Well I hope you've all had a good Easter weekend, and were able to get together with family or friends. My family had a nice gathering on Sunday at my sister's place, but it involved a lot of highway driving to collect my father and return him home again before heading home ourselves in the opposite direction. We also moved our daughter back home on Saturday from university town, and she has quickly settled back into her room and has even got her photos and horse ribbons hung up on the wall again. I was ready for a break from the driving to and fro by the time yesterday rolled around.
The gardening work has finally begun in my little corner of the world. On Thursday (garbage collection day), there were big paper garden waste bags set at the curb of every house along my street ... except mine. Obviously, I've not been utilizing the good sunny weather as well as my neighbours, but I've been unable to get out there until yesterday. It was mostly sweeping the patio of birdseed shells and then raking up one section of the yard and gardens. I packed up four bags of garden debris ready for the next collection day. Most of it is maple leaves blown in from my neighbours' trees. My own little maple doesn't produce enough leaves to bother raking (yet!). I'm taking it easy with the heavy gardening chores as I destroyed my shoulder last year with snow shoveling and it gives me grief if I overdo it now ... a sad sign of ageing I guess.
After viewing everyone's blogs from warmer climes, I almost feel like the spring flowers are close to finishing! But here in southern Ontario the spring growing season has only just begun. Here's a little glimpse of what's coming up outside.
This is the only blooming flower outside at the moment ....
... my mom's snowdrops. I can understand why this little white flower gave my mom such joy after a long winter. It's too bad the flowers all hang down as they're quite pretty and rose-like in the centres.
|L-R Lilac, Black Currant, Butterfly Bush|
The shrubs I have around are finally breaking out in buds. I pruned the butterfly bush back, although it scares me to do this. I read last year that they only produce blooms on new growth, and it was suggested that they be cut back hard in early spring. Each branch I cut seemed brittle as bones, so I hope there's some life left in there somewhere and that it will survive because I really love this bush.
|L-R Iris, Iris (bunny's fav), Columbine|
Lower to the ground my iris are all sprouting up. The only one the rabbit touched is the only one I paid money for (of course). The rest I rescued from my mom's garden.
|L-R top: bleeding heart, snowdrops, bleeding heart|
bottom: rock (formerly with hens & chicks)
The bleeding hearts always do well, and are often the first things I notice coming up. I have quite a few of them and now when I see tiny new shoots sprouting around, I just throw them out. The little "hens & chicks" plant I had growing on the rock last summer seems to have disappeared. It was the first time I tried this little plant and was really happy with the way it was filling in this dirt filled gap in the rock. I think R.R. (Resident Rabbit) may have had something to do with it. I'll get the dog to interrogate him later.
|L-R Logs from pine, My Son's Pond, Tree Clean-Up|
Everyone in this area has had to clean up damaged trees from the ice storm back in December. It's rather sad to see many of the town's trees in parks and along the roadways chopped right down. I hope they eventually replace them, but the cost to do so must be horrendous.
In my own backyard we lost a large limb in my pine tree, and the remains of that got chopped up on the weekend too. We'll burn our logs in the fireplace, but the small stuff will go to the dump. My pine is not doing well at all now and is turning brown on one side. To lose this tree will be like losing a piece of my heart. I love watching it out there, branches swaying in the breeze and the needles twinkling in the sun. We lost a huge locust tree a few years ago, which used to cast beautiful lacy shadows over our patio and lawn. The pine tree is the last mature tree on our small plot. The space it will leave will open my yard to our backyard neighbour's house ... our privacy will be severely impaired!
The trees are still bare here, but yesterday the temperatures peaked at 18C and my kids and I enjoyed a late & leisurely breakfast out here on the patio (just picture it with comfy chair cushions, umbrella up and the glorious sun shining down ... it really was like that! Today is drizzly rain, but not too cold, and I have the patio door open to air the house a bit. Don't you just crave fresh air in the springtime after being closed indoors for such a long winter?
One of my neighbours had this water feature set out for "collection" a few weeks ago, and I decided to have a closer look after walking the dog. I figured if it was still at the curb when I got home, I would drag it to my house. It's so heavy! There are three pieces to it, and my husband said he'd get the necessary tubing and we could set it up with a small pond pump my son no longer uses for his pond. It's not something I would buy if I saw it in the gardening centre, but since it was free I like the idea of having the sound of trickling water right here on my patio.
And of course a little thrift store find ... a cute china owl couple which I put in my bookcase. My husband made a bookcase for my birthday last year, and I'm still fussing with it to give it that right combination of books and small curios that I admire in others bookcases. I have so many books though, that the curio side of things isn't coming together quite like I'd hoped. I'll show it all sometime soon.
Well, that's it for me. I've been immersed in other things this April, and wasn't able to set aside much time for writing up posts ... although I've been trying to keep up to date with all of your blogs. Life gets tedious at times as you know, and I try my best to do a bit here and there.
Thanks for stopping by!