21 April 2008

Hope Springs Eternal

While I was at Bunchberry Nurseries on Saturday, my friend gleefully told me I HAD to see this white thing in Jill's garden. Of course, everyone knows about my mishaps with hellebores so it really wasn't too much of a surprise to find this pristine white hellebore blooming happily in one of the display beds.

A weekend of warm weather, and even in beautiful upper Scotts Bay, things are popping up everywhere. Where on Saturday there was only green, suddenly the Iris reticulata are in bloom.

Though they're small and dainty, I like these irises better than the big showy ones. They are like petit point in the garden, with those delicate edgings of contrasting colour on their falls.

The pink chionodoxa started five days before the blue ones popped up, and while I like them very well, I adore the blue ones. This china blue colour makes me very happy; they're a little less cobalt than the Scilla, which aren't showing up yet, but the only thing I can think of in a comparable colour would be the sky blue delphinium we have later in the season.

I had to go to Falmouth this morning to do an interview, and since I was in the neighbourhood, I dropped in to see my buddy Rob Baldwin at his nursery. Things are livening up there with plenty of healthy new growth and oh yes, bloms. Some are quite subtle, like the flowers of Acer rubrum, the native red maple...

Or decidedly un-flowerlike, like the greenish yellow catkins of Corylus avellana 'Contorta', or Harry Lauder's Walking Stick.

In the propagation house, there are exciting discoveries. Rob is growing American chestnuts from seed. No matter how many times I look at a tree seedling, I'm always dazzled at how a magnificent tree begins with the emergence of tiny growth from a seed.

Although I was really good at Jill's the other day, temptation was NOT to be resisted today. Walking in one of the greenhouses, a wall of scent smacked me like a wave. Mayflowers, I thought? No, Rob doesn't propagate mayflowers. Oh, well, then it MUST be...Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn (used to be called 'Pink Dawn' but you get the point). And I MUST bring it home this time. Did you know you can get a five foot tall, 3 gallon shrub into the front of a Yaris? And my longsuffering spouse, bless him, hasn't yet asked me that famous question...

"Where are you going to plant THAT?"


  1. I love,love, love my Viburnum bodnatense 'Pink Dawn' (didn't know it had changed names) -- I'll be interested to see what its flowering season is like where you are -- here it's been blooming since November and is STILL doing so! Some grey winter days, it's the only thing that keeps me going.

  2. I wonder if this is what my neighbor has blooming right now. I can smell it while standing in my garden. You deserve such a nice plant since you have been working so diligently lately. Good for you.

  3. The viburnum looks delicious, candy sweet...It never fails to amaze me how many plants I can stuff into a car. Your husband sounds perfect!


  4. Gotta' love that longsuffering spouse that hasn't yet asked ... "Where are you going to plant THAT?" THAT seems to be the on-going question ringing in my ears throughout the season. We have our most productive squabbles in the garden!

  5. Jodi, I, too, love the vibutnum. Such a delicate looking flower. If it will grow in your neck of the woods, I'm sure it will survive here. So glad you are having warm days and lots of blooms. I know it's been a long winter for you!

  6. Jodi, I'm so glad it's finally spring for you! My small viburnums have been smashed by the neighbor kids.I might just have to get a replacement!

  7. The viburnums have made their way into a favorite of mine. Their scents can be stunning, like lilacs. Those are just gorgeous pictures. I'm also a Siberian Iris fan,

  8. Am I a bad girl, Jodi, for ripping off the catkins from my 'Contorta'? I don't mind them hanging on the shrub, but when they fall off, I detest them in my gardens.

    You've made a wise choice, and I know that question all too well. My dear sweet husband asks the same thing. He asks it a lot, in fact.

  9. Hi Jodi, oh goody, flowers blooming and a new plant! I adore the iris retics also, they do bloom so fast, after checking day after day for color, suddenly like lightning strikes, there they are! Maybe that is what my mystery viburnum is, it is very fragant and slightly pinkish. Happy Earth Day.

  10. You sound like myself and most gardeners I know. When I want a plant -- I get it. I'll worry about where it can go later.

  11. so glad to see so many things in bloom out your way. you've waited so long and patiently for winter to go away, now you can finally celebrate with months of fun in the garden.

  12. Hi everyone: trying to keep up for a change!
    Materfamilias, the nursery guy told me that these had been blooming since midwinter in the coldframe where he had them, so I'm hopeful that it will settle in here and do similar things.
    Lisa, it's quite likely one of the fragrant viburnums you can smell. They're fabulous; then there are others with no scent at all. I plan to collect a few this year.
    Gail, i look at plant-packing as a challenge, and I can ALWAYS stuff way more plants into the car than anyone would expect. Tee hee..
    Nancy, yes you should visit Rob--he won't be there this weekend (his staff will) because he'll be at the Saltscapes Expo. You should come in to THAT!
    Joey, LSS usually asks me that first thing, but he's learning--slowly--that I cannot be rushed on this subject.
    Robin, I"m SO sorry about your viburnums What kind of monster kids do you HAVE in your neighbourhood?
    Steve, thanks for visiting. I think Viburnums are habitforming, and I plan to feed that habit a lot this year.
    Kylee, you're never a bad girl--if the catkins bother you, then of course remove them. I don't mind them, but then my Contorta isn't that large yet.
    Frances, Happy Earth Day indeed. There are a number of fragrant viburnums, I don't know them all but plan to check out more this year. I know a nursery that carries quite a few, and where I got this one carries some of the natives too, which I love.
    Les, exactly. There's always room for a new plant, always. Except maybe in my office....
    Irena, I'm sure you're well into the swing of it too. Happy spring to everyone!

  13. I love the mini Iris. I need to create a spot for the very few I have left before the fade away.

    I think I'd have gone home with one of those Viburnum too. Right now I have my eye on a Serviceberry. I know just where i want to plant it. Funny how sometimes you see something and the 'plan' all at the same time. That's so much nicer than 'I got to have that, now where in the world can I put it?'

  14. The small iris are exquisite - and I'm glad you're once again seeing flowers, Jodi! And coming home with new plants ;-]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  15. Well, I'm like you. Drag it on home and worry where to put it later. Because you always know if you change your mind and come back to get something, someone has already had the same idea and beaten you to it. He understands most likely, by now, and probably will just let it pass. (I have an SUV so I can lug most anything home!)

  16. Hi Jodi, I am glad to see that flowers are coming out every where in your garden.
    I know where you are coming from, I call it “I got to have it and now that I do where do I put it” but that Viburnum is worth it.

  17. Beautiful viburnum. I understand why you couldn't pass it up.
    I'm lucky to still have my minivan, which can hold a multitude of plants. But I need to go car-shopping soon; I'll have to think about "plant capacity" when I decide on a new one!

  18. I can almost smell it from here! So warm here that lots of things are being pushed into bloom. It is on the dry side though so there is always a down side! The heat makes the flowers fade much faster doesn't it. Love the shots.

  19. Oh, heavenly spring! There's just nothing like a longsuffering spouse to put up with one's constant plant purchases :) Mine just set up four more lightbulbs and a timer under our basement steps so I can grow more plants.

  20. there's always room to plant something new!

  21. My husband is pleading with me not to plant something in the middle of the new yard so he doesn't have to mow around it. His idea of landscaping is to be able to have a wide enough trail through it to drag the plugger behind the lawn mower.

    I like all your babies. I had a Harry Lauder one time--dh thought it was dead and threw it out. Oh my word.... I told him it was weird like that on purpose. Now he ask before removing anything.

  22. Have you ever smelled viburnum x carlcephalum? Its perfume is even much stronger than the one of viburnum bodnantense Dawn which is already faded here. BTW I also think there is always a free place for a new plant ;-) !!
    Enjoy your viburnum!


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