Hello, Garden

It is the first plant to bloom this spring, but in a few more days it will be gone, not because its season would have passed, but because it is a weed and was growing where I didn’t want it to, between the pathway bricks.

As always, a thank you to May Dreams Gardens for celebrating a monthly accounting of what is blooming in gardens all over the world.

It’s April 15 and Michigan played a trick on us.  The skies are oxygen blue and cloudless, but the garden is covered in four to six inches of heavy wet snow.  It’s ok.  Really.  There isn’t much blooming yet, a few daffodils and a cute little weed that became my first garden activity of the year.  That is, I started pulling it up.

The hellebores are eager to open.  And they are welcome to do so any time they want.  Often called Lenten Roses, this year my hellebores will be blooming during this last week of Lent.  What I like about them, aside from their lovely flowers and evergreen foliage is that the flowers hang around for a long time.  Their color fades over the season into something that looks a bit like a sculptor wrought them from thin sheets of balsa wood.  Perhaps I’ll try drying them in the pages of a book.  I gathered oodles of leaves last fall and planted them between the pages of favorite books. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them, but it was comforting over the winter to look at the dried leaves whose colors had deepened and remember that sister leaves would shake free from our bitterly cold winter and start their warming dance again.

If it hadn’t snowed yesterday, these hellebores, a gift from a friend, would be open. Tomorrow will see them. There’s always a future in a garden.

In January I adopted another standard poodle, Lucy.  I hadn’t intended to double my allotment of poodles, but Lucy needed rescuing.  I am sitting in my favorite chair as I write this and on the floor around me I see a teddy bear that has lost his eyes, a chew toy that has pockets for peanut butter and biscuits, a beef bone, a kong that just an hour ago was stuffed with kibble and peanut butter, a winter glove, and a paper towel tube.  Bridget doesn’t really require toys. She has a favorite bear and a stuffed hedge hog, but she doesn’t chew them.

Lucy likes to chew.  And chew.  I’ve lost two Mac power cords, a whole bunch of pencils and pens, and the buttons off a favorite pair of leather gloves. Bridget is a mellow old girl.  Lucy?  Not so mellow.  She loves to run and jump and because I don’t have a fenced in yard, she runs a jumps through the neighborhood.  That will change, I hope, this week when a decorative aluminum fence will go in.  But the real issue won’t be one of containment.  It will be one of waste disposal.  How will the promise of dog feces affect my gardens?  I don’t know, but I will find out this week, I hope. And, I will be very glad when Lucy is safely behind a fence and away from the neighbors and a busy street.

This daffodil will raise its head and bloom in full today.

In the meantime, the garden naps under a coverlet of rapidly melting snow.  Soon it will wake up, stretch, and touch warmer days.

GBBD: Spring 2016

It’s been a long time coming.  A week ago there were five inches of snow on the ground.  The hellebores, though in full bloom, bent double under the weight of the snow.  But those hearty plants are built for Michigan springs.  They are the only thing in bloom right now.

I do have an addition to the garden, a four footed helper. Say hello to Bridget, an 8-year old standard poodle.
I do have an addition to the garden, a four footed helper. Say hello to Bridget, an 8-year old standard poodle.
hellabore1
This Painted Hellebore has always been a welcomed spot of spring.
A friend gave me this hellebore, a division from his garden. I think it is a Heronswood Purple, but there are a number of deep purple hellebores.
A friend gave me this hellebore, a division from his garden. I think it is a Heronswood Purple, but there are a number of deep purple hellebores.
limelight
Most of the faded hydrangeas get trimmed in late fall, but a few limelights were left behind. I like the way the sun catches them.

May 15, 2014: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

This is my first bloom day of the season!  A shout out to May Dreams Gardens for starting this wonderful tradition of reporting out what is blooming in our gardens on the 15th of each month.  I love going to her website and following the links to gardens all over the world.

Lots of life is happening in the garden.

Who doesn't get a little melty over bleeding heart.  This one is celebrating life in a sheltered corner with a zillion and a half maple seedlings.
Who doesn’t get a little melty over bleeding heart. This one is celebrating life in a sheltered corner with a zillion and a half maple seedlings.







 

I'm a little worried about the Sweet Autumn clematis. I'm not seeing signs of life yet.  The arbor fell over during a wind storm a couple weeks ago.  And, of course, we had a killer winter.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
I’m a little worried about the Sweet Autumn clematis. I’m not seeing signs of life yet. The arbor fell over during a wind storm a couple weeks ago. And, of course, we had a killer winter. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
The pink heather has been blooming for several weeks.  This bed always looks a bit scraggly until the bark goes in and the later blooming plants fill in.
The pink heather has been blooming for several weeks. This bed always looks a bit scraggly until the bark goes in and the later blooming plants fill in.
Lilacs along the north wall of the Secret Garden.
Lilacs along the north wall of the Secret Garden.
Jack Frost Brunnera blooming all by itself in the Secret Garden.
Jack Frost Brunnera blooming all by itself in the Secret Garden.
Hellebore near the back door.
Hellebore near the back door.
Lovely deep pink hellebore that a friend gave me.
Lovely deep pink hellebore that a friend gave me.
I've actually yanked out one large holly bush, and two more will be going to a good home, perhaps this weekend.  But I'm keeping this guy.
I’ve actually yanked out one large holly bush, and two more will be going to a good home, perhaps this weekend. But I’m keeping this guy.
Another shot of the holly that will be staying.  Next to it is another Sweet Autumn clematis that I'm hoping is just sleeping.
Another shot of the holly that will be staying. Next to it is another Sweet Autumn clematis that I’m hoping is just sleeping.
The Foamy Bells have won the heuchera race.  Actually, Foamy Bells are Heucherella, a cross between heuchera and tiarella.
The Foamy Bells have won the heuchera race. Actually, Foamy Bells are Heucherella, a cross between heuchera and tiarella. And, yes, those little bits of green are more maple saplings.
Walker's Low catmint isn't blooming yet, but it really, really wants to.  I'm so in love with this catmint that I think I'm going to plant more of it in the Secret Garden.
Walker’s Low catmint isn’t blooming yet, but it really, really wants to. I’m so in love with this catmint that I think I’m going to plant more of it in the Secret Garden.
The old cherry tree in the lower garden is starting to let it's petals fall.  Each spring I try and stand underneath it so that a few petals will fall on me.
The old cherry tree in the lower garden is starting to let its petals fall. Each spring I try and stand underneath it so that a few petals will fall on me.
The old magnolia in the front garden is just about finished with its blooms.  Our rain has knocked a lot of the flowers to the ground, but this tree is beautiful in all seasons.
The old magnolia in the front garden is just about finished with its blooms. Our rain has knocked a lot of the flowers to the ground, but this tree is beautiful in all seasons.
Sensational lilac along the north wall of the Secret Garden.  LOVE this lilac, but I need to give it hard prune as soon as it stops blooming.
Sensational lilac along the north wall of the Secret Garden. LOVE this lilac, but I need to give it hard prune as soon as it stops blooming.
Madame Lemoine lilac along the north wall of the Secret Garden.
Madame Lemoine lilac along the north wall of the Secret Garden.
Belle de Nancy lilac in the Secret Garden.
Belle de Nancy lilac in the Secret Garden.