Saturday, April 29, 2006

Scilla siberica

Siberian squill or Scilla siberica is a fall-planted bulb that blooms early spring. It is naturalizing but as of yet, the tiny plants haven't multiplied much. The striking blue flowers contrast well against the early red leaf buds of the spirea. An affirming characteristic of Scilla is that it cannot be grown in very warm climates without spending a season in the refrigerator!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Crocuses and Pulmonaria

The lake is still covered with vast sheets of floating ice, but it is hard to wait for the lush green lawns of June. Fortunately, the early spring blooms can be found in a few spots of the yard. Next fall I plan to plant even more crocuses. Their tiny blooms really only have strength in numbers. The yellow and purple large-flower crocuses have short-lived but bright blooms. This is the first blooming year for my Pulmonaria saccharata "Mrs. Moon", whose blooms are initially pink, turning to blue as they open. It is in a shady terraced rock garden.

Pulsatilla Vulgaris

This pasque flower, or Pulsatilla vulgaris was started from seed in 2005 (from Gardens North). This photo taken April 18 and shows the first flower produced. Clearly, it is a very hardy, showy, and early-blooming perennial. Next year it will probably have multiple blooms. Its common name of pasque means "of Easter" because of its bloom time near Easter. Even in our climate, it was right on target!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Basement Grow-op

This is my basement grow-op for bedding plants, new perennials, and some of my orchids. Potentilla "Helen Jane", Primula "Festival bicolor", and Campanula persicifolia are some of the perennials growing right now. Annuals include Osteospermum "Passion mix", Nicotiana sylvestris, snapdragon "Frosty lavender", Salvia "Victoria", Dichondra "Emerald Falls". I am using a commercial shelving unit from Costco and shop lights from Canadian Tire.

Monday, April 17, 2006

First Flowers of 2006

The tiny Iris reticulata "Harmony" is the first to bloom here, on April 10, 2006. My only thoughts on these are to plant more of them next year.
Crocuses and botanical tulips are soon to follow.

My Zone 1b Garden

La Ronge, Saskatchewan is theoretically in Agriculture Canada Zone 1b. Remarkably, we grow more than snow mold and lichen.

However, the moderating effect of Lac La Ronge and 4 feet of snow protect many perennials that should never grow here (coral bells). Like many gardeners, I tempt the fates by planting those "borderline" hardiness perennials and then admit defeat or proclaim my triumphs when I see if they've lived through the last winter.

I've gardened here only 2 winters, previously living in Zone 7a (Vancouver). I'll try to post the plants as they bloom this summer and some of last summer's flowers as well.