Beach Meadows, March 18
The morning sun is pouring into my room as I write to you about our gardens and maybe spring and it all belies the presiding tenor of dread and anxiety that is everywhere. Let me just start this off by saying that I hope you and Cynthia and everyone in Toronto are well and safe and sound. Cities require a different strategy and I imagine you all curled up like bugs in a bunny’s ear. As Cynthia noted in a recent email, we have this broad expanse of land and sea and open space, a natural cosseting. I feel protected and becalmed when I am out of doors by the sea and soon you both will be here to have this, too, a refuge from the madness. To say we are lucky doesn’t begin to describe it and I wake up each morning more grateful than the last these days…
Hydrangea, sea grasses, the sea
And now to the gardens: I was there on the Ides of March, gorgeous and sunny but frigid and once again, I found my fingers frozen clubs; it was painful to handle the secateurs in the orchard (I was pruning those water sprouts) and photographing was slow torture. So this is a meagre offering as I cut bait and left after two hours. Today is a warmer day and after this missive, I am heading back for good kick at the can. Work has begun!
Water sprouts must go!
Okay, we can definitely throw a hat (or various livestock!) through some of the trees now.
I’ve enclosed photos of the two new meadows we are creating: If you remember, the first one will – with luck- have the lupine really start to take hold this year and I’ve planted any number of swamp milkweed plants there, too along with fireweed seeds and marsh mallow. We’re going to let the natural grasses and weeds live there as well, as some of them are quite gorgeous and well, the bees and butterflies dine on them. You love vetch and it shall no doubt hold sway! I’m removing all the new spruce trees that pop up and will beat back the alders regularly.
The second meadow that you can see through the beautiful moss and spruce woods will be rudbeckia, a sea of black-eyed susans and of course whatever else wild wants company. I’m thinking Queen Anne’s lace might be nice with the rudbeckia.
Imagine a sea of blackeyed susans through the trees!
I have daffodil leaves poking up here in balmy Beach Meadows but alas, not one sign of the things in your gardens. Laggards in Port, apparently, at least by the sea where that wind chill will skin the sheen of any harbinger of spring. The only real sign of any note was the dwarf forsythia looks like it might be ready to make a move. It’s one of the first to blossom so that makes sense entirely.
Dwarf forsythia and heather on moss
No sign of green to found anywhere but still loving the soft hues of winter
Righty-o, the rest of the photos are self-evident. Say goodbye to the rugosa because they are coming down this week. They’re looking more like present day Rolling Stones these days anyway…
Love to you both, and as Oleta Adams sings, “I don’t care how you get here, just get here if you can”. Lynn
My dear Lynn,
Oh, I wish we were there in Port Medway, by the sea, looking at the winter garden, walking the fields, instead of here in downtown Toronto, looking at empty streets. The stores are shut (mercifully the liquor stores remain open, although on reduced hours), people are “social distancing” (a horrible, soulless, clinical phase), no one seems to know what to do or what to expect, our friends trapped overseas are desperate. Natural beauty, the garden awakening, the sound of waves breaking on the beach and the wind in the trees, would be a salve and a balm. Soon, I hope…
“Ah, cannot the curled shoots of the larkspur that you loved so,
Cannot the spiny poppy that no winter kills
Instruct you how to return through the thawing ground and the thin snow
Into this April sun that is driving the mist between the hills?”
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Deflated snowberries and our lovely muted limelight hydrangea
Rugosa rose hips, post tour
You refer to the Rolling Stones. They have cancelled their North American Tour. Yet another blow. Is there no end to our misery?