Tag Archives: magnolia

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?

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


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


Winter is Here!

December 17th, 2014 | 2 Comments »
Snow came early this year -- our first snowfall was in the middle of November. [caption id="attachment_1533" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] A light snow dusted rocks by the driveway in the year's first snowfall.[/caption]   The light snow added glamour to slightly tattered bergenia leaves. Sunlight shining through exposed the veins and highlighted the range of colours.   [caption id="attachment_1534" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Even a thick leaf can look transparent when the sun is at the right angle.[/caption]   The snow didn't last, thank goodness. In fact, we had a few days of almost warm


The Darling Buds of May

May 14th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate;   Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date.                        --- William Shakespeare Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 provided the title for H.E. Bates' novel. I never read The Darling Buds of May. Never saw the British tv show, either. But I've seen the buds themselves. Rough winds may be shaking them. but they are blooming gloriously