Thank you, May Dreams Garden, for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. It’s nice to feel welcomed back into my own gardens. And it’s nice to hop on over to the GBBD website to get inspired. There are gorgeous gardens to wander through at the click of a mouse.
It’s easy for me to get distracted and I often postpone tasks that should have been done. Like blogging about the garden on days other than Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. I took some pictures a couple weeks ago and have been trying to think of ways to write about the garden other than to document what is blooming each month. But here I am on GBBD and pushing against the clock and prepping for a class tomorrow. Plus I have to walk the dog and ignore the clean sheets that are piled on a chair in the living room and get my annuity stuff together. I’m retiring. Things have to happen.
So, first, the love.
This is what is blooming in my garden today.
Last summer I hardly set foot in the garden. My trusty gardener did all the work. Richard has been working in my garden for several years and I love what he does. And the garden loves him back. But last summer the garden belonged more to Richard than me. Yeah, I was dealing with surgery and chemo and radiation. And, I taught two classes, but much of that work took place online. It took me weeks and weeks to recover from surgery. And, about six weeks after surgery I started chemo which knocked me flat. So, no gardening for me.
This year I get into the garden almost every day and do a little weeding, yank out the ever aggressive dutchman’s pipe, deadhead the day lilies. The garden is mine, though, Richard still does his magic. I don’t know what I would do without dear Richard. He rearranges the hostas, curses at the dutchman’s pipe, and keeps a keen eye out for other forms of garden trouble, like the chipmunk that has made a home under some bricks in the Secret Garden.
So, what is this love/hate thing?
I love them. I dream 11 months out of the year about my day lilies. I’m quite fond of the pink ones, especially the dark pink lilies. I know. I said that already.
But the minute they begin to bloom, they begin to fade. The leaves closest to the ground dry out and turn brown. And the flowers bloom for just one day. Everyday I pluck the previous day’s withered flowers and drop them on the bark that keeps moisture in the soil. I’ve tried to plant lilies that are early bloomers, and others that bloom later, but the hate murmurs softly that each day will bring a little bit of death. I know, day lilies don’t die when they give up their spent blooms, but it’s sad to see the scapes that have no more buds on them.
I love hostas, too, and I don’t feel sad at all when their flowers fade. Perhaps I’m being a titch too dramatic.
It’s been a tough winter, the toughest in a couple of decades. More than 100 inches of snow fell on the garden this year. And temps hovered around zero degrees Fahrenheit for too many weeks. Snow can protect perennials and I’m confident that most of the plants in the gardens survived the winter. But the bitter cold has taken a toll. One of the dwarf alberta spruces in the entrance garden is showing winter burn damage. It’s too soon to tell whether the bush will fill in a bit. This will be an issue of disguising damage rather than any hope of regrowth. Dwarf albertas do not “repair” burn damage. The boxwoods got burned, too, but I am less concerned about that. I’ll trim the burnt ends and the hedge will be none the worse.
Also damaged were a couple of holly bushes. These I am even less concerned about. There never thrived where they were planted, and, truth to tell, if they had thrived, they would be a problem. So, I might just use this as an excuse to pull them out. My guess is that I have a friend who will give them a good home. But it isn’t all sad news for the garden. Lots of things are starting to poke their heads above ground. And I even spotted a wayward crocus blooming. This is a volunteer or, perhaps, a remnant from long gone days before my gardens went in. And the day lilies are coming up. So, in a few weeks, everything will have filled in. And, I’ll be able to finish the pathways. How I have been looking forward to that!
Also coming up are the dicentras. In a few weeks those lovely branches full of pink hearts will arch gracefully.
After our unseasonably warm early spring, we returned to some frosty days (and nights). Some early risers got nipped. The Dutchman’s Pipe lost some new foliage, but it will bounce back with a vengeance. I’m not sure about the old cherry tree. It’s too soon to tell whether the frost killed a lot of “cherry hope.” But things are still ahead of schedule, so April’s Bloom Day is bountiful compared to last year’s. A year ago, only the heather and a few brave violets were blooming.
The heather still gets the early bloomer prize. But the brunnera macrophylla are blooming, too.
There are a few white daffodils, planted last fall, that are hanging on, but the early spring woke them up far sooner than I anticipated.
Also blooming are the Bleeding Heart. They look like little Christmas ornaments.
I’m not sure why I don’t have more Esther Staley French lilac blooms, but the three lilacs I planted in that area never seem to do as well as I would like them to. The President Grevy French Lilac only got one bloom last summer. It’s a later bloomer and I can’t tell yet whether it liked the pruning I gave it last summer. The Mme LeMoine French Lilic is doing ok, but I count only about 10 blooms. The James McFarlane lilacs continue to do great, though. And they are just starting to bud out.
The new trellis now stands at the entrance to the Secret Garden. I’m hoping the clematis bounces back and covers it by the end of the summer.