Saturday, May 21, 2011

Suddenly, it's spring!

I went away for a few days (after days and days and WEEKS of rain) and when I came back, this - along with sunshine - is what greeted me:
Actually, those are what greeted me in the park
across the street from our house when I got home from work.
This is what first greeted me at the Ottawa airport:
I do love that waterfall.

In Ontario, this is a long weekend, Victoria Day weekend, in honour of Queen Victoria. (Also known as May 2-4 weekend, as in "a 2-4 of beer.")
She was not known as a real "party gal,"
but we do have a long weekend in her honour,
so I like her just fine.
Most Ontarians start working on their gardens this weekend. Before this date, at least in Ottawa, there is a very good chance that there will be a freeze (or snow, even), so if you plant before this, you do so at your own risk.

Given the desolate state of our landscaping, it won't surprise you that it was with much enthusiasm that Steve, Emily and I ventured to the gardening store, Artistic Landscapes and Designs. The plan was to buy more chicken rock. We did that, but also came home with several shrubs, including a magnolia! I've never owned a magnolia, but have wanted one ever since we lived in Alabama.
Our very own magnolia!
We also got a Japanese maple with feathery red leaves and a blue spruce, along with some dogwoods and a purple sandcherry, and a bearberry.

I worked in the backyard through the heat of the mid-day - and have the sunburn to prove it. [No fewer than three of my cousins have been diagnosed with skin cancer, so you'd think I would know better!] As the afternoon shade reached the patio, Steve and I sat down for some chips & salsa and Corona. Aaah.

After that bit of refreshment, I popped out front to survey our front yard. The neighbours all have well trimmed lawns and mature gardens. Our yard is ... how do I put it nicely ... naturalized. We have patches of wild violets and a large swath of lily of the valley and a mangy spattering of grass.

Ever since I was a little urchin with an ear-piercing soprano voice and sang, "White Coral Bells Upon a Slender Stalk," I have been enchanted with lily of the valley. It doesn't hurt that they appear as darling little cups in fairy tales.
Those little curls on the bottoms of the bells?
I was afraid that we had destroyed these little gems, but they have come back abundantly, and I am glad. I won't show a picture of the whole yard; it's too embarrassing.

So, with my bank account drained and my back sprained, I shall relax for the rest of this weekend and enjoy our patio. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood, do stop in for a beer.

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