, , , , , ,

Well, the days have begun to warm up, so maybe we’ll have a decent spring this year. It would be slightly early, but not remarkably so. The American robins (Turdus migratorius) are out in force, along with the ubiquitous sparrows (Spizella spp.) and black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus).

My black hellebore (Helleborus ‘Winter Dreams Black’), which was overwintering in the garage, began flowering weeks ago. It’s glorious now. The tulips are sprouting and it will soon be time to start end-of-winter pruning on the honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) and the roses. And the neighbour’s wisteria.

Speaking of pruning, we’ve had a run of mild sunny days, so yesterday I root pruned the bonsai (argh, why are bonsai pots so expensive?). I also potted up one dahlia (‘Karma Chocolate’) crown that had just started to bud out, but left it in the garage, hoping that the lower temperature would slow it down a bit. Now I have to hope the shock won’t kill it…

And today I was wandering through the gardening section of my local predatory department store (the only one left around here now that all the other chains have come and gone). I wasn’t looking FOR anything, mind you, just looking, because I’m a compulsive gardener. They had sticky strips for catching indoor flying houseplant pests – specifically, fungus gnats, aphids, thrips, and whitefly. I don’t have a terrible problem with fungus gnats, haven’t had indoor aphids in a long time, and I’ve never had thrips at all, but the jasmines (Jasminum sambac) always get whitefly in late winter no matter what I do to them.

The butterworts (Pinguicula agnata) do a reasonable job catching whitefly – they’re often covered in whitefly, and I mean that in a good way. But they never catch all, so I decided to try these sticky strips (made in Sweden). They actually work – in just a couple hours they were already catching things. Interestingly, they might not be based on a pheromonal attractant – the box only mentions the bright yellow colour as the attractant. Experimentation might be in order.

Soon be time to start seeds. Leaf out.