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dust

Dust in the Wind

 

Soil erosion on a windy day.

Spring Garden

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After a long, cold, snowy, long, so long, winter, spring is finally, blessedly here. What a boon, to wake every morning to a newly greened world! What could be more soothing to the winter-weary soul than a walk in the spring garden?

Our weather has been variable. We had a ridiculously hot week recently, with temperatures exceeding 30C (86F), only to be followed this week by much cooler temperatures, dipping to near zero at night, with a frost warning in the forecast for tomorrow night. The 24th of May is generally regarded as the frost-safe date here.

Nevertheless, the spring garden is well underway. Of course, the spring bulbs are always welcome. My favorites are tulips. This year, I have enjoyed a new planting of peony-like blooms in brilliant colours.

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Speaking of peonies, all of the dozen new peonies I planted last year are doing well and starting to bud. The first to flower, well in advance of the other peony varieties is the fern-leaf peony (Paeonia tenuifolia). It can be appreciated for both its fine foliage and brilliant red flowers.

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Ornamental rhubarb (Rheum palmatum ‘Atrosanguineum’) is one of the first plants to push up shoots as soon as the snow melts back. The young leaves are a glorious red. By now they have settled into a more staid green, but are impressive in size, some nearly two feet across.

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The stalks that will soon boost feathery plumes of creamy flowers are nearly six feet tall. The flowers are tenderly embraced in a red wrap that gently unfolds to release the plumes.

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Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spp.) is a stalwart of the spring garden, an old-fashioned favorite that always pleases.

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Here is my favorite tiarella, ‘Sugar and Spice’, putting on a terrific show. The common name for tiarella is foamflower, for the appearance of the light, foamy mass of flowers.

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I’ve never had much success with the most commonly available primrose species, polyanthus (Primula x polyantha). They do okay for a year or two before fading away and disappearing. Last year I planted a different species, Primula sieboldii ‘Cover Girl’. I have been very pleased this spring as the two plants I acquired last year have reappeared as sturdy clumps. The dainty flowers have silvery white faces, but the reverse side of the petals is violet pink.

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These Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) were new last year and are adding a pop of blue this spring. The long stems add movement to the flower bed as the stalks sway in any breeze.

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Epimediums, with many different cultivars available, attract collectors. I just have three varieties. This is Epimedium versicolor ‘Sulphureum’, which features sprays of tiny, bright yellow flowers that look like miniature daffodils.

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Here’s the brilliant flower head of Bergenia ‘Eden’s Dark Margin’ blooming against a background of the umbrella-like leaves of our native mayflower (Podophyllum peltatum).

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So that’s a little taste of the May garden. I’ll close with this view of St. Francis marking the entrance to the woodland garden path, surrounded by still-emerging hostas and impatiens.

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ferns

Spring Ferns

 

enter

Enter Here

 

rhubarb

Rhubarb Leaves

 

hellabores

First Spring Flowers: Hellebores

 

duck

Morning Paddle

 

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