Category Archives: Gardening

Blooming beauty


An unexpected surprise this week – my Amaryllis is in full bloom. A wee bit out of season. but lovely nonetheless.


I planted several Amaryllis bulbs last November, with the intention of giving them as gifts. I’ve done this before, but this time, the bulbs only sprouted foliage.  Nary a bloom. I’ve kept the pots in a sunny window and checked on them from time to time to see if the foliage had died back; then I’d pull the bulbs out of the soil and store them in a closet under the stairs (warm and dark). I figured I could try forcing them again next fall.

Apparently, one of the bulbs didn’t get the memo. When I checked last week, it had grown a stalk with four large blooms.


It lives up to its name – Neon. Each flower is a vivid pink, with white striations on the petals and a bright green centre.

I have no idea how long the blooms will last, but I’m going to enjoy every minute.



S(no)w spring


According to the calendar, spring arrived a couple of days ago. So did more more snow – about 15 cm (6 inches) fell overnight.

Instead of walking around wearing cute shoes….

 Grace Flats!

Grace Flats! From ShoeMint

I’m still wearing my winter boots – not to mention a parka, a hat and mittens.


My purple Bogs – they were much cuter in November

Around here, snow this late in the season isn’t totally unusual. We had a storm about the same time last year that dropped over 20 cm on the ground (I remember this is because we’d just come back from a week in California where it was 75 F and sunny everyday). But this year, the freezing temperatures arrived in late November and stayed until a couple of weeks ago, when the temperature climbed above the freezing mark for a couple of days. It’s been up and down like a roller coaster since then.

While I’m dreaming of spring flowers…

June 3, 2013 020

Primroses – my garden (spring 2013)

My garden is still fast asleep under a deep layer of white


Sedum (height between 12 to 18 inches)



Even the birds have decided to find somewhere else to spend the day.


Nobody’s home

There is one flower in the garden – lonely and just a little chilly


March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. There are still 9 more days until the end of the month, but so far, the lions are showing no sign of leaving.


Neighbourhood picnic table


Spring…at last?!


According to the calendar, spring officially arrived almost a month ago. But until a couple of days ago, I didn’t see much evidence that winter was over. We still had snow and the temperature was stuck in the single digits. Until last week, M was still wearing his snow pants to school without being asked.  And the parts of my garden that weren’t still covered in snow, were a study in brown – dead leaves and dirt, punctuated by stray branches and wayward pieces of garbage.

However, despite another snow storm late last week, spring seems to finally taking hold.  Almost overnight, crocus and other early spring flowers are sprouting up in my backyard. Harbingers of spring indeed.

First crocus!

First crocus!

More crocus

More crocus

Almost ready o bloom

Almost ready  to bloom

Another early bloomer (but I can't remember its name)

Another early bloomer (but I can’t remember its name)

Even the tulips are starting to poke their leaves out of the ground.

Tulips - on their way

Tulips are on their way

Tulips - what colour?

Tulips – what colour?

Since the front garden only gets early morning son, progress is slower than in the backyard.  But sometime today, one of my miniature  irises bloomed. There’re only about 6 inches high and very short-lived. But they are so pretty – I always enjoy them, no matter how long they last.

April 17, 2013 058-001

Early iris (yes, that’s snow in the background)

Early iris

Early iris

Seeing my garden come back to life has lifted my mood. Last week, it was as heavy as the winter coat I was still wearing. This week, everything seems a little brighter. We’re due for a couple of days of warm, damp weather. Even if the mercury does drop at the week, I know that this time next week, I’ll find more little treasures in my garden.

Spring has sprung!


The last patch of snow

Although the calendar says it’s March, it felt more like late May or early June today.  Everyone in our neighbourhood was outside  – walking, biking or sitting outside having coffee.  As the day wore  on, people started shedding their jackets and wearing sandals.  Normally, we would still be in our ski-jackets and boots.

It is still too early to do much work outside – we still have a small piles of snow in shadier parts of the yard and driveway.  Some people were out in their gardens, but it still too wet in the backyard to do very much.  Plus, it is just too risky.  It is not outside the realm of possibility to have a snow storm between now and mid-April.  While the layer of dead, wet leaves covering my garden isn’t attractive, in the event that it does snow, it will protect any plants that are poking out of the ground

And despite the fact that the snow has barely melted, I do have a few plants coming up.  I was wandering round the backyard yesterday afternoon and was totally surprised to find a few crocus in bloom and a single snow-drop.  Today, as if by magic, more crocus and snow-drops had appeared.

Spring 2012 - the first crocus

Snow drop

National Geographic will not be knocking on my door any time soon asking me to take pictures for them, but I had a good time getting down on my hands and knees to find new shoots and then take a few shots. I planted close to 150 bulbs last fall – crocus, daffodils and tulips (early, mid-season and late). Sometimes the bulbs grow, sometimes they don’t.  It will be like a treasure hunt over the next few weeks, to see what blooms.

Sedum - just beginning