Spring is the best time in my front garden–my neighbours like it best, too. Naturally, it’s a welcome change from the mostly dreary winters we have in the Toronto area, but it’s more than that. I’m fresh from a few months of garden starvation and I spend a lot of time sprucing the place up, like pruning back the bushy (and lethal!) ‘The Fairy’ roses, of which I have six (or is it seven now? They do keep rooting themselves) and by the end of April it looks a lot tidier. But it’s the parade of colour that really makes me glad.
In early March the garden suddenly springs alive and starts blooming in yellows, pinks, lavenders, blues, purples, chartreuse and dark red, starting with clumps of crocus and passing through daffodils, prairie smoke, moss phlox and aubrieta, tulips, dwarf bearded iris, lady’s mantle, cushion spurge and catmint. The magnolia bursts into bloom –well, usually it does: last year a sudden late frost turned its pregnant white buds into mushy beige tissues hanging from the tree–then the vibrant PJM rhodos and that heavenly wisteria. Many clumps of early through late tulips (I usually plant several dozen new ones every fall) give the plantings changing colour, form and height till late May.
I especially like the garden’s low, undulating height in spring. By mid-summer growth is starting to get out of hand and I have to diligently whack plants back or they start to fall over and look jungly. The cats like it, though. Tall plants are perfect places to rest under on a hot day. Come to think of it, they love the garden in spring, too, probably because the sandy soil warms up fast (it faces west and captures the best heat of the day) and provides cozy napping spots between bouts of bug-chasing.