Friday, April 29, 2016

Cloudy, Cool, Spring

Today was cloudy and cool --low 50s. Perfect gardening weather, especially since I needed to transplant a peony. Spring isn't really the best time, but (in the current vernacular) I just can't even when fall rolls around.  By that time I'm tired of gardening, plus school has started. So, today it was. I started the morning with a stop at Farm & Fleet, to get a few bags of compost, and then dug the new hole for the peony, adding some compost and loosening up the soil.

This peony was in the far garden-- what I used to call the "birch garden", because the garden sprung up around two little birch trees Rob and I planted about 16 years ago. But only one remains, and it really needs to go as well, as it's pretty dead on the top, so it's not the best name anymore. Anyway, the peony wasn't thriving. It always comes up in the spring, but with just a few stalks, and maybe one flower. I have another peony back there that is doing just fine. Before we bought the house there was a tree there, and I've wondered if the peony that's been doing poorly was planted on top of some roots that haven't decayed yet, and it just isn't getting what it needs from the soil. It's a lovely single-petal variety, pink with a beautiful golden center that bees can get lost in. I'm hoping it will eventually recover from the move and do a bit better in this new location.

Since I wanted to disturb the plant as little as possible, I used the shovel to loosen it all around, then scooped it and a huge clump of roots and dirt up and out. Not planning very well, though, I then had to carry that shovel full of heavy peony plant all the way to the front garden. My right knee is going to swell up tomorrow --it always does when I do any digging and carrying.

I also managed to dig up a clump of crowded Strawberry Candy daylilies and separate them out into about 12 individual fans, and then I had to find places to put them all. I have another clump that will have to be moved too, but I'll save that one for another day. It's funny to think that those two clumps started out as one fan --it was the first hybrid daylily I purchased, many years ago. They do so well in this area that I now have about 15 different named varieties --I always just buy one plant, because they multiply fairly quickly, and they aren't cheap.

After that I decided it was time to fill the bird feeders and get a few photos.  This clump of tulips is new this year, along with the grape hyacinths. I really like these together.
We lost about half of this redbud tree the summer we had such a drought. I let it come back from the base, and then cut out the dead branches. Even though it won't have the most elegant form, I'm glad we didn't lose it entirely. Behind it is a really old lilac grove --it could use rejuvenating, but I think we'll leave that for the next owners of this property :-)
My quince liked the spring this year --it is full of blossoms.
And the Korean spicebush! Such a heavenly scent. Foxglove rosettes are next to it, along with the purple-flowered plant with the light leaves (I can't remember what that is, and I just planted it last spring!).
This Jack Frost Brunnera always reminds me of Forget-me-not. I tried to seed some forget-me-not when we first moved out here, but it didn't take. I'll have to try again some time soon.
The little bit of yellow in the upper part of this last photo, which is under the spicebush, is barrenwort. I really love this plant, but I have trouble getting low enough to get photos of it's little yellow blossoms. It blooms early, and then later the leaves come out.

I am so pleased with how the front garden is looking this spring. Rob built these stone walls several years ago, and it's taken some time to fill in --it still needs things in spots, but the bulbs added in last fall are doing a nice job for spring.

You have to just ignore the fact that the porch needs a paint job. Some day we'll get around to that --for now we just try to distract everyone with pretty gardens :-)


  1. Your gardens are amazing -- and definitely distractingly pretty!
    The lilacs are in bloom all over town here. The 40th Lilac Bloomsday run is this Sunday but the Lilac festival goes on until the big torchlight parade on May 21st. I'm hoping to find some late bloomers on May 17th when my friend comes to visit from Texas, for going out and snurfling that delicious lilac scent and for putting a few fragrant sprigs in a vase in her room.

    1. I need to bring some in too --I have to put them somewhere only I spend time, though, because they make both Rob and Emma start to sneeze :-)

  2. Nice tulips! And you're right about how well they go with the Muscari. I planted a dwarf Korean Spice Viburnum in the fall of 2014. This year it has three clumps of flowers that have not yet opened. Can't wait to smell that fragrance. I hope your peony is happy in its new home.

  3. Your mystery plant is lamium. I have loads of it! I love those tulps, too. So cheerful!

  4. I've never noticed the stone walls around the flower beds in front before--or maybe I just forgot--but they're beautiful and really set off the front of the house. The tulips and grape hyacinths make such a great combo! The mystery plant, as Tammy said, is Lamium, a great groundcover that spreads nicely over time.

  5. I am in awe of all your gardens but especially the ones inside the stone walls. And in awe of the walls themselves. Nicely constructed.