Signs of Spring

We’ve had unseasonably warm weather for most of the month.  Between the temperature and the rain,  much of the snow in the open areas is gone.  We’ve been able to walk around the garden to search for shoots and look for vole damage.  Two days ago nothing was showing but yesterday,  a day later, there was lots of evidence of spring.  Some of Joyce’s  Kent Mystery garlic pushed through the remains of the ice.  She bought the garlic from Kent Farms at the Peterborough Farmers Market. They had no idea what variety it was so now it is Kent Mystery garlic.  With its early start, it’s already noticeably different from the other varieties that she grows.

Corsican Pansy






This Corsican Pansy survives a couple of frosts in the fall and is the first to flower in the garden. It’s even ahead of the crocuses which are just starting to push through the soil. We bought the seed from The Cottage Gardener a few of years ago. It didn’t survive the first winter but I had managed to harvest a few seeds that fall. The next summer I had more plants which were much tougher. It’s a perennial that flowers all summer long and is native to Corsica and Sardinia although I suspect that it grows on the north-facing slopes of the highest mountain massifs (i.e. Mt. Cintu, 2,710 meters [m] and Mt. Rotondu, 2,625 m) [where] a “Eurosiberian” alpine bioclimate type appears, characterized by rigorous winters, frequent snow and the absence of a summer drought period. It’s an amazingly hardy, vigorous plant.

This is the third season for this chocolate mint. We bought it from Richters Herbs. To keep it from spreading, we planted it in the garden in a pot which had the bottom cut out. It did fine but it really needed more room so last year we moved it into its own bed (behind the shovel handle) where it was much happier.  We were able to harvest sprigs for drying a number of times during the summer.  It really does have a chocolate flavour to it.

The wild leeks that we bought from Natural Themes Native Plants and are poking through. We planted them in a nursery bed area so that we could subdivide them each year and add them to our woods while retaining a mother plant in the nursery bed.

About the only vole damage that I’ve seen so far is to this New Jersey Tea bush.  The girdling is pretty bad on this branch and it probably won’t survive but the rest of the bush has less damage so it will make it.

I hesitate to say it lest it be an invitation for more winter but it really does seem like winter is over and spring is here.

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