Friday, 24 May 2013

Snowball Bush & Lily of the Valley

Snowball Viburnum
Snowball Viburnum
I drove past one of these in the neighbourhood yesterday. It blooms prolifically every year, and is a lovely sight. I'm wondering right at this minute why we don't haven't planted one in our yard, it is so amazing. It would add tremendously to our privacy along our fence line.

Lily of the Valley
Also in bloom is Lily of the Valley. This is growing alongside our driveway, next to our neighbour's house. This is a good place for it to grow, because its spread is contained. It is very aggresive, and it tends to choke out anything else. To its credit, it does make a very nice cut flower for inside the house, and has such a lovely scent, so I don't mind it too much. I advise warn anybody else not to plant it, though!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Shopping for Annuals

Belgian Nursery
in the Annual Greenhouse
Victoria Day Monday found us at Belgian Nursery for our annual round of purchasing annuals for our garden baskets. We like to go before the long weekend for two reasons: One, the selection is better when things aren't sold out, and Two, the crowds are not so crazy. It just didn't work our for us to get there earlier this year, but it all worked out anyway. So we are I am busy building all our planters for our patio. We think it would be nice to just get the planters already premade, but in a few weeks, ours catch up, and may just survive better in the heat of summer. Anyway, once this BIG job is done, we can pretty much cruise through the summer with a lot of baskets to show for our efforts.
Lilacs along an
Ontario sideroad

The other thing around here is that the lilacs are in full bloom. Along every street and side road, you can see every shade of light purple or white in full bloom. They are all quite spectacular, if perhaps a bit weedy. And if you have the windows open, you can catch the scent in the air. And they are lovely to bring indoors, if even for a brief spell.

Monday, 20 May 2013


Dalmation Toadflax
When we were kids growing up on the farm, there was a war on Toadflax. Our dad would tell us to go out in the fields and find it and dig it out. We have been discussing this, and all agree that none of us could actually identify Toadflax. I was in the Okanagan last week, driving around photographing flowers along the way, and came across a poster of the "Dirty Dozen" list of weeds. Toadflax was on the list, and I had taken pictures of it! I wonder if this is the same plant my dad wanted us to look for on the farm.

Some of the other flowers in bloom there might interest you. I will identify the ones I can.
Dogwood, Eddie's Wonder

Arrowleaved Balsam

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Shiny New Garden Blog

I've been wanting to post about what's happening in the garden, so I've started a new blog to do just that.

These magnificent magnolias are always a delight each spring when they get into full bloom. There are a number of them all around town, and they present quite a spectacular show. Just as a note, they are about two weeks later than normal this year, because of this year's never-ending winter.

When I see these magnolias in bloom, I always think of when I went to Montreal to see an exhibition of Louis C. Tiffany's stained glass, which I wrote about here. Tiffany spent a lot of time outside with his plant subjects, observing all the details of the flowers, buds, leaves, stems, etc, to be able to portray them in his art glass. If you notice, though, a magnolia's flowers and bud are showing before the leaves emerge. Tiffany presented the leaves and flowers in his stained glass! Artistic licence? I suppose so. It definitely makes for a more interesting design. And it is interesting to me that this is how he would choose to present this beautiful tree. I certainly understand his inspiration, and wanting to spend time in nature. Look here for a closer view of Tiffany's Magnolia Glass.