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So who says urban farmers have it easy! This winter I was planning a winter landscaping feature, when the Great Ice Storm flattened every bush and perennial of note, and damaged and/or destroyed 60 percent of the trees in the Ottawa area, keeping many people frozen in the dark for weeks.Depression and, well, only depressing things to photograph rather canned that idea.

So I thought, I'll do a feature this summer on how well (or not!) we have succeeded in developing the front garden to always have perennials in bloom, including during the difficult hot days of late July and August. So El Nino has hit again!

Ottawa's "normal" spring, jumping quickly into late spring and early summer weather. The plants have literally sprung out of the ground, and although we are only in the third week of May at the time of writing, June and July flowers are following hard on the heals of the spring bulbs.

If we keep it up, the fall flowering perennials should be in bloom in June, and we'll be spending the rest of the summer thanking god for annuals. Heh, you lose some, and then you lose some more! But since there is something to photograph, this sequence of photo essays will just be posted a little closer together than planned!

Overview, front detail01
May 5, and all the spring bulbs are in full bloom. We were most delighted our red-leafed Japanese Maple over wintered well, despite the north winds which rush down our street - and the ice storm.First perennial to bloom is the bergernia, which in Ottawa is evergreen (and road-salt hardy).
Overview, side detail02
The more tender perennials still have not poked through the mulch.But then in most years we would have just gotten rid of the final patches of snow!Favorite tulips that move through coral to pink as they mature.
Overview, side detail03
No surprise, the daffodils came first
by early April.
But their delicate cousins followed the tulips.
Detail04 detail05
Giant flowering onions prove a great colour match for the so-called 'blue' tulips. They also are the crossover perennial in flower as the tulips die back, and the next series beginsI guess 'purple tulip' wouldn't have sold as well!
And for the next series, the bearded and Siberian iris, coral bells, weigelas, lupins and digitalis are in full to partial bloom right now. When we get a little sun to brighten the colours, we'll photograph and post them soon.