Garden 337

A cottage garden in an urban setting

Frostly Frizzles and Early Blooms

They say the area apple crop has suffered the worst spring in 70 years and the cherry orchards in the Traverse Bay area have been devastated.  Here at 337, I can definitely see where the frost has frizzled early foliage and blooms.  Some of the hostas got bitten.

Frost-damaged Francis Williams Hosta

And the hydrangeas all have some withered leaves.  The dutchman’s pipe vines (aristolochia)  suffered the most, but they cannot be completely discouraged and I’m confident they will bounce back quite quickly.  The little japanese maple got frizzled, too.  But each year it gets fuller, and I suspect it, too, will recover nicely.

Frost frizzled japanese maple leaves
Frost-withered dutchman’s pipe


But the early blooms are still welcome.  Of course, my livelihood doesn’t rest on the whims of Mother Nature.  Still, 30 years ago, the zone charts warned that tender plants could not go in the ground until June 1.  That no longer seems to be true, even here in West Michigan where our weather is so governed by Lake Michigan.

I have a few weeks reprieve from coursework. I finished my grades and happily uploaded them Monday around midnight.  And the journal I edit is going to the printers today or tomorrow.  So, I’m sliding into mid-spring and looking forward to puttering in the garden, riding my trike, and doing some writing.

In the garden, the columbine are blooming.  The aquilegia caerulea ‘Winky Blue & White’ are starting to open.  And the self-seeded pink and white columbine that were here when I bought the house (and tried to eradicate) stubbornly reappear each year.  And I confess I rather like them now.

Bridal veil spirea

The old bridal veil spirea that tries to take over the back doorway is now in full bloom.  I both love it and loathe it.  I once chopped it to the ground.  But it is indomitable and once again, as it does every year, needs pruning. So, as soon as its flowers fade, I’ll try and tame it.

Bridal veil spirea

And, the Pana rhododendrons  are starting to bloom.  What a wonderful deep fuchsia color they are.  I love wearing this color, by the way.

Panas and the cat sculpture in the entry garden

Though i’m not sure they can be called flower, the euphorbia that I planted a year ago is quite lovely.

Last year at the Ottawa Hills Garden Tour, I saw that one gardener had place wrought iron decorative pieces into her garden pathways and I really liked the look.  I spotted one at a shop a few weeks ago and bought it, thinking I could place it where two crushed limestone paths meet.  I think I like it.

New decorative piece in the Secret Garden



About Me

I haven’t always been a gardener, but I have always loved gardens. It has taken 16 years to get my gardens into the shape they are today. And, I’ve had help. I’m 74 years old, have rheumatoid arthritis, and had a late stage cancer six years ago. I am, though, intrepid. I’m the kind of person who plods along, tailoring my goals as I go. Last November I had a long overdue knee replacement surgery and I’m hoping this spring, summer, and fall will be able to maintain and find even more joy working in all of my garden beds. Full disclosure, though. I have a garden guy who comes once a week to work in my gardens.


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