24 Nov 2014

Is Anyone Looking For A New Obsession: The Intoxicating World of Epimedium!













What A Difference Three Years Can Make!




 Three years ago I was graced with my very first Anemonopsis macrophylla bloom, a solitary effort in what was a predominantly perpetually shaded location. Granted, he'd been smothered by some of his neighbouring siblings, but he'd also come with a dire warning: 'He's a shady character like you, a vampire of sorts. Sunlight is anathema! He will burn to a crisp!'





The following year, against better judgement, I decided he needed to be moved: he was being suffocated where he was, and I could not bear having to toss my body into gravity defying shapes in order to capture his flowers [single up to this point!] with my camera. He also needed to have a placement front and centre in hopes that one day soon he would live up to his potential! The three photos above show what happened in year two!




Three years later and both plant and gardener are at their happiest! He continues to provide me with weeks of anticipation when his swollen purple infused buds appear, and then three weeks later, I am graced with no less than thirty stunning flowers...... a far cry from the first trio of photos in this post. It just goes to show what proper placement and patience can do for a gardener and his most adored treasures!

20 Nov 2014

Winter Visits Early


I will start by saying I am glad I live here in Fergus and not Buffalo, NY. I cannot fathom what the residents there facing with each flake of snow that falls. Here, its tame in comparison, but at the same time, its relatively early in the season to awaken to this!

This second photo was taken a week after the first. Temperatures have been decidedly brisk, with wind chill making it feel like -17C in the mornings when I venture forth on my walk to work. It has snowed every day for the past seven days - some days with large cottony looking flakes, and on others with brisk winds and the finest of snow. Its beginning to add up. Lucky to have a school on our corner which means the sidewalks are cleaned by the city early every school day morning, you can still see the depth of snow in some of these photos. 


I do love the snow! Cold temperatures do not bother me in the least. In fact I much prefer cooler growing seasons than those hot, sticky, muggy summers when I feel akin to Frosty the Snowman every time I step outside the door!



The Border of Unusual Rarities is always ensured a thick blanket of snow as it is built along the side of the garage and as such, receives the majority thanks to the drifting that occurs in this sheltered spot. Of course it also means that the steps and veranda are usually buried every time the wind picks up!



I have left the post as is to show what our actual accumulation has been during this first bout of winter. Forecasts show a steady increase in temperatures beginning early Saturday morning when the snow is supposed to switch over to rain - and continue as such for the next three days with temperatures hitting 8C by Tuesday. This is seemingly unfathomable to those on the block I spoke with this morning - all either shovelling or snow-blowing their drives, all bundled up against the -14C wind chill! A few were eager to place wagers - the loser having to clean the winner's drive for the month of December. I think I will pass. I have seen Mother Nature's winter time sense of humour in previous years, and know that she is likely to turn on a dime!




The local soccer field which, later in the month will become home to a home made rink [much smaller than the actual field's size] for skating and hockey enthusiasts! It is a wonderful street to reside upon!




So, who else is showing signs of winter?

And last but not least, a few more gratuitous distraction pics of one Mike Stalker!