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.
All winter I dream of June and green foliage, garden centers, freshly unfurled hostas, and deep red poppies. I dream of lilacs and budded hydrangeas, of marigold flats and petunia pots, of warm days and evening rains.
And, now I’m here. In June. The heat hasn’t yet squatted on the gardens. The peonies are blooming, nodding now under the weight of heavy blooms and last night’s rains. Winter’s toll has been tallied, mourned, and ultimately dismissed. There will always be more plants. The marigolds are in the ground and the petunia pots are nestled in their more attractive garden pots. And all the bees have awakened. It is late spring when the days are almost as long as they will be and house sparrows chitter in the bird house.
This June brings a few surprises. One is the mock orange. It’s never kicked out very many bloom, but that may have been because the McFarlane lilacs I planted with it bullied MO into a dark corner. Last summer the lilacs got a good pruning.
And MO is now covered in blooms. I planted it for its scent, but the lilacs still give off a headier perfume than MO. Mock Orange (Philadephus) was brought to European gardens from the Ottoman Empire in the 1500’s. It is often used in park plantings because it is such a reliable bloomer and some species are very fragrant. Unfortunately, mine is a less fragrant variety. I assumed all MO’s were heavily scented so I didn’t pay attention to the species I purchased. And, I vaguely recall I bought it late in the season when everything was on sale, so the price was more intoxicating than the fragrance turned out to be.
Another surprise wasn’t so much a surprise as it was a fruitful anticipation. A year ago I attended the Garden Bloggers’ Fling in Toronto and saw so many gardens with tall allium growing. Some of the gardens were formal and understated. Others were free flowing narratives of color and texture. But most had tall allium. I knew I wanted to see those beautiful globes of tiny flowers in my gardens, so I ordered a number of varieties online. But the giant allium were the most spectacular. I know I want more of them!
Well, first, I got my dates muddled and thought the 15th was on a Monday. What’s really annoying is the fact that I essentially loafed around the house yesterday and could have written this post. My excuse is that I’m coming off a big concert and am still going through post concert recovery. I know that sounds a bit weird, especially since I’m only on stage for about an hour. But there’s something about that process, the warm up, the lining up, the standing up that leeches energy. And, it’s worth it. I do want to say that besides all the performance stuff, and I’m one of 130 singers, I bake cookies for each performance. Baking, boxing, carting, and setting up take time and energy. That’s worth it, too.
But, it’s also my excuse for not posting.
Our cool wet spring continues. In fact, a couple days ago we saw snow flurries and a frost advisory was posted. I’ve checked the hostas and so far most of them look ok. I have a couple in pots that may have gotten nipped. I’ll know more about damage in a day or so.
The big bloom news is the tall allium that I planted last fall. I’ve mentioned before that we saw a lot of allium in Toronto during the Garden Bloggers’ Fling. I ordered a number of different varieties, but only the tall globe “Purple Sensation” are starting to bloom. I think the cool temps have kept the flowers from fully unfurling, but it will be worth the wait. And, there are more allium that will bloom throughout the summer. I’m definitely planting more this coming fall.
The “Blue Winky” columbine are blooming, too, as are the two bleeding hearts.