Tag Archives: daffodils

More Befores and Afters

May 30th, 2020 | 8 Comments »

A sudden burst of hot weather brought out shorts, t-shirts and leaves on the trees. It was only two weeks ago, on May 10, that the Cascade at Glen Villa was looking bare and boring.


Will these bare branches ever bloom?
Will these bare branches ever bloom?


Less than two weeks later, boring had become a bouquet of blooms.

Early evening light gives this scene a slight blue tint.
Early evening light gives this scene a slight blue tint.


Yet three days after that, the blossoms were beginning to fade, all thanks to extremely high temperatures.


The Cascade is frothy waterfall of spirea.
At its best, the Cascade is a frothy waterfall of spirea.


The star magnolias in the Lower Garden were in full bloom last week,


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Up close, the blossoms were stunning.


This is Magnolia 'Susan.'
This is Magnolia stellata ‘Susan.’


Three days ago petals began to fall.


Wistful yet wonderful.


And now, the grass that suddenly turned green is spotted with pink.


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Susan is only one of two types of magnolias that bloom in the Lower Garden. Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’ is a later variety, with dark outer petals that fade on the inside to baby pink.


magnolia dark (1 of 1)


A few days ago it was coming into bloom. Now, it is going over fast.

Even though today is much, much cooler, I doubt that 'Susan' will bloom for long.
Even though today is much, much cooler, I doubt that ‘Leonard’ will bloom for long.

Daffodils at Glen Villa began blooming in mid-April. Those on the berm by the Skating Pond that was so gorgeous a month later …


i took this photo on May 17.
I took this photo on May 17.


… are now crumpled remnants of themselves.


Wet handkerchiefs or wet mopheads?
Wet handkerchiefs or wet mopheads?


But to my delight, the late blooming narcissus (Narcissus poeticus) in a shady spot near the front door are still going strong.


Pheasant's eye narcissus, or Narcissus poeticus is delicately fragrant.
Pheasant’s eye narcissus, or the poet’s daffodil, is extremely fragrant. It is also more poisonous than most daffodils.


Hot weather also shortened the season for my favourite flower, Jeffersonia diphylla. Its blossoms are always short-lived, but this year, the flowers that appeared on day 1 ….


Jeffersonia bloomed on May 20.
Jeffersonia bloomed on May 20.


… were dropping, petal by petal, by the end of day 2.


May 22, petals began to drop.
The flowers are gone now, leaving only the beautifully bisected leaves.


For weeks I’ve been looking forward to seeing La Grande Allée in full bloom. The buds were promising.


The buds of Malus 'Dolgo' are tinged with pink.
The buds of Malus ‘Dolgo’ are tinged with pink.


But I could tell that something wasn’t quite right. Individual trees varied considerably. Some looked vigorous, others were thinly leafed.


Thinly leafed tree
Those branches should be lushly, not thinly leafed.


Overall, the Allée didn’t bloom as well as I’d expected. Definitely not as well as I’d hoped. Was the lack of rain responsible?


Not the best, not the worst.
Not the best year, by far. But I’m always optimistic.. Next year will be better.


Last night it rained hard, the first rain we’ve had in weeks. This morning the air is clear and cool and the more plants in the garden are bursting into bloom. The primula I planted several years ago are blooming well, their deep red blossoms providing a sharp contrast to the white blossoms of sweet woodruff (Gallium odoratum).


Candelabra primula 'Miller's Crimson' stand out against the green and white gallium.
Candelabra primula ‘Miller’s Crimson’ stand out against the green and white gallium.


Probably the sweet woodruff will spread too far but for now, I am pleased with its abundance.

What’s blooming in your garden that is giving you joy?

Daffodils and more

May 6th, 2020 | 12 Comments »
On the weekend, my heart was dancing with Wordsworthian glee. There weren't ten thousand daffodils in bloom but there were far more than I wanted to count.   [caption id="attachment_8687" align="alignleft" width="4587"] Daffodils make the berm above the Skating Pond a true delight in spring.[/caption]   For the last umpteen years, we've been planting daffodils on the berm above the Skating Pond. I've never ordered single varieties, always choosing instead to use the less expensive mixed varieties that are packaged in the hundreds. So I can't identify any of the particular varieties


It’s Beginning!

April 27th, 2020 | 7 Comments »
This is a strange year. Like most of you, I've been spending far more time than usual at home, inside, seeing almost no one apart from my husband. I've wasted time and saved my sanity by reading, baking brownies and doing jigsaw puzzles. [caption id="attachment_8665" align="alignleft" width="5184"] This 1000 piece jigsaw of a pointillist painting by Georges Seurat was particularly difficult to do.[/caption]   The weather has been strange too. Spring came about two weeks earlier than usual but overall the  month has been cooler than normal. This means that snowdrops


A touch of spring

March 26th, 2020 | 14 Comments »
Envy is not an admirable trait but I have to confess that at this time of year, when gardeners even a short distance to the south of me are picking daffodils and beginning to smell the roses, I am envious. Here, in Quebec's Eastern Townships, patches of snow are still much in evidence and where the snow has melted, the ground is soggy, squelching underfoot. Yesterday, though, my heart brightened when I saw the first crocus in bloom. [caption id="attachment_8563" align="alignleft" width="2357"] Nothing says spring more than yellow crocus![/caption]  


Is it Spring yet?

May 26th, 2019 | 12 Comments »
Spring is here, finally, with the promise that summer is a-comin' in. Or so it feels today. And maybe it will feel the same tomorrow, but who knows? Oscar Wilde said that conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative. Not so for gardeners in the Eastern Townships of Quebec where I garden. Weather means more for us. This year at least it means ground so soggy that farmers still can't seed their fields. It means trees still struggling to leaf out.   [caption id="attachment_7506" align="alignleft" width="5184"]


The Unsprung Spring

April 16th, 2018 | 14 Comments »
Spring just won't make up its mind. One day it cracks open the door, the next day, slams it shut. And I'm fed up! Come on, Spring, get a move on. Some years, snowdrops have finished by now. This year, they have barely started.   [caption id="attachment_6147" align="aligncenter" width="2334"] These poor little snowdrops are coated with ice from this morning's freezing rain. And yes, that's a patch of snow in front of them.[/caption]   In a normal spring, by now water would be splashing gaily over the rocks at The Cascade. Instead


Yearning for Spring

February 25th, 2018 | 13 Comments »
It's grey and nasty today and all I can think about is spring. I know it will come but its arrival seems a long way away. So instead of moaning, I'm dreaming of snowdrops ...   [caption id="attachment_3744" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] It's easy to see how snowdrops got their name.[/caption]   and crocus ...   [caption id="attachment_6049" align="aligncenter" width="3456"] Yellow crocus are sunshine to the soul.[/caption]   and buds beginning to bloom.   [caption id="attachment_6057" align="aligncenter" width="1807"] When the yellow buttons of Cornelian cherry open up, the shrub becomes a haze


The flowers that bloom in the spring, Tra-la

May 9th, 2017 | 8 Comments »
Gilbert and Sullivan got it right when they wrote about spring flowers. The flowers that bloom in the spring, Tra la, Breathe promise of merry sunshine — As we merrily dance and we sing, Tra la, We welcome the hope that they bring, Tra la, Of a summer of roses and wine. Right now, I'm dancing and singing. Because everywhere at Glen Villa, spring flowers are blooming. Daffodils galore brighten the path to the China Terrace ....   [caption id="attachment_5129" align="aligncenter" width="1319"] We planted these daffodils about fifteen years ago. The


A Change of (Ad)dress

May 23rd, 2016 | 14 Comments »
  The weather at this time of year does strange things to the mind -- and to the wardrobe. One day is cold, the next is hot. Changing locations makes the uncertainties even worse. What do I pack? Summer dresses or winter woolies? I arrived in England a few days ago on a chilly morning that felt much like the mornings I'd left behind in Canada. But looking out at the countryside, it was obvious that summer was now dressing the fields.   [caption id="attachment_3982" align="aligncenter" width="3888"] A froth of white


Spring arrives at Glen Villa! Finally.

April 22nd, 2013 | No Comments »
Glory, hallelujah! Spring is finally here. Last Saturday the temperature rose to 24C (75 F). And suddenly, everything was bursting into bloom. Crocuses have been blooming for a few weeks now, and the suddenly warm day will shorten their life span. No matter. They remain a spot of light in the just-coming-to-life grass. No matter how many I plant, there are never enough. Crocuses shine, even in half-dead grass. Buds are forming on the Cornelian cherry (cornus mas), that most difficult of shrubs to photograph. The individual flowers are small and tucked