10 Dec 2013

‘The Children were Nestled, All Snug in their Beds….. A Look Back at 2013 – Part the First’


Thank you Miss Grace for sending the snow my way! No, seriously, thank you! When your livelihood now depends on selling the remaining 80 holiday trees, a skiff of snow can go a long, long way!

DSC_0248It’s hard to believe that we’re three weeks away from the start of a new year! I vividly remember trying my hands at transplanting annual plugs that more closely resembled hairs than actual living plants. Dexterity finger exercises are next on the horizon so that next year I might appear even half as competent as this! To think no one believed me when I emphatically mentioned my allergic reaction to annuals in general! I was bombarded with catcalls of ‘plant snob’ and ‘get over yourself!’ Sigh! Sniff! Sob! Do they not know that we plant snobs are a delicate natured beast!

Copy of DSC_0046 April at Cedar Spring! The Helleborus were all strutting their stuff, ensuring that it was next to impossible to walk by their bench without one of them going home with our first customers of the season. Make it irresistible!

Copy of DSC_0044Copy of DSC_0050  It was rewarding to be able to spend those first weeks of May enjoying what was happening in my own garden as well! I was resolute in spending at least an hour every day, whether it be in the morning or when I arrived home every evening. Off days were perhaps the most enjoyable, as I would immerse myself in the magic just outside my door!

DSC_0146 I only wish my Glaucidium palmatum would bloom longer! It truly is a magical plant – all lacy incised palmate shaped foliage and those nodding mauve/pink flowers! One of the reasons that a Spring garden MUST have ephemerals: their fleeting beauty will bring you to your knees every time! It’s one of those plants that I am most happy to grow for its amazing foliage alone!


DSC_0143  And while we’re on the topic of foliage…… there is no other member of the Polygonatum genus that comes close to rivaling the striking smoky purple of Polygonatum x hybridum ‘Betberg.’ I think of fellow gardener Barry Parker every time I walk past it.

DSC_0147 Another of the ‘must have’ essentials for the Spring garden is Erythronium – also know as ‘dog tooth violets.’ Their delicate demeanor, often mottled foliage and downward facing, reflex petals are pure magic. This is E.japonicum, a diminutive rarity that I found via Fraser’s Thimble Farms on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia – a nursery that I consider to be bar none when it comes to woodland plants.

DSC_0165One day, when I’ve found the perfect woodland setting, I will have a border made up exclusively of Epimedium! Larry, whom I consider to be my number one garden mentor when it comes to all things woodland, pointed me in their direction some six years ago, and I haven’t been able to look away since!

DSC_0168 Disporum maculatum, or ‘spotted fairybells’ as it is also known, represents a small contingent of native plant material that announce their presence every Spring. Of the five species that reside here in Teza’s Garden, this is the one whose fleeting presence I await the most eagerly each year. He’s slow to bulk up but for me, his foliage is instantly recognizable every Spring as he competes for his fair and allotted space.

DSC_0173 Lathyrus vernus ‘Regenbogen’ is a delightful perennial ‘sweet pea’ that acts more like a woody shrub than its less appealing annual cousins who want to climb and meander willy nilly! [There’s that plant snob voice again!] I have mine planted in front of the cathedral window mirror in hopes that it will become a frothy mass of pink, purple, blue and white flowers every Spring!

DSC_0132DSC_0133May ended with the introduction of two rather divine and sublime garden additions: I had always been enamored of Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’ with its Geisha fan inspired pleated, fabulously chartreuse foliage, and when I noted that one of our suppliers carried what I considered to be a ‘substantially’ larger plant than I’d been able to find in recent years, I jumped at the chance! Sweet Baby Jesus….. he was everything I was hoping for and more, with a graceful, open habit, making him the perfect candidate to take up residency on the front stoop with Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’ [Serpentine form please and thank you!] whose glamour shot precedes ‘Shira.’ He has been on my radar ever since Loree posted about it as a potential holiday tree some odd years ago. Go big or go home boys! I love its serpentine form, the silver/blue/gray needles, and the fact that he is actually putting forth his first cones. Of course he is currently residing in the heated store at work – I worry that I might be pushing my luck were I to leave him outside for the winter. And yes, I did consider using him for the holiday season, and used him as part of the ‘How A Guy Decorates for the Holidays! display at work.

guys and christmas And here is where I’ll close for now. Still have a few last minute presents to pick up, and combined with work, I’ll likely not be back much before the 20th……. stay warm folks!



Hi Barry, I've been meaning to visit all week. Would you believe last Friday's snow is STILL blanketing my garden and the street and everything else? I'm very tired of it so you can have it back. No doubt you'll put it to good use keeping your children all tucked in. Such amazing photos, Barry. How nice that you can keep some of your lovelies at the nursery where they'll keep warm. I would say that's a very nice perk!

Glaucidium palmatum is such a pretty thing. Love it!

If we don't "talk" before Christmas I hope yours is full of warmth and laughter.

Saxon said...

How wonderful to meet an unexpected friend. By pure random linking to old comments (4 years ago) on my own blogging at Gardening Gone Wild, I checked in on Jodi DeLong's blog who once commented to me, and then find your well written comment to her (Nov.25) of a luddite in this wacky electronic world. Well done and take this as one random act of surprise in this wacky medium, from another luddite wondering about all this.