Poplar presents.

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At least something is lapping up this wet weather! In perfect timing with the aftermath of the flood, the poplar trees been flinging out millions of seeds (already gift-wrapped in tufts of cotton) like furry parachutes stuffed full of candy and toys. I don’t know if I simply have never noticed before, but the seed clusters seem larger and more profuse than in previous years. I believe the ones my hubby photographed are from balsam poplars, found growing along the riverbanks near the now inaccessible Edworthy Park. We took a trip over there yesterday to survey how much the river levels have dropped since Friday.

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Are you a fan of poplar trees? I suspect many people have rather strong feelings about them…. 🙂

And…just a wee garden update…

My community garden plot isn’t underwater – we are not located in any of the floodzones.  I did expect some bedraggled, sodden plants (you should see my flowerbeds – eesh!), and that’s what I found this morning when I finally got a chance to head over there.  I walked around and grey-white mould is speckling the surface of the soil in every plot owner’s bed, but hopefully a little bit of sunshine will help dispel it.  I removed the floating row covers from mine to allow for more air circulation, and now I’m just crossing my fingers for the best.  But there’s just no point worrying about the garden when you think about what everyone around us has lost.

Snapshots: Colour and texture.

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I remember years ago when I first started working in a garden centre, my boss at the time firmly instructed me “not to order any of that flax!”    His rant was that it was a “junky plant,” and there will definitely be others who agree, I’m sure.  But I love it.  Yes, it reseeds itself freely…and lest you think my garden is a haven for aggressively spreading plants (I just did a post about alpine strawberries, after all!), I just yank them if they go astray.  They’re easier than carrots to pull out.  Plus, if you give them a haircut a couple of times a summer, you’ll likely coax another spell of blooms…and at the very least, keep a few seeds from forming.  I can’t get enough of that stellar blue…and how the feathery stems move in a breeze.

Immature larch cone - 7 June 2013

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know I’m a little bit obsessed with larch trees.  (See my posts here and here…and here).  This year, I missed the flowering of the larch trees that grow outside of the soccer field near our apartment, but I managed to capture these adorable fuzzy immature cones late last week.

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More young cones, these ones on a very attractive pine tree that I cannot ID.  (If anyone can assist, please give me a shout-out!).  My hubby played in a lacrosse tournament this past weekend and during a walk near the arena while on a break, we came across a high school that had the most beautiful landscaping…there were even some large yucca near the front doors.  These pine trees framed the south and east sides of the building.

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A gorgeous Spiraea in the same schoolyard.

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Lamium maculatum ‘Pink Pewter’, in my flowerbed.  You’re definitely wondering now…what is it with me and these spreading plants?  Well, this one is in a hot, dry, full sun location…it won’t go too far.  I’m surprised it’s gotten as large as it has with all my neglect.  Those leaves are stunning, aren’t they?

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One of the not-so green greens I’m growing in my veggie plot in the community garden…this absolutely gorgeous one is ‘Red Frills’ mustard.  I harvested a bunch of them as microgreens the other day – wow, what incredible flavour!  They pack a punch, that’s for sure.  Highly recommended.

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While on a walk in Bowmont Natural Area in northwest Calgary last week, my hubby and I came across this mourning cloak butterfly posing on a fencepost.  He’s looking a little rough around the edges…but that’s texture, too!  🙂

Photo #7 – R. Normandeau

What are your favourite textures and colours in the garden and in nature at the moment?

Larch trees in Canada: Guest post on Tree Canada.

My tiny obsession with larch trees continues…I’ve just done a guest post for Tree Canada about my favourite deciduous-conifer!  To read it, click here.  You never know when a little “larch tree trivia” might come in handy!  (It’s particularly useful to cover those awkward lulls in conversation at upcoming holiday parties….  Hmmm.  There may be a reason why I never get invited to attend anything).  😉

While you’re there, take a gander at Tree Canada’s excellent website and blog and read up on a ton of great info about trees (of course!), as well as all the fantastic projects they’re involved in.

What is your favourite type of tree?