Friday, April 30, 2010

Just a few more pictures from my garden this (very) early spring.

Trout lily with periwinkle
Trout lily is considered a spring ephemeral. Once it has finished flowering it packs up its mottled leaves and settles underground again until next spring.

A sprig of Serviceberrry. 
The serviceberries are in bloom all over Burlington right now.

Jack in the Pulpit
I have a few of these native beauties. Perhaps they are an acquired taste for some but they are an intriguing plant. Just out of the ground and will unfold over the next few days. 
I will post another photo once it's open.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's up in the garden

With such nice weather of late I have been in the garden. Plants are sprouting out of the soil with such vigor it is like being invited to a fantastic party. Everybody is showing up. I managed to finish the last of the tidying up in the front today. Also transplanted an errant trillium to a much nicer location. I have a patch of periwinkle (vinca) under the beech tree that also supports a few trout lilies and a few trilliums, two white and one red. The red one is up but the whites are not. I worry now that the periwinkle is too much for them and that perhaps they have succumbed. I plan to keep and eye out but also intend to move the trilliums elsewhere after the bloom. Here's a trillium from my garden for you.

Many other things are blooming right now, or I should say in mid bloom. My redbuds and spicebush are flowering however the buds seemed to have stopped at the midway point. Perhaps this is due to the cool weather and even cooler nights. I am not sure if they will open entirely at this point but here they are for you to see.

Both these plants are new to the garden as of last summer. The spicebush in particular has some growing to do but it does live up to it's name with a spicy scent from the flowers.
Also pushing their way out of the ground is the Solomon's Seal. They get better every year. I have the European variegated one as well and it is striking at this time with it's red tinged stems. Here is the native one:

Also in bloom right now is the serviceberry. I will keep that for next time.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Mallard photos

Call me crazy but when the Mallards came for a return visit I was ready with camera in hand. That's because I had just missed a primo photo of my cat sitting on a rock watching a bunny down below.
I first noticed them on the sidewalk in front of my house. I swear that they took one look at me and decided to say a personal hello. They waddled through the garden, across the lawn and up beside the car in the drive to see what I was holding in my hands. I think they were hoping for something tasty. So I took pictures and video. And more pictures. I am always amazed (despite the fact I have a very good camera) of the amount of blurred photos. Could it be me? 
Here are a couple more pictures of the Mr. and Mrs. I promise no more unless something stupendous happens.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


A tour of the back yard showed that we are still not immune to the ravages of bunny rabbits. Last summer we planted about 30 shrubs of flowering raspberry and the native honeysuckle. They grew and looked good. With so many shrubs, I thought, why protect them from the rabbits when there is plenty to offer the bunnies and therefore plenty to survive the winter. Wrong. They have all been nibbled on and some eaten down to the ground. Others, for some strange reason, were apparently not as tasty and so branches were gnawed off and left on the ground. Woe is me. I am hoping that by some miracle of nature the poor plants will somehow rebound and put on some growth this spring. If not, I am buying an extra big roll of chicken wire.

Cute? I think not.

(picture from

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard

Last week we had a couple of visitors. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard have been coming to see us for the last 9 years. Over this time they usually take an aerial view of the property before deciding where to set down. You can hear them yelling at each other in the sky above since they never seem to agree on where to land. Then they stroll the grounds, taking their time to see what's new or not. This is the first time I have ever seen them come right up to the front door. They are usually more shy and cautious. Unfortunately I couldn't get a photo of Mr. Mallard at the door as he caught sight of me and scooted off. The Mrs. was not so flighty and checked out the patio before joining her hubby by the drive. They then tootled off to the front gardens before paying their respects to the neighbours.

Now that I know they are here I wait in anticipation for the future Mallard offspring. Mom and dad tend to have broods of ten to twelve young, all very cute and fuzzy to look at, though they do not all survive.

Last year they took to taking turns sitting on the roof. One would be the lookout while the other scouted about for food (my neighbour leaves them corn). Then they talk to each other, back and forth, from roof to ground when it's time to switch places. How quaint.

Here are a couple of photos of the Mr. and Mrs.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Early signs of Spring

What a lovely weekend we just had. My husband and I got out in the sun and did some tidying up. I finished raking out the beds and uncovered my sedums and coral bells. I kept stopping to have a look at the Tete a Tete daffodils that are up. These are the earliest daffs I have. Don't ask why, but I prefer the miniatures. Something about them. Also in bloom are some other bulbs such as chionodoxa, snowdrops and some very early tulips that were here when we moved. I think they may be a species type because of the red stripe. Also the critters leave them alone.
Naturally the forsythia is in bloom and soon to follow is the Nanking cherry which will bloom this afternoon (no kidding). While this cherry is nothing to look at any other time of the year it is a beauty while in bloom.
In the back where it is more woodsy my one existing sharp-lobed hepatica is in full flower as are the Bloodroot. The white trillium is showing 6 buds and should be in bloom within the week if the weather holds. I have other trilliums that need to be moved but they are still undercover and so I must wait and watch for their emergence. Apart from these, other plants are just poking their noses out of the ground, so I will leave them for another time.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


for not posting. I have been dealing with two weeks (and counting) of migraines and headaches. Please stay tuned.