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.

17 comments:

  1. It's so interesting to me to see what's going on where. My grape hyacinths are at their peak right now like yours, but my big showy tulips are almost finished. So funny how these things all overlap, coincide, and diverge, isn't it?

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  2. Your early spring plants are so pretty Jodi. I just love those Fritillarys. I have tried them a couple of times and had no luck with them. I don't think I have seen a white one before. It makes me want to try again.

    Our spring has been cool and wet this year. It has really been enjoyable. We often have a week or two of spring and then go right into a hot long summer so I am really appreciating this spring. It seems that the plants are too because as you mentioned your spring blooms are lasting longer so are ours. It has been wonderful. Today will be our first day of temps in the 80's. I don't like that. I much prefer the cool.

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  3. After having to read everyone else's posts about their spring flowers a month or more ago, it's good to know there's still someone whose season is AFTER mine.

    My tulips let their petals fall, the daffodils left a while ago, the grape hyacinths have seen their glory days.

    We're slow to start, but at least we don't have a brown season.

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  4. Lovely, lovely, lovely :)

    Have a great weekend Jodi!

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  5. beautiful tulips and daffs! i am jealous, as the deer do not allow us any tulips here. one of my neighbors grows hers in a cage! enjoy the spring flowers! wow it really is the best time of year!

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  6. So many lovely flowers Jodi! Isn't it amazing how a "little" thing like elevation effects planting zones so much? If I drive about ten minutes, up out of the valley to a higher area, people's gardens there are about two weeks behind mine.

    So interesting to see what you have blooming now. I've still got tulips and my grape hyacinths are at their peak. The fruit trees just started blooming this week.

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  7. I guess gardening in cold climates as its advantages and desavantages, just like gardening in hot climates. You can grow plants that just would scorch in the sun here. I can grow plants that would die in your winters. It's just so interesting to see what grows where trough everyones blogs isn't it?

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  8. I agree!
    It is almost only good thing with cooler climate.
    In the summer it never dry out so much that it do on the places with lower zons.
    You shows very beautiful pictures of spring flowers, the most of them we have here in Sweden to.
    Have a nice weekend
    Ken from Sweden

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  9. Looks like it's time to head north for the summer. If money were no object, I think I'd be a migrant gardener. How lovely tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinths seem now--for me, they are a distant memory--two seasons ago in my garden.

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  10. Hi Jodi, so glad to see your spring flowers. The tulips and stunning and everything looks very happy. Nice to know those will last a while for you too, such a wonderful time for the flowers. I love the white fritillary, we tried to purples for the first time this year, they didn't do much. Maybe it takes a few years for them to get going?
    Frances

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  11. I love spring bulbs. I'm glad you're still getting to see them. I blinked down here and missed them entirely. :)

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  12. How nice that you can enjoy these lovely spring beauties for so long! We, too, have had a lot of rain, not too much, thank goodness, but just often enough that it makes it hard to get everything planted (and weeded).

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  13. It is so greta to be back online..... reading, commenting and posting. I love seeing your pics. What a wonderful variety of Spring blooms!
    My former house was up in the hills and it seemed to take forever for Spring to come.... but it did last longer. My "new" house is in the Connecticut River Valley..so I am now in a micro-climate where things bloom early and each bloom time seems to fly by. Fun...but definitely something to get used to.
    Please drop in again for a visit now that I am back in the swing of things!
    Carol
    terranovadesignblogspot.com

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  14. ow yes, you are right. I will not see muscari until next year :)
    your orange tulips are amazing!

    I have visited a rhodo heaven yesterday and posted some pictures - check this out :)

    Greetings,

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  15. It's nice to see someone with grape hyacinths at the same time as us in northern SK. Still no big tulips here yet though (unless planted right up against the house). I hope you have a great gardening week after all your rain.

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  16. Another advantage of your cooler climate is that we who live in the south get the joy of your extended spring! Your flowers are lovely...have a wonderfully long bloom time. Gail

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  17. Waaaaah! My checkered fritillaries didn't even come up! I planted them last fall. I don't know what happened.

    I got 'Berry Exciting' corydalis, but it doesn't seem to be taking off and growing yet. We've had cooler than usual temperatures, though. Maybe now that it's warm again, it will get going. It sure is pretty.

    My replacement blue poppies are supposed to arrive next week. If they don't make it this time, I'm afraid I'll have to give up. :-(

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