Crocuses along front walk

Spring Again

My garden to-do list for February and March

  • Finish winter pruning and haul brush pile to curb for collection
  • Clean up beds, cut down dead stalks, etc.
  • Uproot or cut suckers of lilac, snowberry, and Oregon grape from spots where they’re not wanted
  • Dig up or at least cut down plants of invasive Italian arum (aka Arum italicum or lords-and-ladies)
  • Pull up maple and laburnum seedlings, shotweed, and other weeds
  • Lay out soaker hoses. (They won’t be needed until June, but it’s much easier to wrestle them into place when plants are small)
  • Edge the beds that adjoin lawns
  • Acquire materials for mulching mix: bagged manure, lime, slow-release fertilizer, kelp meal, bone meal, alfalfa pellets
  • Mix above materials with compost to make Alfa-Omega* mix for mulching, and distribute among the beds
  • Repot potted delphiniums and hostas to larger pots; ditto the rose “Fragrant Cloud,” which was grown from a cutting and therefore is on its own rather feeble roots, rather than grafted onto a vigorous rootstock
  • Seed tomatoes
  • Execute the colchicum-clematis move as per plan.

*Alfalfa plus the “end product,” i.e., manure.

I’ve already done some of these things; others are in progress. Pruning was easier this spring due to the acquisition last fall of a ladder designed for use in gardens, as opposed to home maintenance.

Three-legged ladder and Photinia
This ladder is way more stable than the four-legged type, and can be adjusted for uneven terrain. Pruning the Photinia was much easier this year! (Photo taken Feb. 27/21)

While racing around doing the tasks on the to-do list, it’s nice to stop and admire something that looks wonderful.

Iris reticulata
Iris reticulata (Photo taken Feb. 19/21)
Hellebore "Pirouette"
Hellebore “Pirouette” in its new pot (repotted last September)
Hellebore "Pirouette"
Hellebore "Pirouette" flower closeup

Hellebore photos taken Mar. 6/21


    1. Yes, spring comes early here. Those ladders are also called “orchard ladders.” The single back leg makes it easier to position among shrubs. And that leg can be shortened for stability on uneven ground.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Priscilla! I first saw those ladders on landscapers’ trucks and finally found a place that sells them locally. Of course they’re more expensive than ladders from hardware stores, but now that I’ve used both I think it’s worth the price.


    1. Thanks, Ally! And I hope you have a cozy fall and winter. I’ve heard there’s been heavy rain in parts of Australia, but at least the fires weren’t as bad this past summer.


      1. I am enjoying the cooler weather Audrey. The wet weather is still hanging around, fortunately safe where I am located but seriously frightened for others especially down in NSW , many have needed to evacuate. Good relief for potential fire hazard areas.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Lovely flowers you have there in your garden. I only have a balcony but I have some good plants on it. I particularly love begonias in pots – they last forever, and such vibrant colours!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome, Pat. Hellebores seem to be increasingly popular everywhere, and for good reason. They’re relatively drought-tolerant, low maintenance, and deer don’t eat them. Good foliage when not in bloom too (until it gets ratty in winter, that is),


  2. I’m enjoying your gardening photos and wisdom, and admire you for such a lovely garden so far north. At least to me, it’s far north as I am way far south of you in the southern US. Anyone who takes on the challenge and successfully green thumbs it in a cold climate immediately has my admiration and respect! Your large patches of crocus are absolutely lovely! I’ve never had luck with them, though I plant them every time I move. Perhaps the squirrels are also fans and that’s the reason I never see them come up and bloom. I just risked some (predicted) cold nights and moved my Mandevilla back outside that I’d experimented with to see if it would Winter over inside with a grow light. Looking forward to seeing more of your gardening successes way up yonder-way, as they say:).
    Penelope Penn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, this part of Canada is known for its mild climate; most parts get snow and seriously cold winters, like -40 F or C–it’s the same. I think squirrels and other rodents do like crocus bulbs. A lot of mind were dug up several years ago but have come back since. I considered buying a mandevilla once, but decided I didn’t have a good place in the house to winter it. They are gorgeous plants.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.