Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

Act 1: Spring

Here on the west coast of Canada we’re fortunate to have a long growing season. Although our winters often feel like forever, they are short-lived and quickly forgotten. It’s not exactly a summer paradise out there yet but it’s definitely improving each day. Tulips and daffodils line the street, different perennials are waking up and the air is fresh, cool, and full of promise. Our long evenings are back again and I recall looking out the window at 7:30 today to still see some daylight. Life is grand.

After an eight our shift at work today I continued on with my own projects and I was still at the greenhouse at 7:05pm this evening. Seeding trays with rare seeds, potting up trachycarpus and other long-delayed tasks. It’s amazing what one can accomplish when you burn the candle from both ends, still my body is sore and hollow. Work at a nursery all day, tend my greenhouse in my breaks and afternoons, get home to appreciate the back garden, and of course walk amongst my indoor collection. With what time I have left I try to update this blog, have a vague social life and keep my girlfriend happy and appreciated.  When did life solely revolved around plants?  It seems to have happened overnight. Not that this bothers me all that much, but it’s a strange shift in lifestyle from a boozing artist to obsessed plant freak. All in all though I’m quite excited about this year’s gardening season and I can’t wait to see what the back garden has in store. Lots of plants were just getting established last year, this season they should really flourish. There are so many spring bulbs coming up I don’t even know where to start.

I’ve noticed these popping up for the last couple weeks now but only got to see them fully open this weekend. Anemone blanda open and close to the sun so if you come home in the evenings it’s doubtful you’ll ever see them doing their thing. This weekend was stunning, and I was able to snap these photos.


A hyacinth blooming next to the strange and lovely Soldanella alpina. I’ve had this plant for 3 seasons now and last year it didn’t bloom at all. Perhaps due to last year’s frozen winter? Happy to see it doing it’s thing this season.


I first saw these lovely spring bulbs at the Victoria Alpine Society’s garden in Beacon Hill Park. When I saw these bulbs for sale this following autumn it was a no brainer, Chionodoxa are a lovely addition to the spring fireworks display.


The dinosaurs have woken up from their  hibernation and run amok in the sedum patch. Hope they don’t cause too much damage this season.

The countdown to nursery spring mayhem is upon us and from here on out until mid June my life will be busier day by day. I’ll do my best to keep the posts coming, but don’t give up on me if I disappear from time to time.

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Mr Nat. Gardener, Plant Nerd
Tips and tales about gardening in one of the most mild climates in Canada. Specializing in rare and strange plants from far out destinations, this is the story of an obsessed young gardener in Victoria B.C. Let's create more tropical gardens in the garden city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
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