After days of snow, rain and freezing temperatures we were treated to a little spring weather yesterday.
Would the old gardener, who used to live up the street, be pleased to know that the snowdrops he first planted more than ten years ago come back in greater numbers each spring?
I think he would.
The blue scilla that he planted alongside the snowdrops are blooming to
the delight of the bees.
Sunny yellow Winter Aconite or Eranthis hyemalis dot the lawn of what was his front garden.
In my own garden, the snowdrops are much more humble in number.
Planted just last fall, these Galanthus elwesii are larger than common snowdrops and have two leaves that wrap around the stem of each bloom stock. The markings on the flowers are also slightly different from the snowdrops in the opening pictures.
In late fall, we constructed a temporary cold frame that snaps into place overtop of my raised herb garden.
The sides of the cold frame fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. They can be removed in spring and the raised planting bed easily restored.
To save money and because the wood of the cold frame was above ground level, we used cheap pine boards for the construction of the cold frame.
In a mad rush last fall, we fashioned a cover for the cold frame using a sheet of clear plastic and some old windows that a neighbour kindly lent us for the winter. As luck would have it, the four old windows fit together perfectly to cover the frame.
The simple cold frame has opened up many new possibilities.
For instance, in the past years the tiny plants that cover the shallow surface of my birdbath container plantings (see lower left) would have perished in winter's wild mood swings. Each spring, I have had to replace the plants with new ones.
This year, I have had the luxury of being able to store the tops to the two birdbaths inside the relative warmth of the cold frame. As you can see, they have come through this long, drawn out winter just fine and are even springing back to life.
The cold frame has also made it possible to easily start seeds for the first time.
To mark my seedings I have seen using a combination of plain old coffee stir sticks and little decorative flower plant markers I made myself.
I picked up a box of wooden craft shapes ($3) and used outdoor glue to attach them to the wooden stir sticks ($1).
I lightly drew a circle in the centre of each flower shape with pencil.
Then, around the circumference of each flower centre and down the stir-stick-stem I wrote the plant name with a fine permanent marker. Finally, I erased the pencil line guide.
Violá, cute little plant markers!