It’s Growing Well


DSC_0710December we took possession of our new house in our new community.  Winter seemed to take a long time to break as I waited in anticipation of what would spring up in the flower beds.  I knew there would be purple cone flowers, other than that, it was all a mystery.  Spring arrived and I gave all the beds some housekeeping.  There appeared to be some hostas, irises, day lilies.  Daily I watched to see what was to be.

The beds were quite the mess.  I wasn’t holding out too much hope, they appeared to have been neglected for a few years.  I told myself not to be too surprised if the plants took a year to re-establish themselves.  The bearded and flag irises did poorly.  Less than a half dozen blossoms on four bunches.  The one nearest the house was mush.  I had to removed a number of rotted tubers.  I expect to transplant it later in the season.

There was an abundance of hostas, they were late in the southern most bed which is quite shaded.  I’m going to have to thin them out.  All of them bloomed, beautifully.

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The cone flowers began blooming this week.  They are fabulous!  One of my favourites, mainly because of the colour, of course!  There should be more than enough for some bouquets soon.
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I didn’t plant too many annuals this year.  We got a couple of hanging  baskets for the veranda.  There were pair of tall pillar planters on either side of the bench that I filled with cala lilies, pansies and petunias in shades of purple.  The pansies are struggling a little, DSC_0706but those in the front flower bed are doing well.
The day lilies posed the greatest concern for me.  They, like the hostas, dominate the beds.  My fear was the colour they would eventually display.  The fear was realized when they bloomed orange last week.  I know orange is a good contrast for purple, but it is not part of my preferred palate.  They have redeemed themselves, the blossoms are glorious.  DSC_0704
I will be thinning them out, quite a lot.  There are a number of people volunteering to take the discards.  I have a fabulous white one as a replacement and some more bearded irises.  Plus I want room for spring bulbs, tulips, alliums, grape hyacinths, and narcissus.
The flowers have done very well, inspite of at least three heavy hail storms that punched holes in the hostas and beat down the pansies and impatients.  Still, the weather has been warm and there has been lots of rain. Perfect for a riotous display of colour. So grateful for the glory of flowers.  Praise God for the beauty of the earth.
Deuteronomy 32:2   May my teaching drop like the rain, my speech condense like the dew; like gentle rain on grass, like showers on new growth.

Columbines


“I am that flower, — That mint, — That columbine.”

William Shakespeare — Loves Labour Lost Act V, Scene 2

The ‘columbine’ holds significance- in pantomime, a ‘columbine’ refers to the sweetheart of Harlequin. The term ‘columbine’ is derived from its Latin source – ‘columba’ which means ‘ a dove’. In fact, closely related to the religious connotation of the flower ‘columbine’, the term ‘columbarium’ (derived from it) signifies a ‘dovecot’ or a ‘niche for a sepulchral urn’.

Columbine is the symbol of foolishness, based on the flower’s resemblance to a jester’s cap and bells. It was considered bad luck to give this flower to a woman. Fallen spurs of the columbine looked like the Virgin Mary’s Shoes and received that name. They were said to have sprung up where Mary’s feet touched the earth when she was on her way to visit Elizabeth. The spurred flowers resembled the tiny doves and came to represent the Holy Spirit. The flower also symbolized the innocence of Mary. The petals of the Columbine symbolize the gifts of the Spirit.

Skirting the rocks at the forest edge
With a running flame from ledge to ledge,
Or swaying deeper in shadowy glooms,
A smoldering fire in her dusky blooms;
Bronzed and molded by wind and sun,
Maddening, gladdening every one
With a gypsy beauty full and fine,—
A health to the crimson columbine!

Elaine Goodale, Columbine.

Garden Update


The second flowers to appear in the garden.  Tulips are one of my favourites, particularly white and mauve and purple.  Surprised?

A little purple faced pansy managed to sneak in there.  So adorable, I love their little faces.

One can never depend on the claims on packages of bulbs.  The light coloured blossoms were supposed to be Shirley tulips, but they are quite a bit more yellow than I hoped.  Still beautiful.

Finally, I am pleased by how well the succulents survived the winter of mild temperatures and very little snow.  There were enough -40 C days that put the perennials at risk.  Many of the others did not fare so well.  I think I will have to replace the Siberian Iris and all the Crane’s Bill.

 

Summer Delayed


This is our third May Long Weekend living in the Peace.

In 2010 it snowed.  The trees were much further along in leafing out and many of the poplar trees were permanently bent or snapped in half from the weight of the snow.

Last year nature lulled us into a false security of no more snow until fall with flurries in the beginning of June.

This year, true to form, it has snowed.  The flowers were coming along so well too. 

The bare spots to the left is a result of radiant heat from the house.  That may be the salvation of the delphinium.

The chives were just about ready to bloom. A number of delicious meals have been enhanced with their lovely garlicy flavour.

I knew I should have taken pictures of the white icelandic poppies when they boasted their showy heads yesterday.

Retrospectively, I suppose I shouldn’t have been so eager to pull up the yellow and orange offerings, it would have provided a more interesting picture.

I am a little worried about our flowering shrubs, hopefully it didn’t get cold enough to damage the buds.  I am especially concerned about our crab apple tree, there was indications for a wealth of flowers, increasing the possibility of actually seeing fruit this year.

There is not as much concern for the roses.

Tulips closed to surprise

Three, Two, One, GROW!


Last fall I never did get around to putting the gardens to bed.  Maybe it was just as well, we hardly had any snow all winter.  I’ve convinced myself that all that dried mess was added protection for the perennials.  Two weeks ago I couldn’t put it off any longer, protection or no, some green was beginning to push through.

Job 14:7   For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.

Before

After

The downside of leaving the cleanup until spring was all the growth had dried brittle over the winter.  Pieces and leaves would break and crumble into bits too small to bother collecting.  Perfectly fine to some extent, they hide the dandelions.  What a difference a couple hours of dedicated effort can make.

Before

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shades of gray turn to colour
Dark of night breaks to day

It’s a new day, it’s a new day
Shadows rise at the glory of the Son
It’s a new day, it’s a new day
The past has gone and life has just begun

Hillsong London — It’s A New Day

Look closely, there are the first sign of tulips, proof of spring.

How does the garden grow?


The flower garden is really nice this year.  A little too much yellow, but it makes a good contrast for the blues, purples and dark, dark red flowers.