Cast your mind back to last March and April 2012. Remember how warm March was and how terribly cold it was in April? Now picture the resulting lilacs which never flowered. Not one. Neither in gardens nor in the wild. It was, among other garden failures last year, the greatest failure of lilacs I have ever seen. But this year is THE YEAR OF THE LILAC and this week at SpindleTree Gardens we have the most spectacular display of these beauties. They are beyond description…. quite sensational!
They should last, with this cooler weather, until next week. Catch the show while you can! Oh, and the yellow magnolias (Elizabeth and Yellow Bird) are still in bloom and looking ravishing, in spite of the latest bouts of wind and rain.
Gardening at SpindleTree involves so many different jobs – the list of ‘things to do’ seems endless. Here are a few of the projects being worked on at present:
- Last week we received a shipment of unusual plants including bougainvillea, a eucalyptus tree, several cacti, a couple of clivia and other interesting items. These are additions to our Mediterranean cum semi-tropical indoor garden which we hope to make into a year round garden attraction.
- Now that Victoria Day has arrived and Ontarians can rest assured (maybe) that no more frosts will descend on their gardens, we have several thousand cuttings and seedlings ready to be set out in our planters in the various garden areas on the property. We are presently preparing to install a roof garden display on the new Orangery building.
- Work has started on the amphitheatre areas in front of the Orangery where we hope to introduce ‘music in the gardens’ later on this summer.
- Part of a stone retaining wall at Long Pond collapsed when the ice melted and we have pumped the pond down in order to rebuild the wall and allow us to keep some kind of firm footing while doing so.
- All our fountains have been reinstalled and started up for the season.
- The croquet models have been restored and completely painted, ready for display at the pavilion.
- Most gardens are now cleared of last fall’s debris and ready for your visit to SpindleTree. The weeding continues…
- We are installing two permanent propane heating and ventilating systems in the new east and west Orangery wings.
- The interior of the new Jubilee Room (suitable for small wedding receptions, business meetings, parties, workshops, seminars and so on) is being painted and wall sconces considered..
- The SpindleTree tea room (famous for the Croque Madame grilled sandwich, scones and their lemon-vanilla cheesecake) and new Gift Shop are in operation. We have a wonderful product – absolutely realistic wax pillar candles that cast a warm glow and twinkle and waver just like the real thing without fear of fire (you can put them on a timer, too). You’ve gotta see these! We even have candles you can leave outdoors in the rain that look fabulous and are operated by remote control! And we have SpindleTree hats, aprons, T-shirts and tea towels as well as special gardener’s hand and foot creams, lavender and herbal soap, gardening gloves and books, tufa mushrooms, dear little ceramic bunnies and birds, and a host of glorious pots – among many other items, including our own home-grown plants for sale.