Friday, May 25, 2012

Spring is Here...Finally

It's been such a long, cold Spring that I thought my shrubs would never bloom. But they did, finally, just this last week. And here it's almost June! This azalea (it's a group of three) lives in my front yard, is supremely trouble free, and creates a giant hit of brightness in the Spring that last a full two weeks.
The best kind of tenant.

There's a different  rhododendron just down  the drive from the pink beauty that all the bees love.
This plant blooms just before the pink azalea, but the blooms last a bit longer.
When I was trying to photograph a bee in one of the flowers, I realized that my finger is much slower that those tiny wings
The bees didn't seem upset that I was following them, but they weren't waiting around either. You can just see the rear of that bumblebee. Not his greatest picture  but it's good to see them whizzing around the blooms. Each year there are fewer bees, though I see at least 4  or 5 different types each day.
The plants in the Back 40 are mainly shrubs, ferns and trees, the kinds that enjoy the shade and extra shady part of my garden.
Most of the sword ferns have moved in on their own (with help from the birds?) and I enjoy there grace and persistence. The growing conditions are very challenging back here, as the soil consists mainly of leaves and some bark mulch that has composted itself laid on top of sandy gravel. When this sub-division was developed, the standard was to scrape the land clean, remove the trees (they were felled and burned) and truck away any top soil before laying down that cement sidewalk and paved street. It is quite amazing to watch how Mother Nature has rebuilt the garden, with not much help from myself or my Assistant Gardener, other that a bit of bark mulch and weed pulling.
Spring shoots on these swords look like aliens and the new green fronds stand strong. These guys even look good through the snows in winter, and the best thing about these swords - Nobody eats them! They're deer proof, bird proof, squirrel proof and the even the bugs and slugs leave them be!
My kind of plant.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Back To Work!

It's been a long while since I posted on my site, and now it is TIME TO GET BACK TO WORK.
Don't mind me, I'm just yelling at myself for being away for so long.

May has brought sunshine, lot's of leaves, a few flowers and now cold nights (around 4 C) to the
 Back 40. The perennials are perking up, but slowly.
This is another cold Spring, but also a dry one.

A few of the regulars are madly going to town: the Dicentra, the ferns, and of course, the
Lamium. About 10 days ago, I went out to push it back a bit, and discovered that not only had
it moved right into my Hedgerow, it has sneaked across the dry creek.
Along the lot line, those tough little plants were almost knee high, and they're climbing the
back of my neighbour's garden shed.
I spent 2 afternoons tearing out lamium from amongst the hedgerow shrubs (two giant bags full)
and realized that I hardly made a dent in it. This is going to be a real war!
Coquitlam has banned the use of "ornamental herbicides" in our home gardens.
Perhaps I need a goat.