Dull Day in Feb

It’s almost always a dull day in Feb, but unlike many “northern” places, and unlike last year, this dull Monday is mild, as has been the whole winter season.

Hence, spring-ish garden pics–same plants I show you most years!:

Sarcococca–spectacular fragrance at my front door.

You can imagine how adaptable Sarcococca is: it’s growing in never-amended soil, between concrete and asphalt, in a bed that is 12″ wide and about 9′ long.

one of the many newer upright hellebores–stlll can’t find a tag…

There’s really nothing like seeing big red or white or creamy green clumps of hellebores sprouting up through mounds of wood chip mulch!

Helleborus Spring Promise ‘Elly’. Spring Promise is a series from Helleborus Gold Collection. Most have a very upright flowering habit.

Another untagged hellebore. Can’t even find a google image that has the same colour and petal (actually sepal) shape.

Galanthus nivalis

Euphorbia x martinii

again

Iris reticulata ‘Clarette’

Now here’s a shrub/small tree that no one should be without–Hamamelis–Witch hazel.

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’

‘Diane’ isn’t very fragrant, but she makes up for that lack with outstanding colour. It would be even better if the background weren’t so dull. If you have snow on the ground, you’d appreciate those little spidery flowers much more. Two alternatives both for a climate like mine, and for fragrance, are ‘Arnold’s Promise’ and ‘Pallida’. Both have light-coloured (creamy white to yellow) flowers, so they show up better against the brown ground, and they are wonderfully fragrant. When I bought ‘Diane’ it was billed as ‘fragrant’, but it’s not at all. Maybe I should splurge and find room for ‘Pallida’.

Viburnum tinus ‘Spring Bouquet’

Viburnum tinus ‘Spring Bouquet’

 

 

 

 

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What is This??

Some Kind of Sedum?

Somewhere I’ve got the tag for this but I’m not in the mood to search right now. (Maybe someone could help me with this??)

For the meantime, just sit amazed at the perfection of these late season flowers!

When planted, Aug 13: (you can tell the size of the plants by the size of the rain drops : )

Just starting to sprout, Aug 25:

Oct 22:

Persimmon Protection

First week November 2014

Two years ago I harvested about 6 fruits –first harvest!–from my wonderful Persimmon (Fuyu-type) tree. Wonderful, not just because it produces exceptional fruit, but also because it’s a beautiful tree at all times of the year–OK, maybe not so much in early spring before its late leaf-out, but every other time of the year.

Second week November 2014. Appreciate the colour while you can–it won’t last long…

That is, until last year when two things happened. The potentially prolific harvest (maybe about 100 fruits) was stolenĀ entirely by squirrels. (“How can you be so sure?” Because I saw the blighters running along the top of the fence with them in their mouths!)

And the growth became gangly and unattractive. This spring I pruned off a lot of last year’s growth, mainly so I could actually manage to drape it with bird netting, hoping to keep out the squirrels.

Unfortunately this year’s (potential) harvest will be a fraction of last year’s (potential) harvest. Did I prune off too many fruiting branches, or do Persimmons do what many other fruit trees do–alternate good harvest years with less-good harvest years? Certainly my Italian plum, prolific last year, has only about a dozen plums this year.

So I decided that the effort to drape the whole tree for the sake of 20 persimmons wasn’t really worth it, but there might be an alternative.

Grateful for the way tomatoes-on-the-vine are sold…

…and oranges. I was buying them every few days, until they got a little dry and tasteless. And only late in the game did I think of saving the net bags…

If the squirrels can read upside-down maybe they won’t even try…

Then ran out of net bags:

Admittedly not the most beautiful garden-hack.

So does anyone else have a better solution?