We are wrapping up our fourth week here since entering quarantine and the garden is still surprisingly unkempt and disorganized. The gardener likes to suggest it’s because he’s busy double timing as a common core math teacher to a 6th grader, and in spite of holding a minor in Mathematics it’s a daily struggle, but it’s also been pointed out that the gardener spends a lot of time “thinking”, and often that thinking is interpreted as “just sitting around”. Obviously sitting around does not get jobs done.
The gardener has been thinking the weather has been great, and the gardener has been thinking the sky is bluer than normal, and the gardener has been thinking it’s nice to have time to sit in the springtime sun without some desperate need to get just one spring chore done before dark. But the gardener has also been wondering if there have always been so many snakes in the yard.
I do like the snakes. One chilly morning I came across three little balls of snake out in the morning sun and I was surprised. A good surprise though, not the EeeAhhhugh Oh! surprise you get when one of these slithery serpents zips away from your reaching hand or approaching step. I think there’s something primordial in our natural fear of snakes, and I don’t entirely trust a person who just shrugs them off. Pick them up, fine, handle them, fine, you can think your way through that, but when one zips across your path you better jump a little.
It’s been taking forever it seems to get the raised beds built. There are a number of plants to move or pot up, but I really do blame the gardener. Not to dwell on the snakes, but work was called off entirely the other day when rustling in the boxwood hedge turned out to be an inappropriately writhing ball of snake procreation…. with an embarrassingly plural number of participants… it was watched for longer than it should have been, but it was interesting to see and of course if that’s what they need to do amongst the daffodils then lets just call off work for the afternoon to give them some privacy.
So rather than work hard, the gardener looks at daffodils.
Honestly the daffodils here have been tortured by poor drainage and neglect recently, and the show is not nearly as impressive as in other years, but the fewer words on that the better. What does warrant a few more words are the corydalis. They’ve enjoyed the cool weather as well and still look great. Mostly. Rabbits gave most if the ones in back a haircut, so….
I do like poking through all the corydalis seedlings. Some are great and plenty are nice, and there’s not that pressure you get with snowdrops to pick out and consider naming every next great thing. I guess corydalis don’t offer the same wild diversity that snowdrops hold 😉
Of course why stop at a good thing? If you can killed expensive named forms, why not try knocking off a few harder to find species? These next two prefer summer-dry, Russian steppe/rocky woodland type environs. The gardener isn’t sure if he should be insulted that the garden contains these types of planting areas, or pleased that the garden has made these happy for a third year, but in any case each spring could easily be their last.
Many gardeners crave blue corydalis. I’ve discovered a knack for killing blue corydalis. It’s kind of silly knack considering how easy blue scilla are, and hyacinths, and grape hyacinths, but if you know a perfectly perfect flower also comes in various blue shades, of course you need that color, and this gardener is no different.
Lets get back to easier things. A few words for the front border as daffodil season hits its stride.
As I think on it (there he goes again not really doing anything measurable), the gardener spends way too much time on nonsense. To mention a few words on the front border we could say ‘hyacinths and daffodils are easy and they look great’, but there goes the gardener again poking around and making things complicated. Amongst all the daffodil color he’s most excited to see a few purple leaved moneyplants (Lunaria annua ‘Rosemary Verey’) finally showing a good amount of purple. It was hard yanking the all green seedlings which used to rule, but over the years they are finally as purple as the strain should be.
I’ll leave you with even fewer words. Hellebores are up.
Another year without a late freeze and they’re all looking good.
Hope this post finds you well. Snow squalls are keeping the gardener inside today so rather than clean the bathrooms he’s blogging, but in spite of that he still gets fed three times a day. Not bad.