Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Welcome, spring!

Glimpses of spring are starting to appear in Vancouver after an unusually cold and snowy winter. Crocuses nestle in the base of a big boulevard tree.
Green shoots are starting to poke through dead leaves.

Some early hellebores like this are already in full bloom.

Rows of snowdrops flourish on this garden embankment.

Many daffodils are still in the bud phase, unlike last year, when they were in full bloom in March.
But a few are blooming in sunny spots.

Camellias are starting to put on their spring show.

Heather reliably provides colour, wherever it is planted.

These bright primulas, planted at the base of a boxwood hedge in a planter, looked so perfect I had to touch them to make sure they were real.

Crocuses shut their petals when it's chilly, but they provide a nice drift of blue among the rocks anyway.

An early rhodo is starting to bloom.

This is a front lawn full of masses of crocuses. I had to cross the street to check out what was making it blue. 

And, another crocus display. Combined with ornamental grasses that survived the winter, crocuses put on a good show.
A bergenia blooms on top of a stone wall. It looks a little ratty, but it's colour!

Unusually warm springs in 2015 and 2016 brought out the flowers so early that I wondered what would be left for the summer. Daffodils came and went in March last year, leaving the Canadian Cancer Society fretting that there would be none for its traditional April daffodil month. A grower told the CBC last March that he'd finished picking daffodils at the same time he usually started.

This year, there should be no such concerns. After heavy snows in December, January, February and March -- with plenty of rain in between -- Vancouver has a battered, saturated, late-winter look. Moss is thick on trees and stone walls; the ferns are smashed and bits of branches, broken off by heavy ice, litter the ground.

But colour is arriving. Green shoots are poking up through last fall's dead leaves. The earliest flowers -- snowdrops and crocuses -- seem to have thrived in our terrible weather, turning some gardens into masses of purple, blue and white. A few daffodils are opening their sunny heads in warm spots, but it will be weeks before they hit their stride. Other spring mainstays, like hellebores, primulas, bergenias, camellias and early rhododendrons, are just beginning to emerge. Everything may be behind compared to the last two years, but after our long grey-and-white winter, these first flashes of colour are like jewels to my eyes.

Bashed-up ferns are everywhere these days. They're usually pretty tough, but the heavy snowdrifts were too much.

Last fall's leaves decay under a tree, along with the little apples (crab-apples, maybe?) it produced.

This euphorbia looks a little worse for the wear after the winter.

A palm tree's leaves are looking a bit yellow.

The frost has taken a few bites out of my garden planter. I suspect it will fall apart if I try to move it. 

A boulevard garden awaits the homeowner's magic touch. 

Fallen branches like this, snapped off by heavy ice, are a common sight.

This tree is covered in moss. It looks like there will be no room for leaves. 
Earlier this month, John tackled yet another blast of winter. He made good use of the snow shovel this year.

I photographed this front garden during the March snowfall. Inside the kidney-shaped plot were lots of crocuses, their petals all folded up tight.

Another photograph from that snowfall. Someone had planted children's ornaments near the daffodils and other bulbs that were just starting to emerge on the boulevard.
A Vancouver boulevard on Tuesday. Once the snow disappears, it doesn't take long for a display like this to emerge.

1 comment:

  1. t really is an amazing time of year....wow....seeing these photos is a real delight! We are also seeing amazing displays of wildflowers because of the unusual rain this year. The rainforest and the desert....we love both places!