Friday the 13th walk in the rain

Yes, finally, we have a day of very welcome rain – not the hard and cold rain of early spring, but a warm and gentle rain that brings everything in the gardens along. You will notice that it is time to mow the lawn and excavate some dandelions in the

Bleeding hearts are growing well
And starting to flower. These grow randomly around the rock walls.

pictures. I like to leave things grow a bit so that I can tell what they are (the wanted plants from the weeds).

With the warmer weather it is sorely tempting to get the more tender plants into the garden but waiting anther two weeks will save local gardeners a lot of grief (and running around with various coverings to protect things from frosty nights). Also be careful with the plants you may have just picked up from one of the many garden centres which have sprung up. Those will be tender as most are grown in southern greenhouses (often near Niagara) and will not be used to being outside or in this weather. The trick is to introduce them gradually to the outside – start with putting them in the shade and then gradually move them to the sun (over a few days). If they will be planted as perennials, the same rule applies – they will adjust more easily. Watch the weather – for the ones you have already planted, a light

New to the shade garden, this is a white bleeding heart, with a red hechura to the left (also called coral bells), and a bloodroot to the right. The bloodroot just finished flowering – beautiful white blooms. I hope it spreads lots – it is nice to see it came through the winter well. In front of the bellying heart, you can just see the starting shoots of the monkshood.

covering (old sheet) will protect from light frost. Another trick is to get up early and spray everything lightly with water.

The are some things that can be planted right now for those with really itchy green thumbs. Potatoes, parsnips, and carrots can all be put into the ground without risk. Leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, spinach, and chard all enjoy cooler weather and can be planted any time now (if they aren’t already in). I was asked if I planted seeds one at a time

with precise spacing -I have to admit that I am a more haphazard gardener and sort of sprinkle seeds in rough approximations of numbers and spacing. As long as I thin things out, this seems to have worked. The exception is my head lettuce and kale which I did plant seed by seed this year – they need more room to grow, so I followed the package directions – it was easier because the seeds are larger.

The fruit trees should be in bloom next week, both the wild ones (choke cherries) and the ones we planted (apples, cherries, plums, pears). The lilacs won’t be far behind.

Right now, the daffodils are in their full glory and the tulips are showing lots of colour. A nice thing about these bulbs is that they multiply over the years. The grape hyacinths are out, and the bloodroot is done. Just starting to bloom are the forget-me-nots. These little things self seed and show up randomly in the garden and I like to keep them rather than weed them out. Not everyone feels the same and they are sometimes seen as weeds.

Finally, the hosta are peeking through the ground, and the asparagus are emerging.

Spring is definitely in full progress…


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