pink Corydalis is a charmer, and fragrant; but it goes dormant after it flowers. I'm hoping it will spread and selfseed itself the way that other corydalis do, because I really like it. I'll like it even better if I can get 'Berry Exciting' to go along with it.
This pink-flowered lamium intrigued me, and I neglected to get a piece from my friend. I have white and purple flowered lamiums, and yellow and white flowered lamiastrums, so why not add another one to the mix?
I love the colour of the new peony shoots, especially with the 'pink' daffodils growing beside them to contrast them sharply. Our peonies always do very well, except we invariably have a major rainstorm with lots of wind while the peonies are flowering. Naturally. That's just Murphy's Law of weather.
While the species tulips are still doing just fine, the big showoff tulips are just starting to come into their own, shining like jewels throughout the garden.
I LOVE checkered fritillary (these are the white form, so they aren't too checkered) They politely form clumps and provide an unusual floral display compared to the other springflowering bulbs. While I also love the big showy fritillaria, they're a bit iffy for our garden, and they're quite pricy too, so I stay with the small beauties.
Time for me to head to sleep...the plan is to work in the garden all weekend, and the weather is supposed to be decent. We'll see how things work out, but my next post is (finally) a report card on what survived and what went to sleep.