Monday, April 29, 2024

Spring is the Welcome Sense of Anticipation!

It struck me the other day when Mrs. F.G. dragged me out into the back garden, that I tend to share only pictures of the flowers once they bloom, but much of what I notice  when I'm out in the garden or out and about is not the blooms, but the flowers that will bloom soon.  

This spectacular Magnolia is just around a couple of blocks, and it's gorgeous when it's out.  But it only lasts a few days, especially if we get any wind.

Around a few more corners is the Horse Chestnut I watch for.  It has huge buds just now, but the blooms will be spectacular when they arrive.

The same can be said about the Lilac down Edinburgh West.  It's right beside a driveway and I can usually get a good picture when it blooms in late May.

Here's one you should be able to anticipate.  Any guesses?

Peonies won't be in full blooms for six weeks yet, but the shoots grow fast in the spring.

And finally here's our own little Magnolia just coming into bloom.  Every year we have to anticipate how much of the plant will be left after the rabbits get to it!  It seems to be a favourite for them.

What about you, do you get a sense of anticipation when spring arrives? Do you notice the things that are starting to grow as well as the plants that are actually flowering?

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Here at Home

The dominant theme here at the moment is yellow, in the Daffodils, Iris and the Forsythia.  And we've had some beautiful sunny days in which to show off those colours.  Today is the first day that is warmer as well, and I headed out for a refreshing ride, although there was a stiff cool breeze off the bay.  The next week looks equally promising for temperature, but less so for sunshine!

Mybe now that we've got some warmer temperatures I'll see some golfers out on that nice green grass.

A few mornings back I looked out the front window and all the remaining Daffodils had burst into bloom, joining the Hyacinths..

Looking sideways at a distant clump of our Daffodils I got this shot.

Along the narrow scree bed in front of the porch are three patches of dwarf yellow Iris.

And I rejoiced to see our first Dandelion.  It'll be pretty lonely on this street!

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Hardening Off Begins

Mrs. F.G. has gone overboard again and planted lots of seeds for tomatoes and peppers.  But I think she's run out of space in the basement, so she's been bringing plants, especially the tomatoes, up to sit in the sun at the front of the garage.  Hardening off season has begun, but April is not co-operating, staying cold and windy.

I counted roughly 100 little tomato plants sunning on the driveway the other day.  We've been watching night-time temperatures carefully, though they can easily be lifted into the garage, which holds heat well.

This is a  new type of planter, a tower, which rotates easily, and they stack.  I'll be very interested to see how it works - the things you do to grow veggies in a very small garden.

I must admit this is one plant I do not recognize.

But then what happened the night before last, the temperature dropped below freezing.  That morning there were not only a few flakes in the air, there was snow on the ground.

But 6 hours later and it's sunny and just above freezing.  All the plants have bounced right back.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A Sunny Ride Around Town

Monday afternoon it was warm(ish) and sunny, so I headed out for a ride.  There was a cold breeze off the bay, so I avoided going all the way downtown, and headed to a favourite quiet corner, the dead end of  Berry Street.  This is one of several streets that is interrupted by the steep bluff of the ancient Nipissing glacial shoreline here in Meaford.

As I turned onto Berry Street, this enormous Forsythia stood not far from the corner.  It was brilliantly yellow and fully in bloom.

When you get to the end of the one-block street, you are blocked by the forested slope in front of you, looping around to the right.  You might be able to pick out the roofline of a tiny corner of our local hospital on top of the slope on the right.

Straight ahead looks like this, a right of way cleared for hydro lines, but there was never a road here.  A one-block stretch of the street where I often ride continues above.

And if you go up there, which I did, and look back down, this is the view you get - a tangle of branches above a guardrail.  You can see the street below and one driveway, but not much else, the branches are so thick.

Going back toward downtown you can make out the town's water tower through the trees up above the slope.  It's just behind the helipad outside the hospital.

As I got back to the corner I got a good view of this low stone wall I've always admired.

Way back on top of the hill myself and headed home, I came to an abrupt stop when I saw this pattern of shadows from a big Sugar Maple on the road in front of me.  Neat pattern!

And on our own street we have a tiny library, built by one of the neighbours and erected right beside the mailboxes.  I heard he was careful to build it at wheelchair height, and I've used it several times.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Rainy Days

I've been focusing on all the emerging spring flowers, but we've actually been having cold rainy days until now.  Then it got colder, snowed briefly this morning, and now it's just cloudy.  These pictures will give you a flavour of the weather this week - dull, grey and wet!

The usual view you've seen dozens of times, but doesn't that Sugar Maple straight out there look slightly green?.

I took a close-up and the colour and pattern revealed was fascinating!  This is a fine covering of lichen decorating the bark.  Sometimes we just need to stop and look closer.

Whether it was raining or just misty, I couldn't see the homes across the golf course with my naked eye.  They barely show up here.  They're certainly not moving very fast to build homes along that new street they put in there three years ago.

Is it just my imagination or is there a faint sheen of green on the twigs of this big Sugar Maple?

This is a terrible photograph of our front yard birch tree.  I was trying to capture the raindrops on the twigs, but the camera focused on the distant evergreens.  Once I looked at it on here though I realized the green shoots of new leaves were more obvious than the raindrops!

Then last night the skies cleared and the evening sun shone bright across the golf course.  I liked the lighting, if not the temperature!.

Friday, April 19, 2024

More Spring Flowers and Mystery Plant Identified!

It's staying cold and rainy, but the spring flowers just keep on coming.  (They'd come faster if it was warmer!)  We tend to impose our human feelings on them and think the plants will be chilly of we feel chilly, but in fact many of them are responding to length of daylight not temperature, and that's noticeably longer.  Whatever the plants feel, they're bringing much more colour to our chilly spring.

First is this remarkable patch of Bloodroot at the west end of nelson Street in the shade under these trees.

It's a beautiful bright white flower that blooms in early spring, and only lasts a short time.

I cropped this picture to show you the way the leaf clasps around the stem.  Some would say this helps keep the plant warmer..  In any case it's very distinctive.

Back here at home Mrs. F.G. the photographer grabbed my camera the other day and went out to get photos of the Hyacinths.  They almost assault your nose with there strong fragrance if you walk outside nearby.

She also got a great shot of the dwarf Yellow Iris in bloom.  Look at those raindrops!

And here is my mystery plant.  You will remember from my post the other day that I showed you our resident rabbit and the unusual plant, a bit like a Grape Hyacinth, that got nibbled off.  Well I found another couple as they emerged, and I figured out what they are.

I googled 'Grape Hyacinth Leaves', because this looks like a Grape Hyacinth, but with only one broad leaf instead of numerous narrow leaves.  And guess what I found - there is a Broad-leaved Grape Hyacinth!  Here is a picture copied from the internet.  Mrs. F.G. planted a few bulbs last fall, and these must have been among them, possibly mislabeled.

Muscari latifolium, Broad-leaved Grape Hyacinth
Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, April 17, 2024


It is Daffodil season and clearly these are popular flowers with the few homeowners who garden, bringing bright flashes of yellow to welcome spring (This being said, only about 5%, 4 out of 80 among the houses I've been riding by, actually have any Daffodils or bother to take care of their gardens).

My best picture so far this year, right beside the front door.

I like the split rail fence framework for these flowers.

A nice bunch in front of a big boulder.

A bunch in a front garden space that could use a bit more care - but the Daffodils keep blooming!

A wonderful thick bunch in front of an older home.

Backlit Daffodils, or strictly speaking frontlit Daffodils photographed from behind, looking out my bedroom window in the early morning sun.

The nicest patch of new blooms in our back yard.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Rabbit!

We have a wascally wabbit that frequents our garden, eating from the lush banquet of flowers Mrs. F.G. provides.  She is constantly banging doors or slapping the window to scare it away.  Sometimes she heads out the door and chases it away!  Of course if we ever did chase it away, others would just pop up to take its place. 

I had discovered this interesting plant that emerged overnight a couple of days ago.  I didn't recognize it immediately but wondered if it would be a Grape Hyacinth when it opened, but the leaf doesn't seem to fit.  I thought it would be interesting to follow with a series of pictures and find out what it is.

Unfortunately, my first look the next morning showed that it had been nipped right off.  Now I'll never know what it is, and I think I spotted the culprit!

Yes, there was our resident rabbit, calmly taking a break between nibbling on some Crocus leaves.  It doesn't do catastrophic damage, but every now and then it eats something we'd rather it didn't.  It's been living under the ramp off the deck.

A friend at church offered to bring over his shotgun, but I think that was a joke!  The best idea I've heard for controlling the rascal is to learn to live with it!  Any ideas what that plant is?