Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We're getting ready!

 Welcome to spring...or summer...or winter...which IS it? On any given day the past couple of weeks, it could be any of the above.

We have the greenhouses opened up and are moving the over-winrtering nursery stock out into the bright sunlight. Here's Rob holding one of the hellebores that we have on offer this year.
Some of the earliest-blooming plant material we have flowers so early that customers don't always see its best attributes. This is Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys', the black pussy willow, which blooms early and is such a handsome plant for a wet area. 

 Many people refer to Daphne mezereum as winter daphne. We tend to call it Acadian daphne because the Acadian people brought it here when they settled in Nova Scotia 400 years ago. Whatever you call it, this early-blooming shrub is very fragrant, and produces brilliant red, (but very toxic) berries that hold on the plant throughout much of winter.
This is Gaultheria procumbens, commonly called wintergreen or teaberry. It's related to rhododendrons, blueberries and cranberries, and is a gorgeous ground covering shrublet. In summer, its foliage is a glossy deep green, but the winter colour is a rainbow of reds and burgundies. The brilliant red berries are edible and taste pleasantly of wintergreen. They often last into spring, if birds and other wildlife don't eat them. 

This hellebore is a beauty called 'Cinnamon Gold'--well named, as its creamy gold petals are dusted with cinnamon mottling. 
 During the big heat wave last week, the frogs in our pond emerged to bask in the warmth. By now they're back down in the bottom of the pond, being frogsicles again until the weather climbs back above freezing.
We have a lot of new perennials and other stock coming in almost daily, including many of the 'Winter Jewel' series of double-flowered hellebores from Terra Nova Nurseries, plant breeders extraordinaire. Check our our catalogue, located in the sidebar on the right of the blog! We'll be officially open 7 days a week, 9-5 starting April 1, but if you're out and about, drop in before that. Bring either your sunscreen or your heavy winter coat, because with this March, who knows what the weather will be like on any given day.