Thursday, May 30, 2013

A gift

J and I returned home last evening from an 8-day vacation to Mexico. I've been personally working on trying not to get so bent out of shape from things I can't control (e.g., the garden) and hoped it wouldn't be too much of a weedy disaster when I returned. I was also hoping that my neighbor remembered to water and that my plants hadn't all withered and died. Instead, as I walked to the back door, I saw this:

Rosa cl. Pinkie
Rosa cl. Pinkie
I just planted these two climbing roses last fall so this is the first time they've bloomed like this, and I couldn't be happier with the show they're putting on!

I was also worried about my peonies. I had written in December that I was both mad and worried that my peonies wouldn't come up this year due to the shadow cast by the fence. They had one bloom between four plants last year and I was hoping it was due to being moved but not sure if they were receiving adequate sun. Neighbor M's peonies had big, fat buds on them about two weeks ago and mine still didn't, so I was sure it was going to be a flop year. But then - then! - about a week before we left, I noticed tiny little buds on my peonies. Maybe they would actually do something this year!

And then I realized that I was going to be on vacation if they did actually bloom! I had read this great post at Galloping Horse Garden about going on vacation during peak peony bloom time and commiserated with her without realizing that I had done the Exact. Same. Thing. Who plans a vacation when your peonies, the same ones you haven't seen in two years, are going to bloom? This gal.

So, I saw the peony buds continue to grow and hoped that they'd hurry and bloom before I left, but they didn't. I was hoping to see something, anything, upon my return, even if it was dying flowers on floppy plants. I even had a dream while in Mexico that I returned only to find that my peonies had been eaten by deer (a la Obsessive Neurotic Gardener), and we don't even have deer.

After I ran outside last night to see the roses, guess what else I saw?

Wow. It's like it waited for me to come home to be at its peak.

Even better?

I didn't miss the show! The other three plants have yet to bloom. I feel so lucky that my human-peony ESP connection worked this year and they waited for me.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In bloom this week

I've been super short on time for the past two weeks so this is a minimal-word post. It's suddenly humid and hot and gone are the nice morning breezes. We've not had a lot of rain so I'm already trying to make sure my plants aren't wilting. And here I thought it would be a shorter summer due to our seemingly extended winter.

In bloom right now:

Iris in front of my neighbor's rose

The hellebore I bought a couple of months ago is STILL in bloom!

Hosta, Nepeta "Walker's Low", and on-its-way-out azalea
Salvia and Amsonia "Blue Ice"
Baptisia australis "Solar Flare Prairieblues" (it's itty bitty still, as it's only a year in the ground)

Spiderwort. Closed for the evening, but you get the idea.
Baptisia australis
What's blooming in your garden?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Blooming right now

My neighbor's annual plant divide party is this coming week. As my yard provides a backdrop against her garden, it's a mad dash to try to navigate around the rain we're having to make sure everything looks presentable. I'm tempted to leave some of the flower beds alone in their craptastic-looking state, but as someone always wanders through her gate into my yard to look at what I'm growing, I suspect I'll be having a weedathon tomorrow. 

They'll see that there's not much in bloom right now, but what is blooming now represents the second phase of spring. The forsythia flowers have ended, most tulips are gone, and daffodils are a memory. Coming soon will be peonies, roses, and baptisia. 

Azalea with iris
Bleeding heart (a little bit late)
Lilac (with half-dead dogwood in back)
Red twig dogwood
Bushy  lilac
Centaurea montana "Amethyst in Snow"

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Neighbor M's tree peony

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Visit to David Culp's garden - the special gardens

This is the last post about my visit to noted plantsman David Culp's Brandywine Cottage gardens last weekend (the first two posts are here and here). I titled this post "the special gardens" because, though all of his gardens are special, I needed a catchall phrase for the rest of what I saw. There are some unique spaces that most people would not think of planting in, yet he has and it all works so well.

Upon entering the property, you notice the driveway garden. He has planted many bulbs and plants in the gravel so that they look as if they just popped up and he left them there.

Species tulips, hellebores, and other plants in the driveway

Hellebores and pansies in a pot

The patio. I'd love to have a meal here.

Entry into the vegetable garden, with unique birdbath in the middle.

The ruin garden

The ruin garden

The garden on the road. Has a hell strip ever looked this amazing?

Add caption
I feel very fortunate that I was able to visit and see such a beautiful place. I'm both inspired and intimidated by what experienced, but will use my trip to spark some more creativity in my own garden.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Visit to David Culp's Garden - Perennial beds

Continuing where I left off from my last post on my special visit, I'm going to show some pictures of his perennial beds closer to the house. You can see from this picture how spectacular they are during one of their peak bloom times:


Spring is not quite as dramatic, but no less beautiful as seen during my visit:

The same bed as above (different angle)
The north bed, same as above

From the north bed looking to the rest of the garden
Another bed around the vegetable garden
Bleeding heart
The hellebore bed. The vegetable garden gate is in the background.
The hellebore garden

I clearly need more spring-flowering bulbs!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

This is an iris in my mother's home (photo by my father):

It was given to her by a friend, and I'm hoping to get one when it makes little babies (apparently when a flower blooms, it becomes a new offshoot of the original plant). I know nothing about this iris but think it's absolutely amazing!