Sunday, 18 March 2012

Winter Gardening and Voices of Spring

It was very odd to be gardening today....whilst it is still winter!  Well, maybe not so much gardening as clearing out the decay of last year, but none the less, in a normal winter I would still have been spending the afternoon by the fire, drinking hot tea and eating toasted crumpets.  After a misty, murky start to the day, I spent almost all of it outside, clearing out, cleaning up, and generally starting to get things ready for the new season.  Things are budding out all over, which I still can't quite wrap my head around - last year nothing moved in my garden until May.  The clematis is shooting out, the roses are pruned and sprayed and  the boxwoods are starting to show new buds.  I was delighted to find that after years of bronze fennel envy (mine never made it through the winter and were always quite spindly), my experiment of mulching heavily with spent compost in the fall has taken them through what little winter we've had, and there are some very robust new shoots popping out.  All of my red kale and tomato seeds have germinated, and I'm planning to start some chard and white cosmos tonight.  We look set for a slight cooling trend towards next weekend, but then the long range forecast suggests it will go back to being well above normal, so I'm optimistic that we're out of the woods for this winter. Hurrah!

lovely red shoots are bursting on my tree peony, and the New Dawn roses were pruned, sprayed with dormant oil and sulphur and fed with vermicompost today.

tasty chive shoots - perfect in mashed potatoes!

I re-layed the brick patio a couple of years ago in a herringbone pattern.  I gave it a good hard sweep today, and it looks better, but I need to weed thoroughly and add some more polymeric sand to keep it looking pristine.

Lots of brush to send to the curb!  Luckily yard waste collection starts this week.

This clematis jackmanii is bursting out far earlier than normal.  I gave all of the plants with a love of alkaline soil a handful of ashes from my wood burning fireplace today, including clematis, peonies and lavender.
On another note, my friend, The Diva is singing with the Saskatoon Symphony tonight, in the Brahms German requiem.  Wish we could hear her somewhere a little closer to Toronto soon.....but in her honour, here is a clip of Elizabeth Schwartzkopf in a particularly beautiful section of the requiem, which I know the Diva will perform beautifully.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Donald - I am always curious about what's coming up in your garden as we are "neighbours". Isn't it wild how southern Ontario is at least 3 weeks ahead of its regular season! Your plants look great! I am very familiar with Ein Deutches Requiem as my husband sings in the Mendelssohn. Let's see what surprises bloom in the coming week.