Six on Saturday: March 3, 2018

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  1. The snow and cold continued early this week. The flowers were covered but are slowly coming back to life. The Rhododendron leaves are no longer sagging. Today is windy and rainy as well, but the snow is gradually disappearing.

 

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2. First came the crocuses.

3. Then the Hellebores perked up.

 

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4. The first dandelion appeared. I had to laugh at this! There will be more…

 

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5. This variegated grass never changes, no matter the season.

 

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6. At last, the seeds arrived. I need to get busy!

 

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Six on Saturday: February 24, 2018

1. Happy Chinese New Year – of the dog!

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2. Meet our Bouvier, Phoebe. This is before her grooming last week.

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3. Since the flowers displayed in last week’s six, we of course had a serious snowfall.

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4. Indoors the prunus stems are blooming- to make life bearable!

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5. I love the markings on the foliage of this succulent. (again, indoors)

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6. On a very sad note, after 12 1/2 years, we had to say goodbye to Minoue. Pets never live long enough. Her friend Vita wonders where she has gone, so we still enjoy a cat in our household.

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Six on Saturday: February 17, 2018

 

1. This week our tree pruner began his first day of work here for the season. His first task was removing a large branch from our old injured Prunus as well as removing suckers from it. I now have small branches indoors waiting to bloom.
The Hazel continues to show off its dangling blooms, the Cornus mas has small yellow buds forming and the very young Rhododendron Hotei promises to bloom this year. (I hope!)
We have a Stewartia in bud as well as several Corylopsis, but they are very difficult to capture in photos at this stage.

 

2. We seem to have huge numbers of Hellebores starting to bloom. As we cut back the foliage on them, we spy tiny seedlings nearby.

 

3. This is the beginning of spring bulb season- and I love it! Snowdrops, Cyclamen and crocus popping up in many places. More to come as temperatures rise.

 

4. We had a fine speaker present a talk on ponds at our Garden Club this past week. He is the Fire Chief for our Island and well informed about permaculture as well.. People here have dug huge numbers of both large and small ponds on their acreages. I think I have the smallest one around.

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5. Group 1 Clematis continue to produce foliage buds. Here you see C.Pink Flamingo and C.Joe Zary below. There are many more to come! (Frances Rivis, Alpine Willy, Francesca, Brunette, etc)

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6. And finally there are many perennials popping up. See if you know them all!
Aquilegia, Black Bird‘ euphorbia, Hepatica, Geum, Pulmonaria, Fuchsia Hawkshead,  Meconopsis, and Delphinium. (in random order!)

 

*****

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Six on Saturday: February 10, 2018

February is a busy month with my husband’s birthday, Valentine’s day,  lots of medical appointments (I injured my foot 😦 which is no help for gardening), veterinarian appointments for our 10 year old dog, and visitors arriving at the end of the month. I expect our tree pruner to come next week as well.
Here are my six for Saturday.

1. This week has been up and down: wet and cold, but also sunny with clear skies. I’m so glad the Hamamelis Diane can withstand most anything.

 

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2. Buds are forming this week on all sorts of plants. This young Enkianthis appears to withstand winter mighty well.  I hope it blooms nicely in its new home.

The Group 1 clematis always look shabby even when in bud. Eventully their new leaves and blooms hide all last year’s mess.

 

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3. These are the very first snowdrops. Hurray!

 

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4. The Cyclamen are still cheering us up. You can see that I haven’t done much cutting back of grasses though. A few Leucojum bulbs are poking up behind them on the left. They bloom quite a bit later.

 

5. And now the iris reticulata are adding colour! Helps to combat the gloom. (This is a cheat. They are still in pots and have not yet been planted in the garden. Maybe this weekend?)

 

6. A few of the hellebores are in bloom. They vary in terms of timing, but are always welcome! I need to cut back some of their foliage soon.

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Six on Saturday: February 3, 2018

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1. It is perhaps hard to see, but the Hazel trees are showing off their catkins all of a sudden. I had to take a walk-about after noticing them. We have two large specimens in our yard. I am told that these trees have male and female flowers on the same shrub. They appear on the plant in autumn and winter and may open as early as January, long before the shoots emerge. The male flower is long and yellow. The female flower is much smaller and red. They are wind pollinated – the wind carries pollen from the male flower to the female flower.

 

2. I then began to walk about to see if anything new is popping up. I’ve seen a few mystery bulbs starting to shoot up. The shoots below are blue drumstick primulas surfacing. I think I also planted a white one in another spot nearby.IMG_20180129_154903B

 

3. We had one spectacular day with sunshine, so I began pruning a few of my (group 3) Clematis. This is just a first go around. They will need more attention later. They look particularly awful right now!IMG_20180129_111736B

 

4. As I was pruning the top of Clematis Saphyra Indigo, (http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk), I saw a strange glob in the armload of messy foliage.  It turned out to be a small lovely bird’s nest from last year! I’m saving it in our workshop to show the grandchildren.
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5. Also in the shop are a few plants I have been overwintering. First is a large Lysimachia atropurpure Beaujolais, in a pot. It is still in bloom though I have been ignoring it. They say it is a short lived perennial. (http://www.perennials.com/plants/lysimachia-atropurpurea-beaujolais.html) Behind this plant are two pots of Pineapple lilies which I have been nurturing since 2008.IMG_20180129_111926B

 

6.  I am also trying to keep a Lewisia plant under plant lights over the winter. To my surprise it has buds! They are white flowers. IMG_20180129_111856B

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Six on Saturday: January 27, 2018

 

Here we go again, slushy snow at the end of January. I had hoped to rake up leaves and tidy up after the dog, but nature foiled me once again. This week we even had a tsunami warning, but luckily it was cancelled. These were taken from indoors. Hard to believe they are in colour.

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however this clematis (Maria Cornelia) was photographed outdoors.

 

2. For a bit of colour, I turned to the woodpile and the wheelbarrows

 

But there really is colour hiding beneath the snow!

3. The Hellebore foetidus

 

4. and Rhododendron buds are still visible.

 

5. The Witch Hazels survive this with no problem.

Witch Hazel Jelena

Witch Hazel Pallida

 

6. My Rosemary appears to be surviving under the roof overhang so far. I hope it outlasts the snow!

 

Seeds still haven’t arrived.

*****

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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.

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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.

 

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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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