Thursday, January 28, 2010

Garden Thursday

Well, it's that time again. On the radio I've been listening to How To Tell If It's Dead, but that isn't really an issue here this winter: it's been too mild. No snow. Very little rain. Hardly any cold, even.

So today, even though I was going to talk about roses, I'm going to do a Walk About in my garden. Avec camera.

Look! The irises are out. And this isn't a lone iris either. There are MORE where this one came from. In some gardens snowdrops are the heralds of spring; in my garden it's irises. Every year I do the same thing: gasp and stare. The colour! The silkiness! The texture! The contrast of yellow and blue and purple! It's so very incredible, isn't it? I bow in wonder and delight.








And here is the striped primula I bought last year. Most of the time I buy these quirky hybrids knowing they won't be around the following year, or if they are they won't look anything like the plant I bought, but this one is, shockingly enough. And because I hardly mulched it, the slugs have barely found it.









Here's another MUST in your garden if you like creep-into-your-heart spring colour: pulmonaria (or lungwort). Whenever I go to the garden centre it's always there, in many guises (variegated, plain, pale blue flowers, dark blue flowers), not to mention prices, but it's a really stalwart spring garden addition. It seems impervious to slugs and bugs; it's always blooming immediately after Christmas, and the flowers are the most delicate shade of blue/purple you can possibly imagine. Oh, and wait, there's more: it turns into a massive ball of bloom of spring AND summer colour. See those speckled leaves? Those sky blue flowers? Now imagine it multiplied by at least 30 times. This is a SOLDIER of a plant. A PRIMA BALLERINA. A WORKHORSE. It performs and then some.



Here's the garlic. Did you plant garlic? I planted this stuff in October, with several of my family members watching me from the deck above (I pretended I was doing an Amusing Cable Gardening Program just so they would all ignore what a tip the inside of my house is and IT WORKED - I even gave away prizes for Best Call In Question). Not that you will care now, but each garlic bulb was nestled in bone meal, kelp meal, and compost, so that it will be a Strong and Stalwart Chunk of Garlic come July. Oddly enough, there is a 3' square where nothing really grew. I haven't figured that out yet. Is it Bad Garlic? Someone digging? Someone peeing (gasp!)? Someone removing my garlic bulbs (Mr Squirrel? Have you anything to say for yourself?)?


Some people are blaming this creature, but I don't think it's him. There would be Clear Marks in that bed, and being the Amazing Man Tracker that I am, I can see no Clear Marks from this animal.

Trust me, this cat is a pig. He scatters dirt to the four winds and then some. I'd know.







On the weekend I transplanted 2 fruit trees (a Cox's Orange Pippin and a Gravenstein) to Better Dwelling Places and 7 blueberry bushes (Northland, Dixie, Earliblue, Reka, Duke) into Even Better Dwelling Places. They were pretty crowded and not looking happy where they were, so I went and tore up way too many vinca vines. I now hate vinca vines. Hate hate hate. Bad vinca. Stupid vinca. Stupid vinca belonging to neighbour. Ugh. Urgh.

Here are the blueberry bushes. Don't they look happy in their happy peaty bog?





Purple Sprouting Broccoli. We eat a lot of broccoli over the winter, but when we found this we all agreed that it was Superior to everything else. It really is: you can eat it raw, cook it, stir fry it, or peel it and use it in a salad. Or do what Dominic does and stand next to it in the garden and hack away at it and chomp chomp chomp your way through the afternoon...
This is most efficiently planted in fall, then left to struggle on its own through the winter. Don't worry - it can and it will. And then, around about February, it'll start growing and lengthening and sprouting little purple buds all over the place. And before you know it it will be 4 feet high and deeply green. And even more deeply delicious. Crunch crunch crunch.

And that, as my friend Martha says, is a Good Thing.


6 comments:

Spesamor Academy said...

Oh, I am so coveting that tree!

blissfulreflections said...

Sheila, your yard is so huge! I love the last photo. What an amazing and fun yard you have!
I can't believe you have flowers up already. I love the little primula! It's so adorable.

sheila said...

Actually, my yard ends at that tree - the rest of that green expanse is the Garry Oak Meadow my nutty neighbours are cultivating. They wanted me to be part of it but I'm too attached to the concept of private property. Besides, there's a large dog involved in this Garry Oak Expanse Plan and he has trouble with boundaries: thus my chicken wire fencing...

I think the yard is just over a 1/4 of an acre. Big for a city lot.

Mary-Sue said...

beautiful! so inspiring on this grey rainy february day! thank you!!!

Heather said...

Was going to comment on your lovely blooms but feeling like stomping feet sullenly instead as I look out at snow, snow and more snow with no hopes of blooms for months to come. Stomp, stomp...

sheila said...

Mary-Sue, I think you have become my Official Best Reader. I will award you something. Give me a minute to think what...