The weather has suddenly caught up to the calendar and we’ve been suddenly and brutally been thrown into our first hot (90F, 32C) days of the year. I was battling cold and the chance of flurries Sunday and by Tuesday we’re turning the air conditioning on. Go figure. Better get some pictures and a post up before the tomatoes start ripening.
I was enjoying the long, cool, spring, but with two days of hot winds and beating sun everything has jumped ahead again. I always fall behind on posting at this time of year, but this post has really got to go up quick since by tomorrow morning I suspect most of these flowers will have been done in by the weather….
The hellebores will hopefully still have another week or so in them. Without any late freezes it’s been a great year, and I’m suddenly itching to grow a few more!
I grow a few from seed every year, and would have started many more but lately it seems I’ve been running out of room. The words ‘thinning the herd’ have come up, and now I’m looking at a few plants with a critical eye and an eager shovel. I need room for more seedlings, my favorites deserve a chance to spread their seed ;).
I’m probably being delusional. It would be a struggle for me to get rid of any of the hellebores, even the ones which might deserve the ‘less pretty’ title, and in case it’s not already obvious, I really lack the focus and conviction to ever draw a line with plants. Who knows though, one afternoon anger management might fail me and out they will come.
This spring even the messiest, most unevenly colored hellebore ends up being a favorite. Green flowers in particular win me over immediately.
Green flowers and other ‘curious’ blooms are always welcome here and this year I’m seeing a little success in that always curious plant group, the fritillarias. Fritillaria uva vulpis, aka fox’s grapes, is back for a second year and even though it took the convincing of a friend to sway me towards keeping them, I’m glad now that I did. They at least look a little ‘interesting’ rather than the straight ‘blah’ I saw last year, and perhaps they’ll continue to improve next year as well.
The snake’s head fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris) are showing off as well. I love them, and and it makes me happy to see seedlings and clumps forming as they settle in to the soggiest parts of the garden.
The white ones add a little contrast, but the checkered patterns and colors of the darker ones really wow me as they unfurl each spring. Fyi I’ll need to spread the seeds of these around as well!
By the end of last week the front border was at a peak with all the leftover hyacinths, corydalis, and the start of the midseason daffodils. From the right angle the bed looks packed with color and I was thrilled, and a few days later it still looks nice but half of what was in flower has been melted by the heat. Now the first tulips are coming on, and hopefully in a few day you’ll tolerate a few photos of that as well!
Here are a few highlights along the curb.
Behind the house the back garden is showing off as well. In three days all the green has turned to flowers!
Flowers aren’t the only color out there. This spring I’m finally seeing the awesome foliage which inspired me to hunt down my very own plant of Iris x robusta ‘Gerald Darby’. Thanks to Nan Ondra and her blog at Hayefield, I’ve been coveting this plant for years. Now I’m seeing that the wait was worth it.
I’ll spare you most of the other foliage photos, and the overabundance of daffodil photos to just leave you with a few more scenes from around the garden. The primroses enjoyed last summer’s rain and look promising for once in their (short) lives… such a refreshing change from their usual near-death appearance.
Under the weeping cherry the three day cherry bloom is over, and the spent petals are now decorating the ground. It’s a perfect complement to the last of the hardy cyclamen, which (not to rub it in) have been blooming since March, through storm and ice and heat, -unlike the short lived cherry.
While the earliest bloomers are still up and growing and building energy for next year, it’s a great time to do a little moving around and dividing. I created what I hope will soon become my very own trailer park snowdrop bed. It’s filled with the most messy and common double flowers, the ones all the classier growers look down on such as ‘Flore pleno’ and her variously marked variations such as ‘Pussey Greentips’ and ‘Lady Elphinstone’. I’m sure someday they will grow to wow even the most rarefied galanthophile.
While I’m moving snowdrops and boulders hopefully I’ll still have the time to enjoy a few daffodils and tulips. They’re opening as we speak and hopefully the winds and downpour which are barreling through this afternoon will spare a few. I managed to take one last photo out the back door before the storm hit and as you can see it was full on spring today.
My fingers are crossed for the weekend. If things work out as planned there will be plenty of time and energy for all the things which need doing… if history repeats itself there will be plenty of sitting around and little work. We’ll see who wins.
For the record I’ve spent $15 on pansies and then $14 on lettuce and more pansies. The rabbits have already eaten about $8 worth of the lettuce. It happens. Have a great weekend!
$15 for an exceptionally restrained first visit to my favorite garden center
$14 lettuce, onions, and more pansies, also essential
$576 total so far for the 2018 gardening year.