Friday, November 8, 2013

What Time Is It?

It's wintertime
I woke up this morning to a blanket of snow.  The first snow of the year is the best snow.  A topping of snow alters your viewpoint. Common things are changed overnight and the garden is brand new.

Garden elements that you didn't notice yesterday are precious the morning after the first snow.  The flagstones are outlined with puffs of white where grass or moss existed yesterday.  Old seed heads become delicate ornaments in the garden. Rocks and benches and bits of leftover gardening look like dainty additions. Snow dresses up the garden.  

Flagstones with grass look great
Tree branches stand out much more with an icing of white, and my neighbour's roof seems to be waiting for someone to make snow angels on it. Photographs become black and whites.

Culver's Root with snow
Of course, this glorification of snow will only last for a week or so.  Then it's into a long Canadian winter of boots and shovels.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Solomon's Seal -- A Plant For All Seasons

Solomon's Seal in the spring is a wonder to behold but in the fall it's magnificent, too.  As the leaves prepare to fall, they turn a wonderful golden colour.  Sun on Solomon's Seal in the fall shouldn't be missed.

Solomon's Seal does really well in dry shade -- one of the few plants you can use to liven up a dull and shady corner.  Because it is a native plant, it's not choosy about the soil quality nor the planter's expertise.  Plunk it into the ground, and it will grow.

In Spring, before the leaves are out, the growing points of Solomon's Seal peek out of the ground.  That's the time to divide the clump and give some Solomon's Seal to your neighbours or spread it around to other parts of your yard.

Bees love the flowers that Solomon's Seal produces in the spring.  Bumble bees especially like the fragrant bells that hang from each branch.

So there you have it -- a plant for dry shade that is pretty in spring and fall and stands up nicely for most of the summer.  A winner, I'd say.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Coming or Going?

This picture from Carole Sevilla Brown shows a scene often repeated at curbsides across North America.  But the question is, are the bags put out to be collected by the municipality or are they the results of gleanings the evening before?  In other words, are the bags of yard waste coming or going?

I hope they're not on their way out to the municipal dump.  Imagine growing a crop and tossing it away.  Good stuff taken in by the plants and resident in the leaves is so often gathered up a thrown into bags to be taken a way to the civic compost pile.  And then...we pay to get the compost back!!  How silly is that?

My wish is that these bags have been gathered from neighbours and will be chopped to be used on the gardens.  All the good stuff stored in those leaves will be taken into the garden over the winter and next spring.  Sustainable gardening in action.