Thursday, February 25, 2010

Garden Thursday

It's that time again.

No, not Doctor Who time. Honestly.

But while he's here - let's have just one short glance. He was such a good Doctor.


Springtime has to be some of the best time in the garden there is, in my opinion. You get the winter to re-think and re-energize; you can get some distance from projects that might have seemed unfeasible or frustrating, and the idea of digging and carting and turning over sod is once again an exciting prospect. Plus, it's fun seeing all the perennials and bulbs poking their sprouty green tops out of the earth. Oh, look! It's the miniature irises! Oh, look! It's the primroses! Oh, look! It's the forsythia! Oh, look! It's the abeliophyllum! (Which, by the way, was everything I was told it would be: fruity scenty & gorgeous)

I'm still waiting for my fritillarias to make an appearance, sadly. For the last 3 years I've bought one or two only to wait in vain. When I dig up the area I planted them in all I find is a mound of mush. "Ah, yes," said one garden centre employee, "they do tend to do that here on the coast." Bugger those fritillarias. They are expensive. I don't like being teased by expensive exotics.

But, like the plucky Jane Austen Heroine I am, I pressed on with the fritillarias, because I love them. I love the skunky smell of them. I love their weird bulby shape. I love love love how they look when they are flowering. So last fall I bought not one but two, and planted them on a bed of sand. "Go ahead! I dare you! Fox me THIS time!" I might have shrieked really loudly muttered as I covered them up.

As I get older I get mouthier with plants.

So we'll see how they do.

Another thing that's good to do this time of year around these parts is to restructure your garden. I'm edging with the Handy Dandy Edger my neighbour gave me when he moved into his retirement home. Interestingly, edgers of old are much shallower and smaller than the edgers nowadays. Time shall tell me how this new development in the Age of the Edger has fared.

One thing I do know, it makes my edges look much crisper than my shovel did. And I am anal enough to really LIKE this.

Here's another restructuring project I did on the weekend. My garlic bed used to have a big old shade-producing bench in front of it. I moved the bench, ostensibly to put in a lower longer bench - the same height and length as the garlic bed. This photo shows the front area sans bench. Instead it shows a Selection of Tools from Richard, The Lowerer of Potting Tables. He's a wonder, that RTLOPT.

Then, just as I was about to convince RTLOPT that I really needed a long low bench that not only looked super cool, but was also possibly influenced by beach driftwood or Italian Rococo style, I was overtaken by the spirit of the Summer Rock Collector God and ended up putting down some bricks and gravel instead. He's a fickle god, that one. Fortunately Richard is not only a Lowerer of Potting Tables, he's also a benign Worker In The Garden. He retired instead to watch an Olympic hockey game.

So I hauled out all my prized green & white rocks (from a 2008 Green & White Rock Collecting Phase) and laid them on top of the gravel, along with some blue glass bits (the ones you always see in net bags at Michaels). In the foreground you can see my Honeyblue Honeysuckle, which is blooming as we speak. I bought it for the birds, but now that we've all tasted the blue berries it produces, we all have our beady little eyes on it rather intensely.

Another angle of the new rock area. If you squint rather hard you can see the Summer Rock Collector God, squatting obsequiously at the end there.

Yes, methinks it's edging towards springtime here. Not full blown, mind you. But a taste. The OMG WHAT WAS I THINKING part will come in April, when the weather always gets wet and horrible. And I? I will be glad I did all this work now, before the plants get their full on spring roots.


Heather said...

I had to check Google images to see what your abeliophyllum was. Gorgeous!! Now I need to know what it smells like, I wonder if I'll be able to find one blooming in a garden centre to satisfy my curiousity. Is it fruity as in citrus-y smelling?

sheila said...

It's truly gorgeous while it's blooming, but right now it's a bit spare on the gorgeousness: leafless and stark.

As for the smell, well, I would say it's on the jasmine side of fruity. It's a very RICH smell, especially if you bring it indoors in vases. Then it BLOSSOMS in quite an impressive manner. We all LOVED it immensely.

Have you checked out winter box? Now there's an impressive on-the-branch smell. It wafts, even.

Suji said...

We watched End of Time on YouTube! Sob. Sigh. I thought Matt Smith wouldn't cut it as The Doctor. The kiddo thought I should be less prejudiced and more accepting of other people's "so-called" not looking like The Doctor looks. Imagine that!

Kez said...

Excuse me while I drool at your David Tennant photo for a while :)

sheila said...

Oh Suji! Isn't it sad and wonderful? Our Space channel had it on over Christmas, along with Waters of Mars (super creepy), The Next Doctor (last year's Christmas special), and Planet of the Dead (fun). I think we watched it 6X and I sobbed each and every time. The new Doctor surprised me by being better than I thought he'd be, but he's no David Tennant, is he.

sheila said...

Anytime Kez! Why do you think I put those pictures up here in the first place? He is SUCH an inspiration for my gardening pursuits. I don't actually know if I COULD garden without having a quick DT fix, actually.

Anonymous said...

Look how sunny and warm it looks at your house! We have sun, but our grass is crispy looking still... But down there? Why, it looks like margaritas on the back porch weather!