That ghastly s-word is accumulating heavily just west of Calgary as I write this, and I’m hoping the steady, slow rain that is currently falling here doesn’t decide to turn over to white flakes. The city is greening up in a glorious way with this sudden moisture – it’s truly amazing to see what a few millimetres of rain can do to change the landscape. On average, Calgary receives about 70 mm of rain and/or snow during the months of April and May, so it’s been a bit of a surprise to have barely cleared 30 mm in the past 53 days. (No matter; the forecasters tell us 80 mm of rain is heading our way tomorrow. Just goes to show there’s never a happy medium!).
The neighbourhood trees are all blooming at once: apples, chokecherries, lilacs, cherries and plums. They’re rushing headlong into fruit production, and while their blossoms seem more profuse and fragrant than usual, they won’t last more than a blink. Everything seems accelerated this year, but maybe that’s more my state of mind than anything. (Has anyone else noticed this?).
In my flowerbeds, the muscari are still hanging on, cheerfully poking out from the edges of the junipers. The nepeta (I have both N. mussinii and N. subsessilis) and the speedwell (Veronica penduncularis ‘Georgia Blue’) is blooming and looking mighty fine in this suddenly cooler weather. And the Aurinia saxatile ‘Gold Dust’ that I wrote about last year is just starting to put on her usual early show, although the plant has barely had time to mound as she usually does.
Basket of gold.
There are a million photos of water droplets on lady’s mantle on the Internet. Here’s another one.
I love Artemis schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’. I don’t love the quack grass that seems to be in every photo I took this afternoon. (I just weeded two days ago, honest!).
If I ever actually get the time for some serious shopping and planting, I plan to put in quite a few more perennials in the beds. A couple of weeks ago, I planted some purple Liatris spicata, which may not be the most original choice, given that I think every single gardener in Calgary is already growing them. Hey – at least I know they’re successful! :) Phlox paniculata ’Nicky’ and blue sea holly (Eryngium alpinum) are new additions as well, picked up at the same time as the liatris. I’ve also thrown in a pretty lungwort that a co-worker gave me. On my list of potential buys: Monarda, Echinops, goldenrod, alpine lady’s mantle, and more Aurinia, gold flax (Linum flavum compactum), and scabiosa.
Of course, I will probably forget my grand plan when I finally get inside the garden centre. We shall see what I actually come home with.
What plant selections (perennial or otherwise) are you most excited about this year?
- Essential Care Tips for Growing Lady’s Mantle (gardening.answers.com)
- Calgary Fire Department issues Bow River, Elbow River boating advisory (beaconnews.ca)
- Calgarians should take rain precautions, city advises (cbc.ca)
- Calgarians prepare for rain, and lots of it (globalnews.ca)
- How does your garden grow? (helvetiahandmade.wordpress.com)
- Rainfall warning issued for Calgary; 30 to 50 mm expected by Friday (calgaryherald.com)
- Springtime in the garden: Mid-May (mamanervosa.com)
- The Best Way to Use Creeping Phlox in Your Garden (landscaping.answers.com)
- Garden update. (floweryprose.com)
- Disease to watch (out for): Black knot fungus. (floweryprose.com)