A Garden Ramble — the Week on Sunday

At the beginning of the month I did tree pruning, our apple tree and lilacs getting the most attention. We had a typical spring snow storm on April 5, which I recorded while making breakfast…

However, in the last week our world began to wake up in earnest. Around us we see the house-side borders are greening up with fresh growth from tulips and daffodils bulbs, and our own marsh marigolds are developing fat buds. The first blooms of pasque flower are now visible in the front. However for me the garden season truly begins when the pond has thawed so that I can start the pump, clean the filters and begin the removal of accumulated  leaves and moss etc. The sound of flowing water not only stimulates me into hope for a new season in the garden, it also seems to stimulate the local birds, who increase their visits to bathe in the pond and drink at the tsukubai.

On the weekend I managed to rake out the front juniper border, which always accumulates a large amount of leaves that blow in from across the field in front of the house. Because many ladybeetles can be in the leaf litter, I usually rake leaves into a quiet corner to sit for a few weeks, or if the are bagged, I leave them open for a few warm days so that they can crawl up and out.

I cut back all the ornamental grasses and began working on the perennials…

Then we had more rain on the 26th of April, which turned into snow overnight…

Panorama from the front door


By Friday evening most of this snow had melted. I did no garden work on Saturday to allow the soil dry, and Sunday I will be cutting back old perennials and doing some division and replanting.

Garden life has been strong in the bird department, with flocks of Robins, English House sparrows, chickadees, juncos and one white-crowned sparrow. Yesterday wife Yuet noticed a perky nuthatch.

Bug-wise, no sign of bees yet. One small wasp of unknown type visited me in the garage while I was tuning the bicycles, but I was unarmed at the time, so no pictures. Daughter Arwen spotted a fleet of tiny bugs on the pond surface…young waterstriders perhaps? And the ants are moving again, which is pulling the neighbours into chemical dust mode. This happens every year, and they never get rid of them..makes you wonder why they bother, year after year, with no effect.

This year I am trying something new. I am building a UV moth trap so that I can do some sampling in the back garden at night. It will be a Heath Robinson type contraption (however, somewhat like both Heath’s and Robinson’s), involving Rubbermaid, white Coroplast and egg cartons. The difficulty will be to make it relatively weather proof so the expensive UV tube survives a rainstorm–difficult when most traps involve up-facing funnels…
More on this venture later.

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