Tuesday View: The Front Border 5.16.17

The spring bulbs are over.  It was up to 92F (33C) today and suddenly the feel of summer is in the air and there’s a new rush on planting and trimming and all the projects which were on the to-do list.  I wasn’t going to post this week, but with iris season fast approaching it’s probably better to at least look a little level-headed for another week or so before going completely off the deep end again with the next big flower flood.  Right now I think of this as the green phase, and with the lawn freshly cut and the beds not yet overrun with weedlings I think it looks springtime calm.

street border

Not much color.  Tulips have faded and been deadheaded but other than that it’s been a no-work week. 

I continue to border on sainthood as more and more days go by without any major plant purchases, but make no promises about the next week or two.  I do have to confess one moment of weakness though which happened a few weeks ago.  It was during pansy season so I don’t think it counts but I am concerned that I would have tried to hide it had I not been busted by a visiting blogger last week.  This plant really is an example of giving in to temptation.

lupine red rum

Lupine ‘Red Rum’.  Perfectly grown, budded, and the tag promised a color which easily breaks through my steeliest resolve.  I resisted also buying a purple, but this one was too tempting and even if it does die in another year or less I’m still sure having it here now makes me a better person.

Otherwise nothing else is putting on a show, even though a patch of ‘Gladiator’ alliums looks decent enough.

allium gladiator

Allium ‘Gladiator’ and a solitary bee.  People are worried about bee populations dropping but I feel like all bugs (other than gnats and mosquitos) are becoming scarcer. 

I shouldn’t go on too much in a post about nothing.  In an attempt to leave you with a bit of substance, here’s a flashback of last year’s Tuesday view, the tropical border.  The bed seems to have picked up a number of perennials and hopefully that’s not a problem now that it’s warm enough for the tropicals to go in again.

the tropical garden

With a fresh border of mulch the tropical garden is beginning to get its summer residents.  Oranges and yellow zinnias are the first to go in and I guess that means it will be another bright planting 😉 

The tropical bed didn’t take nearly as many zinnias as I thought so it looks like we’ll also have a nice orange theme when the extras go into the front street border.  I’m not sure how that will work out but as usual I’m not too concerned.

Thanks again to Kathy at Words and Herbs for hosting this weekly view, and please consider giving her blog a visit to see what others are talking about this week.  I hear she’s also dealing with the first warm spells of the year and it’s exciting to think summer is just around the corner…

18 comments on “Tuesday View: The Front Border 5.16.17

  1. That’s a fabulous lupine. It got up to 91F here, so we weren’t far behind you. I keep telling myself it’s only going to be for two days. I don’t think it should be 91 any day of the year, much less in May–that’s why I live in a cold climate. Well, it’s supposed to be a cold climate . . .

    • bittster says:

      Doesn’t the weather read your blog!?
      I’m so glad the temperatures will go back down tomorrow, I’ve been feeling spoiled this year by actually having a real spring with rain and stretches of cool weather. This normal weather almost makes up for the fiasco which others referred to as snowdrop season!
      We broke down and turned the air conditioning on for the night. Probably could have made it without but wanted to see if it was still working 😉

  2. Cathy says:

    I shall look forward to seeing the tropical bed coming together again this year Frank. In the meantime your front border exudes a sense of ‘all is well with the world’ and must be very satisfying to see as you drive up your street. 🙂 A gorgoues lupin! I adore them, but they are also a delicatessen to local snails, so I just look at them longingly every time I see them in a garden centre instead and dream of a snail-less future… 😉

    • bittster says:

      You are a stronger person for leaving the lupines at the garden center. They don’t last all that long here either but right now it’s worth it!
      I may have to leave my conscience in the house and grab a sharp spade to tackle the tropical bed. It’s filled with nice enough seedlings and more and more perennials and I don’t think the cannas will find a home unless I am ruthless with the removals.

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Great decision to get the lupine. Very hot here also but cooler days forecast next week.

    • bittster says:

      Fortunately the pool guy convinced my mil to open the pool a couple weeks early. The kids got a lot of use out of it these past two days!

  4. Christina says:

    Suddenly your temperatures are hotter than here; we’re experiencing the mid to high twenties. The border looks great in its green phase.

    • bittster says:

      I think we’re cooling off tomorrow, but I should still be warm enough to give us a summer feeling. Fortunately we’ve had plenty of rain, so I think my transplanting plans are still a go!

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    The calm before the storm? 🙂

  6. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Oh, your warm temperatures sound heavenly. We’re supposed to heat up quite a bit for the weekend and week to come but the warmest day will only reach 80. If you buy one plant and pass on another it cancels out any guilt. It’s sort of like eating an ice cream sundae with a diet pop. Since your lupine is cardinal red, you’re well on your way to sainthood just for adding it to your garden.

    • bittster says:

      I hope your temperatures have finally warmed up, but even if they haven’t it sounds like you’re really getting the most out of your spring this year.
      Thanks for the plant buying advice. I consider you the Buddha of plant buying and the idea of canceling out guilt already has me on the way to enlightenment 🙂

  7. Yes, this is a green season! But, oh, I’m glad the lupine made an appearance here! It’s so pretty. I checked for mine up in the lasagna bed, and there’s absolutely no sign of them.
    : ( Glad this little hot spell is going to be short-lived! I broke my own rule about no annuals before Memorial Day, and bought a flat at Agway a couple days ago. They had the purple Salvia Evolution I really like, but not much of it, so I wanted to snatch it up before it was gone! Haven’t put it in yet, but tomorrow I will. Let me know when you plant your Canna bulbs, OK? The hellebore, primrose, etc. . . all seem to be doing well since I got them planted late last week. Glad you posted this week!

    • bittster says:

      Has it really been two weeks since you posted this!? I’m so far behind in my replies…. as usual 🙂
      I don’t think I noticed that you were able to find the salvia. There’s a good chance I would have swung by Agway to see if there were any left. -actually I still might, they would be perfect for alongside my marigolds (which I did buy a flat of). I’m planning on a marigold kind of summer, hot and bright and fun!

  8. I was complaining because it hit 83. Guess I better be quiet. Then storms came and dropped our temps 30 degrees. That Lupine is well worth the extravagance. I always saw lupines in UK garden pix that were terrific colors like this. Lucky you!

    • bittster says:

      I saw you mention something about higher temps coming your way again. It’s so cool here lately I wouldn’t mind a little of that, but to be honest my laziness rises just as fast as the thermometer and absolutely nothing gets done once it gets warmer.
      Hope your cold goes away fast, also I just remembered I wanted to check out Prairie Break to see his writeup of your garden!

  9. That hot spell was brutal, wasn’t it. I was composting beds in 91 degrees — yes, I’m a nutty (or stupid) gardener. Today it’s almost too cold for me to work outside. Your front border is in really good shape. And I love the lupine. I sowed a packet of wild lupine seeds in my cottage garden. Hope they germinate in spite of the crazy weather. P. x

    • bittster says:

      Good luck with the lupine!
      I was convinced they were difficult around here but then just last week spotted a few wild clumps growing in some recently bulldozed and re-seeded industrial park slopes. I guess if they can grow through complete neglect then I really should be able to find a spot that makes them happy!

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