Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bloom Day in the Merry Merry Month of May

Garden frenzy has descended on Idyll Haven.  After losing much of April to less than stellar weather, May has become a mad dash to get things done.  Buying season for unusual annuals has begun.  "Inventory" is beginning to pile up on the patio and I still haven't been to the best places.  Every night I hook up the appliance dolly and move a few more containers out of the garage.  Eventually it all comes together.

Yesterday was my main man's 14th birthday.  Usually I don't make a big deal out his birthday and as hard as it is to face, the likelihood of him celebrating too many more is not the best.  So I took him to the groomer, posted lots of pictures on Facebook, and brought him to work with me so people could fawn over him.  At some point during the all the birthday frivolity I realized Bloom Day was today.

My Nickster is 14!  Where did the time go?

So last night I sprinted madly around the garden and grabbed a few pictures.  Much of my garden focus is on later season interest so I'm always amazed at how much is in bloom in the spring.  Here is a cross section:

The fleeting blooms of Magnolia 'Sunspire'

My big overgrown Viburnum carlesii crowding out Cotimus 'Golden Spirit'

Fothergilla gardenii with the fading blooms of a Hellebore.

Kerria japonica 'Picta' is one of my favorite shrubs for dry shady spots 

Rhododendron 'Ken Janek' just days away from bursting into full bloom

Rhododendron 'Capistrano'

Daphne caucasica 'Jim's Pride' has been happy and long lived on the wall garden

I don't remember the cultivar name of this Rhododendron.  The flowers are fading now.

Here is what the flowers looked like a week ago

Dicentra season is upon us.  Most are reseeded from a plant of long ago.

Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba' surrounded by Galium odoratum

I absolutely love the gaudiness of Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart'.

Primula in the shadow of a Disporum flavens

In the sping, I have been known to hand trim around Ajuga that has naturalized in my lawn.

Here's what happens when you restore lawn over what used to be garden.

Anemone sylvestris

Epimedium youngianum ;Niveum'

Chrysogonum virginianum is another plant for tough dry shade

Phlox subulata forms the perfect skirt for a variegated Yucca in the curb garden

Iberis sempervirens 'Golden Candy'

A true "perennial" Sunflower

Brunnera 'Variegata' and Epimedium 'Lilafee"

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

Nepeta 'Little Titch' has survived repeated attacks by the flea bag cat

One of my favorite spring activities is to create garden chaos.  Usually I accomplish this by moving plants all over the place.  As a result, not much looks pretty right now but here are a few long shots.

My much neglected front garden is the only one of my gardens that looks put together in the spring.

Pathway from the garage to the side entry.  Lots of opportunity here.  Now if I could just find the perfect plants.

Another Dicentra ;Gold Heart' in the back border.

So there you have it!  Much thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this monthly event and making me go out and stalk photos when I otherwise would not.  Be sure to head over to her site and take a peek at what's in bloom right now all over the globe.

Keep digging!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

From the Ashes of Winter Comes April Bloom Day!

Welcome to Garden Season 2014 at Idyll Haven!  I know I've been remiss in my blog posting.  Truth be told, time and inspiration are in short supply around here in January and February.  Work is busy and I'm not a huge winter fan.  What little time I did have was spent hiking with a great group of people I met on Meetup.  Winter hiking is fun in small doses.  Given the choice I'll take spring, summer or fall.  In the name of balance I do plan to continue to hike with this bunch through garden season.  Stay tuned to see how that goes. 

Usually I can start getting out in the garden in March but not this year.  Winter went out kicking and screaming and took the month of March down with it.  Fortunately April has been somewhat kinder.  Temperatures are starting to moderate.  A few plants have started poking their heads out of the burrows but not many..

Out of morbid curiosity, I went back and took a peek at my 2013 April Bloom Day post.  The garden was most definitely further along but most notable was the abundance of heavily blooming Pieris.  For whatever reason that will not be happening this spring.  Maybe I forgot to toss Hollytone on them last year or they are just pouting over the late cold in March.  'Valley Valentine' appears to be the only bloomer and is sporting about half as many flowers as last year.

Every spring I vow to plant more bulbs come fall.  Every fall I get too busy with leaf and garden cleanup and never follow through.   Remind me in August to place an obscenely expensive bulb order.  That way the skinflint side of me will kick into gear and never allow them to go to waste even if I have to take a vacation day to plant them.  I will plant more bulbs this fall.  I will.  I will.  I will. 

Years ago I had this great idea to naturalize Chionodoxa in the front lawn.

It has since colonized in a few of the garden beds.

After they bloom I plan to scatter a few around the back gardens and hope for similar results.

Hellebores are reliable standbys in the early spring garden.

Pansies are not a garden staple here but who can resist their cheerful faces?

Big Blue Foot gets the prize for being the first planter out of the garage this season.

A lone daffodil tries to decide whether to take a chance. 

Forsythia 'Fiesta' is also slow to shine this year but the good news is now I can hack back what's left of my token roses.

My favorite and earliest grape hyacinths.

 A few shy Pulmonarias have seeded under a weeping Acer palmatum 'Viridis'.  In a few weeks they will no longer be visible.

Bare ground is still abundant leaving few opportunities for wide angle views.  Better luck next month.

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting my most favorite blog meme.  If you get a chance, head on over and and check out what is blooming today in gardens all over the world.

Happy Spring!