7 May 2019

When Life Slows You Down...... Unexpectedly!

[Anemonopsis macrophylla foliage]

When Life Slows You Down

Sometimes life has a way of telling you that you need to slow down. And when this happens, you've only one choice. and that is to listen! Life has been a whirlwind of activity for me, what with my yarn dyeing company, Knitting Wolf LuxuryYarns running full steam ahead thanks to a new colorway series I created in honour of Game of Thrones, and my yearly position at LittleTree Garden Market ramping up for the traditional May 24 weekend. I've been pleasantly balancing both roles,,,,,, or WAS balancing both roles until I noticed that I had lost 3/4 of the sight in my right eye!

I went to my optometrist, who immediately sent her findings to the Ivey Eye Institute in London, Ontario, where I found myself at 8AM the next morning. Long story short, I was operated on for a double retinal tear. Surgery was done while I was awake - a new experience for me - and I was back home by midnight. Orders to lie flat on my stomach with my head in a constant downward position was both frightening and frustrating in order to achieve, but there was no quibbling over the discomfort or near impossibility of being able to achieve it.

A follow up appointment yesterday indicated that surgery had been a success, but I would need two weeks to recuperate. No lifting, no dirt or dust near the eye, and oh yes, the gas bubble that had been inserted during surgery would need to dissolve on its own. Imagine having a drop of oil placed in your eye, or looking through a window that is streaked with raindrops. Pretty hard to see out of. Rest the eye, but at the same time, don't baby or coddle it. It needs to regain its strength.

And so I was able to sit out in the garden today, and with the help of my Nephew, we were able to capture a series of photos of my garden waking up for another growing season. Shall we check in on my children as they stir to the magical song in the soil that only they can hear:

Erythronium 'Joanna'

Helleborus Onyx Odyssey

Helleborus 'Betty Ranicar'

Dysosma versapelle aka Podophyllum plieanthum

Hepatica transylvanica 'Buis'

Dysosma versapelle
I love how you can see the fruit clusters before the foliage opens!

Paeonia mlokosewitschii
'Molly the Witch'

I am most excited to see how quickly the kids will leap! We are expecting temps to feel like -2C tonight, so I expect it will be another week or so before the garden really starts to fill in. Of course I have four new Cypripedium shipping this week from Alberta, so I will have to make sure that I do not disturb any of the kids who might be slow emerging! I think I have the perfect spot for them. In the meantime, I am more than content in enjoying the miraculous beauty of Nature that is right beneath my nose.

11 May 2018

Mother Is Out of Rehab...... Finally!

It has been a most eventful Fall and Winter for me! I started my own online hand dyed yarn business in September, which has flourished to the extent that I now have my yarns available in yarn shops in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, North Bay, Ontario, and as far away as Annandale, Australia! To top it off, I have returned to work at the garden centre here in town, Little Tree Garden Market, which means I am working with beloved friends again, and can walk to work in ten minutes!  Life for me has been SWEET~

Mother Nature on the other hand..... seems like her twelve step programme needed to be revisited this past five months! There was a threat of frost even last night, though I think my garden missed it! Thankfully, as many of my beloved treasures have emerged and are cavorting with one another in the garden.

I am forever enamoured of the beast like presence of Dysosma versapelle. Often confused with Podophyllum plieanthum, he is a show stopper every year. It well may in fact be one in the same, but I do not like to give in to the naysayers, so for me, he is forever Dysosma Dude!

The true ephemerals are putting on a stunning display for me! The Epimedium, Trillium, and even the Hyacinth bulbs are all in their magnificent glory. There is something about having red, white and even pink Trilliums this time of year!

You all know my obsession with all things Helleborus. I truly love the newer double flowering varieties from Marietta and Ernie O'Byrne in Eugene, Oregon. I want to say this is.... well, I really don't recall the name but he is a show stopper is he not?

Speaking of the O'Byrne's, if you get a chance you really must check out their new book: A Tapestry Garden is published by Timber Press and offers a delightful insight into the creation of their beloved nursery and property. I am half way through and enjoying every minute of it!

Now this IS a Podophyllum most definitely, and one of the pricier ones at that! For years I coveted gardening friend Marie Holt, for her large patch of Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty.' She had purchased it years earlier, and was shocked to hear how much the current going rate was. I resisted, but last year, thanks to some extra 'mad garden money' which I pilfered from the yarn business, I decided that enough was enough! I needed to add him to my collection. Look at that hirsute, mottled foliage.  

I also decided, with a large degree of trepidation that I needed to try another Erythronium. I had tried E. dens canis to mediocre results in the past, but when I saw that Lost Horizons had E. 'Joanna' in their catalogue last year, I had to have them all! And look at the stunning display that I have this year!

Veratrum nigrum is the perfect substitute for the ubiquitous, yet oh so yarn inspiring Hosta! Do you not simply LOVE that amazing pleated foliage? And when he is happy, he sends forth towering flower spikes covered with deep wine coloured, star shaped flowers. Known as false Hellebore, he is not easy to find, but when you're at Lost Horizons looking for the Erythronium, grab a few of these beauties!

Helleborus 'Sparkling Diamond,' is another of the O'Byrne collection, and truly is one of my favourites. Something about the pristine, truly double white flowers that just screams elegance!

And last but not least, Paeonia mlokosewitschii, or 'Molly-the-Witch' as she is commonly known, with a deep bruised purple spike of Polygonatum "Betberg' shooting up from her centre......... two more of the 'must have, and lusted for years before I took the plunge,' plants that cause a stir whenever anyone spots them in the garden!

I will try and come back on a monthly basis to update, but yarn and a busy garden centre season have to come first...... ciao!

21 Aug 2017

My Most Bounteous Garden August 2017

I want to think that all gardeners are the same: we wait for that one specific plant to bloom and then we all breathe that collective sigh of relief! I must confess that for me, there were two collective sighs: the first came when I was able to replace my most beloved Anemonopsis macrophylla, which, in the past two years, had gradually disappeared from my garden. I had nurtured a single stemmed plant into three, and had borne witness to the stupendous floral display for one single season. Hot, dry weather was it's eventual demise. I made a hasty visit to Lost Horizons, where, shocked at their size, I snagged up two very healthy and robust plants. They were pampered from the moment they were transplanted into the garden, and, thanks in large part to our gloriously cooler, damper garden season thus far, they have replied tenfold with their bounteous, stunning floral display. Just look at them people!

I could have, if I truly wanted, dedicated an entire post to their beauty, but I have other equally important residents here at Teza's Hortus Magnificum, each of whom has performed well beyond even my somewhat stringent expectations. Just look at the beauty that is Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Ogon.' He stops people on the sidewalk in their tracks. I have even witnessed more than one person who actually come over to stroke his branches, if only to discover what me might be. One sharp eyed gardener knew immediately, but wondered how I got mine to stay so golden coloured. I think said gardener is now in search of her very own 'Ogon.'

We have all noticed the abundance of rain this season, some of us rejoicing, and only stopping short of stripping off all of our clothes to dance naked in it, while others have complained that it seems to strike every weekend. I do feel sorry for the farmers who lost their crops earlier in the season, but when I look at my children frolicking in it, I cannot remain sad for long. I caught this perfect image of the rain bejewelled Cotinus coggygria 'Miss Grace' after a refreshingly light Irish rain one morning. 

Everything seems to have grown tenfold this year! The lushness of the small garden next to the garage has been beyond imagining! I fell in love with Aralia cordite 'Sun King' the year it first appeared on nursery benches, and have no less than four in my gardens! I decided this year, that in order for it not to completely overtake some of my smaller, more delicate treasures, that I would heavily prune them once they showed their usual growth spurts! Of course, there is one in particular, in a very small bed that has completely overtaken it's siblings, which include no less, the sublime Paeonia mlokosewitschii. Lucky for me, [and the Aralia] 'Miss Molly' is finished blooming long before 'Sun King' decides he is going to usurp the border!

I don't get a lot of sun in the garden, and as such, I am very particular when it comes to Clematis. I do have three of them. One is the lovely purple leafed Clematis recta 'Purpurea', which, tends to flop over on it's obelisk, but still gives great early summer clouds of tiny white flowers. There is another one growing up through the Wisteria....... I think it is a Clematis Stolwyck Gold if I remember correctly. His foliage in indeed gold, blending perfectly with that of the Wisteria! I was surprised to see a bloom, mingling with the mass of pink of......

YES! This gardener adores his Thalictrum delivery 'Splendide!' I planted it assuming it was a dwarf, judging from his minuscule size in the pot, only to be rewarded with towering 3m stems, topped with the most delicate opalescent mauve/pink flowers, each with four tiny petals. This year, I had to ask my Wisteria if he might act as official guardian, if only to ensure that 'Splendide' did not break off in any sudden wind. That is the only OOPS that I have been resistant to correcting in the garden. He [Splendide] may look silly in the front of the border, but believe you me, he sure knows how to attract attention!

And there you have it. Late August at Teza's Hortus Magnificum. Well part of it at least. There is still the other side of the garage, but he needs some TLC before I dare risk exposing him to the world wide web. A project while I am off work for the next week...... vacation time!