Saturday, June 11, 2011

It’s Lupine Time in Nova Scotia

Lupine time in Second Paradise

Spires of deep purple, brilliant white, and various shades of pink line the roadways and cascade down steep banks, their vivid colours heightened by a backdrop of lush foliage.

Each year, from mid-June to early July, these hardy plants put on a colourful show many associate with the Maritimes. In fact, lupines are originally from western North America, but their ability to colonize poor, disturbed soil and their reproduction through prolific seed dispersal have ensured their success here in Nova Scotia.

If you haven’t had a chance to experience the sight of wild lupines in bloom en masse, you’re missing out on one of the finest early-summer botanical events. We are lucky here at Second Paradise: our 4 Nova Scotia vacation homes for rent sit amidst fields and gardens of lupines and other flowers, so we get to enjoy a floral show from early spring to fall.

Over the next weeks and months, we’ll be watching the lupines as their showy spires of colour fade and the fuzzy, seed-bearing pods replace the blossoms – a reminder that these plants are members of the pea family. If you collect the dry pods and scatter the pea-like seeds on disturbed soil in the fall, you’ll be rewarded with a lupine meadow of your own in years to come.

A special hint from Katharina: bring a bouquet of lupines into the house, put them in a vase of water, and wait a couple of hours. The lupines will release a fresh, sweet, lemony smell that tells you summer is here.

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