13 May 2009
The balm of gardening...
Isn't it amazing how our stress levels drop when we're in the garden? It's really hard to be upset while grounding ourselves in plants and soil and fresh air. At least, that's my experience. Even when there's goutweed to do battle with, or other annoyances, it's still a soothing, safe place to be.
That's especially true on those perfect spring days when the sun is warm, the fog and wind have gone on temporary sabbatical, and all nature is awake and singing a paean of joy to being. Sights like the slowly opening leaves of this Katsura make me instantly happy.
Likewise, the flower buds and gently bronze foliage of this Amelanchier give me great joy. In much of the province, the amelanchier are already in bloom, but we in Scotts Bay are of the 'better late than never' school of spring growth.
We don't mind getting wet knees or a crick in our backs if it's to bend down and enjoy the sweet fragrance of a corydalis such as this, which I believe is 'Blackberry Wine'; although that could be incorrect. I've been wrong before. And I'm okay with that, if someone knows the true species/cultivar.
The pulmonaria are putting on a terrific show, festooning the yard with their blossoms in shades of blue, rose, 'red' and white. Once the flowers are spent, the foliage is just as attractive, especially in shady spots.
Our daffodils are about at the peak of bloom, except for the late ones such as the Poeticus narcissus, while the species tulips are coming on nicely. Species tulips might not be as big and showy as the hybrid divisions, but they last longer and tend to multiply nicely.
Many people have Pulsatilla long gone to seed, but in our garden it's just really getting going. This plant has been here for about 8 years now, and I keep planning to add other colours to the area where it's growing, but somehow never seem to get to it. There's a Euphorbia coming up in the midst of this clump, in case you're wondering what else is growing. Oh, and some couchgrass. The bed isn't weeded yet!
Ah, Led Zeppelin fans should enjoy this plant: Polemonium 'Stairway to Heaven'. I've planned to make a Music-themed garden bed for several years but haven't gotten to it yet, mostly because I was busy with the chocolate and wine garden, and now have to prepare an area for a dedicated perennial grass garden too. Oh, the responsibilities!
My bloodroot are just opening their graceful flowers now. This is a spring flowering perennial I wish would last for a longer time, because it's so lovely and yet so fleeting. The winds that do whip themselves up will probably take the flowers apart before I have a chance to photograph them completely open.
Several of you asked which hepatica I have, and where I got it. It's the native one, Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa, the roundleafed variety; I bought it nearly a decade ago from a now-defunct mailorder nursery out west, and it continues to delight me every spring with its lavender-blue flowers. Some years the colour seems better than others, but maybe that's because the yellow primula growing beside it highlights its colours.
Speaking of blue, here's the lovely Lithodora, which I now treat as an annual because it refuses to overwinter for me. I blame that on the wet clay soil and the coldness we experience sometimes when there's no snow cover; things that are out of my control and so that I simply relax and sigh about a little bit. Nothing can be done except to enjoy, so we do!
I hope the balm of gardening is making your soul light and your heart sing on these fine spring days.