Wednesday, May 16, 2018

GBBD: Remembering Spring

In my last Bloom Day post, I worried that spring would never arrive.  But not surprisingly, all I needed was a little more patience, for less than two weeks later, spring burst forth in all its grandeur.  Suddenly, daffodils were dancing everywhere, and each day new tulips opened up their blooms.

Now, two short weeks later, most of the tulips are just a memory.  I know that on Bloom Day we are supposed to be sharing what is blooming now, but since I haven't posted for a month, please bear with me--I just have to share all these happy blooms from the past few weeks.  I promise to keep the narrative to a minimum and let you just enjoy the sights.

Every spring I am eager to see what tulips emerge, both the new bulbs I planted the fall before and the old faithfuls I have had for a few years.  Since tulips are not very long-lived and because they are a popular treat for certain varmints (more on that later), one never knows just how many or which ones will appear.  I planted more 'Margarita' last fall because the old ones were looking puny last year and was happy to see the new plantings looking good.

I also planted lots of orange tulips last fall, because I had very few in my garden.  I think I might have gotten a little carried away, though, because I had so many different orange tulips that I couldn't remember which was which. This is 'Gudoshnik'--I think.

This is 'Orange Van Eijk,' according to my planting notes from last fall.

After being impressed last spring with 'Lightning Sun,' I ordered more for this year.  One photo doesn't do these justice--they have variegated coloring in shades of orange to red, and the color varies from one bloom to another.  As they age, the petals remind me of an Impressionist's brushstrokes. Both 'Lightning Sun' and 'Gudoshnik' are tall Darwin tulips purchased from John Scheepers and should last for several years.

I did plant more than orange tulips last fall, in case you were wondering.  'Barcelona' is a lovely rose-colored pink; I just wish I had gotten a better photo of these, minus a car in the background:)

Then there were the returnees: although I prefer the tall hybrid tulips, I do love these little species tulips 'Lady Jane.'  The best part besides their longevity is that they multiply.

My namesake 'Rosalie.'

A double, 'Pink Star.'

And another double, one of my long-time favorites, 'Angelique.'

And what has become my very favorite tulip of all, 'Akebono.'  Another Darwin tulip, these return every year, yet just to make sure I always have some,I add a few more each fall.

There were many more returning tulips that I have simply forgotten the names of.  I wish I could identify the ones above so I could order more this year; they really were beautiful.  Notice I also had a healthy crop of henbit and dandelions this spring.

Some type of Rembrandt tulips.

Shades of yellow

Pale pink/lavender in the shade garden

Orange and purple are not a color combo I would usually choose, but I'll take it here.

And finally, two whose names I do remember and usually the latest to bloom, 'Maureen' and 'Queen of the Night,' with some early 'Purple Sensation' alliums.

Tulips are my favorite bloom of spring, no matter what color or type.  Although most did very well this year, despite the late start and quickly rising temperatures, there were a few disappointments.  The biggest disappointment was in my roadside garden, where I planted an additional two dozen bulbs last fall.  Whether it was the voles that have invaded that area or another varmint or the standing water from the floods in February, only one measly tulip appeared!  This is not the first year this has happened, so I am finally waving the white flag--this fall I am going to stick to daffodils and alliums in this area.

Tulips and other bulbs weren't the only blooms this spring.  The first week of May the flowering trees began to bloom, including the redbuds.

The week before, I was sure the crabapples had been nipped by frost, but thankfully I was wrong.

For one glorious week, my driveway looked like my header photo, once again.

The old lilac has gotten huge and was full of blooms that smelled divine.  I have two newer, smaller lilacs, including one called 'Scent and Sensibility' that also has a sweet fragrance.  But nothing compares to the scent of this original!

Spring is my favorite time of year, but sadly it is the shortest season here in Illinois.  After one week of heaven, the trees dropped their blooms and leafed out, and the lilacs faded.  Only a few fading tulips remain. Temperatures soared into the 80's and even the 90's a couple of days, and we have sped straight into summer.  If nothing else, spring is a reminder of transient beauty and the importance of slowing down and enjoying the moment.

But while I am sad to see spring fly by so quickly, the garden has gone into overdrive, providing more blooms as it transitions into summer.  One of my favorites above, Amsonia tabernaemontana.

Small alliums in the shade garden.

The taller 'Purple Sensation' are taking over one corner of the Arbor Bed!

My original bleeding heart is a no-show this year, but the newer 'Gold Heart' dicentra is doing well.

The tiny blue flowers of  'Jack Frost' Brunnera are a favorite of mine, and I have added several more of these the last two years.

It does pay to take the time and look closely around you--I almost stumbled over this Trillium one day while weeding in the shade garden.  I am so excited to see it, as woodland plants often don't do well for me in the dry shade of this garden area.

The Butterfly/Pollinator garden is also coming to life.  Camassia were the first to bloom, but I didn't take time to get a single photo.  Now Phlox pilosa, or PPPP as Gail calls them, are showing up here and there.

Golden Alexanders are also flourishing, which delights me
 since I tried for years to get them established here.

If you have stuck with me till the end of this post, I thank you.  And while I am sorry to see spring come and go so quickly, there are daily reminders like this 'Immortality' iris that there is much more to come in the garden in the coming months.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol of May Dreams Gardens.  There are sure to be many, many blooms to see this month so hop on over and join in the celebration of spring!