More discoveries in the garden

(This post is only pictures of flowers. You know, just fyi.) It’s a pleasant, warmish Sunday afternoon and I’ve been catching up on what the garden has been doing over the last week or so. Our daffodils are still going strong and keeping us in bouquets, and the tulips are just starting to open up. Despite the snow (!) we had a few days ago, lots of good things are happening outside.

Grape hyacinths (a longtime favourite):

I think these are bleeding hearts, although I’m not sure. The shape is right but I’ve never seen white ones before:

Purple anemones in full bloom, along with some friends:

No idea what these pretty, droopy, purple ones are. Connie, do you know?

Ok, I lied. There is also a picture of leaves. Ivy along the back fence:

Some pretty ground cover:

Hedges in blossom (and in need of a trim):

And the aforesaid tulips, coming out — red!

I can’t wait to see what the rest of the spring and summer brings.

Soul and soil

Like everyone else in Ontario, I apparently gave up leaving the house for Lent. Now, it’s not like I leave the house especially often when I have a newborn — ps I had the baby — but it’s strange not to have the option. We’re not quarantined but we’re certainly practicing social distancing, as evidenced by this moody photo Perpetua took a few days ago:

That’s Tertia, by the way. We like her lots.

Things are weird. It’s weird not going to the library or Anselm’s piano class. It’s weird not knowing if/when our awesome homeschool co-op will restart. It’s weird “going” to church via facebook live. Having my husband working from home is lovely — it’s like a super-extended paternity leave — but it also has its own strangeness.

There are solaces, however. Being more or less housebound has turned my attention to the one place outdoors I can easily go: the back yard. We have a lovely big back yard, and since this is our first spring in our new house, there all sorts of discoveries to be made. What’s going to come up in the gardens? We don’t know! But we are starting to find out; the first flowers, these little wee irises, came out last week:

They were followed by what I think might be some type of hyacinth?

I had thought at first glance that they might be grape hyacinths, but the colour is not quite right, not to mention the fact that the buds open up:

And there are these lovely little purple things. No idea what they are, but I like ’em:

Yesterday I started clearing the garden beds of some of their detritus. I let everything overwinter naturally, for the sake of any birdies and beasties who would be using the overgrowth for food or shelter — but winter is over and it’s time to make room for new growth. I’m leaving the dead leaves for the moment, since we’re still quite a few weeks out from our “last frost” date, but I’ve been cleaning out most of the rest.

This kind of work is good for my soul.

Along the way I’ve been able to see at least some of what’s coming up this year. We’re going to have lots of tulips and even more daffodils, as well as what I’m pretty sure are full-size irises. There will be black-eyes susans when the weather is hot. There’s a rose bush that desperately needs to be tied up or given a trellis or something. I found a patch of (invasive?) ivy and the place where the squirrels ditch their chestnut shells.

Most of my adult life I’ve been an apartment-dweller, and so all of this is particularly enchanting to me. A whole yard of our very own, with soil to tend and good work to do — it is a real comfort in these strange days. I’m looking forward to seeing what further secrets the garden beds reveal in the coming weeks.


The last time we moved, a friend sent me an excerpt of a letter from Mr. Rogers to Amy Hollingsworth, a longtime friend who had moved to a new community (I think her husband was a pastor though I am having trouble tracking that detail down). He wrote,

Just as it takes a tree a long time to begin to grow again once it’s transplanted, so you can give your healthy roots time to find the nourishment of your new soil in your new community. (Quoted in The Simple Faith of Mr.Rogers, Amy Hollingsworth, p. 6)

We too are transplanting. Or being transplanted. Or however that works. Settling into the house, setting into the community… all that jazz. It is often hard to be patient with the process, even though we’ve done several of these big moves before and know (or should!) how it works. As the song from the Daniel Tiger movie about moving goes, It takes time, it takes time to make a new house feel like home.

One of the joys of where we’re living now, for me, is that we have a small back yard, and so I have been able to do some literal transplanting. I am very much brand-new to gardening, but I got eight plants in the ground this past week (2 ea. of foxglove, lupine, black-eyed susan, and English lavender). Here are some of them looking brave & perky:

We’ll see if they take — I am hopeful, though. So far so good. In our front there were already flowers waiting for us: some lovely hyacinths (they are done blooming now but I will dead-head them and see if that forces a second round), some tulips ready to open soon, and something else coming up that I haven’t yet identified. I can’t wait to see what’s there.I also have a new project on the hook:

This is the “Lotus Flower Blanket” from Hooked by Robin, and it is gorgeous. It will be a circular blanket, probably close to a meter in diameter once it’s finished, and uses a whopping kilometer of yarn!

I splurged with some gift money and bought the recommended Scheepjes Whirl yarn, which has an incredibly beautiful slow gradient — you can just see the pink lightening in this shot as it moves toward the edge. This is far and away the most intricate project I have ever done, with the most delicate (and most expensive) yarn I’ve ever used. So far so good.”So far so good” is about the status of our family transplant right now. We’ll get there. We’re getting there.