Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Spring 2015 - Life Returns to the Backyard.

I'm going to act all nonchalant like no one noticed that I haven't blogged since, what? February? And I'm going to pretend that everyone is deeply distressed about the space being quiet for so long. But its all pretend.

I'm posting today because the backyard is looking incredibly green and Alive after a very long, very cold winter.

In case you haven't been following along, here is what our yard looked like a couple years back, when we moved in (Taken from the real estate listing - April 2012):

And then a year later, in full construction glory, it looked like this (May 2013):

And after much effort to build retaining walls, put in a new deck, liner and plumbing for the pool, things started taking shape and it looked like this (Oct 2013):

And then last summer things finally started to feel 'right' (June 2014):

So as our gardens emerge this spring, I am happy to see the gaps beginning to fill in, and to have a good sense of what things are going to shape up to be. Its starting to feel like what the back yard was intended to look like. Sure we still have holes where the hardy hydrangeas haven't emerged yet (they are so pokey!) and we need to get more under-story going in a few spots - and I just relocated a lungwort, that's still pouting about it. But overall, the shape is emerging...

I present the spring expectancy for the gardens, 2015 edition.

<Begin Drum Roll Now>

In keeping with tradition, I have not tidied the yard before taking pictures. I mean, why stop when the mess of toys has come to be expected.

First off the Great Weeping Hadrian Wall of Dreams. Its still standing, not showing any hint of movement.  And it looks good too! The orange rope keeps dogs and kids on the lawn and out of the plants.

The railing still (STILL!) isn't in place. This is because I'm suffering through design anxiety. I know the look I want, I just don't know how to get there. And now that the shed is done, I feel like I have to tie the designs together, and they really, really don't jive. Drama. I need to just do it.

See the Jam Jar lights on those poles? They still work after 2 years, so I think I got the wiring all waterproof! Also, 3 X 100 watt bulbs right at the pool does a better job than 1 X 1200 watt bulb mounted to the house 30 feet away.

The day-lilies and iris are putting out massive greenery, and buds are just forming. I think we'll have a flood of colour shortly, but I am getting some root rot in the Iris. I should thin them and look at soil drainage.

Behind the pool, the espalier has jumped up to the top of the frame. Soon we'll reach the top of the fence, and then I'm not sure what we do with it...

The only thing actually in bloom right now are our Iris Siberica "Shaker's Prayer" (Siberian Iris) - I used it in the top pic, and it is a very good plant. Slow spreader, beautiful blooms, impossible to kill. They put out 5 blooms per stalk, and have pretty good staying power for an early plant. The other Iris are coming on soon though, and the peonies are full of buds. I'll have to update with another garden tour in a week or so. We also have a few tulips hanging on but their days are numbered.

Early in the spring I was excited when some chickadees checked out the birdhouses, but I guess they didn't like them so much. We have no tenants. Its too bad, the boys had a good time making the houses with me. All of our neighbours have commented on a decline in the number of birds at feeders this winter though, so I guess maybe its not just our houses that are the problem. I know the siting of the houses is less than perfect, but I was still hoping.

In the shady corners of the yard, the espalier is a lot shorter - no surprise there. I expect it will catch up eventually. Patience. There were a lot of blooms on the trees this spring, which is a good sign. Now we'll have to see how many were pollinated, and if the fruit sets, and finally, how much damage the squirrels and raccoons do before the fall.

Fingers crossed that they leave us a couple apples.

So all this brings us to the Seuss Tree.

I know its supposed to be a Blue Spruce, and I know they can be a little... quirky? But this? Its got a reverse curve in its trunk. I'm not sure what to make of it. If it grows to maturity it will block the path between the gate and the yard. I think its got to go. I think we're going to end up replacing it with a laundry tree. Maybe I'll write up that project next. Or sometime. I mean, its going on 4 months since my last post, so I wouldn't get too excited waiting for the next one.