Tuesday View: The Front Border 4.25.17

The more observant reader will notice that Tuesday has both come and gone and this website has remained silent.  Fortunately Thursday might be just as good, and to its credit (and my salvation) the garden blog-world seems to be extremely well populated with the polite and supportive, so I have full confidence that anyone who would be bothered by this tardiness has long since abandoned following this blog.  With that said I present this week’s Tuesday view.

tuesday view mixed border

The Tuesday view… in all honesty taken on Wednesday and posted on Thursday… but hopefully still welcome.  The early daffodils and hyacinths have passed to be replaced with the later daffodils and tulips.

Although I probably promised not to plant any more tulips last spring, fall came and I planted more tulips.  In case you didn’t already know this, there is no way you can have too many tulips, but this of course assumes you don’t have nasty deer who rip out and crush your heart as soon as the flowers are ready to open, or squirrels who steal and squirrel away bulbs faster than you can plant them… these are things I’ve avoided so far, and luckily for me my typical animal plague, rabbits, don’t touch my tulips.  I suppose after eating crocus flowers and foliage for the last few weeks they’ve finally lost their appetite for bulbs.

mixed perennial border

The other end of the bed, a view which borrows the Pepto-Bismol pink of the neighbor’s Kwanzan cherry.  I love that tree with it’s old gnarled trunks and overly double and too-pink flowers.  I almost spit up when friends came by to look at the neighbor’s house and mentioned cleaning up the landscaping by cutting “that ugly thing” down.  I may have to lose their name from the Fourth of July party list.

You may have noticed the flowering utility pole.  I’ve been trying to throw a blind eye to the dogwood seedlings which pop up here and there (usually in the wrongest spots) but eventually they demand your attention.  I can’t pull them and I’m much to lazy to find a better spot for them so on and on they grow until finally they’re too nice to get rid of.  I’ll leave it to the next homeowner to scratch his head over logic behind growing a dogwood 8 inches away from a telephone pole or another two inches from the street curb… or the one practically under the eaves of the house.  I could go on.  Actually I just noticed at least a dozen more seedlings this spring, so I really might have to re-evaluate my plans or lack there-of, but for now I will revel in the rewards of doing nothing.

dogwood seedling

The cable guy’s problem.  I’m fine with it here and as far as I know there’s never been an ugly dogwood.

I’m sparing you from the tulip pictures just like I held back on the daffodil photos.  I have many.

butterfly on tulip

I love most tulips but the streaked ones are favorites.  Notice the little cabbage white butterfly, I never thought of tulips or daffodils as butterfly flowers but again this spring they seem to enjoy the blooms.

You might not think it but there have been a lot of tulip losses from the tulip fire fungus.  My fingers are crossed it will back off as a problem as more average springs return (and less relentless rain) but only time will tell.  Time will also tell if it was a stupid oversight to leave a (most likely) virused tulip growing in the bed.

tulip candy apple delight

The normal flowers of a ‘Candy Apple Delight’ tulip on the left and a streaked (“broken”) flower on the right (and maybe the far left as well).  I really should pull it, but it’s doing well and multiplying and to be honest I think it’s interesting next to the normal version.

Virused tulips and their surprising streaks were one of the driving forces for the Dutch tulipomania of the 17th century when the purchase and trading of tulip futures drove prices through the roof.  It’s a cool connection and I think of this past when I look at my little typhoid Mary.  We’ll see what happens.  Not to sound too obsessed but I’m actually tempted by some of the real broken tulips which are still around from the Mania days.  Old House Gardens offers a few which go back nearly 400 years and even though they’re pricy I challenge you to find a cheaper antique of equivalent age.

That’s it for my not-quite Tuesday view.  As usual I’d like to thank Cathy for hosting, and if you’d like to see where others are at this week, give Words and Herbs a visit or even better join in with your own view.  The more the merrier!

24 comments on “Tuesday View: The Front Border 4.25.17

  1. I am a sucker for OHG bulbs as I like plants with a history and backstory. Have been very happy with everything I’ve ordered from them. Your dogwood seedlings are much prettier than mine!

    • bittster says:

      Oh you’re not helping me resist OHG. They have such interesting goodies and like you say an interesting backstory sure beats “I bought it at Lowes”.
      Your dogwoods are less than amazing? I can’t even imagine, I’m sure they will grow into it soon enough.

  2. Do you think your tiniest dogwood seedlings would travel well? I would love to take some off your hands.

  3. Cathy says:

    The dogwood is really pretty – does it grow much taller? The front bed looks lovely with all those bulbs. I agree that you can never have enough tulips, but I think I have neglected planting enough daffodils, so that might be my mission this coming autumn! 😉 Thanks for joining me this week Frank!

    • bittster says:

      I think the dogwoods will still put on a few more feet up and out. They’re still so young but generally I would expect a size similar to a crabapple, although this spot right next to the street is really some of the worst soil in the garden, and they might always stay on the small size.
      I wish I could send you a few daffodils. I might actually compost a few this year…

  4. Cathy says:

    So agree that you can never have too many tulips. I do exactly the same thing with virused tulips – and, like you, it makes me very, very nervous. But that streaky ‘Candy Apple Delight’ really is a delight. Oh for seeding dogwoods! You’re too right again – never seen an ugly one. I have only one in the garden, planted last spring (C. kousa ‘Satomi’) – really heavy frosts have damaged it. Fingers crossed for the little plant! Your front border really does look lovely – hope you never hear the sound of a chainsaw on that characterful cherry.

    • bittster says:

      If you can keep a few virused tulips around I think I can manage the same! I already feel better about having them, and honestly they could die out or be eaten any given year so it’s not like we’re risking the life of a 200 year old oak tree!
      I’ve been very tempted by pink kousa dogwoods this spring. They’ve been showing up here and there at the box stores and the prices are ridiculously low. I must really wonder if they’re anywhere near as nice as ‘Satomi’ or if they’re just a regular kousa with a pink blush or small flowers. I shouldn’t overthink it. Good luck with yours, I hope it recovers quickly!

  5. Christina says:

    I’d leave the Dogwoods too; if something is happy enough to seed and grow in my garden then it has my approval; and as you say is there an ugly dogwood – I don’t think so. I have a couple of tulips that have the virus, interestingly both are under roses; does that have some kind of effect on them. There aren’t any other tulips close by so I too have left them. Perhaps I’m being very foolish considering how many are planted in the garden.

    • bittster says:

      I had no idea that tulip virus was common enough to show up in more than just a few gardens. I think I’m going to let them be as well, there aren’t any wild tulips or rare stock which I keep here, so the downside to virus streaking my entire tulip garden is really nonexistent. I like the look 🙂
      Selfseeders are always welcome here as well. Often they end up in a spot I would have never picked and I’m surprised by how good it looks!

  6. Wow! It all looks great already!
    Do you want my tulip bulbs after I dig them out of the vegetable garden this year? It would be foolish of me to grow them outside of a fence here, so I treat them like annuals and plant new ones every year.
    You are inspiring me to get off my butt (or maybe get on it!) to write a new post soon! I’ve taken pictures for a few, but haven’t done the actual work!
    I wonder if one of those dogwood seedlings would transplant well up here? My landscaper steered me away from flowering dogwood because he says the winters here, just that tiny bit farther north of you, are just too harsh for them.

    • bittster says:

      Come on! I always enjoy seeing your posts on FB, but a good blog post would go so much further!
      A dogwood seedling is worth a shot. Like you said I find it hard to believe that tiny bit of a latitude change would be the deciding factor, I don’t even think I’ve ever seen one winter damaged here in a really cold winter. Trees around this exposed neighborhood are at least 40+ years old so I guess I’ll pot one up for you!
      You wouldn’t want any astilbes as well, would you? I’m admitting my garden is just too dry to grow them well and I bet you have a damp spot to make them happy.

  7. Lisa says:

    our borders look very nice! I can understand that you don´t want to pull your tulips with the virus out. To be honest, since I heard about tulipomania and saw pictures of broken tulips, I secretly hoped to find a broken tulip in my garden and I indeed have a broken tulip in my garden at the moment. I don´t want to pull it out either as I think it looks very special and beautiful. Regarding your dogwood, I think it is such a pretty plant. Interestingly, hardly any people seem to grow it here in Austria, but now that I have seen pictures of it on garden blogs I am thinking to buy one for my own garden.
    Enjoy gardening!
    Best wishes,

    • bittster says:

      All the best for your dogwood hunt, I’ve heard the American type is not as happy overseas but I would think the Chinese C. kousa would do fine, and they’re also beauties.
      Your tulips are beautiful as well and I don’t blame you for feeling a little cautious about leaving the virused one, but they are so interesting. Thanks for the comment!

  8. pbmgarden says:

    Your garden is well on its way. Lovely tulips. I’ve never seen flowering dogwood so eager.

  9. Eliza Waters says:

    Better late than never, I say! Always a pleasure to view your garden. Tulips are always pretty and one can never have too many. I have voles and deer, so they are a bad investment for me, though I enjoy seeing them. I wish I had a dogwood seedling problem. I think we are a bit too north for them and the one I have is hanging on.

    • bittster says:

      Maybe your dogwood will just settle in one day and surprise you.
      I didn’t know you had voles as well as deer. At least a big fence will keep the deer out, I don’t think there’s anything you can do for voles short of an army of hungry cats, but then you’d have an army of cats…

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Well, if I wanted tulips, I could construct wire cages to plant them in, but that wouldn’t protect them from deer. It’s a pain, but not much I can do but accept it!

  10. Some beautiful tuliips, and I love those dogwood flowers.

  11. Annette says:

    There’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, Frank, and that’s “Never say never” as a gardener and believe me, I’ve learned it the hard way. Years ago I said I’m not going to buy any more terracotta pots…just an example. Like your tulips by the way 😉

    • bittster says:

      Funny you would mention that, once upon a time I thought terracotta was too much trouble and dried too quickly. Now I find myself picking up plain old pots here and there and just “needing” to take them home… plus I can’t resist the fancier terracotta (although finding them around here for a reasonable price is very uncommon!)
      I have to think back to what else I’ve said ‘Never again’ or ‘no more’ to, maybe I can get a better idea of what other obsessions are on the way!

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