April 21, 2013. It’s snowing in Winnipeg. Again.
I just thought I’d add that for the record. I cannot remember such a slow spring, where the snow never seems to melt and keeps being supplemented by additional flakes of frozen rain.
Spring is struggling to emerge.
Yesterday, I watched a pair of chickadees cleaning out the wren’s house outside my kitchen window. I wonder if they are planning to take up residence there, although like wrens, they try out a number of locations before finally settling on one. We would prefer the wrens who are very energetic nesters and keep us delighted by their antics all spring long.
In my back yard, near the house, the snow has retreated thanks to heat from the house and a southern exposure. Here some little plants are trying to find the light but many are still cowering under last year’s debris. I will leave this in place to protect the plantlings and ladybugs for as long as I can. The green that is showing through is proof, though, that there is life under all that snow — in fact, I am told that the ground is frozen to only a six-inch depth this year, so when the snow retreats, we will see an explosion of life. It will be one of those springs where the plants simply leap from the ground, dragging their blossoms into view almost immediately.
And there is so much to look forward to this year in the plant world.
As usual, petunias have some new cousins and so do the calibrachoas. The breeders have been hard at work coming up with ever more fantastic combinations of colours and blossom shapes and sizes. There are new petunias which I will share with you over the next couple of weeks. Last year’s were wonderful, too, as you can see here. I loved the picotee petunias in magenta and white and purple and white. The striped reds and yellow calibrachoas were lovely and excellent performers. ‘Lemon slice’ the yellow one glowed in the garden.
I love petunias because they bloom so valiantly all summer long, keeping their brilliant colours and always looking fresh and eager, even as summer wanes and other plants fade. I always have many pots full of them and they often steal the show away from the more expensive additions.
The other great winners were the succulents and I plan to have a lot more this year. My little collection was much admired, but as I go along I am thinking of more creative ways to grow them.
The silver dollar tree (Eucalyptus cineria) with its blue gray coin-shaped leaves was very good last year, probably thanks to the hot conditions. I still have great stalks of it dried in vases as a side benefit.
When I go through some of last year’s photos, I can hardly believe that in just a few short weeks the world outside will be as bright with colour and as lush with green when now all is still drab and gray. This is the ugliest time of year, before the spring cleanup of all that gravel put down over winter to prevent accidents.
Yet, the miracle will happen and we will be singing:
Spring is sprung
The grass is riz.
I wonder where the birdies is.
The bird is on the wing!
Well that’s absurd.
I always thought he wing was on the bird!
And long ago, when just a tad, I penned this nonsense:
If a bug on a bud is a bee
The what is a tit on a tree?
They say it’s a bird,
But I call that absurd.
Is this bump on my chest called a knee?
– It should be anonymous!
As you can see, the prolonged winter has affected my brain.