Sunday, May 5, 2019

A Slow Start


We've had a very slow start to the season around here, same as last year.  The temperatures were on the cool side throughout April - we only hit the normal "average" high for this time of year a handful of times all month.  Between the rain, cold and wind, good gardening days were few and far between.

Several veg should have already been transplanted into the garden including the onions, lettuce, kale and broccoli.  I have a couple of trays that have been hardening off for a long time, waiting not only for a good day to transplant, but also a favourable long range forecast.  It looks like this is the week when they will finally make it into a bed.


The cool temps have meant that outside, things have been slow to wake up.  I'm certain the garlic is a bit behind in coming up, but by how much I'm not sure.

Garlic foliage makes an appearance

I searched for a photo of what the garlic normally looks like at the beginning of May, but couldn't find anything.  Often, a late start to the season is followed by a faster than usual burst of growth, so perhaps it's not as far from where it should be as one would expect.  In the future, I really want to make an effort to take more photos, documenting the garden as it unfolds each year.

Another edible that is showing signs of life are the apple trees.

Granny Smith

Last year we didn't harvest any apples but the trees are still rather small as they are only a few years old.  The Honeycrisp is a downright runt, although this variety is known for being slow to get going, so I'm not worried about that....yet.

The daffodils in the south facing back garden are just starting to bloom:


The daffs in the west border, however are a little further behind.


All of the daffodils in the garden are either inherited from the previous owners or purchased from Easter school fundraisers.  Since I don't have variety names on any of them, I'm not certain if the difference is due to location or variety.

Another inherited spring bloomer is this hyacinth:


This guy is on the north side of the house which is not only one of the last places to defrost in the spring but it also receives zero direct sunlight.  I'll probably move it at some point.

The tulips are rising from the deep:


These are also on the north side of the house, but further from the actual house so they do receive some sun.  I have a few tulips in a no-sun location closer to the house which are on the moving "to-do" list.

I added several different daylilies to the west border last year & a few are already making an appearance:


I planted them in the early part of the summer and they were a bit straggly all season, although all of them did bloom.  I'm hopeful that they have settled in and we'll see a much better display this year, although this guy seems a bit singed at the tips, perhaps from exposure to some sub-zero temperatures after it started to come up.

The David Austin rose I planted last year made it through the winter, which I couldn't be more thrilled about.

'Crown Princess Margareta'

David Austin roses are not known for being that hardy around here, so I was anxious to see what was under the pile of mulch that I heaped on them last fall & was relieved to find beautiful red stems.  I pruned off an inch or two of dieback that had been sticking up out of the mulch, but otherwise, it's looking great!

The 'At Last' rose, however, didn't fair as well, which is odd as that one is definitely supposed to be hardy here.  It's another favourite for it's beautiful colour and fragrance, so I also piled on the mulch in the fall (even though technically I shouldn't have to).  Out of half a dozen stems, only one made it through the winter.

'At Last' Rose
The one stem that survived the winter is, thankfully, budding.

So that's about it for the state of the garden.  There are a few more odds and sods that I could talk about - plants that are just starting to emerge or bud - but I have to cut this short and get outside.

Today is going to be a lovely day - sunny, calm & a high of 18C/65F! - and I plan to make the most of it.  I have about 5 yards of mulch to spread, mainly in the veg garden areas/paths, and I also picked up a carload of manure (bagged manure, that is) yesterday that I want to deal with.  I'll be recruiting my kids to help out so I'm hopeful that it will all get done today - wishful thinking??  We'll see!  One thing's for sure...it's going to be a good day in the garden.😁

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

20 comments:

  1. We had a great start to the season here but we're forecast frost again now so I hope the mild start to spring hasn't lulled too many people into a false sense of security otherwise I feel they may be losing some plants. Our daffodils are long gone but the tulips are flowering at the moment, most of the ones in my garden were inherited from the previous owners, and we've lived in this house for over twenty five years, they're still going strong! Hope you manage to achieve everything you want to today, you've got to make the most of any decent weather whilst you can.

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    1. That's always the problem - we think we are home free and start planting with abandon, and then a freeze comes in. It's a risk that sometimes pays off. Daffodils are troopers, aren't they?? The ones that I received from the fundraisers started their life in pots (and you know how bad I am about taking care of those, especially indoors!) and then they were transplanted outside and I've moved them at least twice from temporary spots & they are unfazed. We did end up doing a lot yesterday but not everything I wanted too - I often forget to include things like "breaks" when I'm estimating how long a task will take :)

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  2. It's always exciting for me to see things start to emerge in spring. I hope you are having a GREAT day in the garden!

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    1. Thanks Dave - it was very productive :) After our long winters, all those signs of life, either buds or green emerging from the ground, never fail to excite!

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  3. Enjoy the tulips and daffodils! I hope you made good progress in planting out your seedlings with help from your family reinforcements. It's been an unusually cool Spring here too but then our version of cool and yours are different things. Most of our days have been in the 60sF, when the 70sF or even higher would be more common. While I'm enjoying the cooler conditions, I've no idea what I'm going to do about getting my warm-season flowers in when the cool-season flowers are still occupying the space in my cutting garden. Hopefully, Mother Nature won't elect to slam us with an early heatwave.

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    1. Ah yes...I think a warm spring for us would definitely translate into a cool one for you. My sweet spot when it comes to perfect gardening weather is temperatures in the 60's - when temps start getting up past 75, I'll be seeking out shade or A/C :) The weather patterns are so unpredictable, regardless of where you live...we often seem to go from frigid winter to summer heatwaves in the blink of an eye - I'm exaggerating here, but it often feels that way. Fingers crossed you don't get that heatwave!

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  4. We are waiting for the weather to change too, although generally our plants are ahead of yours at the moment I think just they are wishing they were still sleeping.

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    1. It's another rainy day today...sigh. At least the house will be tidier ;)

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  5. Margaret ! LOL .. a lot of what is happening to you is happening to me too .. and what is up with that At Last Rose because I paid a pretty penny for it last year from Vesey .. my daffs are in "stages" , my tulips are a bit wonky .. but yesterday we worked ourselves into the ground getting things done in the garden .. talk about a bit of moaning and groaning today ? LOL
    But the weather is better (for now) so it makes us all happy right ? Good Luck !!

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    1. Thanks Joy - I feel your pain! With a frenzy of activity followed by nothing when the weather doesn't cooperate, I've been doing a lot of moaning and groaning lately, that's for sure :) It would be so nice to relax and enjoy the spring cleanup instead of this race to get it all done before everything kicks into high gear.

      I'm hoping the At Last rose is just settling in - I'm not sure I piled on as much mulch as I did with the Austin Rose, but I'll definitely be adding a lot more this coming winter.

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  6. It must be frustrating to be ready to garden and have the weather be so uncooperative. I'm sure all your starts are going to grow like crazy once they get in the ground. You are going to have a lovely spring show with all those bulbs and roses and fruit trees. We had a fantastic spring wild flower show here but that's just starting to wind down and the hills are starting to turn the usual summer golden brown.

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    1. It is SO frustrating! I can't wait until the veg are hardened off and I can get them into the ground this week - it's very satisfying seeing them take off once they are tucked into a bed (and we will be that much closer to a harvest!). I've seen so many wonderful pics of this years spring blooms out in California - the poppies! - I'd love to see that one day.

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  7. It's been slow around here as well. I have seedlings to transplant but I don't think the soil is warm enough.

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    1. Same - and we may get another chilly night this evening so don't want to take the chance!

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  8. Hey Margaret I had to drop by again and congratulate you on joining the obsessive hellebore club .. you can NEVER have just one ? LOL
    They are tough plants and so pretty even when the flowers fade that foliage is really nice and sticks around the whole season .. enjoy !

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    1. Thanks Joy! I've been meaning to get one for so long but I just never seem to see them "around". I'm so happy to finally be able to join the "Club" ;)

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  9. Nice to see your photographs, although it seems strange to see daffodils as ours are now gone, although we do still have some tulips in bloom and I noticed some lovely orange poppies, they are adding a splash of colour in the flower bed.

    Hope your weather has improved.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan :) I love orange poppies - so cheery! Our daffodils are still going strong and the tulips are now coming up - probably won't be seeing their blooms until next week. Our weather has been so cold! Thankfully, it does seem the tide has turned and we are in for some "normal" weather (if there is such a thing anymore!) for the next week or so.

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  10. It's been a slow growing season for us this year, too. We had warm weather in early April, and then the weather flopped back. Finally we have some consistently mild weather and everyone is racing to get plants in the ground. By now, I'm guessing many of the plants you show here are blooming? Very impressive start with your veg crops!

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    1. We've had a few warm days, but overall it's still very cool and VERY wet. The tulips have finally been blooming, but the daylilies have a ways to go still. Hopefully June will bring with it some better gardening weather!

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