Tag Archives: Rose Bushes

Only Child’s perspective on gardens this spring

Only Child's front garden -  the way it should be with the beautiful juniper in front

Only Child’s front garden – the way it should be with the beautiful juniper in front

The terrible winter and early too cold spring wreaked havoc on my garden and the gardens of so many others. In my daily garden tours (excluding days of all rain), I keep finding more damage and I am sad and angry.

Saddened for the trees damaged and angry at a God who brought us all this weather mess – the ice storm, extreme cold so that almost everything in spring is a month or more late starting and damaged. The city of Toronto alone lost 20 per cent or more of its tree canopy – up to 2 million trees. And we can’t blame insect invasions for this one.

I can almost feel the pain my large juniper tree on my front lawn is feeling. Many of its branches and needle leaves are beige and a few are rusty. The rusty ones are dead – the beige – only time will tell. There is some green growing through and as long as that continues. I will not have that beautiful tree cut down. I do not like God’s damage here.

My silverlace may not come back. Only a few branches are starting to sprout leaves. If the silverlace by the fence into the backyard has to be cut down, at least there are large (and growing) bushy junipers there (the shrub kind). These junipers have a minute amount of beige and rust so they will grow taller and provide some privacy from people walking by on the street. What also irks me here is I might have to pay an arborist to cut the silverlace down. This would not have happened if not for the weather. And don’t give me the business about Mother Nature. No such person.

I don’t know about the other bushier silverlace that straddles the fence dividing Tanya’s and my property. It is always later to spring to life than the one by the driveway. If it goes there it will be somewhat bare unless the honeysuckle in front of it comes back. So far no signs.
Then there is my precious boxwood in front. The south part of it is all brown but there are signs of green leaves growing in from the back of the branches. This south and west winter burn, gardening expert Mark Cullen wrote in one of his columns, is from the powerful spring sun (from west and south) burning down on snow-covered evergreens. And we all know that snow rested on the branches way too late this year. (See http://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2014/04/17/damage_control_in_your_garden_begins_now.htm. And yes, boxwoods are evergreens.

Mr. Cullen gives us some hope. He says to do nothing about this situation because in late May/early June “for the most part your evergreens will look fresh as daisies come late May/early June when new growth pushes past the dead, brown foliage.” He also adds that if we had applied Wiltpruf last fall the burn would have been avoided – sort of a sunscreen for evergreens. He didn’t apply it either. I didn’t know about Wiltpruf, but I will apply it this fall – if my evergreens all come back. Surprisingly, my two yews have very little damage – other years there has been more.

In my daily garden tours I look for new buds and more green. The grass is growing and is a bright green. Tulips and other bulb-flowers are blooming, albeit a month late. The raspberry branches are on time getting their leaves – probably my clearing out the dead branches and weeds a few weeks ago helped. The walnut tree hanging over from Tanya’s onto my patio finally started showing leaves yesterday morning. I can see it from my bedroom window.

One thing is on time – the rosebushes that flower early and flower only once per season are getting their leaves. And maybe planting vegetables – the ones that can take colder weather – is also on time. Sunday I planted the first batch of peas, radish, lettuce (the seeds) and onion sets. I have brought in some tulips and hyacinths for flower arrangements.

I continue gardening. Gardening will help me heal. In order to heal in my garden, I need the trees, the plants to grow, to be healthy and to be alive.

God owes it to us to make that happen.

More articles at http://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2014/01/16/we_must_rebuild_the_canopy.html

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/12/30/ice_storm_damage_to_trees_may_take_years_to_heal.html

http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/4340352-toronto-tree-canopy-suffers-huge-loss-during-ice-storm-deputy-mayor-calling-on-millions-for-restora/

 

And another photo of the way it should be now in my garden.

Blue sea of Forget-me-Nots which usually pop up in May by my drivesay finished for this season.

Blue sea of Forget-me-Nots which usually pop up in May by my driveway.

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Extreme Weather, Garden Destruction, Gardening, Ice storm Toronto, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford, Toronto, Uncategorized, Weather, Winter Weather

Only Child gardens environmentally

Only Child' front garden - later in summer.

Only Child’ front garden – later in summer.

My environmental day of reckoning occurred in the mid-1970s when I opened a packet of corn seeds and saw pink. At that time I was living in a townhouse with my then husband and we had rented a garden plot just north of Toronto. As I write in part two of my memoir You Can Go Home – Reconstruct

Pink powder wafts out into the air and covers my fingers. What is this? Corn is yellow. I don’t remember any of Mom’s vegetable seeds containing this pink dust. Some research in reading gardening books and asking questions at the nearest garden centre confirm the seeds have been treated with a fungicide to protect them from damp-off and root rot. I’m afraid of getting poisoned from touching the seeds and have decided I will wear gloves to plant the corn. That same year when we visit my godmother on her farm, her youngest son comes in from planting the corn with his blond hair and fair skin pink, not from the sun, but from the fungicide.

I am forever turned organic and will wage war on pesticides.(Copyright 2010 Sharon A. Crawford)

Since then my vegetable, herb and flower gardens, and even the lawns (with one exception when cinch bugs attacked the backyard lawn in Aurora, Ontario), I have stayed away from fungicides, pesticides and the like. Before the last few years when everyone got on the no pesticide bandwagon, I had several confrontations with next-door neighbours over…dandelions growing in my lawn in Aurora.

The first neighbour over to my left banged on my front door and offered to pay for Mr. Weed Remover to sprayer my lawn. As this was soon after my husband and I separated, perhaps Mr. Neighbour felt I couldn’t afford this service. I soon set him straight. Afterwards I was worried and angry so I needed to talk about it to someone who had some authority over “Gerry” –  his Anglican priest. All he did was try to soothe with platitudes like “Gerry was just trying to be helpful.”

Neighbour No. 2  on the other side banged on my front door and offered to cut my lawn. I was insulted but at that time was a very busy mother of a grade 23 teenage boy and between running around to his school extra activities and my freelance writing career, cutting the lawn had low priority. I told Mr. Neighbour No. 2 that I would get to it later in the week when I had time.

But when Neighbour No. 1 moved, Nemesis moved in. A couple, originally from South Carolina and their two boys (both born in Toronto) and their environmental-friendly ways moved in. Soon two front lawns sprouted dandelions. I suspect the previous owner (still in Aurora) had conniptions whenever he drove by and saw his old lawn. The neighbour on the other side now minded his own business.

Fast forward to when I moved back to Toronto in 1998. I continued (and still to do this day) removing dandelions by hand using a weeder and don’t get much, if any, flack except for complaints about goldenrod growing in a few places and now for my rosebushes sticking out. I trim the latter and tell the goldenrod haters that it is considered a native plant. And you don’t kill native plants these days.

Sometimes “yellow” can be good.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

Leave a comment

Filed under Gardening, Only child memoir, Sharon A. Crawford, Weeding