08 April 2008
Spring's Shy Entrance
Wouldn't you know it? Here I am, buried in work and fighting off this durned ol' infection, and spring has decided to not only find us, but to hang around for a few days. This is the third sunny and mild day in a row, and you can hear the land and its life yawning, stretching and looking around. "Well! That sun sure feels warm, and the wind isn't blasting in...Maybe it IS time to get going with the season!" I haven't been outside yet today, but my LSS gleefully told me earlier this morning that I'd have to go outside just to walk around when it gets warmer.
When I was at NSAC on Saturday, I took a stroll down to The Rock Garden, which in my mind is the most wonderful public garden in Nova Scotia. Even on a dreary, cold day, with no sunlight in sight and a chill mist dripping on me, it was still wonderful to amble through the paths, pausing to look down at alpines clinging to stone, managing despite the day's dreariness to show bursts of colour.
This Hamamelis 'Jelena' isn't fully open yet, so it's hard to see the subtleties of colour in its wonderful flowers. But the vibrant fragrance was there, and that was enough to cause me to smile.
Spring's unfolding is a little like the Rock Garden's plants: a bit subtle at first glance. You need to take your time in an alpine garden, because many of the plants are small, short, evolved that way after millions of years of hanging on to whispers of soil in clefts of rocks on cliffs and mountains. Yet pause and study a sempervivum's complexities, or the delicate gradations of colour in leaves, or the stunning beauty of a mass of saxifrage blooms, and you catch the joy of these plants.
This saxifrage caught my eye from across the garden. Because (as with so many public gardens, as many of us have ranted before) so many people help themselves to plant labels (and plants!), there are few labels in the garden, so I can't tell you what species or cv this might be. All I know is that the saxifrages in MY garden don't turn this colour, so this is a WANT plant. Bernard Jackson will know--he's the man who designed and built this garden, and also was the first botanist and gardener at the MUN Botanical Gardens in St. John's, Nfld. We've very lucky to have him in Nova Scotia--he's a lovely man, very wise and generous and gracious too. This year I will get to his own garden--he's invited me in the past and last year just didn't work for us.
If spring unfurled all at once in a blast of colour and fragrance and sound, maybe I wouldn't cherish each plant's awakening as much as I do. There were certainly outbursts of colour at the AC, such as in the heath gardens behind the Hort building, but even without flowers, heaths and heathers are some of my favourite plants because of the glory of their winter display.
More to come, when I take my camera for a walk around the yard. I know we're not out of the weather-woods yet. But isn't it funny how a few mild, sunny days erase the scars of winter from our souls so quickly?
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Wow, where's your snow and how gorgeous is your garden and just wow. I found some tulip shoots... that's all, still lots of snow.ReplyDelete
Those are gorgeous pics.
I love the rock garden photos. The sedums and sempervirens are so neglected by most gardeners it is nice to be reminded how cool they are. Thanks.ReplyDelete
I love rock gardens but here in Florida all we have sand, all interesting rocks are imported from some where else and they are expensive. I don’t mind paying for plants but I can’t see paying for rocksReplyDelete
Spring has found us at last, Jodi, and I'm sending another delightful batch of mild weather your way to cure what ails you. Get well and enjoy the gift!ReplyDelete
It really has been a lovely run of weather, hasn't it, and tomorrow is to be the nicest yet. :) I hope you feel better soon -- your photos are wonderful. I'll have to see the AC gardens some time.ReplyDelete
I love the little sprawling sedums and of course the sempervivums, some of the earliest color here in my garden as well. (Bless their bright red little souls!) I'm so glad spring's up and running for you as well (finally). And what a handsome shot of Dexter as he takes his place in the lineup!ReplyDelete
Rock gardens are some of my favorites. The plants are so resilient and usually have such tiny blooms that you have to get close to them to see them well. The plants themselves are usually so architecturally beautiful. Aaahhh Spring. It is a tonic for what ails you. Get well soon Jodi.ReplyDelete
It IS funny how that happens so quickly. Today I was out poking around in the compost and the edges of the pile were still frozen. This seemed impossible to me!ReplyDelete
Jodi, The pics are great. We don't get to see much 'alpine' here so it was a treat. Hope you can enjoy the warm a little as I think you are in for more nastiness next week. One day it will warm up and stay that way!ReplyDelete
Yes, a few mild, sunny days quickly erase those scars of winter and perk us up tremendously. I celebrated every new stalk I found today, and took numerous photos of crocuses and snowdrops :)ReplyDelete
That rock garden is full of subtle beauty. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos.
I hope you feel much better very soon.
Spring is such a balm for the soul.ReplyDelete
Wow, you really do live in a cold place. Our witchhazels blossoms are long ago memories and now the winter hazels (Corylopsis)are starting to bloom.ReplyDelete
Happy Spring to you Jodi !ReplyDelete
I have some pretty Saxifrage plants that amaze me with such dainty flowers .. these and Lewisia longipetala 'Little Plum' are plants I really look forward to in the Spring .. they are such beautiful little flowers.
I wish I had room for a real rock garden .. or an alpine garden better yet .. but since I manage a "zoo" here .. room is a precious commodity .. hard choices have to be made .. LOL
Very nice pictures of a wonderful place !
I love rock gardens, thank you for writing this post and sharing with us. I just did a post about mine; (well technically, mine is a rockery according to the North American Rock Garden Society's definition), and it is topped with a flagstone terrace planted with creepers and succulents.ReplyDelete
Beautiful rock plants..we saw similar ones in the Edinburgh botanic Gardens last week...food for the soul right enough :)ReplyDelete
I'm a big fan of sempervivuns, and that one as the most wonderful color. I should think about building a rock garden one of these days, my sempervivum collection is all in pots.ReplyDelete
Yes, it is wonderful that you're seeing signs of spring. Finally! Pretty soon I'll wonder why it doesn't ever seem to get cooler! But I'm enjoying my forays out to the local nurseries and everyone's gardens so much!ReplyDelete
I love rock gardens - thanks for sharing these lovely pics and your adventure!ReplyDelete
Jodi, check out May Dreams Garden. She has a link to a news paper article that mentions several of you garden bloggers.ReplyDelete