Cold front.

There’s a cold front moving in tonight, with snow in the forecast…the clouds and the wind were definitely letting me know about it as I walked on Nose Hill this afternoon.

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The garden is waking up with all of this warm weather we’ve been having, but I’m not ready just yet.  That sounds funny coming from a gardener, but the timing isn’t right and I’m in no rush.  Better to let sleeping ladybugs lie.  😉   Things will happen in their own time – but this bit of green certainly made me smile.

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Green stirrings.

Something wondrous and strange is going on in my garden…

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IT’S ALIVE!!!!

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I know I shouldn’t get so excited…but it’s been awhile since I’ve seen anything that colour coming out of the ground.  (It’s interesting that they already look a tad ragged – the fact that I neglected to fertilize them last fall and a good number of hungry cohabitating rabbits may be to blame).

Of course, tomorrow is the first day of spring and we’re expecting a major snowstorm.  But just look at those bulbs go!  🙂

Spring stirrings…finally!

Two clippers blast the Prairies with heavy snow, strong winds

That’s the current weather warning from the Weather Network for the province of Alberta. While here in Calgary we are not being bombarded with the extreme precipitation and wind chills that our neighbours to the north and west are receiving, a glance at the forecast for later this weekend signals we may be in for a doozy.

But I don’t mind so much now, because this is the lovely sight that greeted me when I went outside to check my flowerbeds this morning:

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GREEN!  Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!

(I know, I know, I shouldn’t get so excited…but this never gets old for me.  Especially after six months of winter).

I randomly planted a mixture of Chionodoxa, Siberian squill, crocuses and grape hyacinths in October, adding to a small collection I’ve been (very) slowly building over the years. I’m hoping for a bit more of an early colour display this year!

Now, if we can just do something about this snow…. 😉

Wherever you live, what signs of spring do you find most inspirational and fun?

Sunday spotlight: Muscari armeniacum.

This week’s Sunday Monday Spotlight comes to you courtesy of my garden, where small drifts of grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) are now in full bloom:

So far these poisonous plants have been left untouched by the hares that run rampant all over the rest of my garden…I can’t say the same for my Scilla (a relative of Muscari), which are also poisonous.  Do hares have a refined tolerance for certain toxic alkaloids, I wonder?  Or do they just lay around afterwards, moaning and clutching their stomachs with furry paws, grumbling about “something I ate?”  Muscari are on the “deer-resistant” list as well, so they might be a good early spring-flowering selection if you’re bothered by these pests (which, thankfully, I am not.  I would go certifiably mad if I had to deal with them on top of the hares and squirrels).   To save my sanity, I plan to put in a lot more of these pretty harbingers of spring – forget the tulip salad bar that I’ve been desperately trying to sustain over the past three or four years!  🙂

Finally, in another case of common name confusion, grape hyacinths are actually not hyacinths at all, although they are from the same family (Asparagaceae).   You can read all about how to grow and cultivate muscari – and take a look at some of the most popular cultivars – in this fantastic article from Fine Gardening. 

If you have any plant suggestions for future Sunday Spotlights, please post them in the comments or Tweet me!  I’d be happy to feature them!  :)

Related posts:  Sunday Spotlight:  ‘White Russian’ Supertunia.