Tag Archives: snowdrops

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.

This 1000 piece jigsaw of a pointillist painting by Georges Seurat was particularly difficult to do.
This 1000 piece jigsaw of a pointillist painting by Georges Seurat was particularly difficult to do.

 

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 came early and are only now, a month later, beginning to fade.

I took this photo one week ago. Thanks to yesterday's warm weather, the snowdrops are beginning to fade.
I took this photo a week ago. Thanks to warm weather on Saturday, the snowdrops are now finished for the year.

 

I picked the first daffodils on April 12, the earliest I can remember, but the cooler weather that followed stopped their development. Stopped them short, I could say, since many are now blooming on shorter-than-normal stems. On the positive side, unless the weather suddenly heats up, I can anticipate a month or more of blossoms yet to come.

 

One end of the berm by the Skating Pond is warmer than the other and the daffodils always bloom earlier there.
One end of the berm by the Skating Pond is warmer than the other and the daffodils always bloom earlier there.

 

Saturday was wonderfully warm and sunny and I took advantage of the weather to check out how things were doing in the woods. Much to my surprise and delight, the wild garlic was up, colouring the floor of the woods with its bright green leaves.

 

Our woods are covered with wild garlic. As soon as a plant is disturbed, it begins to scent the air.
Ramps, or wild garlic, are a common sight in our woods in the spring. But they seem to be earlier than normal this year.

 

I didn’t have a shovel but with the help of a stick I found, I dug up a few.

 

I ate these, cooked along with store-bought mushrooms, for dinner last night. Delicious!
We ate these, cooked along with store-bought mushrooms, for dinner last night. Delicious!

 

Wildflowers are beginning to bloom, including colt’s foot (Tussilago farfara) alongside the road.

 

Yellow is such a cheery colour in early spring.
Yellow is such a cheery colour in early spring.

 

These tiny bulbs haven’t bloomed in a few years but are now lighting up a dark spot near the front door.

 

wildflowers (1 of 2)

 

Stuck at home and with cold and unpredictable weather — we had snow on April 10! — I’ve cleaned out cupboards and finally, after ten years, am tackling the boxes of family memorabilia stacked in the barn.

 

The first job was organizing the stuff in the barn -- a huge job. (Thanks, Lex!) This stall is full of boxes, many of which came from my parents ten years ago.
The first job was organizing the stuff in the barn — a huge job. (Thanks, Lex!) Many of the boxes in this stall are full of paper saved by my mother who thought everything worth saving. I’ve filled several garbage tubs with duplicate copies of write-ups and genealogical material. I will probably fill several more.

 

The barn isn’t the only place that needed attention. Winter ice on the lake wrecked havoc on our dock, damaging all the top boards beyond repair. We’ve removed those and will replace them soon.

 

Municipal regulations no longer allow permanent docks to be built but ours which was first built over a century ago is grandfathered.
Municipal regulations no longer allow permanent docks to be built but ours which was first built over a century ago is grandfathered.

 

We built a new bench for the Sundial Clearing, part of Timelines, and once the words are burned into the wood, we’ll put it in place.

 

The new bench is exactly like the old one, made like a pine box to remind us that we are always in transit.
The new bench is exactly like the old one, made like a pine box to remind us that we are always in transit.

 

I’m still searching for the right stone to use to replace the tall pine tree whose shadow marked the hours. But that job will have to wait until our local quarry re-opens.

What’s keeping you busy and sane during these tough times?

 

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]  

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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

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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

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What is blooming at Glen Villa?

March 28th, 2016 | 8 Comments »
Last week I was wondering what I would find when I returned to Glen Villa, my garden in rural Quebec. Would the snowdrops be gone, the crocus out in full force? Would I even find a daffodil or two? The quick answer is, no. Six weeks in warmer climes made me forget that this is only the end of March. And in Quebec, that means that spring has yet to arrive. So what I found was a lake still mostly frozen, with a skim of water in some places on top of

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Is Anything Blooming at Glen Villa?

March 19th, 2016 | 4 Comments »
After more than a month, I'm heading north in a few days, returning to my garden in Quebec. It's been a strange winter... the winter that wasn't, someone called it. So I don't know what I'll find in the garden when I finally arrive. I've heard that in the Eastern Townships, my part of Quebec, the ice on the lake is breaking up and has almost melted. If so, it is earlier than last year.   [caption id="attachment_3731" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] I took this photo last year on April 17 when

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A river of snowdrops

April 26th, 2013 | 3 Comments »
Last year I dug up, divided and replanted about a dozen clumps of snowdrops. Amazing how a few bulbs will grow with time. According to my (less than perfect) planting records, originally I planted a few dozen snowdrops, ordinary ones that are readily available in most Canadian gardening catalogues.Thanks to an April 2012 blog post from Kathy Purdy of Cold Climate Gardening I decided to split the clumps. They were starting to look a bit overstuffed and I thought it would be worth the time and effort. Was I ever right!

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