20 April 2012

Slow down, Spring, you move too fast!

It seems there's a trend across the continent for a blazingly fast spring. I don't know whether we're starting to be like Australia (where this fabulous plant, Kangaroo Paw hails from, but is used for containers and specimen plants here), or just what is going on, but things are moving quickly in the nurseries and in our gardens.
The early warm weather is catching all of us off balance, but our local nurseries do have plenty of product to sell, and more plants arriving daily. Over at Blomidon Nurseries, there is a nice collection of heaths and heathers,
And some of the earlier blooming rhododendrons are starting to put on a show, like this beauty, 'Blue Baron'.
If you're thinking about annuals, it's plenty early to do anything with them unless you have a protected greenhouse to hold them in til the risk of frost is past. But with the Hort Couture plants (such as that Kangaroo Paw, above) we are going to see a lot of clever use of tropical plants, some with spectacular foliage or flowers, in container and specimen planting.
The staff and customers at Briar Patch in Berwick were all staring eagerly at 'Limelight' yellow magnolia, trying to will this flower bud to open. Probably on the weekend. There's just something about yellow flowered magnolias. This is my year to plant one.
Briar Patch has a great collection of hellebores, including this lovely 'Pink Frost'. I like this one because its flowers face outward and upward, not as shy as some of its cousins.
'April Mist' is a dainty double-flowered rhododendron, with delicate petals that look almost like tissue paper.
Today was the first day of being open for the season for the folks at Glad Gardens in Waterville. As always, they have a terrific collection of plants, annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees of all kinds.
Succulents in containers are popular both indoors and out, and Glad Gardens has a great collection of non-hardy succulents this year. These plants will overwinter nicely in a home, but don't leave them outside for the winter or they will be mush.
Things are blooming hot and heavy at Baldwin's Nurseries in Falmouth. Rob has always had fantastic trees and shrubs, and in the past couple of years he has become besotted with perennials, too. Including these fragrant and colourful dianthus. This variety is 'Black Cherry Wild' and it IS very fragrant.
'Golden Lotus' hellebore is just the prettiest double flowered beauty, isn't she? Actually, I personally have never met a hellebore I didn't love.
Den Haan's in Middleton is going full tilt too. Their greenhouses are filled with annuals basking in the heat, while perennials, shrubs and trees are in more ordinary climates. I love the cheery colour of this pink strawberry plant.
And this rhododendron, 'Janet Seleger' caught my eye because the flowers have a bluish tinge to them. I have been very good at resisting purchasing plants right now--it's not time yet.
I have lived at our home for 13 years, and know the land and the climate and the garden as intimately as I knew the body, mind and soul of my beloved Lowell. This year is the EARLIEST I have seen the plants blooming and breaking dormancy and flourishing. Pieris 'Captain Steele' is opening its cascades of fragrant flowers,
The puschkinia are competing with snowdrops, crocus, chionodoxa and early dwarf iris for attention in the 'small bulbs' category.
In the pond, the cattails are doing brilliantly, making the red winged blackbirds and the frogs very happy.
Wait a minute. These aren't my cattails.
They're the work of the fabulous Al Simm, metal worker and 'reluctant Artist, from Avon River Metalworks. Al will be displaying some of his work in my garden during my second annual Open Garden Fundraiser (this year, June 30-July 1). He will also be unveiling a special memorial sculpture to my long-suffering Lowell that weekend--it'll be a surprise for everyone.


  1. Hi Jodi - It's crazy this year - my lilacs are blooming already here in SW Ontario!! Never seen them bloom so early. The magnolia opened and then froze to a horrid brown mess. There's a yellow magnolia at our local nursery - I think it has my name on it too.

  2. Too fast here, too, Jodi. And things are blooming in weird combinations. Earlier, it was so warm that the blooms on bulbs didn't last long. Those plants aren't used to temperatures in the 80s!

    I had a chance to purchase 'Golden Lotus' for $12 at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show a couple of months ago and passed on it. I wish I hadn't. Silly me!

    LOVE those cattails!!

  3. SO many lovelies. Wow. I love the Blue Baron Rhododendron. Gorgeous!

  4. Ahh Jodi, I am glad it's spring time, and you have your garden to lose yourself in.

    As if I needed an excuse to visit Blomidon, I'll have to check out the nursery there.

  5. Beautiful blooms Jodi. Down here in Texas I find myself really relishing the early spring because I know that all too soon my garden and I will be wilting in the heat and humidity of summer. So I'll take all the early spring I can get!

  6. I find it hard not to love any hellebore I run across too Jodi .. I am waiting patiently for Golden Lotus to flower for me !
    We had a streak of summer weather and then we got dumped into winter weather .. snow was on the ground this morning .. we have wind and rain and it is cold, so the snow might just come back again.
    I have not bought any plants aside from my mail order ones yet .. just too darn COLD now !
    I love those cat tails !!
    they are brilliant .. I would do just about anything for them and some real frogs here in my garden .. I love frog song so much.
    In any case .. best wishes for the unveiling and for you Jodi !

  7. Love the pink Hellebores and Rhododendrons! Lots of unique blooms there. How nice to have a memorial to Lowell! Thanks for sharing all these lovely photos, Jodi!


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