Archive for bulbs

Thanks for Waiting

Picture me doing a happy dance right about now. Well not exactly now, I am at the library trying to write this on my iPad, (not exactly fun), and I can’t even see the ground anymore as we are having a bit of a snowstorm. But it is April, and it will soon melt, and I will get to see my lovelies again. Yes, all my galanthus waited for me.

That was how my first post was going to start on my visit back to Canada. Soon after I realized that blogging with an iPad was just not going to happen for me.  But thanks for waiting, both you and my galanthus.

Oooh the galanthus, this has been the best year so far. Not only have my nivalis increased in number, but I even had a couple of named varieties flower for the first time.

And my specials,

Lady Beatrix Stanley


This is S. Arnott. Sorry it was out of focus. By the time I got these loaded on my iPad, and looked at them, he was out of flower. I will hopefully, have a better photo next year.




Galanthus woronowii


I can’t believe how easy it has been to post these photos on my laptop. As much as I loved the lightweight iPad the laptop is going home with me in the autumn. Thanks for your patience.


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Snow, Glorious Snow

I am probably the only person in the world thinking that.  But living in a tropical country, it is (a bit) surprising that I miss it. But really I am celebrating it for what it did.  Last year  there had been an early warm spell , and everything flowered ahead of schedule. You may remember I only saw one lonely snowdrop. So this year I am excited when I read the weather reports and see photos on people’s blogs about the snow. This year, I am hoping to see my drops.  In the meantime, I spend time lurking on the Galanthus site of the SRGC, and drooling over snowdrops on Pauline’s, Carolyn’s and Anna’s blogs.

My neighbour was nice enough to send me a photo of Kilbourne Grove when the storm happened a couple of weeks ago. 

First it was light, then wow,

that is a great cover to keep my snowdrops from flowering before I arrive.

Snow, glorious snow!

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Gotta Have It: Iris bucharica

Perhaps you have a better memory then I do, but I always need a bit of a jog this time of year. In the spring, everyone is posting beautiful and informative articles about spring bulbs. I make note after note (usually on a piece of scrap paper), and when the bulb catalogues come out, and it is time to order, where are they?

Reading Jennifer’s post reminded me about this gorgeous, gorgeous bulb. I had often admired it in the GardenImport catalogue, but there were always other bulbs to purchase, and it fell to the bottom of the list. But, now that I am living in Barbados, and I only get to see my garden spring and fall, sob, I am limiting (really I am) my purchases to plants that flower in those seasons.

So last year Iris bucharica was purchased and this year it flowered. And boy did it. The one drawback I find to a lot of spring bulbs is the shortness of flowering, get a bit of a heat wave, (and we frequently do in Canada) and they can be finished in two days. That is what I enjoyed so much when I was living in London, the temperatures were very consistent, and the bulb show went on and on.

I do not know if the unseasonal temperatures in March threw the flowering schedule all out of whack, but I do know I arrived home to this, on

April 22nd.

April 23rd

April 24th, see how another flower bud is emerging from the leaves,(the stem of the leaf is cleverly pointing to it, you would almost think I had staged it, lol),

May 4th

 look at all the flowers at this point, even the very first one to bloom is still good.

At this point, I began to get really busy in the garden and lots of other plants got my attention, but Iris bucharica was always blooming in the background.  

 It is such a gorgeous plant, they have deeply channelled leaves, which are set alternately on each side of the stem; and the flowers appear individually in the axils of these leaves, and at the top of the stem. Iris bucharica grows up to 16 inches tall, increasing size as it flowers. The stem carries up to seven flowers, each in a leaf axil; these have yellow falls, and  creamy white standards. The one Jennifer saw at Merlin’s Hollow was all white with a touch of yellow, I want that one next. Unfortunately it will probably have to wait until after I move back to Canada, most mail order bulb companies cannot guarantee delivery to me while I am home. But my list for when I am is getting longer and longer.

I went through all the photos I took while I was at Kilbourne Grove, wondering if I had focused my attention back on this iris, so I had a rough idea of when it stopped flowering. I didn’t , but look at this photo taken on May 12th,

  3 weeks after it started flowering. There in the background you can see it, still flowering!

Talk about getting a bang for your buck….

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Lilactree Farm

It is such a small world (in a way) in the blogging and gardening community. Because of Kathy at Cold Climate Gardening reviewing Brian Bixleys book last year,  I got a chance to see his garden for the first time. And it was well worth it.

Brian loves spring, and is trying to educate gardeners, how many plants there are that flower early. Most gardens, when they open to the public, open later, usually mid to late May, but Brian opens Lilactree Farm a couple of times earlier then that, and when I visited last year on April 24th, I picked up lots of valuable ideas. This year, I visited on May 6th, and all the early spring bulbs that I had lusted after were finished for the year, but my heart filled with other lusts. And I want to show you a few.

Anemone nemerosa is new to me. I certainly grow a few (ok, quite a few) varieties of the fall anemone, and I love the amemone coronarias that we sell at the flower shop, anemone blanda, is another of my favs, but I have not paid to much attention to the spring ephemerals. There is certainly quite a few, but nemerosa, is such a gorgeous one. Coming in white, soft blues and pinks, it is certainly easy to place anywhere in your garden.

 I do not know the name of this one,

 but this is Pallida, a very soft yellow.

Brian did tell me the name of this very tiny trillium, but my head was spinning by this point and I do not remember, isn’t it sweet.

My one cimicifuga looks pretty lonely now, this is the way to plant them.

Wish I knew the name of this yellow magnolia, it is gorgeous.

The nice thing about the yellows, other than the obvious, (the colour), is they are later flowering. So they usually avoid the frosts.

I have some Virginia bluebells in my garden, but I think I need more. Perhaps I shall transfer some fo them to my berm, and hope, one day, I will have a show like this.

Speaking of blue, is there anything like a gentian.

One of the only perennials that was at Kilbourne Grove when I bought it, was a primula veris in the grass.

 I carefully dug it up, and transferred it to my garden, and it has been divided many times by now. After seeing this, perhaps I should transfer him back to the lawn.

I do not know how I missed this piece of garden art on my last visit, just a reminder always look up, instead of just down, you never know what you might see.


Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Multiplex’

I remember when finding this plant was like finding the Holy Grail. You should see the number of them here, mind-boggling.

Now, one of the best parts, the species peonies. I have a weakness for peonies, my grandmother always used to tie the first blooms to my birthday present. The species are not only gorgeous in flower, but the leaves are amazing. He has a large number of varieties, including mlokosewitschii, veitchii, tenuifolia,  and those are just the tags I could see.

 Unfortunately (for you), they are not in flower yet, but I am going back for a visit on May 20th, so you might get lucky, depending on Mother Natures mood.  Fingers crossed…

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What a Difference a Year Makes

When I was looking at my photos from last April, I realized there was quite a difference (approx 3 weeks) between where the garden was in April 2011 and April 2112.  So I thought that I would share a few with you.

The Allee

The Allee 2011

The Allee 2012

You can see how much larger the helleborus are this year, finally bulking up, and I found a few seedlings when I was weeding, yay!

Flora Glade

Flora Glade 2011

Flora Glade 2012

Usually I coppice these willows, but they (obviously) started leafing out really early this spring. I think I might leave them alone this year and see how they look in the fall.

Flora Glade 2011

Flora Glade 2012

Hmmm, do not know what to say, but the big difference (to me) is the path. You can see where I filled it in on the left hand side ,and (hopefully) you can see a bit of an opening on the right hand side now. Last fall I moved all the shrubs/perennials that were in the way. I was just waiting for the bulbs to come up, and they will be moved on this visit, and (hopefully) the path gravelled.

Flora Glade 2011

Flora Glade 2012

This is the bed where my mums memorial tree is, last year was the first time the Cornus kousa flowered, hopefully it will again this year.

Lime Walk

Lime Walk 2011

Well other than the muscari are all flowering earlier this year, I think you can see the other change here, lol.

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