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:)


  1. Wonderful photos I should say and I love your butterfly garden. Lilacs - YAY! I know it's difficult to trim our babies but they need it for their own good.
    BTW, I've been wanting to use those extra spaces on my blog page. How did you do it?

  2. The new look is really quite beautiful. It did not take any time to load. Tarzan is sure a doll. Perfect picture of him!

  3. I can almost smell that lilac, one of my favourite smells. One day I shall have a small garden with a lilac tree of my own :)

    Thanks Rose


  4. I just love lilac and I really could conjure up beautiful scents by just looking at the photos.
    I love the cat peeping through that foliage.

    Nuts in May

  5. Hi Rose, Yes, I love those bleeding hearts with the dark foliage of coral bells. So sweet. And dogs often have a keen sense of color in the garden, as squirrels do with garden design (vis a vis tulips). And Tarzan is so pretty (I know he's male, but so be it!) in the foliage. Finally, even though I've made my living for 20+ years as a writer/editor, you made me go to the dictionary (which I like doing) for peripatetic! (Itinerant? Are you saying I'm homeless lol?!)
    P.S. Technically, it's Topsy-Turvy Tuesday and This and That Thursday (see here for all days), but wir nehmen es nicht so genau (I hate when a German expression comes to me instead of an English one... I guess we don't have to be literal is close).

  6. Your blog looks wonderful and I dind't notice a change in upload time. How wonderful that you could entertain the residents of the nursing home. I bet you were much appreciated. Love your tulips etc. I can see why the residents liked your cat photo best. It is cute.

  7. Rose, your header is gorgeous. I don't think I have seen it before??
    The lilaces this year are the best in years. I'm loving them. Blooerang is such a prety color and I will be waiting to see if and how much it reblooms.

    I don't remember you buying any dark tulips, but it may be that they came mixed in with the ones you did buy. One never knows for sure what you are getting with bare bulbs. I don't think it's forgetfulness at our age. :)

    I love your coral bells and bleeding hearts together. Such a contrast in colors, shapes and textures-but they really show one another off. If I can borrow your look , I will get a couple of belleding hearts to plant next to my coral bells.

  8. Sorry your apple and crabapple blooms passed so quickly. The arrival of cool weather here made the flowering trees and shrub bloom even longer than usual, but the crabapples are just hitting their peak here now.
    You should not admit that the Dicentra/Heuchera combo was an accident. It's splendid.
    I love the shot of Tarzan, and also the new format for larger photos. Looks great.

  9. Congratulations first for being a new Master Gardener! But i think you can also be called a Master Photographer or if it is misleading then Master Photographist will do, hehe! I missed the other posts. Your plants are all very beautiful and healthy. Your site is downloading just fine. I changed mine also to the new blog editor when i see some people can post XL photos, and thanks to Autumn Belle for teaching me that. I envy your work in the community too.

  10. These are lovely pictures! Your heucheras are great! I don't think the mystery plant in the butterfly garden is an obedient plant. Its leaves look too broad and textured, but unfortunately I don't have another idea on what it actually might be! I'm jealous of your lilacs; mine hasn't started blooming yet and I can't wait!

  11. Hi Rose, I did indeed notice your new blogger template. It looks great.

    I agree that your mystery plant is not an obedient plant, but my gray matter is not yielding the name of it, after a long day.

    All of your spring blooms look great. I heard the weatherman say this was the warmest April in Indianapolis history, yet tonight we might get frost. Sigh.

  12. Wow that lilac is beautiful Rose! I bet it smells wonderful too!

    You have lots of wonderful blooms happening.

    So far we've just been glad to have a spring. Usually it goes from winter straight into summer here.

  13. Your Lilac is amazing. My grandfather had a huge lilac in his limestone garden in southern Indiana, but they don't like central NC.

    Very cute picture of Tarzan! My cats love to find hiding places in the garden too.

  14. Hi Rose, your garden is looking great! Loved the reference to Beatle songs and stomach muscles! Oh that Ringo. The tulips are bad about not coming back, but from a mixed package there usually are some troopers, that may be what you have with the unknowns. Your mystery non-obedient plant has the looks of Joe Pye or a relative? Cut that lilac!!!! HA

  15. Morning Rose, love the new look. I am green with envy for your lilacs. Just want to put my face into those blooms and take a big whiff.
    I think your mystery plant might be a Black and Blue Salvia? I have some coming up that look very similar.

  16. Chandramouli, Yes, I know I should prune the lilac; I'm sure it will be easier for me when it's no longer in bloom. Check out the "stretch" templates in Blogger--they eliminate the space on the sides.

    Tina, Thanks; good to know this is not taking long to load. Tarzan is a ham for the camera:)

    Suburbia, I hope you have a home with a lilac very soon!

    Maggie, It does seem as if the lilac scent drifts through the screen, doesn't it?

    Monica, Sorry about the title--I was too lazy to check it out:) I was thinking of all the trips you have made when I used the word peripatetic. I have waited years to be able to use that word in a sentence:)

    Lisa, They enjoyed the photos of Sophie and Toby, too; if I'd only known, I could have shown more of them.

    Beckie, Thanks for the reassurance that I'm not that forgetful:) The bleeding heart and heuchera combo was one of those happy accidents, and you're welcome to copy it!

    MMD, Thanks! The crabapples bloomed so much earlier than usual here while it was still so hot. At least they looked much better than last year, even if the blooms were fleeting.

    Andrea, You're too kind--I'm not much of a photographer, but the larger format makes the photos so much clearer, I think.

    Rose, It's been a good year for lilacs here. The mystery plant may remain a mystery for awhile longer:)

    Carol, We did get some frost last night, so I had to put some plants back indoors. If you don't know what this plant is, then I give up:)

    Susie, Even here in Illinois, our springs are often much shorter, going straight to summer, too. This has been an exceptional year, and I'm enjoying it!

    Sweet Bay, My MIL planted this lilac years ago, but it has really taken off since we moved here 5 years ago. Tarzan loves to check out the garden:)

    Frances, I guess we remember what is important to us:) Thanks for the suggestion on the dark tulips--I probably bought some mixed collection. Lilac pruning will be put on the to-do list as well as more bulb planting!

    Janet, I don't think it's a Black and Blue salvia, because that's not where I had planted mine. But, oh, I would love it if it came back this year!

  17. Rose girl ! This is a great format and didn't take time at all to load .. I am on cable which is about the quickest the template is great and no wasted spaces girl : )
    That was wonderful to have that presentation at the adult day care .. a little connection to the earth is very therapeutic and that picture of Tarzan was PUURFECT ! LOL .. Sophie's toy was too cute as well .. that was a "shoe" wasn't it ? LOL
    .. I just bought "Lets Dance Starlight" hydrangea .. I think you spoke about it last year .. how has it preformed for you ? I'm hoping it will add spark to my collection in the front bed with all the other hydrangea !

  18. What a cute kitty. And, your photos are gorgeous. That petal pink color is a favorite of mine for spring flowers.

    Now... how did you talk Sophie into being such a good gardener? I have a spot for Bad Dog where he's allowed to dig but he'd still prefer to 'plant' his toys in my established garden beds. :)

  19. Oh I envy you those Lilacs, they don't do so well here. Maybe some of the new cultivars will but those old fashioned ones aren't crazy for our hot & humid summers. :)

  20. Hi Rose, didn't have any problems loading your page, came up pretty quickly.

    Love the photo of Tarzan. My Toby brought me two presents yesterday. One fat chipmunk and one vole. I told him he had to earn his title after I bragged about him on my blog.

    Love your heuchera collection.

  21. Wow! I love your lilac tree. Ours have opened yet. I live for that heady scent. Nice tulips too. Tarzan is too cute. Your blog looks lovely.

  22. Hi Rose.....It is so very strange how far ahead your garden is. My daffs are still blooming and tulips are just coming into bloom.

    I love Sophie's artwork.......funnily it is very similar to Nella's.

    The heuchera and bleeding hearts is a perfect colour match. I love those two colours in a border.
    Sadly I cannot grow heuchera, they would only be rabbit fodder here.

    Lilacs are wonderful...the fragrance can be overpowering when you bring the blooms inside. I have to say that does not bother me and I often have a large vase full of them.

    I am sure the residents of the nursing home enjoyed their time with you Rose. Just seeing a new face often makes their day.....

    Tarzan is just so cute. I had a cat as a little girl with exactly the same colouring.......

  23. Wow, that lilac is huge Rose! I can just imagine the wonderful scent.

    I'm curious to see how many of last year's Spring Fling folks added alliums to their gardens last fall. I'm looking forward to seeing them all blooming soon.

    Sounds like you're enjoying your Master Gardener volunteer work - I thought you would!

  24. How lovely to be back with you Rose :)

    First and most importantly I must congratulate you on becoming a Master Gardener, what a wonderful achievement, well done!!

    What a difference a few weeks makes! It seems you have also been enjoying some wonderful Spring weather and how welcome it is after the hard Winter.

    Your garden has clearly burst into life, the Lilacs are spectacular but I am struck by how much further advanced you are there. I don't think our Lilacs will look like that for some weeks, we still have Daffodils blooming and the Tulips have only just started flowering.

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one who puts plants in and subsequently have no idea what they are! I have some really interesting looking things coming up, will I be any wiser when they eventually flower I wonder? :)

  25. I love the new format and your photos are great! I didn't realize that new edit allows for larger photos! Tarzan and greenery would have been a great entry! gail

  26. Love the red cat! I need one. Well, he is kinda orange but very smart looking. The lilacs are just beginning here and it is cool so they should last a good long spell. Your gardens look lovely.

  27. Rose, no problem loading your blog here! Your lilacs are so pretty. Those and the alliums are the two plants from up north that I wish I could grow (well, there's probably more than two!). Now the heucheras on the other hand, are always a bit iffy. But I read about those new varieties you have (the ones that have food names) and I would love to try them. Haven't been able to find them yet though. Loved your story on your MG trip!

  28. Oh, I do wish I could smell your lilacs. The flowers are just so beautiful! I am excited that you are going to raise butterflies with your grandkids. So far, the kids have really enjoyed it so far.

  29. I love the new look of your blog, Rose. Congrats on finishing the MG classes! It all seemed a bit overwhelming to me at times, and I'm a little nervous about the plant clinic, especially having to answer people's questions when they call in to the Extension office. Most of them are about lawn care, and you know how lax I am about mine! Your program seems different than ours. We have one big group project which will be displayed at the county fair as well as at other local events. I'm chipping away at the number of required volunteer hours and hoping to get most of the outdoor ones completed before it gets too hot. That dark tulip, by the way, looks smashing together with the lighter ones. Maybe you could call her the Dark Lady in honor of Shakespeare:)

  30. The color theme of your garden is wonderful....just love the lavender lilacs and fresh, pink of the tulips.
    The last picture is like a tiger peeking through the jungle. Love it.

  31. I'm so anxious for lilacs I can almost smell yours, Rose! Yes, that photos would be a winner :)

  32. The lilacs are just gorgeous ... wish you could send me their fragrance, too!

    Otahal was telling me that he planted a hundred plus daffodils once year that disappeared from his client's garden. They were mystified until they wandered a bit away from the planting spot and discovered them stashed in a pile in the woods. The squirrels were stockpiling!

  33. There's nothing prettier than the big old-fashioned lilac bushes in full bloom. My parents have some in their yard that have been there for 50+ years and have never been pruned and continue to put on a flower show every spring.

    Sophie's garden art -- that's my favorite photo and also the one of Tarzan.

    Pink and burgundy tulips are my favorite of all the colors and yours all look so pretty. I'm determined to plant tulips this fall.

    I luv how your Bleeding Heart has teamed up with 'Plum Pudding' -- a match made in heaven. Really beautiful.


  34. I adore the scent of lilac - in fact I've just written that on someone's post about lilac being in flower. Ours isn't out yet. I stop in the street to sniff at lilac!

    That's a lovely photo of Tarzan.

    I'm glad your volunteer gardening hours went so well.

    Our Bleeding Heart is magnificent this year! I must take a photo.

  35. I have enjoyed catching up on your posts. Your tulips sure were pretty. I see a hellebore leaf with Tarzan. I think my favorite in this post was the photo of the heucheras.


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