Six on Saturday: January 20, 2018

  1. It is that time of year when I need indoor blooms to remind me that Spring is on its way. This week, I found these primulas outside the grocery store in the wind and rain and decided they needed to come home with me.
  2. Outdoors the Witch Hazels are really looking fine, no matter if it is snow or rain. There are three kinds in bloom so far. First is Diane, a reddish variety. There are three of them that were purchased at the same time. This is their best year so far. I was totally surprised by them today!   The small Hamamelis Pallida is in its glory today as well.The third variety I have posted before, that is H.Jalena. This one is more orange.
  3. Various plants are popping up in the garden.
    The artichokes are showing new growth in spite of the chilly gloom here.
    Pink Delphiniums are showing new foliage too.
    The buds are showing on the new Cornus Florida.
  4. Some of the Clematis are showing growth. This is especially exciting for me!
  5.  Indoors I spotted roots growing on my Hydrangeas that were in a glass vase. Somehow I never expected them to root since they still had their blooms attached. My friend Ryan has them potted up in a cool spot, but a few remain in their vase here.
  6.  Last week some of you commented on the Rhododendron I posted which sported blue berries. I wrote to the University’s Botanical gardens about them and this is their reply.
    I have heard back from one of our curators who replied with this. The tag does not belong to the plant pictured, which is Daphniphyllum macropodum. The berries are not edible. The rhododendron to which the label refers is nearby, but is unidentified, hence the red label (which is what we use to identify plants that are missing information or are yet to be identified – most plants have black labels in the Garden). Hope that answers your question.
    *****
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Six on Saturday: January 13, 2018

January is the cruelest month for us in this part of British Columbia with rain and gloom and cold temperatures. Things are certainly not as severe as other parts of North America this winter though.
On the plus side, this past Monday our garden club held a special meeting where 14 people spoke briefly about their gardens. (with Power Point slides) There was lots of variety too. I spoke about our shade garden as it emerged last spring. There was home made ice cream and more goodies as well. To top it off my 8 year old granddaughter came to watch the program! I hope she develops a love of gardening one fine day!

So this is what happened in our garden this week!

1. The snow came and went, came and went. It was nice to have a few dry days! Here you see Autumn crocus foliage.

 

2. Some perennials are showing signs of life! Among them there’s Variegated Knautia,  Corydalis cheilanthifolia, several blue Heloniopsis and Soldanella.

 

3. Snow returned but the Phlomis, which has pale pink blooms, still looks healthy. (with seedlings of purple linaria growing through it I see.) This grows in a fairly sunny part of the garden.

In May it looks like this:

 

4. Last spring I was gifted some Wasabi plants: they don’t seem affected by the weather at all. (http://www.realwasabi.com/cultivation/index.asp)

 

5. One of my favourite plants is Enkianthus, a subtle, slow growing yet sophisticated shrub/tree.  I grow several with different coloured blooms. This one was new last year and seems to be doing fine. It has nice buds now.

This is how it looks in bloom, in mid May.

 

6. Last, but not least,  blooms are starting. This Cyclamen is loaded with buds.

This Witch hazel Jelena is in bloom. A second one is not as far along. A close up is intriguing…
Seeds have not yet arrived, but I am waiting, eager to start them.
*****

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Six on Saturday: January 6, 2018

  1.  

    This week we travelled to Vancouver and, among other things, visited the University of British Columbia’s Botanical Garden. We were short of time but we saw enough to make us want to return in spring or summer! At this time winter cleanup is taking place and many people are working away raking, pruning etc. The photos above show the entryway to the many paths as well as some remaining ice. The Northern Gardens are far bigger than I anticipated, including an Alpine Garden, Garry Oak Meadow and Woodland Garden, a Carolinian Forest, an Herbaceous Border, a Food Garden, a Physic Garden, a BC Native Garden and an Arbour area with trumpet vine, clematis, wisteria, and bittersweet.. There are also twelve acres of Asian Gardens which include plant explorer collections that continue to expand. There is a research and education showcase for forest biodiversity with a walkway providing visitors with views through the forest canopy.

     

    2.

    The trees and vines we saw were fantastic. The first one above is a Stewartia tree. The bottom photo shows kiwi fruit under the kiwi vines. It seems the squirrels enjoy these! The twisted vines are part of a larger educational display on vines which I hope to see in the summer.

3.

There is a Hydrangea area which would be fun to see in late summer. This is how it looks in January!

 

4.

The small Rhododendron on the left has an almost furry brown texture on the undersides of its leaves. On the right are very round Rhododendron buds and mystery seedheads which are quite tall.

 

5.

These blue rhododendron berries were lovely at this time of year. I do not know what the red berries are, but we certainly admired them.

 

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My husband suspects that he and the tree stump are the same age. I had a good laugh about that!

*****

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Six on Saturday: December 30, 2017

 

1. On Christmas Eve we usually enjoy a quick meal,  each child opens one gift, and then we play a game or work on a puzzle together. This year we had adults work on the puzzle and kids playing with their new gifts. It was a very pleasant evening!

Before the festivities, Leo(7) and I made knock-knock jokes for the family: this one was for Mommy.

knock, knock

Who’s there?

Canoe

Canoe who?

Canoe help me make cookies?

I rushed to finish knitting a sweater for Ivy (8):

 

2.  Best of all, SNOW!

There was a snow ball fight and snow creatures built as well… See the rabbit to the left of the monster? He has long ears.

 

3. I was happy to wake up to sunshine on the 25th

and receive this present!

 

4. The clematis obelisks are lovely at this time of year!

and the Japanese area looks beautiful in snow too.

 

5. The hydrangea blooms are beautiful in a new way.

The ornamental grasses are not so decorative now…

 

6. There is even a bloom to share this time! This is witchhazel Pallida, small and sweet. Do you see the yellow blooms?

*****

Looking forward to the new year!

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Six on Saturday: December 23, 2017

Minus 9C this morning….

1. Clear skies has meant cold mornings, sometimes with frost on my car’s roof.

2. Humidity has meant lots of mushrooms on woodsy paths.

The moisture seems to agree with some plants that usually lose fresh foliage by now: Heucheras and Epimediums

3. A few of our grasses haven’t changed much at all.

And the leaves on the oakleaf hydrangeas remain….

4. Rhododendrons are all quite happy. This is a young one just planted last spring, called ‘Primrose’.

5. Oddly enough, both old and new foliage show on this young  Podophyllum.

6. Indoors, in the laundry room window, an array of succulents…

*****

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A Pre-Christmas Craft Evening.

On Christmas day it never seems there is enough time to build things, to stop and actually play with new toys. This year we hosted a build-a-toy event with the grandchildren and their parents. Each of the three children received a vehicle that came with instructions and a screw driver. One parent assisted each child as needed. Everyone had a great time!

Ivy (8) began working on her fire engine, with Mom’s suggestions.

Leo (7) worked with his Dad by the fireplace, building a front-end loader. (It helps to stick out one’s tongue while working!)

 

Forrest (5) worked with his grandfather on his dump truck.

All done!

*****

 

Six on Saturday: December 16, 2017

This gets more difficult as winter approaches… but I found my six after hunting about with my camera. No snow at the moment, just sun and cool air.

 

1. It has been 3 years since we bought a small Norfolk Pine. It has survived in the same pot with precious little attention. Occasionally it gets decorated for Christmas.

 

2. Some of the garden plants seem to have avoided harm from our frosty nights, at least so far! For example this blue flowering Pulmonaria.

 

3. The Geums still look very green.

 

4. This Euphorbia seems to have refreshed itself along with the cooler weather.

 

5. Yes, other plants have put on new growth, dispite the cold.

Columbine

Corydalis quantmeyerana `Chocolate Star’.

 

6. While others are in bud or bloom.

Witchhazel

White Hellebore …before Christmas!

*****

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Six on Saturday: December 9, 2017

What a busy week it was, indoors and outside as well. We needed to finalize travel plans for January, help search for our daughter’s missing work dogs who escaped, attend various meetings and choir practices, and on & on…
But here we are with temperatures of 6-8 Centigrade in the daytime, and frost at dawn. I forgot to plan for scraping the car of ice in my timeline, so almost missed a doctor’s appointment yesterday.

So here are my 6:
1. Puddles everywhere, mushrooms in the lawn,  Dacrymyces chrysospermus (I think) on a stump, and raindrops falling from the moss covered branches.

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2. Berries have darkened on the Disporum Night Heron. This is on my favourite plant list!

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3. Fresh and fun in the garden at this time: baby Cyclamen plants and Helleborus foetidus in bud.

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4. Gifts are always fun….

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5. Wood is stacked by the door in case we have time for an evening fire one day soon!

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6. And a happy ending is required for all stories: The return of the work dogs! The rascals went partying in the woods for 3 nights! Scared us to death.

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*****

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Six on Saturday: December 2, 2017

 Welcome to December! For now it turns dark so very early, near 4:30pm. After Christmas the days will lengthen and there should be more light. I hope!

Here are my six:

1. Our Cercis forest pansy has been here a couple of years. When I bought it I got “a deal” because the top had been damaged somehow.  It is healthy and pretty, but we decided to make one branch into the new lead by tying it up straighter. I think this should work well, we’ll see how it goes next year. (No beauty award this year!)

 

2. Do you know Acer macrophyllum? The leaves are huge, hence the name Bigleaf Maple! They grow wild around here and the grandchildren enjoy collecting them, pressing them flat and tracing them.  They have all fallen by now.

 

3. Before we moved here someone had a great time making leaf impressions for the concrete front walkway. I enjoy the fern shapes.

 

4.  Since it is a wet and rainy season here in BC now,  the mosses look bright green, lush and soft. I enjoy them on the ground and rocks, less so on our roof!

5. Still enjoying Clematis seedheads and grasses. I leave them around until March or April when I prune the vines that require it as well as the grasses.

Ornamental grass Northwind

Hakonechloa macra Nicolas

 

6. The Magnolia buds are showing.  This is a late blooming variety, but even so, last year’s flowers had some damage. It is a young tree that I moved to British Columbia from Ontario, back when it was tiny. I hope it is stronger now and will make it through the winter nicely.

*****
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