Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring anticipation

We're almost a month past the vernal equinox, but so far April has continued to be cool and wet. It seems like the garden is way behind where it ought to be. But really it's about in the norm. In recent years, we have had early springs. It's been many years since we had a more normal one like this.

I have taken advantage of whatever non-rainy weather has come our way to get a jump on the weeds and undesirable sprouts. It took several days, but I have mostly cleared the hundreds of sycamore maple sprouts and done quite a lot of grooming around garden plants in the process. Even though there are quite a few plant beds in this garden, I find that it's worthwhile to get up close and personal with each of them. It just takes time and patience.

Erythronium oregonum
This past long weekend (Good Friday is a statutory holiday in Canada) was a complete garden nerd-out. Not only was the weather mostly okay for working outside; I also started using a tool called Zoner Photo Studio X to get a better handle on years of garden photos.

Outside, more is stirring. One Erythronium oregonum (fawn lily) flowered. Its flower hangs upside down, so I had it take a selfie. Erythronium americanum (trout lily, the church plant sale rescue) has also started to open up. Two out of three Berberis are starting to open their yellow flowers (repens might not ripen again). There are lots more Dicentra flowers, of course.In the back, the Ribes aureum is turning yellow, and the Rubus spectabilis has just started to flower.

Rubus spectabilis
I saw bees. A bumblebee on the Oregon grape. Another colony bee of some kind on the salmonberry. I have seen solitary bees as well, although I don't think there are any mason bees in the little house. I saw a ladybug on one of the lupins. We haven't seen enough ladybugs for quite a few years.

I finally tackled the clean-up of the Rosa nutkana. It was a bit damaged first by falling roof debris and then by the tarp used to prevent more falling roof debris from messing it up. It has thinned out a bit, which isn't a bad thing. I have been able to clear a narrow path along the back of the hedge so that there is nothing growing right up to the basement. The roots have never come through any cracks, but they're strong, and I would rather keep them away if possible. I also was able to clear out a lot of dead branches that used to be hidden in the density.

No glamour in this work. But I have to say that I have not spent nicer time off in a while. Even at this stage with lots of work and little reward, gardening is probably my best therapy.

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