Thursday, March 31, 2016

Lovely Spring Bulbs

Primula denticulata
The crocuses are finished now, so my designated "rock garden" is now being colored by the early spring flowers, like this solitary drumstick primula (Primula denticulata).  I bought it last year as a fading specimen at the garden store and it seems to have done well over the winter and even flowered for me!  I fell in love with these after seeing masses of them at Victoria's Butchart Gardens.  There were amazing, and their "drumsticks" much taller than mine.  The hot dry Okanagan doesn't really seem like the most suitable climate for a primula, but bark mulch and part shade seems to help them withstand the summers. 

 Among the blue-flowering spring flowers, Chionodoxa planted in clusters look like sparkling gems.  I looked at my few this spring and have concluded that I need to order masses of them in the fall.  They are lovely and deserve more of a show. 
 The mini narcissus are looking lovely, though it seems only Tete-a-Tete has bloomed so far.  I am waiting for a few others.  These are a good bulb when rodents and deer are a problem, as they are not so attractive to animals, as they are poisonous to eat.  Blue Scilla is seen in the background. 
Narcissus Tete-a-Tete
I see that the Summerland Gardens are open for the season, but I have yet to visit this year.  I enjoyed the spring primulas there last year, mainly growing around the historic house.  I encourage anyone to visit.  It is a great place to admire the plants and the view of Trout Creek Canyon and the train trestle.

I plan to start my tomato seeds this week - including lots of varieties!  I can't wait to see all the colors.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Early Spring Flowers in the Okanagan

It's time to get excited about the garden and plans for the yard!  The snow crocuses and large flowering crocuses have looked great in our yard this past week.  They are complemented by the violas and dwarf irises.

As I took photos of my lovely snow crocuses, I accidentally directed our new puppy's attention to the little purple flowers and he granted me this lovely action shot of him eating the flowers.  He likes to be involved in the action.  If I pull weeds, he enthusiastically digs an adjacent hole in a show of solidarity.

Oreo the crocus-munching dog
The dog and family hiked up Giant's Head Mountain here in Summerland this week.  This is a view from one of the little trails that winds around the mountain.  I just kept telling myself that the snakes aren't out yet and the bears aren't eating berries yet.  If it comes down to it, the puppy is a Karelian bear dog and it would give him an exciting experience, but I'd rather not participate.

View from Giant's Head Mountain, looking northeast
There were several of the sagebrush buttercups blooming on the mountain, this one alongside a flower bulb that is just coming up.  I'm not sure what the bulb is, but surely want to find out.  The sagebrush buttercup, like the rest of the buttercup family, is poisonous.  This feature was known to local native groups, who used it as poison on their arrowheads when they were hunting.  I advised the kids not to touch it.  

  The early dwarf irises are blooming in my yard -- my first time growing this kind in BC.  The blue are "Cantab" and the white...I am not sure about.  The label reads something that sounds like a French word I accidentally transcribed from the package that had nothing to do with the flower.