This is the flowering cactus I mentioned in another post last week. It is yet to be identified. I would have done so already, but my gigantic cactus tome is currently unavailable. I’ve got it stacked in a pile of all of my biggest gardening books beneath the seed-starter, acting as a booster seat so that the seedlings can get as close to the light source as possible.
The next time you pass on a gigantic gardening coffee table book due to the expense, consider that it will serve you in more ways than one. I also use my enormous books to press plant materials and keep recently-glued paper flat. And if the unfortunate occasion were to arise, they could also make an unwieldy, but effective self-defense weapon. Come to think of it, arm weights are another possible option.
Everything they say is true. Gardening really is good for health and well-being!
I found this bloom on a walk the other day. I’m not sure of the variety but it looks a lot like ‘Tower Light Pink.’
I came upon this colour palette yesterday and had an instantaneous response to it. The pink flowers are magnolia and the red and chartreuse bush on the right is ‘Goldflame’ spirea (Spiraea x bumalda). Of course it could just be the designer in me that is responding to the grid formation but I also think it is the black brick background serving as a contrasty backdrop… the colours just pop out against it. In conclusion: This reaffirms what I already know about chartreuse and deep red against black.
Note to self: Get more black containers.
The weather here in Toronto these past few days has been unreasonably beautiful prompting a flurry of gardening activity on my part. My gardens never seem large enough until I have to clean them up. I have spent the last few days rediscovering all over again that, yes, gardening is a physical activity, working muscle groups that have been ignored over the long winter.
On Thursday afternoon, I detoured over to a couple of seasonal garden centres to check out where they are at with spring stock and was delighted to discover pansies and violas in new and beautiful colourways. The one that excited me most was ‘Gem Antique Shades’ a viola mix in subtle gold, lavender, and pinkish tones with some deep reds thrown in (see photo above).
I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but stocking up on these old-fashioned flowers is one of my favourite spring-time activities. While they have a reputation for being old-school cheesy I find they are the best and cheapest way to insert instant colour into a bland early spring garden. Besides the very earliest bulbs and perennials, pansies and violas are one of the very first flowers to go in the soil when the weather is still chilly at night and prone to unpredictable, random acts of snow.
And they’re edible too! I start pansies alongside other early edibles like greens and radishes, throwing them all into a bowl for the first homegrown salads of the year. While the bubblegum flavoured pansy is not your best choice in a salad, most varieties tend to have a slightly sweet, hint-o’violet flavour.
I was forced to limit my purchases to one small box since I was walking and still had to make a stop at the farmers market for produce. However, I’ve already been strategizing ways to get back for another box or two before they sell out. The box I purchased was just enough for the roof but both my community garden plot and the street garden could use a colour splash.
This is what it’s looking like around here these days. Although, in all honesty, I took this photo in April 2004 so technically this is what it was looking like at this time four years ago. Which looks very much like right now.