Tag Archives: early bloom

Wild Violet Root System

In digging a planting hole for a new treasure, I found a splendid example of the wild violet root system. How deep do you think they grow?
root system of wild violets in lawn, early blue violet, s sand violet, western dog violet, hooked spur violet, viola audunca, alaska violet, aleutian violet, viola lnagsdorfii, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
Deep. And Strong. The primary root went at least 6 inches into the clay before sending out its feeder roots. Who knows how much further those fine roots reach down to get moisture in a dry summer!
wild violets in lawn, early blue violet, sand violet, western dog violet, hooked spur violet, viola audunca, alaska violet, aleutian violet, viola lnagsdorfii, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
Can you imagine the mess I’d make trying to dig the wild violets out of our lawn?  (I don’t bother coz I enjoy seeing them there … but…) Undoubtedly, some root would be left in the ground & in no time, the bees would be feeding on the violet’s sweet nectar again. Some plants are so resilient. 🙂 Let’s hope my new treasure does half as well as the wild violets.

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Other plants that might be considered ‘weeds’:

Canada’s Dogwood Tree

It’s a tale of 2 trees…

Dogwood Eddie's White Wonder tree in bloom, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

On the very southern coastal region of BC is our native Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii).  So admired that it’s honoured as our provincial flower.

Across the continent, Eastern Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) is native to the southernmost tip of Ontario.

Dogwood Eddie's White Wonder tree in bloom, Cornus controversa 'Eddie's White Wonder' Cornus nuttallii 'Eddies White Wonder', garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Both species often suffer from anthracnose fungus that disfigures leaves & causes twig & branch dieback.  Ontario’s native dogwood is considered ‘at risk.’

The answer? A genuinely Canadian fix: combine them.

Enter H.M. Eddie (Henry Matheson Eddie).  A nurseryman in BC’s Fraser Valley who got a kick out of creating new varieties of any number of plants.  His 1945 success, ‘Eddie’s White Wonder,’ is the combo of the Pacific & the Eastern dogwoods.

Dogwood Eddie's White Wonder tree in bloom, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Eddie’s dogwood is pretty much disease-free!  Beyond that,

  • pollinators love the spring flowers.
  • Birds gorge on the berry clusters.
  • Deer leave the tree alone (except the occasional buck needing to scratch his antlers – so trunk protection is needed.)
  • And fall leaf colour is another spectacle.
    Dogwood Eddie's White Wonder tree in bloom, Cornus controversa 'Eddie's White Wonder' Cornus nuttallii 'Eddies White Wonder', garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

It’s been such a triumphant landscape success that Eddie’s White Wonder was honoured as Vancouver’s Centennial tree...
and as one of my favourite trees to find blooming during our morning walks each April 🙂

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Summit Park Crocus Meadow

Time & patience is a beautiful thing.

photo by SVSeekins

Well over a century ago, someone planted crocus in a garden at  Hillside Farm.  In the late 1880’s much of the farm became a subdivision. Then, 90 years after that, the original home site became Summit Park.  Even though the gardens are no longer there, the crocuses are.  They’ve survived & naturalized in the Garry Oak meadow.

snow crocus, woodland crocus, early crocus, summit park, crocus, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Pacific Northwestsummit park, crocus, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

It delights me to see the tiny blooms peeking out of the grass as the sun shines down on them.  Crocus isn’t as showy as the native fawn lily & camas that bloom here in April & May, but their energy is exuberant.  In February, I need this excitement.

summit park, crocus, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Snow Crocus (Crocus tommasinianus) is reputed as the best of the 90 Crocus species for naturalizing.  A decade ago, I planted bags & bags of mixed snow crocus in a patch of lawn outside our home. It’s doing okay, but not up to Summit Park’s showing.  I wonder if the Hillside homesteader had access to bags of bulbs way back then… Perhaps, s/he ordered catalogue seed?

summit park, crocus, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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Here are some other meadows: