Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chapter Two

Spring turned another page today as the weather has finally stayed warm for several days. It was a lovely morning with the ground littered with confetti from the fruit trees, redbuds and dogwood. I'm sorry to see them gone already. They never seem to stay long enough, but this year it seems like the dogwood bloomed last week and the leaves started coming in this week - perhaps not really true, but that's how it seems.

Other things follow, tho, as is the pattern. The azaleas are opening by the hour with waves of pinks, lilacs and reds all around the yard and the neighborhood. Aguga is everywhere. The native honeysuckle is gorgeous and all the perennials are growing well.

Over the weekend I made time to plant both bulbs and seeds. If I am lucky (and treat them right) I will have rain lilies, pineapple lilies and [please, please, please!] ranunculus later this summer. Jane at SmallButCharming convinced me that ranunculus will grow in our zone 7 area, so we both jumped in and ordered some. I got a mixture of pastels, picotees, and a "rainbow mix". Somehow this is a plant that I had totally missed until a couple of years ago. I have actually planted them a couple of time in pots and not had any success with sprouting them, but never had particularly good directions either. I have fallen madly in love with them and must have some ... if I can.

In the seed department I planted larkspur (hyacinth-flowered, if that matters), royal blue forget-me-nots, and poppies - Shirley single blend and both Mission Bells and Tropical Sunset California poppies. I've been a dedicated grower of perennials until this year, using some bedding plants for a splash of instant color here and there. This year I want to seriously increase my cutting garden - and cut more of what I grow! - so I have dived in and planted several new things.... like seeds!

The viburnum is lovely, but its blooms look more like lace cap hydrangeas than some other viburnums I see. I think - from photos - that it is Viburnum plicatum tomentosum. It has no fragrance at all, and not the pretty flowers of 'Carlisii'. It has a very distinctive shape with very straight branches that come from the base and not so many from the trunk. It's a lovely specimen plant and provides the visual break that I wanted, so it's good. Would be even better if I had kept the label.

Another new addition today was this tiny iris-like white flower. I am not sure they are a true iris, because they grow from a very different rhizome-like structure. But they prefer dry shade and you know how hard it is to find things that will even grown in dry shade, much less prefer it! They were a pass-along gift from one of my Wise Women, so I particularly treasure them.
Sat on the deck for a few minutes just before dark, savoring the peace and calm of the garden and wishing I had made time during the day to get out there. The fish were active in the pond and all the greens were saturated with color in the evening shade. Bits of color are popping out all over as the first blossoms of the next wave begin to open. Soon it will be peonies and iris.

What more could a girl want?


  1. I love your sweet bluebells. I successfully grew ranunculus in Texas. I always forget about those sweet blooms. I'm so happy spring has shown her face in your area.

  2. It's interesting to see that there is not a lot of difference in growing on the east coast and west coast. I agree in your viburnum id: it makes a nice specimen plant. Wonderful to see everything in bloom, even if it's for a short time.

  3. Go for it growing cut flowers - it is so rewarding! I am pathetic about labels, I think I will remember every name, but who am I kidding? Forget them all! Now I am selling some, I have got to be more disciplined!

    Your flower choices sound lovely and you write so beautifully of your garden at dusk, was almost sitting there with you (I wish!). x

  4. I want to throw my hat in the air and say "we're here". But of course this morning is windy as hell and seems chilly.

    Where did yesterday go?

    Still all the flowers blooming makes one a little warmer.

    I love your confetti comment. Even the lab comes in covered with petals.

    xo Jane

  5. Hello! I've linked to you in my current post;thankyou for your comment at Marie's.

    And your final pic? A bit difficult to be sure from the photo, but I'm guessing Morea or Dietes. Maybe Marie can nail it?

  6. Bonnie and Anneke, I so enjoy watching what's happening in your parts of zone 7. We are so different, and so alike. I do envy you the shorter winters, tho.

    Belinda, you are my inspiration for trying more cut flowers. Have fallen in love with what you are doing.

    Jane, what's up with this weather? Today was a total loss, altho I am so busy at work that I'm glad it was lousy, so I didn't feel bad about not getting outside at all. Tomorrow is supposed to be good, so maybe....

    Dinahmow, so happy you stopped by. I will do a bit of research on Morea and Dietes and see what I can find out, altho Marie probably will know! I have started a database of my plants, so am paying a bit more attention to the "real" names. Thanks for the pointer.