20 April 2007

One Week to Expo, and Spring may be coming

This time next week, we'll be well and truly into the thick of the Saltscapes East Coast Expo, which runs April 27-29 If you're in the province--or even in one of the neigbouring provinces--do come by. This show is like nothing else in Eastern Canada, and it's way, way more fun/interesting/informative than any of those dull trade shows where people stand around like robots trying to sell us plastic siding or carpet or overpriced RVs to add to global warming.

All this is to say, I'm going to be madly busy preparing for the show, where I hope to see many of you and swap gardening stories. I'm doing two talks a day, one on growing annuals etc from seed, and one on shade gardening. So my postings to bloomingwriter may be a bit erratic until the show is over.

For now, I'll leave you with a bit of a photo essay, starting with a view of the Valley

A few miles from our place, there's a spot aptly called the Lookoff. I'm not sure how far you can see from here, but I know we can view three counties: Hants, Kings and Annapolis--and maybe, if we hang over the edge a bit, Cumberland county too. But that's probably better done from Blomidon.

The Valley is the agricultural heartland of Nova Scotia; a lot of horticulture, from blueberries to cranberries to tree fruits to a wide range of vegetables; beef, chicken, eggs, poultry, some dairy; Right now, the view from the Lookoff is all in shades of brown, as the sleeping land stretches under a warming sun and prepares to start feeding new life.

I went to visit my friend Rob Baldwin in Falmouth this afternoon, and bring him some milkweed seeds. Rob's into butterfly gardening too, and has selected perennials for his nursery based in part on their usefulness as a butterfly plant. He took me into his new propagating greenhouse, where we rejoiced over germinating Japanese maples...

Then watched a host of bees and flies stuffing themselves on the crocus and heath,

and just generally remarked on the marvels of plants, wild and cultivated.

On the drive home, I was looking at assorted yards quilted with scilla and crocus in bloom. This was on the Valley floor, where there is usually less snow, and decidedly warmer temperatures. But then I arrived home, and my long suffering spouse told me I should go for a walk around the nonsquishy parts of the garden.

Well. The snowdrops are quite happily recovered, and flowering joyfully. A few new, single ones have popped up in another bed, and the crocus are tentatively thinking it might be safe to open. The yard is sodden, and there's still close to a foot of snow in some spots; but I figure that will be gone by tomorrow night.

And then this little fellow looked up at me.

Pushkinia. I love their blue and white striped blooms, their brave attitude. They're slow to form colonies (or maybe I dig them up unknowingly...it's been done!
Maybe spring hasn't forgotten us. But until I hear the green frog chorus in the pond, pluckin' their banjos and singing silly frogsongs...I won't feel we've turned the corner.

And the peepers will be right after that.

Bring it on, spring. We're more than ready.

1 comment:

  1. I bet the Expo will be a wonderful time ... I will be looking forward to hearing more about it. The Japanese Maples are so adorable - all rather sprightly looking!

    What a beautiful landscape you reside in ... the Lookoff is a wonderful spot.

    And Pushkinia ... I will have some poking up one of these days. I love them.


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