Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Garden Within and the Garden Without

As mentioned last post, I did go to a local garden centre last weekend to see their annual installation of an "inspiration garden". I took my crappo camera - my nickname for it, not the brand name!:-) so I wouldn't look like a spy from another garden centre (I worry about these things). Well, going there was as good as a dip in a jacuzzi - muscles relaxed, a smile hovered on my lips and I just felt "Springier"! This year's garden loosely follows a Japanese Garden theme and I loved it. Beautiful use of texture, structures, foliage and stunning water features.

I loved the understated statuary tucked in amongst the greenery - it was very well placed as you could see it from several vantage points but it didn't compete with the star, the water feature.

The pond had Koi fish in it - probably not something I would try at this point, but they do look like jewels in the water. What I really liked was the reflective quality of the water, always shimmering the sky back at you. Fabulous.

I was so excited to see more than one hosta with almost pure white blooms. Rebecca, I knew you would like this so I got the photo for you. :-) There was no tag so I even approached the owner of the garden centre and asked him its name. He happily brought me a slip of paper with the name of this pretty hosta, ‘Olive Bailey Langdon’. I have never heard of it but it is hardy here and I love the colours of the yes, I will be getting some!

The arrival of Spring here this weekend beckoned me out to my own garden. I cleaned up, did some pruning and took a peek around the edges of the snow to see how things looked after a winter that had an exceptionally cold spell, followed by warmer than usual temperatures. There wasn't a lot visible yet, but I was pleased to see my Woolly Thyme I planted among some stepping stones looked as fresh as it did last Septemeber. Yay!

My Vinca minor 'Alba' also looks as fresh as it did before the snow fell. I understand these can be invasive in warmer zones and are ubiquitous and often scorned. However, here, under my spruce they are a welcome patch of green and the little white flowers are charming.

I have to say, it felt great to be out putzing in the garden. Although much of it is still under snow I am enjoying these fresh days - and dreaming Spring dreams. ;-)

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~Ruth Stout

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The bald guy and the flowers...oh, and a chicken

And no, I’m not referring to that strange man who wooed me back in the day… ;-)

I’m taking a photography course right now to get more out of my DSLR. So I just had to post my favourite photo from my most excellent weekend.

Ugly photo, you say? Well yes, yes it is – but it is of a bald eagle I spotted on Saturday! So that makes it a winner in my books. Sometimes the substance outweighs the style. I have a little secret place by the river I think of as my contemplation spot. I was there in January and spotted this fellow then. I have been back almost weekly and haven’t seen him since. Well, on Saturday he was waiting for me – on the same branch of the same tree! I couldn’t get any closer to him because of the terrain (hence the horrible shot) but it was still thrilling! I think we must be buddies now – should I name him? Any suggestions?

My weekend continued with its all-around awesomeness. On Sunday I went to Dim Sum with a group of friends (my darling hubby took our little guy to his “sea turtles” swim class) and then a couple of us headed off to a garden centre to see this year’s inspiration garden. (More on this later!). Here are some photos from last year’s garden if you need a boost of green delights.

Did I shop, I hear you ask? Of course I did! Silly rabbit...

I got myself these three little primulas [I've heard they are hardy - does anyone know if that's true?]

and got my little guy an inchworm foam kneeling pad for helping me in the garden this summer and a plush chicken dressed in a frog costume tied with a ribbon under his chin – too cute!

And on the way home I stopped at a second garden centre that carries a good selection of fountains at decent prices. Not that I’m planning any more shopping…nosiree…not me….whistling as I exit this post.

Hope your week of garden dreaming is going great!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ray, A Drop of Golden Sun

This has been a glorious week of sunshine and melting. The earth is stirring.

The sap has begun running in my white spruce trees along the back of the property. If you click on this one you can see the reflection of the blue sky in the droplet.

The birds are loving it (and when I went down to the river today it was opening up and two geese were honking - they're baaaack!)

Last year's wild purple asters are gleaming their last stand before they are replaced by this year's growth.

And best of all - the great retreat is on! I can see mulched beds and lawn! This is the first spring we have seen this thrilling sight here as it was just last summer that we had the gravel (left by previous owners) taken out of the yard and good earth and beds and sod put in. Believe me, this is so much more exciting to see.

Welcome back garden! We are going to have so much fun together this year! :-)