27 April 2011

Poison Plants, Pollinators, Perennials: It's Time for Saltscapes Expo

One of the regular signs of spring in Nova Scotia is the annual Saltscapes East Coast Expo, a celebration of the best of Atlantic Canada. For those who have never been to this event, it's not your average trade or home show. If you know Saltscapes magazine, imagine that the magazine comes to life at Exhibition Park for three days each spring. There's awesome food, terrific entertainment from around the region, exquisite and unique retail, lots of presentations.

This year I will have my own gardening area, set up near the Honda Power Equipment Garden Booth. Look for the brilliant blue bench (painted by LSS) and the colourful plants and containers I'll have there. The great thing about having my own area for presentations is that there will be time and space in which to talk with gardeners after the presentations, without having to rush off the stage for the next presenter. There's nothing we gardeners like better than to talk about plants and planting.

20 April 2011

Sorta Wordless Wednesday--Hellebore Happiness

This collection of hellebore blooms comes from three different sources: some are in my own garden, some are at Baldwin Nurseries, and some are blooming happily in the Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal. Given that we're having a storm warning for possible snow, rain, ice pellets, etc tonight...I thought we'd better celebrate these today. The nursery-grown plants are safely indoors in a greenhouse, of course, and I'm going out to cover mine with evergreens yet again.


You can read more about hellebores for our Atlantic Canadian Gardens at Baldwin's blog, or of course if you haven't already, there's a section on hellebores in my book...

Small break for promotion of an event I'm doing with a great nursery operator this weekend: For those out and about this weekend and looking for some inspiration and maybe an Easter gift or two, I'll be at the fabulous Bloom Greenhouse and Garden Centre on the Hammonds Plains road, at 1 pm this coming Saturday, 23 April. Please come on out and see what Cathy and her team have in store for you this spring, get your book signed (or buy a copy if you haven't already), and we'll have a talk on Plants for an Atlantic Garden! We'll be discussing hellebores, of course, as well as pondering the age old problem of what to do with deer and goutweed. See you on Saturday, regardless of weather--it's warm in the greenhouse and we'll have plenty of room to hang out and talk plants!

Now, back to being wordless...enjoy the hellebores.

15 April 2011

Actual Blooms for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day! Imagine that.

It has to be spring now, because I took my studded winter tires off the car on Thursday afternoon. No more snow allowed until November, now. I mean it. It's time for spring, because look, I has blooms, serious blooms, just in time for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day. I'm so excited to be able to participate in outdoor blooms that I'm actually posting before Carol even has the link up for this month. Whoo hoo!

Okay, calming down now a little bit, but still leading off with the prize, the jewel, the most delightful beauty in the garden next to those naughty blue poppies...Helleborus 'Golden Sunrise'. Knowing our spring weather as I do, my hellebores are still protected by some evergreen limbs because of the excessive cold winds we're having, but a couple of warm days and warm rain prompted these to peek out long enough for me to snap a photo last evening just before dark.

13 April 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Spring bulbs are a'springing!

Although much of North America has been revelling in bulbs for weeks now, we here in cool-spring Nova Scotia are just really getting going with bulbs in earnest. They are mostly the 'small wonders' so far--the glory of the snow, snowdrops, scilla, crocus and such--but they present such a brilliant and welcome blanket of colour wherever they are. They are a joy, and while we wait for spring to warm up and things to get going, we can use such joys.

Oh and by the way--we heard Spring Peepers on Sunday night here in Scotts Bay, and the night before in Yarmouth. So no matter what weather is hurled at us, spring is officially here in my books.


07 April 2011

"April is the Cruelest Month..."

It shouldn't be at all surprising that TS Eliot is one of this English major's favourite authors, and The Waste Land one of my favourite poems. Yes, it's complex, and most people don't know more than the first few lines, which sum up the current situation in my garden:
April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.

01 April 2011

From Corylus to Crocus, March goes out like a Lamb

After nearly a week of galeforce, chilly winds blasting down on us, the last day of March came ambling along like a sweet, fluffy lamb; warm, and soft. The crocuses just leapt into action immediate, popping up like colourful dots all over the garden.


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