It was a sparkly, frosty day here in Calgary – but just look at that brilliant blue sky over this young elm tree!
I was recently doing a bit more reading about the origins and history of Dutch elm disease, which has decimated elm trees worldwide. (This information at this link is particularly fascinating). We are fortunate here in the province of Alberta that, due to rigid pruning restrictions and strict monitoring, our elms are currently free of the disease. Hopefully this tree and its kin stay healthy and thrive into old age. ♥
I periodically write online content for Farmers’ Almanac and recently did a story that may help out with last minute shopping for the gardeners on your Christmas list (or any time of the year, really!).
One idea I should include is the valuable (and valued!) gift of time – helping someone weed their overgrown beds, turning compost, mowing the lawn, pruning a tree and so on.
Do you have anything to add? What gardening-related gifts would you like to give or receive? This doesn’t have to be small stuff – dream big if you like!
I didn’t quite realize it before we moved in last summer, but our new home is situated on a property containing a delightfully large number of apple trees. There appears to be several different cultivars. I have no idea what they are (it’s a bit easier to narrow the ID on them when they fruit!), but what a treat to see them blooming right now. The sight – and lovely sweet scent! – makes me smile each time I head out the door.
Which fragrant flowers in your garden are your favourites?
One of my favourite sights of spring: larch trees in flower. The upright pink ones are the elegant, showy females in their rosy party dresses – the males are the compact pollen-bearers, in tidy yellow-brown suits, clinging to the undersides of the branches. You can see a couple of females and a male in this photo I snapped late last week.
Another photo from our snowshoeing trip to Fullerton Loop, near Bragg Creek, Alberta, a couple of Sundays ago. The snow and cloudy skies turned the whole world black and white…with just a hint of blue. The silence was magical.
I don’t recall such a snowy February here in Calgary…we’ve definitely got good snowshoeing weather at the moment. The thing is, the risk of avalanches in the mountains is massive right now and sticking to safe terrain is crucial. Fullerton Loop, outside of Bragg Creek, fits the bill perfectly: it’s a no-risk snowshoe trek, fast and easy and short (just over 6 kilometres). It’s fairly heavily trafficked right now, so if you don’t have snowshoes, you can simply hike it (and at this very moment, you probably don’t need microspikes).
We headed out there last Sunday morning and it snowed the whole time; in fact, Highway 66 wasn’t even ploughed when we arrived at the trailhead, beating the crowds that arrived later in the day. For us, it was snow…trees…quiet. Blissful.