Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Patio Furniture vs. Winter Boots

My flowers are probably looking fantastic, only I wouldn't know, because I can't see them! Day four of "latest spring snowstorm in decades" brought even more snow today. It is supposed to be done by tomorrow morning. We're glad we didn't take the winter tires off the car already!

Kona demonstrates how to squint to keep blowing snow out of your eyes:

Patio furniture in state of underuse this week:

The dry-stack rock-wall raised beds still protrude from the snow drifts:

To the rest of the bloggers in Canada-land, keep those flower pictures coming!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April snowstorms bring May...Thaws?

This is what a "60% P.O.P." looks like, just so you know. I believe we are together with Montana and the rest of the prairies in this big snowstorm, which is expected to last until Tuesday. Fabulous. I'm glad we still have the winter tires on the car.

Otherwise, the plants in my bay window are enjoying the light. I seeded a few more lemongrass plants, to ensure a good summer supply. These cherry tomatoes are growing well too. Somehow, though, the banana plant in the background hasn't produced any bananas for me yet. Okay, that might be asking too much for a banana plant grown north of the 55th.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Blooms? No Way!

Phew! All is okay with the world (in my garden anyways). The Iris reticulata "Harmony" is NOT late this year. I saw two blooms today. I love these mini irises. They are so bright and vibrant, but I find that deep blues and purples can't be seen from far away, so drivers-by probably can't see much of them.

Of course, more of the crocuses are blooming and you may be seeing photos of these for a few more posts. When spring finally comes, it is hard not to be excited. These lovely perfect flowers are a gift from the great gardener up above!

Meet the newest member of the garden team, "Chief Flower Inspector". That's a promotion from last year's position of "Chief Taster of Dirt". She's a fan of the rock garden, can't you tell?

Kona presides over the daily snow-watch while soaking up the sun and looking smug. Resident-lawnmower-man spent last evening collecting her "organic deposits" from all over the backyard. Now that's a demonstration of love for man's best friend.

Dimorphotheca sinuata: African daisies

I repotted the Dimorphotheca sinuata "African Sunset" plants a few weeks ago, then made them a new place inside bay window. I also have lemongrass and a few tomatoes up here on the sun-soaked table. Both are plants that quickly get too tall to live under the lights.

I repotted the tomatoes last night, putting them in the bottom of a deep container and burying the stem with potting mix, leaving a few leaves sticking out the top. Tomato stems will grow roots if buried, and this little tip seems to make strong and healthy plants.

Dimorphotheca are South African flowers that are are tolerant to dry conditions. I have noticed that their flowers close in the evening and open again in the morning. I plan to put them in large pots out on the front deck.

These were easy-to-grow seedlings, growing in regular potting mix. They should grow well alongside my other African annual, Osteospermum "Passion Mix". Those plants have been pinched back multiple times to make them bushy and well-branched, so they are not producing buds or flowers yet. I made the mistake of not pinching my Osteospermums a few years ago, and I could never figure out why the plants in the stores looked so much better!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First Spring Blooms

April 15th is the official date of my first outdoor blooms (large flowered crocuses). The first crocus bloom has been on April 16th for the past two years, according to my dutifully kept computer-records of such momentous events. The Iris reticulata (mini irises) are a bit behind this year though, as they usually bloom days before the crocuses. I also have one lonely snowdrop in bloom, but its solitary show is too pathetic to photograph.

More basement impatiens under lights:

My dwarf Gerbera daisy, which I started from a seed last fall. There are two more flower buds at the base of this plant.

A couple of "Red Robin" small cherry tomato plants. These ones stay nice and bushy and make sweet tomatoes. I grew a few over the winter for the occasional fresh snack.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mini Tulips are on the Rise

Thank the spring sun! These mini tulips (Tulipa humilis) are showing their red-tinged leaves. Ironically, I bought these early spring risers in Kelowna, British Columbia last September. I'm sure the mini tulips in Kelowna are going to seed by now.

Crocuses and mini irises poking up out of snow:

There's a decent crop of snow mold under the snow. I could pull out my university-days microscope and try to take digital pictures of the hyphae and spores, but that might involve some digging in the basement junk.

Want to sail your canoe across our yard? Behold this tributary to Lac La Ronge meandering across our front lawn:

The wildlife sanctuary (aka "the backyard") is looking less arctic. In the meantime, moose/deer/cow leg bones are appearing everywhere and the resident wildlife (aka "Kona, the weekend sled dog") is pleased.

The yellowish-red plant on the right is a Delosperma, a rock garden plant sold at John's Garden Center in Prince Albert. They usually sell only hardy stuff for our climate, so I ignored what I read on the internet about this plant and wished it luck. It looks pretty healthy.

The snow has melted where rain has washed it away, or on sun-warmed slopes. I'm hoping we'll be snow-free in another week!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

First Basement Blooms

Okay, so it's actually just a solitary bloom. But my one of my impatiens "Super Elfin Mix" produced it's first flower. Poor plant is now going to have to wait 2 months to go outside. Currently, you can still drive your truck across the lake, snowmobiling is the top recreational activity, and a nearby community just had another ice fishing derby.

Other than that, I've been pinching off the tops of my other plants, making them more bushy, while delaying their flowers. This Gerbera daisy "Dwarf Pandora's Mix" is going to bloom soon. I know that you can buy Gerbera plants at Walmart, so owning a plant isn't anything unique. However, I grew this plant from seed, starting it last fall. I'm quite impressed that I got it to this point.

Here's one of the flats of seedlings under the grow lights. It contains Phacelia, Asters, Lemon basil, Purple basil, Lobelia, Scabiosa, Papaver miyabeanum, Godetia, and Portulacas.