Monday, May 11, 2009

The Wonder of the Bloom

One of the things I simply adore about gardening is the endless surprise and amazement it provides. Maybe I am simple, but, I get really excited watching the progress of plants I've added to my beds. It's a miracle to me every single time I see something new poking its head out, or blooming for the first time, or spreading itself out to establish its place in the garden. I will never get tired of watching my little treasures, to the point where I am pretty sure that my neighbors probably think I'm a little crazy—I'm out there just about every day, sometimes taking photos, sometimes just looking. And looking again. What is it about gardens?

More tulips I couldn't resist sharing with you

I had a great day yesterday, celebrating Mother's Day with my mom's side of the family. My mom, my two aunts, and all my female cousins are all green thumbs and wondered where I came from until a couple years ago, when I finally got bit by the bug myself. With so many new things popping up in all of our gardens, and me asking for advice and plant ID by showing them photos on my digital camera, it was definitely a garden kind of day, even though the weather was cold and grey. My cousin Marianne, who was our hostess for the day and who gave me those irises last year, dug up a few things to send me away with: bleeding heart, 4 o'clock (more pondering on this later), gay feather, and something else that escapes me at the moment. I'm also hoping to get some of her lamb's ears on my next visit.

An unexpected early bloom of iris—just transplanted from last year!

After lunch, my mom and two aunts and I went to a nearby nursery because my mom wanted to treat me to some hens and chickens (hey! I'm not even a mom!) like the ones I'd been admiring in Aunt Dorothy's garden. So, I walked away with a nice, large plant that already has several "babies" dangling from it, which means I get to propagate more. In addition to that, I bought myself a few broccoli plants, some asparagus crowns (!) and more ice pansies, of which they had a great selection—so many pretty colors! I'm going to wait to plant my new additions until Wednesday, when hopefully the threats of frost we've been having the past couple days will have passed for good. Of course, the pansies will do fine regardless.

The ice pansies I've had since last season have really taken off! Also, a larger view with the Columbine that has just exploded, and the roses, and everything else.

On Saturday, I had a busy day and planted the last of the pachysandra (it lasted fine just sitting in a pot, no soil or anything, just a couple good rainy days), and dug out more of the backyard beds. I was so happy to find out that the pretty little flowers that I thought were weeds turned out to be forget-me-not. There's pink, blue, and white, and it's all over the place! To think that last year, I yanked all the foliage out before it blossomed, thinking it was a weed. (Yes, I know, a weed is in the eye's beholder. Or something.) I also noticed two volunteer tomato plants growing in one of the containers we used last year, and we're obviously hoping those will do well.

Doesn't look like much yet, but it will someday!

The nearby section I got cleared out for the most part—more work than it looks!

Forget-Me-Nots take over! I love it!

And speaking of tomatoes, next week we'll be anxiously awaiting the arrival of the many tomato and pepper plants C. ordered. That will keep us very busy, getting them settled in! Here are those volunteers I mentioned earlier.

Finally, I am pleased to announce: hostas and ferns imported from my dad's house in New Hampshire! Success! I love that I get to have a piece of where he lives, right in my backyard.

Other assorted lovelies:

The first centaurea bloom of the year!

The lilacs responded well to a pretty severe trim!

The light was lovely just before turning dark. Flowering quince among the as-yet untamed jungle.

And the weeping cherry.

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