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Garden Bliss & Blunder, Issue #021
March 03, 2023


Although this is my March newsletter,

it will also be my birth month - which for me,

is the beginning of my year

… but in reality, it is actually the end of February

as I write

and my garden in zone 5

is covered with lots of snow

and last week it looked like this:

“Music comes from an icicle

as it melts,

to live again

as spring water.”

Henry Williamson

In case you find winter just too long,

consider one of my favourite quotes:

“If thou of fortune be bereft,

and in thy store there be but left 
two loaves,

sell one,

and with the 

buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.”

― John Greenleaf Whittier

Photo by my friend: Ron Sheldirck, Toronto


...on pussy-toes and willows


in spite of our snow and ice,

many gardeners in warmer spots

are seeing some early spring flowers….


Coming in many colours from soft creams

and whites to pinks and deep rose.

Inspired by a photo of Mark Leighty's Hellebore

- a GardenComm fellow member

who showed his Hellebores

at the recent Northwest Flower Show...

Look here for more on how to grow Hellebores.

How to grow Hellebores


My friend, Helen recently had a bad spill on the ice -

breaking bones

and missing a dreamed about trip.

She is positive and always makes the best of things,

so when this little blossom showed its face

in the shelter of a rock the day after her surgery

she shared it.

Hope does Spring eternal…

I loved the photo and thought this sketch might cheer her up…

...funny thing,

last spring,

she sent a photo of another one

maybe in the same spot…

and I sketched that too…

thank you Helen.


“A little madness in the Spring

is wholesome even for a King.”

Emily Dickinson

If you are like me, I am itching to get into the garden.

The bunnies have chewed my roses,

the grasses are tangled

and the ice and snow are making me crazy.

Pretty or not, I find myself scribbling mad notes…

what I did, what I didn’t do, what I want to do…

Those notes are keeping me

from digging through the snow -

but I know when it is gone,

I will be still a bit ‘mad’

wanting things to show themselves.

But here are some things you shouldn’t do:

- walk on your garden….

moisture softens the soil and compacts it when you tread on it

…. but there are some things you do need to do before then.

It's a GOOD Time to...

Clean and sharpen tools….

I confess mine are still in their bins downstairs…

but once I t get them ready,

it will be time to start pruning my apple trees

but NOT roses yet

and look here for more on tools:


But NOT a good time to...

... prune your ROSES yet....

Wait till the Forsythia blooms or the nights are 10C or 50F consistently.

Pruning too soon can weaken roses and some other plants.

... be patient and wait for your garden to wake up.

Still leave hollow stems standing

for those beneficial insects who are still sleeping...

Here are some notes on when to prune roses..

Pruning Roses


Lay down a nice thick layer of compost

and let the spring rains wash

the nutrients down into the soil

…. keeps little weed seedlings from sprouting too.


Call a local tree arborist and order wood chips.

You will need to designate a spot

and have a tarp ready to cover them

… think about the weather,

your time, how much there will be

and when you will have time to spread them…

. they will dump a huge pile

… wonderful

but you will need to do some planning.

see the link below to the Garden Professors site and search for

Wonderful Wood Chips



And, if you are still planning your garden-

consider this:

If you only add 5% NATIVE PLANTS

you will add 75% of A CATERPILLAR'S FOOD NEEDS

It takes 6,000 -9,000 caterpillars

for a CHICKADEE to raise only ONE CLUTCH of baby birds

Thought provoking.

This is a good time to plan ahead…

. if you have some ideas, think carefully….

about your energy and time

… oh, and budget of course.

It is hard sometimes to decide ahead of time

if you need a landscaper or a gardener.

Look here for how to make that decision…


And a BONUS:…

I have a pdf of all the questions you need answers for

before deciding anything

… if you would like a copy

- it’s free

- but just for the next 7 days. -

Send me a note and I will happily forward it to you.

MAKE NOTES... lots of notes

You may never look at them again,

but it might get your mojo going

and at least let the winter seem less daunting.

I know it is hard to find garden magazines,

but most of what you need is available on line.

But if you have a question

you cannot find the answer to, let me know…

I know people who are smarter and wiser than I

who have those answers….

"There is no gardening without humility.

Nature is constantly sending

even its oldest scholars

to the bottom of the class

for some egregious blunder."

Alfred Austin


“Finding the Mother Tree”

- Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest

Suzanne Simard


ISBN 9780735237773

Penguin Books-2021

This book made me rethink

so many things about lif

and trees and nature

and how we are all connected…

a MUST read if you garden.

“Like Charles Darwin’s findings,

Simard’s results are so revolutionary

and controversial

that they have quickly worked their way

into social theory, urban planning,

culture and art.”

The Washington Post


Spring will come

and we will be sitting on the deck soon

but we may need sweaters,

cozy shawls

and cuddles for a bit..

"Some of us don’t want to be tough alpha leaders.

Some of us just want to write

and wander the garden

and breathe in the sky

and nourish and nurture and quietly create

new pathways and live out

lives as our art.

To know the earth as poetry."

Victoria Erickson

My Little Bird Book

When I sell a copy of my book

(The Little Bird Who Fell From the Sky)

for a child who attends a school,

I donate one to their school library.

If you wish to purchase one with another for a school,

please send a note to:

They are now in schools in Ontario, Labrador, New Brunswick,

Latvia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Quebec, BC,

Arizona, California, Florida, the UK,

Massachusetts, Tennessee, Missouri,

France, and Nicaragua

You can order here:

If you wish, also order a print of Little Bird for your Little one...

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