From the First of May

Pasque flowers (Pulsatilla vulgaris)
Pasque flowers (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

Sunday was Garden Day. In our zone, the Daf’s are blooming, the abundant Pasque Flowers are beginning to go to seed (so lovely) and the native Marsh Marigolds are about halfway through their bloom period. Golden spurge and Leopard’s Bane are starting, and the Snakeshead Fritillaries are beginning to fade. The Bergenia is in full bloom, they are not my favourite plant but they do give some early season greenness and colour until the other perennials come in.

Hosta spears
Hosta spears

The first spear-tips of hostas are now showing in the beds. These are also in no way ‘native’, but they are one of my favourite’exotic’ perennials, so we have found places for many in the shady areas of the garden. We also grow them in pots, and so far they have all survived the winter by burying them in the soil of the vegetable garden in the fall. Our routine now is to dig the pots up in spring, divide them when the spear-tips show, and then repot them with fresh soil. The divisions can then be planted in the perennial beds or used to start up more pots of hosta.

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The garden always appreciates a good spring downpour to wash off the dust, settle the leafy mulch and give the plants a good start.We have yet to have a good cleansing rainfall, so I have begun to do some watering in the drier areas under the spruce tree and the garage eaves. This also keeps the pond topped up. It is one of my few frustrations with the garden in that I have to use mostly tap water to get things going, and that costs money and it isn’t environmentally correct. We use rainwater for the seedlings and transplants, but with only two barrels of rain collected so far, that will soon be used up. Hopefully, as more native plants become available to the garden, we will be able to lower our treated water usage, but who knows how things will go with the onset of climate change?

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To cap the day, I finally placed our Canadian Wildlife Federation wall plate, that shows that our garden is “Certified Wildlife Friendly Habitat“. I placed it on the entry-gate so that it is visible from the public sidewalk. If it changes one person’s mind about our garden motivation, it will have been worth the price, and hopefully, it will inspire some others to change over to more naturalistic gardening.

 

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