Friday, 24 May 2013

It's Spring (finally)

After a crazy long winter, it's finally spring and the snow has been gone for a couple of weeks.  Everything is rushing to catch up - one day there are no leaves and the landscape is dull black/brown/grey and then next its a mist of new green, then on to full leaves.  Here's some pictures from the last week or two around home.
Everything getting ready for the planting on May long weekend.

And one of our lupin seedlings hopefully doing battle with the weeds!
 When we visited Iceland last summer, we were delighted with the Alaska lupins
that were everywhere (planted in the 1960s to decrease soil erosion and now taking over the
landscape) and we thought that if they could grow wild in Iceland, they could give a bit of
 easy care colour to our yard.  Here's hoping.

My mother in law called this Snow in the Mountain and gave us a few plants to start in
our yard - my memory is of her cursing and ripping it out and saying good riddance
because "real gardeners" think this is only one step away from being a noxious weed.
 That said, it's perfect in our yard - once established, it outgrows all the weeds and is
a lovely varigated leaf.  A week ago, this spot was dirt with no evidence of plants
 and it will stay lush and green until frost. The plan this year is to move some of these plants
 to other beds and then put lupines in the empty spots.  According to Google, this is
 Goutweed not Snow in the Mountain, but it will always be Snow in the Mountain in our yard.
It was a perfect winter/spring for our feral tulips.  They've come up in bunches and have
 flowered in glorious abandon.  Thirty years ago, I took out all the bulbs because
 I decided I wanted this to be grass.  They kept coming up anyway and about twenty years
 ago, I gave up and made it a flower bed again!
This year's picnic table Begonia
Apparently they are very forgiving - as long as you water them every
couple of days.
This crabapple tree in the front was well established when we moved in 34
 years ago and it has survived bad winters, inattentive gardeners (us) and serious pruning.
Flowers starting
And one week later.  If there is no wind for the next couple of weeks, we'll have a
crop of  tasty crabapples in the fall.
And the crabapple in the back yard is cheerfully flowering too.
Volunteer Mayday tree.
Really beautiful, but our goal is to  keep the volunteers to one
 - not an easy chore.
Our front door petunias.  Hopefully they will survive
the summer sun.
Our Mountain Ash, which I can watch through the front window,
 is having a serious chore of surviving.  Most of its branches are dead,
and there is moss growing on them.  But there are one or two hopeful limbs.
 We talk (semi seriously) about sneaking out in the middle of the night
 and taking down the town maple tree on the boulevard
which is stealing all the ground moisture from this poor tree.

And Queen Elizabeth Park is also breaking out in spring green.

Two young deer on the path from the parking lot.
They didn't know what to do with us because they couldn't get through
 the fence and just down the path they would have to cross the road.
So, they got off the path, turned their heads so they couldn't see us,
let us pass, and then ran away.

Hard to believe that three weeks ago we were walking in snow
 that was above the knees.
Early pussy willows

Some great photo ops at the lookout in the park.
Bright sunshine and no wind.
Quite the task to get this fellow's picture.
He was very patient and sat singing for  the longest time,
 but  all the leaves  kept tricking the focus on my camera.

Yes we do have beach. And a sailboat - first one we've ever seen.
 For anybody who doesn't know Queen Elizabeth Park,
the deepest area in the lake might be waist high and there is a poster reminding people
 of the dangers of swimmer's itch if you go in the water.
  But it is beautiful and the best lake we have.

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