Finally … It’s Spring

Finally Spring 2

Sorry for the cheater post, but we’re moving tomorrow and I have a birthday cake experiment to attend to.

The trees are still bare, and there are some holdout snowbanks scattered around, but Gren no longer comes home from the park in need of an immediate hose-down.

Finally Spring 9

The local starlings have already started to build their nests in my neighbour’s decrepit roof. Reminds me of the starling family that lived in our bathroom ceiling in St. John’s for three years.

Finally Spring 1

It’s not very warm — in fact, local horticulturists here are warning gardeners to hold off on spring planting in Ottawa until the beginning of June.  But the grass is starting to turn green, and the bulbs are starting to put forth leaves.

Finally Spring 5

And in some cases, even flowers.

Finally Spring 3

And stuff I planted late last fall in a haphazard manner in the middle of a storm is even growing.

Finally Spring 6

This will be rhubarb soon.  That means pie.  And crumble.  And fool. And beverages.

Finally Spring 7

And irises in Ontario grow much better than the ones I had in Newfoundland.

Finally Spring 8

Can we say it’s finally spring?  I think so.  Let’s.

Finally Spring 4

Greenthumbing Day Two

FINALLY.

The weather and the fates conspired against me and I was not able to go out into the garden until MONDAY evening.  It’s shameful that “Day One” and “Day Two” should be so freaking far apart.  Stupid Newfoundland.  Spring just does not exist here.  In fact it’s supposed to snow Tuesday.  Of course.

Anyway, I did my raking.  The Pie helped tremendously even though he loathes gardening.  Otherwise it would have taken FOREVER.

Here’s the before.

Here’s the during.  It was the Pie’s idea to put all the leaves on a tarp and drag them to the leaf heap behind the shed.  It was sheer genius.

He grew up in a forest and is thus familiar with such brilliant leaf transport methods.

Here’s the after.  Admittedly it’s rather half-assed, but at this late point all the leaves have disintegrated and are impossible to rake.  The Pie says the rest of them will disappear the first time he mows the lawn.

I hope to have better luck with the slugs and snails this year.  As I’m sure you noticed with my Rodentia posts that I’m not a huge fan of needlessly killing living things that have done me no personal harm.  But these slugs and snails, they’re everywhere (and I mean everywhere), and they’re costing me money (that I don’t have) in replacement plants. My young plants have no chance to grow before they’re literally nipped in the bud by the slimy suckers.

And you can see that the slugs have already had their way with my tulips.

They’ve eaten all the buds on my iris as well.  I nearly raked up the iris while clearing out the beds due to their tenuous grasp on the soil.  I hope they don’t die.

So I caved and bought Scott’s Eco-Sense SLUG-B-GON at Canadian Tire.  Because the name is AWESOME.

But actually because the bait just stops slugs from eating once they eat it, and uneaten bait is safely absorbed by the soil, safe for other animals, children, pets … all that jazz.  I’m excited to test it out.

As far as the actual growing of things goes, I got nothin’.  The tulips, iris, and daffodils are doing their regular thing, but haven’t yet bloomed.  I’m trying to get a cutting from my indoor palm to root to give to Kª, and I’ve started trying to root some avocado pits as well.  If that works I’ll give you a little how-to.  In the meantime, we just wait.

I have been doing my research, however, and have come up with a list of perennial plants that are supposedly hardy here on the rock (shallow, rocky, lead-filled soil) and which I wouldn’t mind having in my garden:

Cornflower/Bachelor’s Buttons (these grew last year but they’re an annual so I’m not sure I’ll plant again)

Fair Maids of France

Hosta (though the slugs had their way with them last year)

Laburnum (which actually grows in huge trees next door)

Lilac

Lily

Lupin

Pitcher Plant (the official provincial flower)

Poppies (we had some success last year.  I’m hoping they appear again.)

Sea Thrift (apparently pretty rare but also native to the island)

Silver Dollar

Snapdragon

Snowball Tree

Viola (Pansies)

Wild Rose

The goal with this garden is to plant all this stuff and set it up so no one has to work on it while I’m gone on my fieldwork term.  Easy peasy is the key here.  Any suggestions (or cuttings!) would be most appreciated, just put your comments below.

***EDIT: I’ll have you know it has snowed TWICE since I wrote this.  The last time it snowed was yesterday morning.  Oh Newfoundland … ***