Monday, March 1, 2010

Gold and Gardens

I'm thinking of a new colour theme for the garden this year. It's either going to be red and white... or maybe gold... as in HOCKEY GOLD!!! YEAH!!!! WHOO HOOO!!! I wish someone could bottle the incredible feeling of euphoria and national pride that swept across our country last night. Just think of everything we could accomplish riding that wave of synergy. Congratulations to Team U.S.A. for a fabulous game. Congratulations to all the athletes for bringing their best to the Vancouver 2010 Games and showing the world exactly what they are made of. You should all be very proud.

Now, back to gardening. March 1st has arrived in style. Although there is lots of winter and bad weather left to endure, on March 1st I always feel we've made it through. It was an absolutely stunning day with above zero temperatures, sunshine to spare and blue skies. For me there was no better place to be than outside to survey the garden.

The miscanthus sinensis "gracillimus" or maiden grass looked nice all winter. It's time to cut it back. After two years in the garden, it has yet to produce flower plumes. I'm hoping this is the year.

The foliage of Hellebore "Ivory Prince" looks healthy and fresh under the snow. "ivory Prince" will be among the first perennials to bloom in the garden.

It's going to be another good year for the "Ludwig Spaeth" lilac. I can't wait to experience its fragrance once again.

The buds of the serviceberry shrubs add a touch of red to the garden. They will produce white blooms in early spring followed by tasty berries in June. It's always a challenge to get to the berries before the birds and raccoons do.

The beech is still holding onto its brilliant copper leaves which provide a much-welcome splash of colour in the winter garden. In the summer, its leaves will be a dark purple. Last fall, the tree's leader put on about three feet of growth! That's enough that it should block the view of an unsightly laneway and make the backyard feel like a little forested retreat.

The red twigs of the cornus alba "Elegantissima" stand out amid all the brown in the garden right now. Some of its older branches have turned a bit brown and unsightly. Nothing a little pruning won't fix.

And speaking of unsightly...this is the worst of the garden right now: a muddy patch under a huge balsam fir. It has always been difficult to plant here because of shallow soil and root competition. Last year, though, I helped some woodlanders move in here including wild geranium and red baneberry. A tovara virginiana or jumpseed plant did well here last season so I hope it returns for a repeat performance. Maybe it will sprout some friends that will weave themselves into a ground cover. I would be very happy with that.

It's so good to be back thinking about gardening again. It leaves me with an absolutely golden glow.


Connie said...

Things are looking good in your garden. Yes, it is so good to be getting into garden mode again!
Love the maiden grass...would like to get into more grasses this year.

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

Late congratulations on your hockey gold. Being here in Buffalo, we consider ourselves half Canadian. Canada is nearer to us than the next city is here in the States. We apologize for the mopey, morose-looking US hockey team right after your win. They should have been a bit more appreciative of getting a silver in the Olympics.

O.I.M said...

Hi Connie. I'd like to add more grasses too. Japanese forest grass or hakonechloa is a personal favourite that does well in shade.

Hi Jim. I felt a little bit terrible for Team U.S.A. as they got their medals...they really looked devastated. My feelings only lasted for a second though and then I was back to singing O Canada. That game was one of the most exciting sports events in my memory...every heart in Canada sank like a lead balloon when Team U.S.A. scored to tie the game with just 24 seconds to go. If the result had been different it would have been hugely disappointing but still okay. What's a little silver and gold between neighbours, after all?