Monday, June 22, 2015

Weather warning

The garden has been progressing by leaps and bounds, and I think the revelation recently has been the many alliums, purchased at the Veseys sale, and now showing themselves to be some of the loveliest of the breed, and ones that I have been wishing for, for ages.
The spiky stars on this one are especially glorious. I have to say, though, that the white ones are a bit of a disappointment. From the distance they look a lot like giant dandelions gone to seed.
We are having a wild weather day today (remnants of a tropical storm, I believe) with plenty of rain, though luckily not so much wind. The lupines and other tall things just couldn't stand it. I am especially appreciative of my sturdy hoop house in weather like this, as many of the more delicate things are safely indoors at the moment.
My Cornus kousa 'Satomi', planted late in October and fretted about all through the long, long winter, is doing well. Its leader was bent away over by the snow, so I have it in a splint and many soft wraps, and it seems to be coming out just as well on the top (above the bend) as the rest of the plant. I have to say I was worried when it went in - it was balled and burlapped (and then stuffed into a large pot) and the soil around it was pure Holland Marsh (the area near Toronto, On., where such things are grown) - heavy dark grey clay, in a solid mass and almost baked from its long summer on the pavement at the store. I soaked it but didn't dare hack at it too much for fear of breaking off all those valuable rootlets. Anyway, its bloom cycle is fascinating! When it started out, there were tiny green leaflets surrounding small globes - some bright green, some darker. The leaflets - bracts, I now know - have gotten brighter green, tinged with pink, and they are lifting themselves daily above the leaves. Today, in the rain, the bracts are starting to really look like flowers.
blooms and bracts

becoming more colourful

I can't wait for further developments. Gardening is so exciting!
Summer is no time for knitting, I know, but I have been working on a lacy skirt - pattern in the latest Drops catalogue - made with some Patons Grace I bought at the Spinrite factory two summers ago. How quickly I have come to use it! Things usually marinade in the stash for much, much longer before they decide what they're to become. It's quite a nice pattern, and I have bought some lining as it is quite lacy.Now to finish the top part and figure out how to line it.
Should be a good dancing skirt!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Welcome to 2015

      Just checking in to report progress, especially on all of those Veseys great buys last year. Garden time is here and I can't be spending time indoors!!
After a record-breaking snowy winter (almost  550 cm. in total) spring arrived sluggishly. It was very chilly long into April, but the snow FINALLY all went (people were still finding snowbanks in June in some places) and I got the plants, started in the house, out into the poly-tunnel at last. While the snow lasted we took advantage of our extra height (on snowshoes) to do some pruning up high. Fred did the spruce hedge and I tackled the apple tree. This will be the big fruit year for the Golden Delicious so I didn't think it would affect the fruit production. I never get to harvest the ones at the top of the tree anyway.

     These are striped squills, from Veseys, never had these before. Anne has the blue ones, Siberian, we think, and they are amazing. Very bright and visible blue. These were lovely, though. They are in the south corner of the bed beside the house. The fritillarias did really well there this year, and the spring anemonies have spread in an amazing fashion. I love that their seed heads are almost as attractive as their blooms.

       I dug this bed by the lilac hedge about a foot wider and put in a lot of the tulips and grape hyacinths I had bought at Veseys there. (Next fall I shall prepare ahead of time!) But they did well, in spite of the fact that they went in in November. I had bought quite a few daffodils, but there weren't many of those in evidence this spring. It may have been too late for them. I am pleased that only one of the peonies didn't make it. I am looking forward to a bloom on the "Callie's Memory", it is an Itoh and was listed in the catalogue at $59.00.  My 3 bearded iris "Immortality" has one bloom between them, but the 3 "Ziggy" German ones don't have any. They are alive, however! There are many perennials I haven't yet seen - pink buttercups, Petrovska, baby's breath. I may have spotted the papaver "Harlem". Fingers crossed.
     I am planning to make a "woodland" garden in the area to the north of the shed - the trees are mainly evergreens, unfortunately, but there are larches, which allow in some Spring sunshine from the east. I need to beef up the evergreens at the back because the spruces are getting on in age and their lower branches are dying back, so the chilly northerlies are getting in. I am thinking cedar as it is quite dark back there.
     Anyway I planted a clump of Erithroniums at the edge (Veseys, $2 for 5) and they were the sorry-est-looking bulbs you've ever seen. But look! They bloomed! and they are doing well. I have bought a spurge at the Flower Patch, and I may move my geums in there as well. Then the oranges and yellows will be together. I have to build up some beds for plants along the edge by the fence, and then a path to a seat at the back, in front of the cedars. It would be a great place for rhododendrons on the other side of the path.  I have a couple of cornus alternafolia there too, bird-planted I think. One for sure is a keeper.

     Anne was over for a couple of days to help shore up the poly-tunnel - we put a frame around the bottom and a 2x4 ridge, and plastic doors front and back. It seems to be holding up against the wind, though I don't know if it will be able to withstand snow load. I should be able to stick a couple of posts up under the ridge, though, and that might help. Of course,  I don't know if it will be enough, if we get the amount of snow we had last winter!

To this

From this

Much better!!!