Spring!!!

This is the time of year when I like to complain about how terrible my allergies are.  The burning eyes and runny nose and sneezing… they’re really not all that bad but it’s the only season when I have something to blame my general laziness on.  It’s not aimless sloth, it’s dust and pollen.  I’m a victim I shout but then someone suggests I come in out of the polleny wind and clean the basement.  As if.

spring shade garden

A few primrose have not only survived, but have even prospered in the dry shade which has suddenly appeared in parts of the garden.  I swear I just planted those trees a year or two ago.

Saturday was actually a pretty busy day around here and things were weeded, mowed, pruned, and a few things were actually transplanted.  That’s good but in the sprit of easing into ‘hard labor season’ the gardener took Sunday off and photographed a few things.  The photo shoot was followed by much sitting around, and then the week since has been much of the same.

lathyrus vernus

More shade treasures, Lathyrus vernus was mowed by rabbits in March, but fenced in April.  This spring vetchling could have been nicer but at least a few flower buds survived.

My excuse the past two days has been heat.  79F yesterday and 84F today.  The warmth was such a shock today I almost started an inside cleaning frenzy before coming to my senses.  Fortunately things didn’t have to go that far since the house is again super neat with both kids home all day in a return to online learning.  I’m sure every parent recognizes the sarcasm dripping off every word in that last sentence.

lathyrus vernus

The pink form of Lathyrus vernus, ‘alboroseus’, was fenced before the rabbits got to it.  Anyone else would recognize that fencing should be done each spring but I like to surprise myself anew each year.

So now I’m trying to burst on past this wall of laziness and at least get a blog post up.  My garden has a springtime peak as the tulips and dogwoods come into bloom, and I’m absolutely ready to devote hours to just wandering around admiring bloom after bloom.  It’s similar to snowdrop season except there’s more than one color and I don’t have to crawl around on my hands and knees.

double daffodil

Some of last years divided and replanted daffodils, this one a nameless double which looks similar to ‘Tahiti’ but just a bit more yellow and slightly smaller.

The daffodils are really in full swing and the Darwin tulips and other early season tulips are opening to join them.  I know I brag about it all the time but this mostly exposed and summer-dry garden seems to be just what these tulips enjoy.

spring bulb garden

This is what the snowdrop bed degenerates into as other things come up.  The daffodils are intentional but only the reddish ‘Spryng Break’ tulips were planted, the rest came in via compost or squirrels.

The vegetable garden had been a major tulip stronghold, since every batch of compost and every turning of the beds seemed to spread them a little further, but last year’s raised bed project cleaned that up a little.  Many bulbs were collected, flowering plants potted up, and some were just lifted to new spots, but I did try to reduce the numbers…

growing tulips

The front bed is filled with bulbs collected during construction.  For some reason I hate the color mix and every day I am just minutes away from pulling the short purple and white tulips and tossing them…  it may still happen.   The back bed just needs emptying out… way too much yellow 🙂

Once the flowers are over and the foliage yellows, the bed above will be lifted, dried, stored, and replanted in the fall.  The flowers are sparse and small this year, but next year they’ll be fine again having spent the whole spring growing rather than suffering a mid April move.  I just need to get a few more pinks into the mix and get rid of the dumpy little purples.

growing tulips

I probably planted these tulips as well.  I probably even thought it was a good spot and I wouldn’t need the room for more brocolli and lettuce tranplants.

Although the raised beds… I mean ‘Parterre’… is having a down tulip year I still think tulips are a far better idea than just planting more cabbage.  More leftover and stray bulbs were planted in the concrete bed and (1) they did fine in a kinda exposed bed and (2) prove I need more red as well!  I can honestly see a day when the entire parterre is filled with tulips 🙂

growing tulips

I gave away some ‘Spryng Break’ bulbs but these were deemed “too small” to pawn off on unsuspecting gardeners so they were replanted.  Now of course I’ll have even more and still not know what to do with them all… but I do know they’ll have to be planted next to something other than the short and moody burgundy ‘Muvato’ now behind it.  

Yes.  I do like tulips.  Tulips and only the occasional deer make for a wonderful spring and I don’t know what I’ll do if the deer start making a habit of visiting.

growing tulips

The fine red outline of this Darwin hybrid will slowly bleed into the flower until it becomes completely orange.  I love it but have just too many of this one.

A lack of deer does not mean complete bliss.  Some parts of the garden are plagued by tulip fire, which infects the foliage and blooms and makes overcrowded and damp bunches turn to mush.  Th parterre re-dig helped immeasurably as did mulch and thinning, and this year I’ve been spraying with Neem oil and between that and a drier spring it all seems to be helping.  A better gardener would destroy the infected plants and not replant for five or so years but…

growing tulips

Some tulips seem more susceptible to tulip fire.  This orange late tulip has practically melted away while ‘Pretty Princess’ seems untouched.  

I could really go on and on about tulips but I’m just about blogged out for the night and I’m sure you’ll be fine without my babbling.  I’ll just leave you with some tulipomania from the front yard.

spring bulb garden

Tulip ‘Pink Impression’ on the left, and a few not-pink impression on the right.  All are excellent.

tulip burning heart

Tulip ‘Burning Heart’.  A big beauty who keeps coming back just as huge as they were in year one.

spring bulb garden

The star magnolia is finished but I think this end of the front border still looks decent.  It could use a few more tulips of course, and more daffodils won’t hurt either!

spring bulb garden

Tulip ‘Beauty of Spring’ anchors the other end of the front bed.  The red on this one will also spread as the flower ages.  With all the yellow daffodils I don’t know why I needed more yellow tulips, but there they are.

Fun fact.  As I was double checking the name on ‘Spring Beauty’ I came across an online site using an older picture of my clump to sell their wares.  I wonder if this entitles me to some kind of site discount…

Anyway it’s bedtime, so I hope these past few days also have you out enjoying the garden and reveling in the explosion of color called spring.  Perhaps it’s not spring in your neck of the woods, and in that case I hope there’s plenty of other joys to discover this week, in any case the key word is ‘enjoy’ 🙂

21 comments on “Spring!!!

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Tulipmania! Do you cut bouquets to bring inside or give away? I expect your garden is much admired in your neighborhood. Lucky neighbors!

    • bittster says:

      🙂 Every now and then the kids pick a few to bring inside, but most just get enjoyed in the garden. If the neighbors enjoy the garden they’re very quiet about it!

  2. Paddy Tobin says:

    Great display. The garden is looking very well.

  3. Great tulip show! Maybe not as strong as last year but looks good to me! Though I’ve never heard of tulip fire – sounds alarming.

    • bittster says:

      Thanks! Hopefully tulip fire never makes it to your garden. I think it’s more of a problem in wet years and with gardeners who let their tulips degenerate into overgrown messes.

  4. Gosh, I really need to find time to make a trip down there! You are welcome to any of my tulip bulbs once they’re done for the season. Not sure I planted any pink this year, though. I know I could save them and replant, but I do so enjoy choosing new ones every year! I consider it my way of keeping the bulb industry in business! Someone once contacted me to see if they could use on of my daffodil pictures on their business’s page. I told them yes, but never heard from them again, and never saw my picture. I can’t even remember who it was. And a newspaper reporter from Allentown referenced my blog in and article about the Macungie Flower Park. I think I suggested this another year, too, but is your not-Tahiti daffodil perhaps Double Fashion?

    • bittster says:

      Hmmmm. It could be double fashion! Now I’m faced with the struggle of enjoying it as an unknown, or searching for double fashion, acquiring a few bulbs, growing them next to each other, comparing them in bloom for a couple years, and then making the call. Hmmmm, what would a normal person do? lol
      I like your new bulbs each year theory! So much easier to plant the beans when the tulips are out of the way by memorial day. I don’t know if I have it in me though. Even when it’s just a thread of tulip foliage which won’t bloom for another two or three years I still hoe around it. I’m so weak!

  5. pbmgarden says:

    You seem to have planted a happy place. Your tulips are beautiful.

  6. Cathy says:

    Wonderful display of colour Frank. How do you manage to get them to all reflower and even spread?! I bet you have a secret recipe…. Have a great weekend and enjoy! 😉

    • bittster says:

      I think the tulips enjoy the full sun and dry summers. I bet they will do well in your beds! Do you have any planted? I’m sure you do but it will be interesting if they keep coming back in the new beds and new garden.

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your tulips do appear to be shouting “spring”. Little workers done here this week as I pulled a muscle in my back trying to pull up a wire trellis to move to a different place. I have had to sit back and enjoy what is going on in the garden. No tulips left in my garden but plenty other blooming beauties are stepping up. Have a great weekend.

    • bittster says:

      Sorry to hear about the back. I bet there’s plenty you want to get done but I guess there’s no better time for a little sitting back and enjoying. Your garden is always so nice this time of year.

  8. Annette says:

    It’s a delight to see your spring garden especially as our bulbs are coming to an end due to the very warm weather and drought. Your tulips look indecently happy 😀 you and lazy? I don’t believe a word, we just have to look at your spotless garden 😉 I’m more allergic this year than before, must have something to do with the world situation! Happy spring days x

    • bittster says:

      Thanks Annette, and sorry to hear you’re already into another dry spell, I hate when they start so early in the year and it gets the season off to such a trying start. But I think you know a thing or two about dry gardening!
      I remember years ago reading something about a study where higher Co2 levels in a greenhouse would make the plants grow better but also surprised them by putting out significantly more pollen. It seemed so unconnected at the time but I wonder if it has anything to do with things now.
      …or in my case I’m just following in my father’s footsteps, as he got older his allergies became worse…

  9. The tulips look fabulous! I’m foregoing them here at the Money Pit because I doubt they would be fond of my rocky clay, although there is ONE (yep, just one) that was here when I bought the house and has come back every April since….as if it’s saying “Here I am and here I’m stayin'” (like the refrain from that Bee Gees song, lol)

  10. Oh, those Tulips!! I’ve given up as the rabbits like them as much as I do. Everything looks lovely in your garden. We had 90° on Saturday (5/1) with very high winds so lots of spring flowers blew open and then blew away. Waiting for rain which has been sadly missing. I am going to look at your pix again to get another dose of spring.

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