This one is for Erika

March, A hopeful male Cardinal sits in the Cedar, checking out locations for the nest. Photo by Louise Peacock

Thanks to the awful weather here, I spent a lot of today writing new stories and getting caught up on reading stories in Medium.

I read a couple of entrancing pieces by Erika Burkhalter , and got inspired to write one especially for her, sharing some garden stuff from my part of the world (The Great White Frozen North that is Canada), so here you go, Erika.

These crocus popped into bloom in mid April. The after I took this photo, it snowed and covered them up. Photos by Louise Peacock.
A late April snow storm covers the garden again, gone are the delicate Crocus blooms of yesterday. Photo by Louise Peacock.

Our growing season is roughly 5 months. May to September. Anything before May is dicey and anything after September is also dicey. We are in Zone 5 here.

We have two heated birdbaths, one in the front garden and one in the back. It’s plugged in from October until May.

February. Sparrows enjoy a drink and a dip, defying the snow. Photo by Louise Peacock
Robin enjoying an April bath before it snowed. Photo by Louise Peacock,
April snow and resident Dove warms feet on heated bird bath. Photo by Louise Peacock

Much as we would like to begin clearing the winter debris early, we are frequently thwarted by late snow or ice storms.

Ice coats Orange Twig Willow in March. Photo by Louise Peacock

The previous week all the snow had gone and we were enjoying nice spring weather. Then along came a vicious ice storm. This often happens in March. We get a run of exceptionally nice weather which fools everyone (plants too) into thinking winter has done.

More results from March ice storm. Photos by Louise Peacock
Early may the first Iris show up. Photos by Louise Peacock.
A casual group of Siberian Iris in late May, Photo by Louise Peacock
Late june. the back garden. Photos by Louise Peacock

Shasta Daisies, Day lilies, Allium, Campenulas, Achillea, Rudbeckia and Purple Cone Flowers jostle for space in the back garden.

July, Yellow Swallowtale (I think) on Shasta Daisy. Photo by Louise Peacock.
In July, a Woodpecker, helps it self to some Hummingbird nectar! Photo by Louise Peacock

I only saw 2 Hummers around the feeder, but on three or four occasions, found woodpeckers having a snack. I looked it up and found out that this is quite common, since both birds - Woodpeckers and Hummingbirds — have long tongues, so are able to drink the nectar from the feeders.

July, me with the giant Tree Lily which attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Photo by Bruce Walker

In July the giant Tree Lily begins to flower. It is a hybrid of Oriental and Trumpet lily and is pretty resistant to the destructive and unkillable red lily beetle. It has a wonderful perfume and the hummers love it, as do all the butterflies.

I use the Turtlehead (leafy green plant at the foot of the lily) as a companion plant because something in its roots annoys the red beetle and they tend to avoid areas where it is growing. I also treat the soil around the base of any lilies with Quassia bark. Quassia bark apparently also imparts a nasty flavour to any plant growing in soil where it has been layered.

August, the back garden again. Phlox in full bloom. Photo by Louise Peacock
August, Monarch on Rudbeckia
August, Swallowtail drying wings against the wall. Photo by Louise Peacock.

Provided we do not have an excessively hot July , we will still have colour in August. If it’s too hot, everything dries out and flowers come to an end quickly.

September. Most colour has gone, only ornamental grasses are left. Photo by Louise Peacock.

By September various molds and mildews begin to take over and plants like the Phlox and of course the roses, start looking very ratty.

Our garden colour in mid October. Photo by Louise Peacock

In October, the days are shorter and the night air cooler. We might even get an early frost. Really the only colour we get is from various leaves turning.

A Maple and a Paper Birch with leaves turning yellow and gold as the nights get colder. Photos by Louise Peacock
November, last flower. the Nippon Daisy struggles to keep going, Photo by Louise Peacock

By November the weather is turning very hostile and we might even get a snowfall. The tree leaves have begun to fall and the last perennial left flowering is the Nippon Daisy.

December. Robins and some starlings enjoy a drink and a bath in spite of the snow. Photos by Louise Peacock




Louise Peacock is a writer, garden designer, Reiki practitioner, singer-songwriter & animal activist. Favorite insult “Eat cake & choke” On Medium since 2016.

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Louise Peacock

Louise Peacock

Louise Peacock is a writer, garden designer, Reiki practitioner, singer-songwriter & animal activist. Favorite insult “Eat cake & choke” On Medium since 2016.

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