Thursday, February 11, 2021

Reaching for the Dirt : A Return to Garden Blogging

After an extended absence from garden blogging, I'm reviving My Roots Run Deep ahead of the 2021 garden season. 

Keep an eye on your bloodroot.
The flowers of this early spring bloomer are
fleeting and may last for only a day.

Last March, when we first felt the seismic effects of the pandemic here in Toronto, instinctively, I reached for the dirt. I understood immediately that my garden would provide the relief I needed from events unfolding around the globe. For the first time in years, with nothing but time on my hands, I immersed myself totally and completely in rediscovering my garden: the lush greens of wild gingers and ostrich ferns; the ephemeral beauty of serviceberry blossoms and bloodroot; the unabashed flamboyance of redbud and magnolia; the intoxicating scent of lilacs and peonies; and the rugged obstinacy of epimedium and haskap. 

Lilac Ludwig Spaeth adds an exhilarating fragrance to the garden.

What a revelation it was. I had been away from the garden for far too long.

And so I have returned.

In the days and months ahead, I hope you'll join me here for garden advice and reflections. Only 37 days until spring. 

Alliums all in row


You can find all my latest blog posts at My Roots Run Deep II

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Crocus Not As Advertised

It's great to see the crocus in bloom.  These were unexpected, however.  Planted last fall, the bulbs were a promising, new and exciting addition to the garden.

This is what I was hoping for. I'm not sure if these yellow-flowered bulbs were mislabelled or if the orange ones never came up and I'm now mistaking them for the yellow ones. It's easy to lose track of all the crocus in the garden. Has anyone ever seen an "Orange Monarch" in bloom?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

First Crocus

First Crocus
After the first real winter we have had in about four years, the sight of the first crocus is more welcome than ever.  The tradition continues:  I have no idea what variety this is.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Attention Toronto Gardeners

My Roots Run Deep has been dormant for some time, but with good reason.  This gardener has been busy blogging for a great Toronto garden club.  Please check out the North Toronto Horticultural Society blog for upcoming meetings and lots of great garden information and advice.  And don't hesitate to stop by and say hello.  We get together every month at the Toronto Botanical Garden which is easy to get to by either car or transit.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Parade of Spring Bloomers

Spring marches on.  So many blooms.  So little time to blog. Here is the parade of flowers in my spring garden.

Eastern Redbud

Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart

Grape Hyacinth

Pulmonaria "Silver Streamers"


PJM Rhododendron

Wood Poppy

Epimedium "Orange Konigin"

Tulipa Sylvestris
Although there are more blooms to come, the flower parade is slowing down.  A towering Norway Maple has already plunged the garden into dense shade, creating conditions for an urban woodland garden.  These springtime blooms usher out the winter and now that their job is done, foliage and groundcovers will take over the show providing a cool and restful space at the height of summer heat.    

Friday, April 20, 2012

Three New Daffodils

Three new daffodils are blooming but I don't know what they are. I planted 15 new daffodil bulbs last fall. 5 came in a bag labeled "Variant." 10 came in a bag labeled "Sorcerer." I thought I was planting two varieties of daffodil. Apparently not. Now that spring is here, there are three distinct daffodils in bloom.

I love the pure white petals on this daffodil. The pink cup was totally unexpected (pink is not my first choice when selecting daffodils). And yet, compared to pink cups I have seen and grown, I quite like this one.

This small-cupped daffodil could be "Sorcerer." I found only one image of "Sorcerer" online and this comes pretty close.

This is the largest daffodil bloom I have ever seen. It is freakishly huge and the stems bend under the weight of the flower. The colour succession on this flower is quite dramatic: the orange cup is surrounded by yellow petals that fade to white at the tips. Very interesting.

The true identities of these daffodils may forever be a mystery to me. Just another reason to never trust a plant label.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

An Exceptional Year for Daffodils

It has been an exceptional year for daffodils. One of my favourites is "Barrett Browning," with its white petals and frilly orange cup. The water droplets are a nice touch. This daffodil has under-performed in the last two years. It is said to be a good naturalizer, however, so I hope it eventually finds its stride because it really is a beauty.

"Minnow" is a miniature with a bloom about the size of a thumb print. Even a small grouping of "Minnow" looks very impressive as each stem can carry multiple blooms.

The King Alfreds (which aren't really King Alfreds) look stunning as usual.

Tete-a-Tete, another miniature, continues to bloom its little head off. The first blooms appeared in late March. This is a garden work-horse. I dare say it's a guaranteed bloomer even for gardeners who have a lot of bad luck.

This unknown daffodil variety continues to be my favourite. It has returned reliably for years.

I was worried for the daffodils during our March heatwave. But now that temperatures have returned to seasonal and even a little below seasonal, the daffodils seem quite content and I am more than happy to enjoy their long-lasting blooms.