Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Plant Portrait - Oxalis adenophylla

Most of the wood sorrels (Oxalis) are not very hardy. This is one of the few that can survive very cold winters unprotected (hardiness zone 5). It hugs the soil, reaching about 12 cm (4 in) high. Given the size of the plant, the purplish pink, funnel-shape flowers with dark veins are relatively large at 2.5cm (1 in).  The crumply leaves are grey-green, divided in many segments arranged finger-fashion. The common name, silver shamrock, refers to the colour of the foliage. Both the flower and the leaves fold up at night or in overcast weather and are said to "go to sleep".

Thursday, May 22, 2014


The garden at Roche Fleurie is in the middle of a field reverting to forest. Many of the trees that get established on their own and are reclaiming the field are apple trees. However, in most cases, the apples they produce are not very good. Every spring, I try to graft tastier varieties of apples on these volunteer trees. There are many techniques used for grafting. Here is how I proceed.

"Wild" apple tree

Friday, May 16, 2014

Forest Floor (2)

Three more pictures of the forest floor. Yesterday afternoon, driving in the rain along a wooded area in the neighborhood, we stopped and took pictures of Trillium grandiflorum covering the forest floor. As they age, these trilliums turn pink. However for now they are still all white. It is amazing they are still so abundant in places, as the white tail deer does find them tasty.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Forest Floor

This afternoon, we stopped the car and took a few pictures of the forest floor along the road where acre upon acre of dog-tooth violets (Erythronium americanum) were in bloom. Often, they produce a great many leaves, but no flower. This year seems to be a very good one for them.

I have heard that, in a garden, if you put a stone under the bulb, it blooms much better. I have never tried it, but it would seem likely as the Erythroniums in the pictures below are growing in a thin layer of soil over limestone.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Our very own Weeds

You have not heard from me these last five weeks or so because of Internet connection problems.

We all have weeds. Although some, like dandelions and crabgrass, are common to us all, we also each have our particular weeds. Just like rhododendrons require acid soil, some weeds require the specific conditions we happen to have in each of our gardens. These are our very own weeds, different from those of our  friends and fellow gardeners.