Monday, 25 April 2011

Garden snapshots - April 2011

It stopped raining long enough this weekend for me to finally be able to take a few photos of what's coming up in the garden.

I've been liberally planting bluebells the past couple years, as they remind me of walking through the streets of the Annex area of Toronto--every decent front garden there seems to have bluebells in the spring. Here, they're paired fortuitously with some mini daffodils (I think it was a pot I bought last year to brighten my desk, and then let the foliage mature, and then put the bulbs in the garden in the fall). I don't remember planning to put these together but they match nicely in scale and it's a combination I'd do again!

And here we have a rather purple hellebore (I know it looks more red in the photo), that my neighbour Elizabeth gifted me with a few years ago. It is always the first substantial bloom in the garden. I stumbled on a deal on hellebores on the weekend (Northland Nursery near Hamilton--all of their plants are $5.99) and picked up a white one to put behind this one. This one always blooms like crazy but because it's so dark you really have to look to see it. I think it will stand out nicely against a white version of itself.

This is a white & pink hellebore, with a charming garden cat I won at our last horticultural society penny raffle.

I was very pleased to see that the lone trillium I planted last year came back...and brought a friend!

The peonies are coming up. This one is an Itoh peony that I grew from a small seedling. John Simkins, founder of the Canadian Peony Society, had come out to speak at our horticultural society in 2005, and brought along some seedlings to sell. They were mystery peonies, as he'd been crossing all sorts of peonies, and, as he explained, you never knew what you'd get until it bloomed 3 years or so later. Well, I carefully tended my seedling and yes, 3 years later it bloomed, on my wedding day!  It's a very robust plant, and gets bigger every year. The flowers are large, single, and sort of peach.

Here is another cheery combination of species tulips (sorry, can't remember the variety and that info is out in the potting shed--it's raining and it's dark, and I'm not going out to look), bluebells, and winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis). 

I planted these species tulips (I think they're Tulipa "Turkestanica") several years ago, along the front sidewalk, and they just keep multiplying. They're not a loud tulip, kind of subtle, but as they're the first tulips to bloom (and before the daffodils too) they're very noticeable.

In the vegetable garden it's very exciting to see all the garlic planted in the fall coming up. We have "Hungarian" garlic on the left and "Red Russian" on the right.

And here, we have the cold frame my father put together for me on his latest visit. It's pretty simple construction (as requested) but hopefully it does the trick. Out of desperation, I put two trays of my monster tomato seedlings out there this afternoon. We're not forecast to go below freezing so hopefully they'll acclimatize quickly. It's a bit of baptism by fire (I'm sure it's better to put them out for a few hours at a time and gradually build up to overnight) but hopefully they'll pull through. 

So those are a few highlights of what's coming up in the garden. It's getting pretty exciting out there now (at least from my perspective)!