Hola Spring

Spring arrived last week, and from the looks of it she’s in a rush.  A couple warm days, a gentle rain, and we’re off!

berm plantings

‘Just a bit’ of pruning on the seven sons tree (Heptacodium) turned into a few trunks being removed, but the real point of this is the finished berm and trees which now shield us from the Industrial park.

I had to quickly finish up the last of the cleanup -which turned into more of a leave in situ/ call it natural mulch/ kind of thing- but I did try to get in a few projects.  One of them was an attempt at addressing the cankers which always seem to show up on the Seven Sons tree (Heptacodium miconioides).  From what I’ve read this plant seems to be prone to them, and my options are (1)ignore them and hope they don’t completely girdle the branch (2)cut them out whenever they show up, or (3)get rid of the whole thing.  For those keeping track, I’ve moved on to option 2.

heptacodium canker seven sons

Eventually these canker infections will grow enough to encircle the entire branch, cutting off the flow of nutrients and the trunk will die off.  Hopefully cutting them out will help control them…

Fortunately my pruning activities are nothing compared to the curly willow my friend has to deal with.  The almost-bomb cyclone weather system which pummeled the midwest earlier in the week also brought fierce winds, rain, and hail to our little valley.

wind damage

I feel somewhat responsible.  About a dozen years ago I offered a potful of rooted cuttings which were graciously accepted.  Curly willow grows fast though.

rain forecast

The weather forecast for this Easter weekend.

Not to dwell on the weather but any gardener worth his or her salt tends to dwell on the weather and I of course am no exception.  At the risk of appearing to complain I just want to point out that my holiday break perfectly matches the multi-day rain event which will be April-showering the Northeast this weekend.  Also if you are curious as to what part of the Northeast plays host to my garden, it’s just about dead center to the red outline which highlights this weekend’s heaviest rain forecasts.

Still, too much rain always beats drought, so I’ll just hope for the best and just enjoy the flowers which are coming up all over!

perennials and spring bulbs

A week ago it was corydalis, now the daffodils and hyacinth are taking center stage.  btw, Hyacinths don’t appreciate high winds so fortunately the ones here were only just coming up when the wind hit.

I can complain about a lot of things, but the spring bulbs along the street are not one of them.  All I do is cover up last year’s debris with a mulch of chopped leaves and then wait for things to come up.  It’s been a couple years since I last added new daffodils or hyacinths but I think this year a few can use some dividing.  Of course I’ll spread them out some more!

hyacinth woodstock

I think this is ‘Woodstock’.  I love those dark stems and saturated color.  Beetroot red is often used in descriptions, and I think that’s right on the mark.

narcissus red devon

‘Red Devon’ (which is looking less washed out this year) with ‘Tweety Bird’ in back and a few pale ‘Pistachio’ here and there.  ‘Pistachio’ is an absolute favorite in case you’re wondering. 

narcissus barret browning

‘Barret Browning’ (pre-1945) is an oldie but goodie.  

I have a few grape hyacinths out there as well.  I avoid letting them go to seed, but of course when I saw seeds offered I had to try them.  Go figure.  I think they’re extra special of course, since I spent three years growing them on to blooming size, but I won’t be offended if you think they look just like any other muscari which you can buy for pennies a bulb.

muscari seedlings

Muscari seedlings along the front walk.  I believe these were planted as ‘Mt Hood’ but of course don’t show anything close to the icy blue color and pale tip of the parent.  

I see that the rain outside has stopped for a bit, so let me find my boots and take a slog around the garden.

perennials and spring bulbs

A view down along the street border.  From the side and angled just perfectly it looks packed with spring color, and that’s the view I’d like to leave you with.

Enjoy your weekend and have a blessed Easter and Passover.

15 comments on “Hola Spring

  1. Very nice! You are way ahead of me! Just my earliest daffs have started opening in the past two days! Well, at least the grass is greening up, and the seed my husband put down is either getting a good soaking or has washed down the hill into the ditch! ‘Barrett Browning’ really is sweet, and good job on getting the Muscari to bloom from seed! I like those deep red-purple hyacinths. All of my hyacinths are pretty old now and have reverted to pale pink. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Happy Easter to you!

    • bittster says:

      Hope spring is inching its way up to the Highlands by now 😉 Here the dogwoods are already opening, kind of a surprise to see everything coming along so fast but at least we’re done with snow…. right?…. hopefully?
      I was expecting rain this weekend, so it’s a surprise to see sunshine and blue skies. My goal today will be to not spend too much time looking at things, and more time working. As usual we’ll just have to see how that goes.
      Enjoy!

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Hola Frank, Your spring bulbs are looking mighty fine. Even those penny muscari are adorable. What is not to like about them? This time of year one can’t be too picky. We have had the rain and cold that you are getting over Easter. It is moving your way. It is 47 here today and supposed to be 74 tomorrow. Happy Easter.

    • bittster says:

      We dodged anything too cold or too rainy, although we did get plenty of wind. Still it was a much better than expected holiday weekend and I hope yours was as well.
      I noticed one small, pale blue muscari mixed in with all the other seedlings. I’m thrilled for the surprise 🙂

  3. That last view is stunning, Frank. I need to separate some daffodils this year too. My garden is under water right now with the downpour of the last several hours. But no trees down in spite of the winds and strong thunder storms. I’m not sure which is worse, rain or drought. With drought my five rain barrels come into service. Looks like I won’t need them again this year. Have a wonderful Easter. P. x

    • bittster says:

      Hope you had a wonderful Easter as well, and I hope the most recent downpours didn’t do anything more than top off your rainbarrels and the pond!
      Here in the past few days everything has exploded and it’s very exciting of course. In spite of the weather the tulips look excellent and I hope to avoid spending all day admiring them 😉

  4. Hmm. I think I need some Woodstock hyacinths. They are really stunning but somehow never looked as good in a catalog. I always love to see what’s blooming in your garden because that means soon the same things will be blooming in mine. The grass has greened up but it’s pretty soggy out there.

    • bittster says:

      I bet it’s still pretty soggy, and the week’s forecast doesn’t look much better. The rain does move everything along though, and I bet you’re also seeing all kinds of buds swelling and sprouts showing.
      There are plants in need of dividing, and weeds in need of pulling. Will any of that happen? Who knows, but at least it’s not warm enough to sit for hours on the porch relaxing… that would be a terrible shame if that’s all I did this morning 😉

  5. Cathy says:

    Wow, spring really has got a move on where you are! We could do with some of your rain – so dry and windy here and hot for April too. That last photo is an absolute delight. 🙂

    • bittster says:

      Sorry to hear it’s still so hot and dry. A hot wind just rushes everything along and burns fresh petals up, it’s so frustrating. Here we’ve been getting cold winds. I’m not sure if that’s much better.
      Hope you still have an excellent weekend!

  6. I’ve heard people extol the virtues of the Seven Sons Tree but never mention the cankers. Wonderful Daffodils, especially the ‘Barrett Browning’.

  7. GREAT POST! Spring has sprung and now we gardeners can enjoy the fruits of our labor.

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