Tag Archives: hawthorn trees

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.

 

The hawthorn trees higher up the hill aren't dead, just very slow to leaf out.
The hawthorn trees on the left aren’t dead, just even slower than the ones on the right to turn green.

 

On the positive side it means that spring is lasting longer than usual.  Daffodils began to bloom more than a month ago and are only now reaching their peak.

 

Daffodils scribble their way across the grass at the Dragon's Tail.
Daffodils scribble their way across the grass at the Dragon’s Tail, Glen Villa’s signature planting.

 

Because we planted different varieties of daffodils at the Skating Pond, we may enjoy them for several more weeks. That’s if the weather cooperates and doesn’t heat up too much, too quickly.

 

Daffodils bloom for weeks by the Skating Pond.
Over the years we’ve planted thousands of daffodils. Can there ever be too many?

 

Overall, the Skating Pond itself is looking very good, particularly on a moody-sky day.

 

The willow tree
The willow tree will droop closer to the water as the summer progresses. We gave it a good haircut last year.

 

I’m happy with the Cascade, too.

 

The spirea at the top and bottom of the Cascade are just coming into bloom.
The spirea at the top and bottom of the Cascade are just coming into bloom.

 

I particularly like the little marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris) that found a foothold near the water. At this time of year, any muddy spot offers them a place to grow. And what a bright light they are!

 

The bright yellow blossoms stand out nicely against the dark rock behind.
The bright yellow blossoms stand out nicely against the wet rock behind.

 

In the Lower Garden, the magnolias are particularly beautiful this year, thanks to abundant rainfall.

 

Magnolia stellata has been blooming for two weeks now.
Magnolia stellata ‘Susan’ has been blooming for two weeks now. The dark blooms of Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’ are still to come.

 

Bergenia is blooming near the front door ….

 

Bergenia or pig squeak? Which do you call it? And how can such an attractive plant have such an unattractive common name?
Bergenia or pig squeak? Which do you call it? And how can such an attractive plant have such an unattractive common name?

 

…. with twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla) lighting up the world nearby.  This plant is one of my favourites. I like that it was named after Thomas Jefferson, I like that it changes dramatically throughout the season, but I like most of all that it comes and goes so quickly.

 

This year's blooms came and went in three days.
This year’s blooms came and went in three days.

 

Andy Warhol taught us that we all have our 15 minutes of fame. Jeffersonia diphylla illustrates this perfectly. What could show us more clearly how ephemeral spring ephemerals can be? And, by extension, suggest how fragile are our gardens’ beauty and well-being.


Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the Open Garden Day! One click will take you directly to the Massawippi Foundation’s website  where you can purchase tickets for a morning or afternoon visit.

open-house-banner

 

Five Good Things and a Bad

June 25th, 2018 | 12 Comments »
As June shines its way towards July, I'm outside soaking it in and enjoying the garden at Glen Villa. There are too many happy-making things to show in a single post, so today I'm focusing on only four. First come the hawthorn trees. We planted them more than 15 years ago and they have proved a mixed blessing, blooming well in some years, not so well in others. This year they were spectacular.     [caption id="attachment_6453" align="aligncenter" width="5184"] Seeing the trees from a distance was like seeing a cloud of light,

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When Less is More

December 5th, 2016 | 25 Comments »
Is less more? I associate the familiar phrase with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the founders of modern architecture and a proponent of simplicity of style. But when I went to confirm this, I found to my surprise that the phrase was first used in print in Andrea del Sarto, a poem by Robert Browning. Who strive - you don't know how the others strive To paint a little thing like that you smeared Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,- Yet do much less, so much less, Someone

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