Tulips My very favorite flower. Princess Irene This was not my best year for tulips. I think the warm winter didn't allow them time to fully develop: some of them came up quickly, were short and stumpy, or had flower heads that were much too heavy and large for the stem. Not sure. However, yes, I did get some really nice shots of those that flowered and put on quite a show! The next four shots are Tulip Blumex Favorite from Wayside Gardens Ok, I have to admit, they were pretty stunning! And mixed in there is the Triumph Princess Irene from Terra Ceia. These next three pictures are Sensual Touch from Burpee These bloomed very late, well after all the others, and were definitely stunted in growth. Short stems with bulbous flower heads....not quite what I had been expecting! But yes, they make great photo subjects. Here are some of the Blumex tulips, fading as cut flowers. I tend to love tulips as they fade and droop: what fabulous photo subjects they make! As you can see, my color story this year was variations on orange... maybe no big surprise there. So, what for next year? I've already made note of two new (to me) tulips from different people I follow on Instagram and who [...]
Lots of small jobs around the garden this week: time to update the pots! Looking great! But that was a month ago and now the pansies are brown and almost gone. I had won (at a garden club dinner!) these two planters years ago and love them. For years they were sort of planter orphans: no home in the garden seemed right for them. But now they sit in the front entryway and are perfect. The pansies do well all winter: when it's cold and icy the flowers shrivel up but give them a day of sun and some warmer temps and they flourish! But, given that this is the hot Western side of our house, I have to be careful in summer. So this year I have filled them with Portulaca and Delosperma (Ice Flower); both are wonderful in hot, dry conditions! I added that one dark purple petunia...we shall see. Another 'to-do' is to plant seeds. I don't plant many seeds as I find they just do not do well for me. Last year a friend started some in his greenhouse for me (seeds brought back from England so they were very special!) but otherwise I avoid them. However, here I am, with Zinnia seeds brought back from Petersham Nursery in London. So...I put them in this big pot [...]
My "new take on garden tools" is this: How do you garden if you have any (I mean ANY ) physical problems, aches and pains, are post-surgery, aging, have knees that don't bend with quite the same ease, hips that creak, and any sort of arthritis. That pretty much covers an entire range of issues, doesn't it? Well, maybe you are in one or more of those categories. I am! Having had hand surgery in early December I am almost back to normal, but not quite. And the knees creak a bit. And I am always aware of the elbow surgery of eleven years ago. What are the options? Stop gardening Hire someone to do the gardening Investigate new tools that just might help #1 is just not an option for me. #2 no, not there...yet! #3 Yes. I have done just that: I have scoured the internet and various companies for all sorts of helpful garden tools that just might be useful to own and use. Very first on my own personal list was a low stool of some kind. I've seen the various benches that show someone kneeling and working in a garden. Well, I don't want to have to kneel! And those benches have a footprint of about 23" long. Do you realize how difficult that would be to put [...]
Helpful Hint = Reminder Don't forget to use Holly Tone! It's that time of year: time to feed and nourish those acid loving plants. Hydrangeas, Camellias, Azalias, Rhododendrons, Hollies and Evergreens. It's best to feed in the fall also, but the spring feed is the biggie! Just sprinkle around the base out to the drip line, work in gently and maybe give a little water (if rain is not in the forcast.) Your plants will thank you! Not to be overlooked: the garden is coming along with spring vibes. Look at this lychnis coronaris "Alba" The plants are thriving; just when I thought they were not going to make it at all. I planted them from seeds brought back from England two years ago. I started them last winter/spring, planted them outside in April and watched, all summer long, as they just sat. Nothing. But at least they didn't die! And now, I think we might actually have flowers this summer! To be continued.... That's it for the weeks gardening updates. Hope you have a lovely first weekend of Spring!
Container gardening is one of the things I love most about gardening. I love the colors and textures (surprise, surprise, right?) Containers can, sometimes, be the only way to garden in a difficult spot. We have a Japanese Maple in our terrace garden that totally prevents me from digging into the ground below it. Containers to the rescue! They add dimension to certain spaces. The tall green one below forms an end point in one garden and raises the eye a bit. I've always liked containers by a front entrance. In my case, we have brick steps leading to a brick porch area with the front door. What a perfect place for containers. The only problem here is it faces directly west with that very hot afternoon sun so I have to be very careful with what plants will survive. Succulents have, over the years here, been the best choice. Here is a photo I had put into Instagram back in February. You can see what was, to my eye, pure garden candy! Oh the colors. So, of course, I went back and bought that orange one you see at beginning of this post. Do I love it? You bet. This is a BIG pot. So how to fill it without it weighing a ton? I refer you to a long-ago post I [...]
I realize not everyone has had nice, or even decent, weather lately. Between snow, cold and rain it has not been a great winter for many of us. So, of course, flowers are few and far between (except those luscious tulips at the store!) We are fortunate to have a somewhat milder climate here in Zone 7b. This doesn't mean we don't get a lot of rain and grey days...but it does begin to warm up for many days in February. Thank goodness I planted many new daffodils last fall. They are so easy, the deer don't eat them, and oh do they put on a show in early Spring! I had totally forgotten I put in these cute, bright Anemone Blanda/Grecian Windflower, last fall. The tulips are coming! I had an overflow of bulbs last fall so stuck these in pots just outside the back door. Have no idea what they are....which will be fun! One of my hellebores from Pine Knot Farms: 'Penny's Pink' Even the Iberis/Candytuft has popped open in a sunny, protected site. Pansies do well here in our cooler weather: October through May. They may close up when it snows or is very cold, but they pop right back to life with some sunshine. These have been in my garden since last fall: And today [...]