Tag: star magnolias

More Spring Blooms

More Spring Blooms

After delaying its entrance for so long, Spring has really sprung in recent days. The photos in this post were taken in a Chester garden earlier this week.

Creamy hellebores open in the warm sun.
A group of rose-coloured hellebores border a path.

The plants making up the kaleidoscope of colour below are recognizable to gardeners as primroses, daffodils, scillas, tulips and star magnolias.  Spring, at last, is bringing all things bright and beautiful, as the old hymn goes.



IMG_0888magnolia very closeup
Thanks to Herb and Sylvia for the photos.

Heirloom Roses and a Bloom Day Postscript

Heirloom Roses and a Bloom Day Postscript

Guest speaker Peggy-Anne Pineau drew a large crowd at the club’s May meeting  when she presented an illustrated talk on growing heritage roses in Nova Scotia.  Introduced by Sid Dumaresq who described her as a long-time gardener whose love for growing old roses has become a professional entreprise, Peggy-Anne began her talk by discussing the hardiness of shrub and floribunda roses in contrast to the more delicate hybrid tea varieties.

Sidney Dumaresq and Peggy-Anne Pineau

Roseraie de L'hay

She explained that hardy roses, like the Explorer and Parkland series, were bred by Agriculture Canada and other research groups as a cross between the native Rosa multiflora that had evolved to shed the moisture in their cells in cold weather and thus preserve the integrity of their structure,  and the more delicate hybrid teas that could not survive cold temperatures. The resulting plants can stand the rigors of a Canadian winter (down to -35° C), are disease resistant, and bloom continously throughout the season.  She also noted that Rugosa roses, which originated in Korea and Japan, are actually the hardiest in our climate.  While she was showing dozens of images of roses on the screen, she was also noting the special characteristics of each, and providing a commentary on the care, pruning, and feeding of these plants that she has made her speciality.  

snack table

As a tip on pruning, she suggested the 3-D formula: when in doubt remove all Dead, Diseased and Damaged parts of the plant.  She recommended pruning be done in the spring except for old roses, which produce their blooms on old wood. A simple guide for timing is to prune when the forsythia is in bloom.  

Following her talk, members flocked to a special tea table laden with goodies provided by two volunteers from the club. 

The extensive list of roses discussed during the talk is available on Peggy-Anne’s website: oldheirloomroses.com   Additional information concerning the Explorer and Parkland series can be found at  davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/783/  and at

As a postscript to the Bloom Day photos posted on the 15th, we have a few more images of blooms that were in evidence that day.  The flower of the fragrant star magnolia on the left is one of the last remaining blossoms on this tree, whereas the yellow magnolia (on the right and below, variety unknown) is still sporting many blooms. 

yellow magnolia

the last magnolia


Continuing with the flowering tree theme, the magnificent Amelanchier or serviceberry (right) is covered with stellar white blooms but, on a more humble note, the field under the old apple tree (below) is awash with nature’s own golden stars. Yes, alas, Chester has more than its share of dandelions, especially as an increasing number of areas have established covenants against pesticides. Fresh salad greens, anyone?