Yes, it is that time of year! The sun is shining brightly. The air smells sweet with all the blossoms out.
Last year, the spring was a little earlier so the bulk of veggie garden planting coincided directly with Mother’s Day and all the flower baskets heading to new homes. This year’s planting business has been a little more spread out. The first crop of baskets has all disappeared. Now people are after their tomatoes and other goodies. We always end up planting our garden toward the middle of June, after the garden centre begins to slow.
Remarkably, we haven’t had any brutal frosts for weeks now. It seems most folks had some rose garden losses, most likely due to the harsh winter temperatures we had and lack of snow cover. Frost will drive further into the dry ground as it is left uninsulated.
Out in the nursery, we have a number of crabapple trees beginning to bloom. Small and upright in growth habit, with others weeping, they offer a variety of leaf and flower colours. There is a new red rhododendron, Besse Howell, seemingly earlier to flower, darker in colour than the Nova Zembla. Dark green leaves all year offer some winter interest.
Also of interest in the winter season is the Chinese paper bark maple with cinnamon brown peeling bark, and Wojnar’s Purple and several other hardy rhodos developed at the University of Finland in Helsinki. Even if you don’t have a spot for one yourself, you should come out and have a look at the blossoms around the nursery. Also in flower around town is the famous laburnum, the “golden chain tree”, with its pendular, bright yellow blooms.
Have a great weekend enjoying spring!
Evan Davies owns Beltane Nursery at 2915 Highway 3 in Erickson.