Notes from a beginning gardener with sprinkles of poetry and philosophic musings
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Tuesday This and That*
This has been an unusual spring. Very warm temperatures and frequent sunny days have made for beautiful gardening weather, but it has also meant that one had to be quick with the camera because many spring blooms didn't last long in the heat. April showers have finally arrived, and a few heavy downpours this weekend plus some high winds at times stripped the flowering crabapples of their last blooms. Thank goodness I took photos of them while still blooming, but I wasn't so lucky with the old apple trees or the flowering quince. Their blooms were gone before I thought to get out the camera.
No such problem, though, in getting some photos of the old-fashioned lilac, which has been blooming nonstop for the past two weeks. I think this is the most beautiful I've ever seen this lilac. It's in need of a good pruning this summer, but I don't know if I have the heart to cut any of it out.
There's nothing that smells quite as wonderful as this heavenly scent.
But there is more to come. The little 'Bloomerang' I planted last fall is putting out its own scent. Not quite as fragrant as the old lilac, but if it re-blooms this year as advertised, it will do just nicely. It is planted in the new flowerbed I dug up last fall.
I planned this new garden area as a place to primarily showcase my daylilies, and though it still needs some edging and other work, I've been busy transplanting some of the lilies already. You may recall that this is the bed that Sophie assisted me in digging up. I've been working on teaching her that I no longer need any help in digging here, but she has been adding some pieces of "garden art" :)
While the tulips shown on the Bloom Day post have all faded into a distant memory, a few late tulips have taken their place in borders of most of the garden beds. I think these are 'Pink Charm,' and the ones I mistakenly named 'Pink Charm' on that Bloom Day post were actually from a bargain bag of tulips simply called 'Pink.' I really must do a better job of record-keeping. The gray cells that used to retain the names of all the capitals of Europe and the lyrics to every early Beatles song seem to have disappeared along with certain abdominal muscles:)
Without organized records, there are certainly a lot of mysteries in the garden this spring. Yes, I do remember planting a few tulips at the front of the new lily garden. But their names? I have no idea. And that dark burgundy tulip which also appears in a few other spots? I have absolutely no memory of even buying those. I'm a pastel person, not a dark tulip fan.
The unnamed light pink ones, however, also appeared in the roadside bed. What is a mystery here, though, is what happened to all the hot pink shades that I planted several years ago on the other side. Not one of those came up--could they have been past their prime? Or did hungry squirrels have a bulb feeding frenzy here? Either way, this was a big disappointment, and a massive tulip planting project will be planned once again for this fall. And do you notice the plant in the background? Yes, my very first Baptisia, ala the Lurie Garden, looks like it will be blooming some time soon!
The roadside garden is at the end of our long lane, so all too often it gets only a passing glance as I drive in. While looking for the missing tulips today, I checked out the progress of the rest of the garden and noticed these plants putting out some buds. What, I thought, are these?? Finally, some brain neurons stopped misfiring, and I remembered--I planted some large allium here last fall! You would think I wouldn't have forgotten this:)
On the other hand, there are many mysteries in the butterfly garden, not because I don't remember planting them, but because many of last year's plants have re-seeded themselves. I have many seedlings that I just can't recognize yet, which makes weeding this area quite a challenge. I'm sure I'm going to baby a few plants only to discover in time that they are actually weeds. This plant is one I'm trying to figure out--do you think this might be an Obedient Plant? I did plant one plant in this general vicinity last year, so it's a likely suspect.
Fortunately, the shade garden doesn't hold as many mysteries. I'm so happy with the way the Bleeding Heart has grown this year. I didn't really plan this, but I do love the pink blooms of the Dicentra with the purple leaves of 'Plum Pudding' heuchera.
I've become a big fan of Heucheras, starting with some old-fashioned coral bells purchased from a discount gardening catalog. Now, though, all Heucheras added to the garden are the newer and prettier cultivars, most with delicious-sounding names that always entice me. That is 'Plum Pudding' in the front with 'Dolce Creme Brulee' on the right and 'Tiramisu' on the left. I did add a 'Key Lime Pie' last year, but I haven't seen any sign of it this spring--I hope I didn't eat it by mistake:)
I've never participated in Gardening Gone Wild's photo contest each month, but if I had been on time last week, I might have used this photo for the theme of "Green." I took this photo of Tarzan last summer, and I found it again last week while working on the presentation I was doing as part of my Master Gardener volunteer hours. My classmate Kathy and I went to a local adult daycare facility last Thursday to help them celebrate Earth Day. Originally, I was told I could do a presentation on container gardening, but after I realized what type of audience I would have, I changed my approach to a much simpler slide presentation celebrating spring, with photos of trees, flowers, butterflies, and some of my garden "helpers." Of all the slides I showed, I think this one of Tarzan peeking out from the hellebore and heuchera blooms was one that they enjoyed most.
After my slides, Kathy showed a few slides of vegetables and talked about the health benefits of each, and then we took the group outside to plant a few flowers and vegetables in a raised bed. Most of this audience is in some stage of dementia, so even something as simple as sticking a marigold into the dirt often required assistance from one of us or a staff member. But, oh, did they enjoy this! And the director asked us if we would come back again some time, so I guess they were pleased with what we did. I do hope the clients enjoyed it, but I know that this was such an inspirational and rewarding experience for me. Kathy and I hope to make this an ongoing project, instead of a one-time visit.
. . . One more "that" . . . I recently changed my blog template to spruce things up a bit and get rid of all the wasted space on the sides. In doing so, I discovered the new Blogger editor (when did that change??) and have enjoyed being able to make photos larger. Please let me know if doing this makes this page take too long to load.
*Tuesday This and That is a variation on the Mish-Mash Monday meme created by the peripatetic Monica of Garden Faerie. Thanks, Monica, and I'm sorry I don't remember the proper alternate name for a Tuesday:)