This morning, on my way into town to have my snow tires removed and my summer tires put on my car I saw a forsythia in full bloom – today is April 27 – the earliest I’ve seen forsythia in bloom in past years is May 3. A bit further along the road was a long splash of coltsfoot at the base of a fence.
So it’s officially spring here in Halifax (in spite of a snowfall yesterday afternoon/evening)!
When I got home from the car dealership I took a look at my back deck garden. It was warm enough in that sheltered corner to be outside and working. So I donned my garden gloves, picked up my loppers and Japanese knife, my garden waste bin and got to work.
I cleaned out last fall’s dead stuff, pulled out unwanted grass and other volunteers from the pots. Then I swept the deck clear of dead leaves.
It took me about an hour – but now you can see what’s coming along: I’m going to have about 20 blooms on the rhododendron (that’s close to a record), lots of flowers on the PJM rhododendron (that’s the small leaved one), the hosta is very visible, my peony survived and has shoots starting, the chives are well on their way, and lots of coral bells made it through the winter (in a week or two I’ll dig out all the stray coral bells from pots where they’ve started themselves and move them elsewhere). The echinacea lived through the winter (at least 4 of the plants are showing shoots!) so I won’t have to replant it (that’s a first). I love having those large pink daisy flowers in the late summer/fall.
Nearer the house, the clematis has lots of leaf buds growing, the yellow birch, the nine-bark, and maple are all looking happy with buds swollen almost ready to burst if the warm weather persists. My Siberian iris is back, as is the dusty miller, and the red sedum and the small yellow day lilies will do fine.
As you can tell, my container garden is predominantly a perennial garden. I’m always amazed at how these plants make it through the winter in pots just fine. Most were volunteers (the maple, the yellow birch, the nine-bark). I noticed a couple of maple seeds had sprouted in some pots – I’ve left one to see how it will do.
Mid-May, I’ll add the annuals to fill in some colour: peach coloured wax begonias, lobelia (dark purple), pansies (purple), some golden canna lilies and for sure some mandevilla – both the red and pink were glorious last summer.
This time of year makes me happy – I just love it when the garden begins to return.