Finally….

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This is what goes on when the snow lets up for two weeks. All of a sudden, the trees are sporting tiny ultragreen leaves, the dandelions are carpeting the lawn, and the neighbour’s forsythia has exploded into a brilliant yellow bloom you need sunglasses to admire.

And there is happening in the garden….

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Flowery Friday.

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Happy Friday!  I can’t believe I had to flip the calendar over to May this morning.  What’s up with time, anyway?  I know it seems to fly as you get older, but for me, it’s feeling pretty supersonic at this point.  (Awhile back, I came across this review of a book about the perception of time in relation to age…might make for some interesting reading).

I managed to get out to Nose Hill one morning this week and saw all the willow catkins emerging…I quickly took a few photos and rushed to get myself and my camera out of the rain shower that suddenly started right above me (and only me, as far as I could tell).  We really could use a nice, soaking rain, although everything is greening up despite the dry conditions.  I noticed our neighbour’s fantastically floriferous forsythia (too much?) on the way back from the park – it is, of course, competing with all those show-off Prunus species.  All this incredible colour and beauty is enough to make your eyes drunk.

I planted some spinach and radish seeds in the raised bed at the community garden this week – this is the earliest I’ve ever put these crops in, although many would reckon I’m actually running late.  I know some people who plant outside under cover in March – and unlike most years, we didn’t have much snow and ice in that month.  Last year, I planted my spinach on the 20 of May. Most of my garlic is up now – I just love to see those spiky green shoots splitting the soil.

What are your plans for the weekend?  I’ve got a deadline looming on an article about lacto-fermentation (BTW – do any of you do any fermenting?  I’ve been puttering around lately with several different whole leaf herb ferments – they’re easy and fun).  I’m also hoping to get out for some fresh air – I was reading a recent blog post by a local hiker, Barry Taylor, and he suggested Strathcona Ravine here in Calgary for a little nature jaunt.  I’m keen to check it out – we’ve lived here nearly two decades and I hadn’t ever heard of it before.

Before I leave you, I have to share the foodie extravaganza that is the list of midway culinary treats for this year’s Calgary Stampede.  If you thought last year’s were over the top, you haven’t seen anything yet.  I can’t believe that gigantic ice cream cone or the $100 hotdog…and we won’t talk about the cockroach offering.  I feel pretty much like I did last year – the poutines are the most tempting for me (well, except for the one with the doughnuts and the jalapenos – that just smacks of a stomach ache in a bowl).  What would you try?  Which of these is just too excessive (well, besides ALL of them)?

Flowery Friday.

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Hope you’re not tired of my crocus photos yet!  There are 1,406,718 of them (give or take a couple) blooming up on Nose Hill right now.  Don’t worry, I’ll only post one picture of this particular beauty.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Will you be spending part of it in the garden or going for a nice long walk?

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!  🙂

Sunday spotlight: Mayday.

The crabapples in my neighbourhood are just on the verge of exploding into blossom, but at the moment, it’s time for the Maydays to shine.  Although my nasty seasonal allergies make it difficult for me to take any sort of joy in their heavy, sweet fragrance and massive production of pollen, there is absolutely no doubt about the beauty of these trees while in full bloom – they are absolutely incredible!

Maydays (Prunus padus) are also commonly known as European bird cherries or common bird cherries, as birds are really attracted to the small, bitter black fruits that appear in early autumn.  In addition to the splendid spring blossoms, Maydays also possess exceptional fall colour, featuring brilliant yellow leaves.   They are a great selection for urban landscapes, with a rounded crown and a fairly modest height (9 metres) and spread (7.5 metres); Maydays are also highly tolerant of pollution.

Are you growing any species of Prunus in your garden?  What are your favourites?  

Spring stirrings (a miscellany).

Ah, spring!  Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year?  There are so many reasons to celebrate!

Glories of the snow  

Anemones 

Pea shoots on my windowsill 

African violet 

Unblanched popcorn shoots 

Another African violet 

Larch flowers 

Prairie crocuses

What plants are you enjoying most this spring?