Category Archives: garden seasons

joy in every season

West Saanich Snowdrop Meadow

A friend told me about this roadside delight last year but I wasn’t able to get out to see it.

galanthus, snowdrops, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Today, I had the chance. We drove out of Victoria & wound our way along West Saanich Road. North of Brentwood Bay Village but south of the airport turnoff, we came upon it. 🙂 We had to pull over and marvel at the abundance. Even in the rain, these snowdrops made my day feel a little sunnier.

galanthus, snowdrops, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Doesn’t it just make you wonder who planted the first bulbs in this patch? How long ago was that? It hasn’t been tended in a very long time, but I’m glad it survives.

-30-

other snowdrop patches I admire:

Forsythia Forcing Indoors

Forsythia in late winter, Forsythia x intermedia, Easter tree, golden bells, spring flowering shrub, border forsythia, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

We’re beginning to see a little bit of sunshine peeking through our West Coast winter overcast. I yearn for spring, but it’s just not quite here yet.

The Forsythia is stretching for the sky. A couple lanky stems impede C’s access to the driver’s car door, so I’m pruning them back when a thought occurs to me: These bare stems might give us an early spring if I bring them indoors.

It’s easy. Just a vase, some water & a spot in some indirect light. After a few days, the tiny buds begin to plump & even show some colour. It’s promising!

forcing forsythia indoors, Forsythia x intermedia, Easter tree, golden bells, spring flowering shrub, border forsythia, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

A few days after that — blossoms! Oh, JOY! 🙂

forcing forsythia indoors, Forsythia x intermedia, Easter tree, golden bells, spring flowering shrub, border forsythia, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
forcing forsythia indoors, Forsythia x intermedia, Easter tree, golden bells, spring flowering shrub, border forsythia, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

It’s like magic.
A patch of sunshine inside the house —
even when there’s an unexpected skiff of snow outside.

It’ll be a full month before the shrub near the driveway explodes into brilliant yellow blooms announcing to all that spring is upon us in the Pacific Northwest. Bring it on!

Isn’t this just another reason why Forsythia will always have a place in our garden?

forsythia in bloom, Forsythia x intermedia, Easter tree, golden bells, spring flowering shrub, border forsythia, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

-30-

Witch Hazel

Flowers in winter are like a welcome reprieve from the blustery storm. Witch Hazel has got to be one of the top ways to get winter colour.

The other day, out walking with friends & hoping for sunshine, we came across this delightful scene.

witch hazel, witch-hazel, Hamamelis mollis, Chinese witch hazel
photo by SVSeekins

Usually, Hamamelis is more like a shrub or a small multi-stemmed tree topping out at 15 ft. This specimen has got to be the largest Witch Hazel I’ve ever seen!

I’ve admired an orange-flowered Hamamelis at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific. It is tiny in comparison to the beast near Mt. Doug Park.

witch hazel, witch-hazel, Hamamelis mollis, Chinese witch hazel
photo by SVSeekins

The flowers are crazy-looking but long-lasting. Some folks say they’re scented, too, but I’ve never noticed. It’s just a nice surprise to see something blooming through the first few months of the year. As with most scented plants, come prophecies of deer resistance…. hmmm, I wonder… could it be true?

witch hazel, witch-hazel, Hamamelis mollis, Chinese witch hazel
photo by SVSeekins

Listed as suitable for zome 5, Witch Hazels are a pretty safe bet for our zone 8-9 garden. Purchasing a specimen in bloom is one of the safest ways to be sure you’re getting the variety you want. February’s a good time to be planting a tree in these parts, too. Perhaps I’ve just talked myself into a visit to the nursery?

-30-