May Blooms in the Garden

Jacob's Ladder Purple Rain blooming in May

The gardens have certainly reacted to our strange weather patterns this year. We had a very mild winter followed by a warmer-than-usual spring. The mean temperature for May was 15.4C in our area, well above the 12.9C we saw in 2023. The result is that much of the ornamental garden has bloomed earlier than usual.… Read more »

April Blooms in the Garden

Hellebore and lungwart

Until the last few years, April in my gardens meant mostly daffodils. Adding some woodland garden plants changed all that. My three go-to perennials for April: Hellebore, Lungwort (Pulmonaria) and Carex. These perennials combine very well in a woodland or shade to part-shade situation and add a lot of spring interest. Here’s what my April… Read more »

2023 Weather Recap – It Felt Cold But Was It?

average temperatures in my area by month

As gardeners, we may feel we’re in tune with the weather, but our perceptions are often skewed by impressions of events that don’t always align with meteorological conditions. I recently pulled some historical weather data for our area, thinking that 2023 was colder than usual. I was very surprised to see that overall, we experienced… Read more »

Tapping Our Biggest Maple Trees – Not Sugar Maples

Bucket from tapped Norway maple

I am more than bored with winter and needed a garden-related activity so we decided to try our hand at making maple syrup. We’ve never tapped maples before and our sugar maple is too small. So rather than wait, we’re tapping some other maple trees. Unfortunately, our biggest sugar maple is only 7 inches in… Read more »

Weather Confusion – What Happened To Spring?

March 25, 2016 - ice storm in southern ontario

If it wasn’t April 4 I’d think this was someone’s idea of an April fool’s joke. After a very mild winter, with little snow, old man winter dressed up as a Polar Vortex and decided he’d show up just as spring arrived. He’s not just late to the party but he’s the guest no-one wants… Read more »

The Promise Of Summer

Red Charm Peony

I know it’s still officially spring and that peonies, irises & weigela are technically spring blooming plants, but I always think of June as the promise of summer to come. The blooms are bigger, brighter and more intense than the early spring blossoms.  I’m enjoying finishing up my summer planters, adding even more colour to… Read more »

Late But Perfect

Doublefile viburnum

Spring may have arrived late this year but it has been almost picture perfect. For the past several years, unseasonably warm weather in April and early May meant that most plants began to leaf out and put on blooms early, only to be damaged by late spring frost. Almost every year I lose something, either… Read more »

Frost Ready – Again

Frost covers tomatoes & peppers

I don’t care what the calendar says or what the weather was like yesterday, you can always count on a good chance of frost in southern Ontario even into the end of May. Having said that, I always jump the gun and put my tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and basil in during an early hot spell,… Read more »

Worth The Wait – Flowering Dogwood

I planted my Cornus Florida ‘Rubra’, flowering pink dogwood, in 2009 and have been waiting, not always patiently, ever since for it to bloom. With all the cold weather this year many of our spring blooming trees and shrubs have been a disappointment. The magnolia blooms have been hit by freezing temperatures more than once… Read more »

Happy First Day Of Spring

Happy first day of spring everyone. It’s finally arrived, that favourite day for gardeners although this year it seems a bit moot as the temperatures are more summer like. Buds are swelling early, the grass is turning green. For once I don’t have to listen to the media cheering the arrival of spring in envy.… Read more »