It Is Spring Here After All!

OK, so I was wrong. Last year the coltsfoot didn’t appear, at least I didn’t see any, until April 27. On the way back from Peggy’s Cove, I saw a small stretch of coltsfoot along the highway. Must have been a spot sheltered from the wind and the ground had warmed enough to encourage the growth.

Coltsfoot

I saw a lone coltsfoot flower near the fence in my former neighbour’s back yard area this afternoon.

The crocuses I planted 20 years ago were peeking through the dead hosta debris – also much earlier than last year.

Crocus

So I guess you could say it’s spring in Nova Scotia after all.

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The Truth About Spring in Nova Scotia

I’ve heard nothing but griping about winter for the past week. I’m not among the gripers. That’s because I’ve been keeping records for 30+ years on the first appearance of Forsythia and Coltsfoot in Halifax.

We’re still in the grips of winter – two snow storms in the past ten days. Strong winds, freezing rain. I understand that the time has changed and the calendar has passed March 21 but guess what — we can expect at least another month of “winter” here!

First Coltsfoot – April 27 2016

When I started keeping track more than 30 years ago, the first Forsythia – those bright yellow shrub flowers, the first we see in spring in Halifax didn’t show up until close to the 20 of May – the earliest I recorded Forsythia up to 1992 was May 16. From 1997 to last year that date slowly shifted – from May 12 to around May 2. In 2015 I recorded some Coltsfoot and Forsythia on May 2. Last year I actually saw some Coltsfoot and Forsythia on April 27. That’s still a month to go.

First Dandelions – May 31 2016

We can’t expect to see Dandelions in bloom until around May 24 in Nova Scotia.

So there’s no point in griping – enjoy what sunshine we’re getting. Be sure to put on a warm jacket. The calendar may say “spring” but Spring won’t arrive in Nova Scotia until the very END of April – even with the changing climate.

“Victoria” Blue Salvia!

It turns out what I planted the other day isn’t Lavender but Victoria Blue Salvia.

IMG_7715

Blue Salvia

Some friends came up with suggestions such as Indigo but the leaves were all wrong for Indigo. I finally searched for “purple flower spikes” and found the plant. That explains the lack of scent. There are auxiliary shoots in the leaf axils which will also produce flowers ending up with lots of purple spikes as the season advances.

The plants are looking happy in their new container homes. So the plant was a good choice.

Lavender?


I haven’t put a lot of effort into my container garden this year because I’m moving out July 12 and leaving it for the new owners. So in the spring to fill the pots I dug up sprouting plants from nearby garden beds and stuck them in the containers which would normally hold showy annuals. 

Two pots held forget-me-nots which bloomed early, then they were attacked by mildew, so yesterday I pulled them out but wanted to replace them with something. I found some inexpensive New Guinea impatiens, four seedlings in a basket, and another which has purple flower on a stalk – looks like it might be lavender but I’m not detecting any lavender scent yet, maybe the flowers aren’t far enough along. In any case they fit the bill and look good in the pots.

The Siberian iris has started blooming – in another day or two there will be several fully open. The single small petunia seedlings I stuck in the hanging pots has filled out and looks great. Their purple colour complements the iris.

The rhododendron flowers are also now opening.


And the two hibiscus which I am taking with me look like they will have a couple of new flowers each day:


I am going to miss watching everything grow. However I will still have my indoor garden with me (most of it, anyway):


A house without plants just isn’t a home, as far as I’m concerned!

Container Gardening

door viewMy blog entry a couple of days ago, Back garden cleanup, caught the attention of Bren Haas who had questions about how I do container gardening. So this morning I added a bunch of pages with information on how I began and what has worked for me.

Here are the pages I created:

If there’s anything else you want to know, ask.

Don’t forget you can entice bird visitors with an interesting bird bath – mine is a hollowed rock sitting on some driftwood (which shades a couple of Tillandsia). I came across the bird bath many years ago – it shelters in the shed during the winter to keep the driftwood from deteriorating.

Bird Bath