Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blue, blue

Scilla. Today the earth is cold and the soil in pots is frozen.
Last year the golden bleeding heart and the scilla appeared at the same time but it was a month later, check the date. This year the bleeding heart is still sleeping!
The cold may have returned for a few days, but the early bulbs won't care and these little scillas will flourish as a sea of blue in my garden and in those spots they have self sown in my lawn.  Things are indeed a whole month earlier than last year - not that I mind missing the usual grey days of March, where you wait impatiently for signs of Spring!  See the date on the photo - last year the scilla bloomed a whole month later!
Scilla or Squill are members of the Lily family. Naturalize easily the gardening books say.  I say don't plant them if you don't want them everywhere! It is a bit of a pain to clean up the spent leaves, but worth the beauty of the blue carpet they provide.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Herb of the Year

 Imagine roses and mint together in a salad of fresh greens. Add some raspberries, feta or blue cheese crumbles, some pecans and balsamic dressing. Now there's a salad! A Species Rose is the Herb of the Year in 2012!
We don't often think of roses in the herb category, but with cooks adding all kinds of flowers to salads, it's time to eat your roses (before the Japanese beetles do!) 

The Herb of the Year is getting great press this year. Garden and roses societies are having events built around the Rose. The International Herb Association,  has a cookbook available by mail. (To order it, contact Susan Belsinger:     It's a hefty book, full of recipes, uses, growing information and lots more.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring is Sprung

A sea of snowdrops

Do you remember this ditty from your childhood? Spring is sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the flowers is?
For me Snowdrops, are the harbingers of Spring. The earth may be bare with only curled brown and withered leaves, but their bright green stems and beautiful white heads let us know that the earth is eager to wake up.
The cheerful yellow of aconites
Crocus, closed for the day

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hosta of the Year


The Hosta of the year for 2012  is the  'Liberty', a sport of 'Sagae', with thicker leaves and a wider yellow margin that turns creamy white in summer. In all other respects, the plant appears to be the same as 'Sagae'. The margin gets wider as the plant matures. Sun tolerant.
 If you gotta have the lastest - this is it. The fact that it is sun tolerant makes it appeal to a much larger variety of people.  
I prefer 'Paradigm' to the 'Liberty".  Look at in this photo nestled next to the goutweed.  It just draws your eye to that corner. And, what better way to crowd out and replace the invasive goutweed.  I dig deep and remove as much of the goutweed roots as I can. Then each year in the Spring get out and dig up any shoots near the late emerging stalks of the hostas.  You have to be careful not to break the stocks, but do this every year and eventually they goutweed is removed.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Perennial of the year

We're starting to think about getting back in the garden!  We have had the mildest winter here in southern Ontario. Thought I would share the perennial of the year with you.

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ has been named the Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association, a trade organization established to promote the use and sale of herbaceous perennials.

The outstanding characteristics of “Jack Frost” are its large silvery white leaves accented with green veins. In Spring, it has baby blue flowers that resemble forget-me-nots on slender stems. “Jack Frost’ grows 30 to 40 cm tall and is hardy in zones 2 - 9b. Characteristics which make it desirable are its adaptability to a variety of soil types; it can be situated in shade or part shade; it is considered deer resistant; and, the blue-silver cast to the leaves make it a colourful shade plant.

 I have this one in my garden and while it grows slowly in my shady patch, it is well worth planting.  It catches the eye and is a distinctive colour in the border.  Just right for  providing relief from an expanse of green hostas!