It’s no secret that I like wildflowers, but occasionally my affections are tested.
Self-heal is a perennial with pretty pink (sometimes purple) flowers. It’s tough as nails. It thrives in moist meadows & dry roadsides alike. It thrives so well that it’s pretty much worn out its welcome in my garden. I always weed it out of formal beds and usually remove it from the rockery, in favor of plants I prefer.
Just because it self-sows willy-nilly, should I really be so judgmental?
A neighbor welcomes self-heal into her garden. I can appreciate it there, but I’m not the one working to keep it from out-competing her other plants. Lazy me.
Self-heal has established itself in C’s lawn. It seems to hold its own beside the grass, clover, wild violets and English daisies. It survives the mower and the foot traffic. I’m rather pleased that C’s monoculture ‘lawn’ is becoming more of a diversified ‘meadow’. I’m just fine with enjoying the self-heal in this space, too.
Perhaps this balances out barring it from the garden beds & borders?
Is it enough?
Am I redeemed?
Life is magic. Two days after the heavy winter storm, life proves itself.
And magic begins.
The snow has melted! In just 2 days? Even here on the coast, that seems crazy-fast.
I tentatively wander through the yard assessing the damage.
My muscles certainly remember shoveling sidewalks & shaking shrubs. But the winter blooms? They’re like children in a hospital ward. Perhaps a little bent & broken, but mostly they’re just happy to be alive and enjoying the sunshine.
The yellow cups of the winter aconite (Eranthis) don’t seem to have noticed they’ve survived 33 cm of snowfall since they showed themselves in January. (That’s more than 12 inches – a full foot – – radical for balmy Victoria BC!)
The snowdrops (Galanthus) have also held up well.
The Primula Wanda leaves are super-sad, but who can’t smile at those tough purple flowers?
I hadn’t even noticed the crocus buds before the snow. How did they arrive so quickly?
The Cyclamen coum unfurl their petals as the sun warms them. More blooms are on their way, too! Soon they’ll be a mound of pink.
This is not normal for Victoria. The snow might be pretty but this is a rain-forest. We’re not set up for snow. Neither are our gardens.
Tonight’s concern is the snow load on the hedging. It’s amazing how flexible some branches can be as snow gathers & literally weighs them down. But some wood fibers are breaking as the branches bend. The sooner the weight is removed, the more likely a branch is to bounce back & resume its regular shape for good.
Out comes my trusty rake. Wielding it backward, I thrust the pole end into the lowest branches & give the shrub a light shake.
It’s best to start low & gradually work up. Release the load from lower branches before risking adding more to them with the snow falling off upper branches.
Once broken, there’s no mending a branch. All those years of growing into a full-sized shrub…
the lovely shape…
our increased privacy…
can be ruined overnight. Heart-wrenching.
Although hedgers like yew & cedar are especially susceptible, same goes for the broadleaf evergreens. Rhododendron.
Flower buds are already well-formed on the rhodos & camellia. So if I want many blooms this spring, it requires a delicate shake to remove the snow & only the snow.
After that, it’s good to head inside, dry off & treat myself to a hot chocolate (with Frangelico). After all, it’s a dark and snowy night…