Posts Tagged ‘corkscrew hazel’


We’ve had some nice, sunny days lately, but it’s sure been cold. The temperature has rarely made it above 0°C during the day and has been dropping down to -10°C or colder at night. But today, finally, we are being treated to some warmth. The temperature has crept up to 8°C and even though the pond is still dressed in a straight-jacket of ice, for the rest of us, it’s sweater weather! What a treat, to leave the winter coat hanging in the closet.


I took Mousie’s blanket off before she went out this morning. When I checked on her in the afternoon, she was relaxing in the sun, delighted, no doubt, with the warmth.


The trees don’t wait for warm weather. They know it’s spring. The pussywillows have been out for a while. For the garden, though, it is a different story. It is still too early to expect much. However, I took a walk around the yard to see what was showing signs of life.


I was pleased to see that the little Corkscrew Hazel has lots of buds. I set a sheet of paper behind a branch so that the buds would be visible in this photo. I purchased the plant at the end of the garden season last year. The poor thing had been passed over again and again while all it’s buddies were carried off to new homes. It looked pretty sad before I finally bought it, marked down to less than half price. I wasn’t sure it would make it through the winter, but apparently it took heart in its new home and is looking great.


A few bulbs are just beginning to poke through the soil. These are daffodils.


Among the first plants to bloom here are the hellebores. They’re sometimes called Christmas Roses. They don’t bloom in the middle of winter this far north, but they are still commendably early. Sure enough, I found a sturdy shoot when I removed a covering of dead leaves.


Here’s another hellebore. This one is even further along.


Primulas are pretty early too. This plant already has a whorl of leaves coming along. One of the best finds of the day was the catnip plants! They already have little heads of leaves and it won’t be too long before the cat army can enjoy a fresh spring treat!


Read Full Post »


The busiest, most colourful corner of the garden in winter is the birdfeeder. A steady stream of birds flit in and out, brightening some otherwise dreary days. I placed our Christmas tree near the feeder so that it can enjoy a second career as a bird shelter. It looks just as pretty decorated with snow as it did with Christmas ornaments.


The winter garden isn’t as eye-catching as it will be in June, but with the crisp, white backdrop of snow, there are still interesting textures and shaped to admire. I usually just turn my birdbath dish upside-down, and I like the little white cap it wears all winter.


My resident garden raccoon looks pretty cute too, peeking out from a snowy blanket.


I never clean up my garden in the fall. I leave all the seedheads and litter in place until the spring so that the birds can forage for any bounty the plants might offer, and insects and other tiny critters can shelter under dead leaves. But I am also a beneficiary. The stalks and seedheads add interest to the yard. Shown above is a coneflower, with swirls of grass blades in the background.


And here is Coreopsis verticillata “Moonbeam”. It’s delicate stems make a lacy pattern in the snow.


The largest coreopsis in my garden is Coreopsis grandiflora “Mayfield Giant”


The flat heads of the sedum capture little pillows of snow.


I planted this little corkscrew hazel (Corylus avellana), currently about 2 feet tall, near the birdfeeder with an eye to providing winter interest and perching spots as the plant gets bigger. I bought it late in the season, and it was hard to tell how healthy it was, since it’s already twisted and gnarled-looking. If it doesn’t survive the winter, I’ll try again in the spring.

There is still a bit of colour to be found, even in winter. Below, the rose hips add a touch of red.


Read Full Post »