Returning

snowdrop-learning.jpg
Galanthus nivalis, April 4, 2018. iPhone 6S, edited in Photoshop CC

We recently returned from the West Coast of British Columbia and were pleased to see the 9 inch ice ruts on our neighbourhood street had mostly melted away. However, the weather had also turned and we touched down to -9ºC and more snow.

On a quick walk about the backyard to see how much of the 6 foot snow pile had melted, I was astonished to find some anemic snowdrops frozen in place in the sudden change of temperature. (They are growing in a little alcove between our house and the fence so this area has a warmer microclimate.)

In the years that I’ve gardened in this variable urban prairie environment, I have learned that spring bulbs are hardier than their dainty appearance and I shovelled some snow on them and let them be.

The last couple days it has been warm enough for that snow to melt and they have emerged again. Today I documented them before returning them to snowy solitude. (Tomorrow’s forecast is a low of -19ºC with snow and a windchill of -25ºC.)

It has become an annual tradition to document the Galanthus that appear in my tiny garden each spring. They are not as lush and prolific as their Coastal cousins, but they remind me to try to be a little more purposeful and graceful under trying circumstances and they are hopeful signals that nature will let spring arrive eventually no matter how much we want her to hurry.

(I was given the opportunity to temporarily try out Photoshop CC and used it to edit the above image. It has been over 15 years since I have used this program. An amateur attempt at relearning an old skill – there are too many other things to do to worry about perfection! Below are the original unedited photographs.)

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Baker’s dozen of flora

In 2016 I took a lot of photographs… on my phone. Here are 12 photos from my garden and one from a local park we discovered this year. All photos taken with an iPhone 5 using ProCamera app and Photoshop Express.

winter-aconite
Winter aconite emerged early. March 5, 2016.
thalia-2016
Narcissus ‘Thalia’ – new to the garden. April 17, 2016.
townsendia-parryi
Remarkably, Townsendia parryi survived the hail storm of June 30, 2016.
cherry-brandy
We had a lot of rain. Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ gift from my Mom. July 2016.
carmine-jewel-cherries
Early spring and lots of moisture brought a bounty of ‘Carmine Jewel’ cherries. July 2016.
dragon-tongue-beans
And ‘Dragon Tongue’ beans. Grown in containers which saved them from slugs. July 2016.
oak-fern
An Oak fern was planted to remember family in Terrace, BC. July 30, 2016.
veronicastrum-b-w
Also from Rundlewood garden, a 2nd year Veronicastrum shot up like fireworks. August 21, 2016.
cream-calendula-open
A new calendula also bloomed in our garden. Thanks to seed shared from my Mom. August 2016.
calendula-closed
The beauty of this annual was its state before unfurling. August 2016.
garden-2016
Despite frequent hail and rain, our small garden flourished. August 2016.
school-boy-fall-jasmine
Alpine Rock Jasmine was the inspiration for Christmas cards. School boy was inspired by Christopher Boffoli. October 22, 2016.
ralph-klein-park
There is nothing like nature to truly inspire. Ralph Klein park. July 31, 2016.

Spring has its own designs.

Gardening on the Canadian prairies is definitely an exercise in patience.

  • A solitary clutch of Galanthus nivalis holds court over a still thawing garden.
  • A spiky tuft of hand grown blue fescue defiantly announces it made it through the winter.
  • Branches of crabapples show silhouettes of nothingness – evidence of the robins’ 2 day feast.

Galanthus nivalis. Image copyright B. Wanhill 2014Festuca glauca. Image copyright B. Wanhill 2014

Malus baccatta 'Rosthern.' Image copyright B. Wanhill 2014
All images Canon T3i