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Showing posts from March, 2010

Helleborus Niger

In Europe Helleborus Niger is a traditional seasonal plant at Christmas time.  Why call it a Lenten Rose then? It should be called an Advent Rose shouldn't it?  I digress.  In the middle ages it was considered a medicinal plant by herbalists. The Greeks mentioned the use of Helleborus Niger in philosophical books as a melampode.  Thats just another name for the Helleborus Black Rose.
The Christmas Rose, Lenten Rose or Helleborus Niger is a rhizomatus rose in its native habitat in the mountains and flowering from December through April.
Botanically, the Christmas Rose belongs to the family Ranunculacae. Helleborus is Greek for H. Orientalis "elein" to injure and "bora" food.  Niger refers to the colour black of the roots.
In my garden the Helleborus Niger makes its appearance as soon as the snow is gone and the days grow warmer or about late March or April.  This particular variety of Helleborus is cold hardy to Zone 5. It is growing in a sheltered spot under an ol…

That's A Lot of Water

Every spring the banks of the Holland River overflow and some backyards get flooded.  For more Watery Wednesday photos go to

In a Yellow Garden

Yellow in the garden is a favourite of mine.  It is a sunny and happy colour.  Real Estate Agents tell you to place yellow flowers at your front door when you are selling as it says to potential buyers "Welcome". From the top is: calla lily, coreopsis and Stella D'Oro.  Second row gallardia, yellow daylily, lemon iris. Third Row is sunflower, brown eye susan and a rambling sunflower and prairie coneflower.  Last row is a chrysanthamum, daylily and marmalade coneflower. 
More cheerful mosiacs can be found at  or if you too are into yellow check out this Mellow Yellow Monday at

The Demise of Barns

It is a shame to see how barns are left to rot and fall away. Once a very necessary part of a farms existence they are now being replaced by buildings made of other materials other than wood. Perhaps the wood from this barn came from the property long time ago. Will there be anybarns left for great grandchildren to see? Just a thought. For more Straight Out of the Camera entries visit Murrietta 365 at

Is that Fish under Ice

Yesterday morning we woke up to find that it was going to be a cold day.  As I looked out over the pond I was amazed to see the four goldfish just hanging out just under the skim of ice.   This was a new pond that we built last fall and is not quite completed.  The fish spent their first winter in it and luckily they all survived.  For more weekend Camera Critters visit

Saving the Songbirds with your Cup of Coffee

Do you love your coffee like I do?  I love good coffee and my day doesn't start with out my two cups of it with the paper every morning.  My husband and I have become aware of the differences in coffee that is grown in shade and coffee that is grown in sun and what effects it is making on the birds that breed in North America.   As members of our Naturalist group we had the privilige of having Bridget Stutchbury the author of "Silence of the Songbirds" come to speak to us about her research.  It is a very informative book about how we are losing the world's songbirds and what we can do to save them.  Birds in our backyard are our entertainment.  We love to watch them at the feeders and in the bird bath.   Bridget's findings say that some birds like the Wood Thrush, Kentucky Warbler, Eastern Kingbird which are migratory songbirds are disappearing at a frightening rate.  Estimates guess at almost half the songbirds that filled the skies only 40 years ago are lost.

Mosiac Monday - Scenes from Canada Blooms 2010

As I write this I am preparing to make my way down to Canada Blooms to begin packing up our Master Gardeners booth and returning the shrubs and trees we borrowed from Show Horticulturist  Charlie Dobbin.  What a week!  It was packed in there every day that I was there.  Yesterday I was at the Garden Writers Assoc luncheon and who should come in to have a wave and a smile but Martha Stewart.  She was gracious to come in and say hello.  I took some pictures but believe me she would not and you would not like to see them.  Everytime I pushed the camera plunger someone stepped in front of me.  I am promised some from another writer who did get a good shot and I will share them with you when I get them.  It will be good to get back to normal tomorrow.  You might see two ladies in this mosiac whom you might recognise.  One is and one  For more terrific mosiacs visit Mary at

First Day of Spring

Did you wake up to this today on the first day of Spring? The past week has been so warm and sunny with temperatures we could call balmy.  Everyone was out and about and I heard from other gardeners that they were compelled to go out and do a little something in the yard.   It was a perfect week for those with children off school for March break.    If you did not get away to warmer climates I think you had as good temperatures as those who did.   But, this morning back to reality that it is still March in southern Ontario and we have to get over the hump of the last of winter snow before we see the benefits of April rain.   Happy First Day of Spring to you all.   I am participating in Straight out of the Camera meme at    Take a picture and do no editing beyond a crop.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day

May the road rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face.

And rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Three More Sleeps

This Wednesday is the Opening to Canada Blooms 2010.  Very Exciting.  A chance to smell the flowers and look at great gardens, hear fabulous speakers and shop the market place.  I hear Martha Stewart will be there on Saturday.   My friend Jennifer and I were there today setting up our Master Gardeners of Ontario booth and stage.  Need to go back tomorrow and finish up.  The mosiac is made up of past Canada Blooms pictures.   For more mosiac visit Mary at   Don't forget to wear green on Wednesday for St. Paddy's Day.  

Irish Pub

I went back into the archives from 2006 when we were in Ireland last.  This pub in Churchill looked so colourful with the hanging baskets on the windowsills.  As it is St. Patrick's Day on Wednesday I thought I would enter it on Straight out of the Camera Sunday at

Waiting for the Cart?

My husband captured these two work horses one day last week as he drove by.  They seem to waiting for something.   For more camera critters visit

Tips du Tulips

Excitement is building!  I was poking about in the back garden and spotted the tips of the red tulips that reside in the warmth of the foundation wall.  They get that southern exposure and heat to be the first in the race of early bloomers.   Alas, I have no snowdrops to brag about.  I cannot seem to grow them here for some reason although I have planted them in years past.   Here in the sandbox you brag about what you got.  I will take it.   Don't forget to change your clocks this Sunday.   The old saying is "fall back and spring forward" so we lose an hour's sleep but the days are longer.   Yahoo!!!

Pond thaw

Oh it is so spring like outside today.  It shows 20C on the deck. I sat in the sun and read a book. The bubbler in the pond is doing its thing out there today. There is a good size hole in the ice.  This thaw may be temporary but it is a sign that the worst is over and spring will arrive soon.   For more Watery Wednesday photos visit

Spring Blooms at Allan Gardens

This week a few ladies from Mt. Albert Garden and Horticulture Society went to Allan Gardens in Toronto to see what spring bloomers had been planted. I photographed a few of them.  Mosiac Monday is hosted by Mary at   Join us there. 


Calceolaria or Calceolatia crenatiflora is a tropical plant that has the appearance of a lady slipper.  It is used typically as an annual or a houseplant.  The plant likes a cool, well ventillated spot with morning sun.   I just love the little pouches with the freckles.  I saw this on a recent visit to Allan Gardens in Toronto.  Visit for Straight out of the Camera Sunday.

Only 14 More Sleeps till Canada Blooms

It won't be long now.   I wait all winter for the smell of flowers at Canada Blooms. The theme for the show this year is "Passion".  This year's event will be held from March 17 to the 21 at the Direct Energy Bldg at the Exhibition Grounds in Toronto.  This is one of North America's biggest annual flower shows.  If you have never been you should do it this year.  You will not be disappointed.   There will be garden designs to inspire you, a huge market place to buy just about anything horticultural and fantastic speakers.  The Master Gardeners of Ontario will have our own stage for the third year in a row.  There is an excellant line up of Master Gardeners ready to tell you about their Passions.  Every day at Lunch there is a lunch panel of Master Gardeners ready to answer your most burning gardening questions. Presentations follow the lunch panel from 1:15 until the last one of the day at 4:15.  The Master Gardeners "Ask the Expert " booth will be just…

New Bloom on the Phalaenopsis

For Macro Monday I offer this close up of a fresh phalaenopsis bloom.  It was not taken with a macro lens but with my old trusty Lumix camera.   For more marvelous macros visit