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 could be nicer than watching the seasons come and go in the garden. I hope to retire in about three years and spend more time just digging in the dirt. I'm not a professional gardener, but enjoy putting my hands in the dirt and seeing what happens.
For now, let's enjoy it together!