Posts tagged ‘tulips’

This year’s spring garden

pink tulip 2

This morning’s weather report told me that temperatures are set to soar this week, 20C and above. I am always suspicious about the long range forecast, but never above hoping it will come true.

My garden is doing well this year after a mild winter and a good spring with lots of sunshine. Daffodils and crocuses have come and gone, and my tulips are at their best right now with faces open and so much colour. A couple of weeks ago I planted hanging baskets with a mix of violets, pansies, swiss chard and mustard greens and they are doing very well.

orange tulips 2

violets chard mustard greens

One new thing is the holly plant we bought at Christmas – it’s flowering. I’ve never seen this before, somehow, despite my studious (obsessive?) observation of other people’s gardens. Always so neat to have an actual discovery, to find out something you never knew before. Of course, in the back of my mind when I see red holly berries I know that there must be a flower behind the fruit, but there are so many things that never find their way out from those mental recesses.

flowering holly

Lemon balm is another surprise. I planted it last year and look at how beautifully it has already come back. I wonder if it is part of the mint family of plants, which are another thriving species in my garden. Both make wonderful tea and cocktails, so I am always happy to see them growing so well.

lemon balm

pale grape hyacinths in basket

Such a promising time of year – so much to look forward to – here’s hoping for that heat so all the things still dormant can find their way up.

hyacinth close up

yellow primula 2014

pink primula and crocus 2014

2014 daffodils

purple primula


April 28, 2014 at 8:11 am

This is not what it looked like today…

butterfly vase

It poured down snow today. Big white flakes floated down all afternoon while I worked in my studio. I’ve been in Vancouver four years now and this is the snowiest winter yet. I can now count four times I’ve worn the winter boots I brought from Calgary and thought I’d never wear again.

Here are a few photos from earlier this week when there was sunshine – the last of my Christmas paperwhites (they last forever if you keep them outside) and my birthday tulips. I’ll be thinking of them fondly when I navigate tomorrow’s icy streets.

sunshine paperwhites

birthday tulips

birthday tulips4

birthday tulips3

birthday tulips2

February 23, 2014 at 10:43 pm Leave a comment

Save your pennies!

tulips6 feb 2013
Poor pennies: they’re on the way out. I see signs all over town about penny drops for charity, and our grocery store has already started rounding up to the nearest nickel.

tulips3 feb 2013
It was a glorious day here in Vancouver this past Saturday, full of sunshine and spring. On the way home from a long, long walk we passed a giant rack filled with tulips grown in the Fraser Valley. $10 for three lovely bunches, so of course I came home with an armful. It’s a bargain when you consider the joy of them, plus the much needed cheer they provided when it poured rain all day Sunday.

tulips2 feb 2013
I always put a couple of pennies in the bottom of a vase of tulips: the copper in the coin keeps them standing up tall instead of flopping over. There is controversy that this is just an old wives’ tale, which may be the case. However, I’m convinced that it works and I’m also attached to the ritual of watching the penny float down through the water, and hearing the sound of it plinking in the glass vase, so I guess I’m siding with the wives.

tulips feb 2013
Up until this weekend my plan was to ditch the excess pennies cluttering up my world since they’ll soon have no monetary value. But now, thinking of the tulips, I’m alarmed at the meagre size of my stash. Imagine all the years ahead, all the future tulips, the copper they crave. I searched around the house and put the pennies I found into a jar for safe keeping.

Beware the penny drop, tulip lovers!

tulip pennies

February 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm 1 comment

Flowers from the garden

All winter long I’ve been buying cut flowers from the store. No longer. Now I just need scissors. My container garden is full of spring blooms: tulips are opening up, pale daffodils that came up late are just starting to fade away alongside the long, variegated leaves of the crocuses, which are quite beautiful all on their own even though the flowers are long gone. My hanging baskets are filled with a mix of primulas and the pink and orange ranunculus and purple periwinkles you see here. All are plentiful enough that I’ve filled a little vase with them.

For those of you who are counting, there are 25 flowers and leaves in this little vase, picked in honour of a sad but special day. Life is a strange place, and hard to deal with at times. Somehow everything feels a bit lighter with flowers brightening a space, especially when you’ve been outside carefully plucking them from your own garden. It’s easier to find a sense of meaning and calm when you’re surrounded by beauty. It’s a simple thing, maybe silly, but there’s a little voice in things like flowers from the garden that calls at you and pushes you to try to make the rest of your world just as right – whether it’s indoors, outdoors, or like these flowers on a windowsill, somewhere in between.

April 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm 3 comments

Spring bulbs already sprouting!

It’s hard to believe, but the first shoots of snowdrops and crocuses are peeking up in gardens around the neighbourhood, including mine. This photo was taken yesterday afternoon, which you can see was lovely and sunny compared to today’s drizzle and grey. (more…)

January 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

First flower spotted: snowdrops

I spotted my first flowers of the year a few days ago: a couple of snowdrops blooming on my patio. I planted a handful of bulbs last fall hoping for spring blooms, and here they are already. I wish I’d planted a hundred more.

There are other plants in my garden right now – ivy, bamboo and violets all survive the winter here in Vancouver – but the snowdrops are the first sign of growth. Two seasons wrapped up into one tiny flower – a shoot of green and snowy white that pushes us to accept the thin hope of spring while chilly grey days with gloves and scarves continue for a little longer.

January 19, 2011 at 11:35 pm 2 comments

The picture of spring

Discovering Vancouver in the spring time is a beautiful thing.

April 10, 2010 at 5:24 pm Leave a comment

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