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!


  1. Patience is one of the hardest skills a gardener has to learn, but your wonderful blooms were definitely worth the wait!

    1. I think this year it was particularly hard to be patient, Dorothy, because we had so much snow in April. It seemed as if spring would tease us, and then winter would return.

  2. Your tulips are an inspiration for me to plant more for next spring. I agree with Dorothy. Patience is one of the hardest skills a gardener has to learn. I have no patience with anything. It was so hot and dry that my camassias didn't last long this year. This so called spring has been a big disappointment weather-wise.

    1. Many of the previous years' tulips didn't bloom this year, Lisa, which was disappointing. But I guess that is an excuse to plant even more this fall:) I don't know if spring was so disappointing as fleeting--it certainly didn't last long!

  3. Oh, my, your garden is like a trip to a botanical garden! I don't plant a lot of bulbs. There is one red tulip that was here when I moved in!

    1. Thank you, Lisa, but my garden needs a lot of work to deserve that compliment:) I absolutely love spring bulbs, as you can see, so I plant a lot every fall.

  4. What a stunning, short spring you had! Ours is in full swing now. I really need to take a trip to the Arboretum or Olbrich Gardens to see the peak of the Crabapples and Lilacs. My Crabapples (early bloomers) are mostly done, but the Lilacs are just starting. But I need to get my garden in, too. So much beauty, so little time.

    1. You are so right, Beth, about "so much beauty, so little time." My garden is in overdrive--including the weeds--and there just isn't enough time, or maybe it's my energy to keep up with everything.

  5. Immortality is beautiful Rose. I love its simplicity.
    Your garden abounds with blooms. It must look stunning. My garden is way behind yours.
    The weather is just too unpredictable at the moment.

    My favourite tulip is Angelique but when I saw pink lavender it certainly comes close, beautiful.

    Enjoy your garden Rose.

    1. My irises have really taken off this year, and 'Immortality' is one of the best. The 'Angeliques' have always been a favorite of mine; these happened to come from Beckie, who bought them for herself and then couldn't plant them. You know spring is my favorite time of year, so I am thoroughly enjoying every moment I can spend in the garden, Cheryl.

  6. I feel like we've gone from winter to summer with only a few days of spring if you go by the temperatures. Your tulips are stunning. I cut a couple of double white Tulips for the house and it was a few days before my husband realized they weren't peonies. The pink one is particularly beautiful. And your flowery drive is gorgeous. Looks like an Arboretum!

    1. So true, Linda--it does feel like summer with these high temps. I used to have more double tulips; I think they're my favorite. As for the flowering trees, I can't take credit for them--my in-laws planted them when they lived here, and I appreciate their efforts every spring.

  7. Your driveway is stunning, Rose. And what the tulips! wow.
    My favorite is 'Margarita' and Rosalie. Happy Blooming day, this spring wasn't simple with cold and warm days.

    1. It's amazing how much difference a month can make, Nadezda. I think a month ago we had snow. The tulips are gone now, but every day something new comes to take its place.

  8. Oh I'm sorry that your spring wooshed past so quickly Rose especially when you have a long wait for her to arrive. Here we went fast forward into summer temperatures before spring had properly shown herself. Your tulips are simply glorious - they obviously have a special place in your heart. Woe betide those voles! Your driveway must look breathtaking when all those trees flower.

    1. A short spring seems typical for my part of the country, Anna. It's a good reminder for me to slow down and enjoy the moment. Yes, tulips are a favorite of mine!

  9. Beautiful image the building You chose well for the theme.
    Your blog is very nice,Thanks for sharing good blog.

  10. Yes, spring definitely did burst forth in all its grandeur...
    Wonderful photographs in your post Rose, I enjoyed seeing them all.
    I'm sorry that it is such a short season for you ... enjoy every moment of it ... I know you do.

    My good wishes.

    All the best Jan

  11. Thank you, Jan. However quickly spring went by, it was well worth the wait. New blooms are bursting out each day, so I'm not too sad as I look forward to the summer garden.

  12. Replies
    1. Thanks, Sally. Hope all is well with you!

  13. What gorgeous tulips you have!! I love those orange ones. I don't usually plant tulips anymore due to all the critters, but I planted some smaller species ones among the daffodils and they actually bloomed and escaped the notice of the wildlife! I might add more and see how much I can get away with... All your blooms are so lovely!

    1. Thanks, Indie. Orange is not my favorite color, but I've decided orange tulips are beautiful. I don't blame you for not planting many--I'm giving up in one area where the critters are bad, too.


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