Monday, May 30, 2016

Dividing Primroses

There are many types of primroses from the simple cowslip to those with specific growing conditions, such as the "candelabra" that need constant moisture, or the auricula, another thing altogether.

I grow some of these, but this post is about the more "common" plants belonging to the  genus Primula.

Primula are deceptive as they give the impression of being rather sturdy plants, but they are not.

In Old Fashioned Flowers  Sacheverall Sitwell says:  "There could be no greater mistake than to imagine they are capable of looking after themselves."

Here is how I take care of the primulas pictured below. I entitled this post "Dividing Primroses" because the big job is to divide them in spring.

A assembly of primulas

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Love in the Garden

According to Tennyson, "In the spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love".  It is not just young men, there are also the birds, of course.  But what is most noticeable in this garden is snakes. Why each spring they choose the garden for the pursuit of love, I am not quite sure. I expect they like the warmth of the stones bordering the rill.

Anyhow, at this time of the year, one morning, like this morning, you take your first walk in  the garden, and they are all here ready for snake love fest.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Forest floor

Spring is the time for spectacular display in under story plants. Britain has its magnificent blue bells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), and our southern neighbours have Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica).

In Ontario (as well as in Québec and all the northern states that have a climate similar to ours) the best known display is provided by Trillium grandiflorum.

Unfortunately Trillium grandiflorum is a favorite food of the white tail deer. The plant can be rather rare if there are many deer around.

Below is a sample of the millions of trilliums growing in the woodlot of my friend Gwynne.

Trillium grandiflorum

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Warm blankets

Two weeks or so ago I was complaining about rabbits, now my beef is with squirrels.

More specifically, the cheeky one you see below. He, or more likely she, has decided to make a nest in an old bird house just outside the garden.

That is not a problem, what is a problem though is what she has decided to line up this nest with.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Apple Tree Grafting

I wrote a post of grafting apple trees in 2014, and I thought I would revisit the topic hoping that some of you might have answers to a question I have.

Most of my graftings are done on a volunteer apple tree. There are lots of "wild" apple trees on the property and when the garden was made, one of these trees ended up in the middle of a bed.

We decided to keep it, although the apples were tough and not very tasty. I thought I would graft nicer varieties on it.

The oft grafted apple tree