Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Garden Work

Emma and I have added a couple of perennials to her garden, which we started last summer. She chose scabiosa, and a ground cover with small bluish flowers I don't know the name of. It's always fun to let her choose and just see what happens. All the perennials she chose last year have returned and look healthy.

We also planted some annuals, even though it's early. They've already survived a couple of frosty nights, but luckily they are all near the house so they stay a tad warmer. She chose petunias and snapdragons, along with a cork-screw grass and a daisy. She got to choose where they went, but I had to dig the holes --I need her to become stronger so she can dig the holes.

We've managed to give everything a drink of fertilized water, so we'll just hope they'll all survive.

This late daffodil has just opened.

It's an heirloom, and I really like the color. The top photo isn't a good composition, but you can see the contrast with the yellow daffodils in background. This heirloom has such a soft tannish orange, compared to my bright yellow and orange daffodils.

Last summer I put in two heucherellas  and the leaf colors are just wonderful!

I also really love the spring green tips of this little dwarf spruce that sits at the northwest corner of our house.

Emma has been wanting to make some stepping stones for her garden, so we stopped at the craft store and got a frog mold. We've made simple cement stepping stones before, but this one required a bit more time, as you had to completely dry the frog, then turn it over and decorate an indented area. She worked so hard on it, she doesn't want to step on it anymore :-)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April Garden Blogger Bloom Day

Spring slowed down around here after March, thank goodness. The second wind of daffodils is still around, and the tulips have been amazing. For a long time I didn't plant any tulips, having memories of my mom buying bulbs of single red tulips that turned yellow the second year, and disappeared from the beds quickly. But once I started exploring tulips I realized that there are now lots of tulips that will last, tulips that grow naturally in groups, single tulips that keep their color from year to year, and lots of tiny tulips, I think closer to the species, that spread into a great ground cover. Here are a few of the varieties blooming this April in my yard.

I have these little yellow guys all over now --they spread both by seed and division, and they bloom early. They only open fully when it's sunny, but they make a beautiful spot of sunshine on the ground.

 After the yellow ones fade, these pink and red tulips come up in the same general area. 

I also have some of what I think are the Darwin tulips. They are tall singles with big flowers, and they've returned true to their color for at least three years. I like multi-color groups of them, the way they are on this corner.

This next one is new this year, and I love the mixed orange and yellow color. I have the name of these written down (they're one of the heirlooms I purchased last year) and I'm going to order some more to plant this fall.

This is a group of multi-stem tulips that I planted four or five years ago, and they are still returning, and have multiplied. 

In addition to tulips, there is bleeding heart (with a bumble bee taking a deep drink), Jack Frost brunnera,  and lungwort blooming.

I also have some lovely late daffodils --two groups, one taller than the other, but both with a really deep yellow color and some orange accent.

This is a shade plant that I really love, but I have no idea what it's name is. It was given to me by a friend who spent some time working as a landscape architect. The little yellow flowers are just lovely, and it does well under our Korean spice bush.

The same friend gave me two tiny starts of Virginia Bluebell last summer, and I'm glad to see them back and blooming. I'm hoping to spread these around as they multiply.

Thanks to Carol for hosting the Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Blooming Back Forty

Looking back past our barn, I noticed a white sprinkling on the ground.

Turns out, it's violets.

We had lots of violets back here when we moved in, but then we started using this part of the yard, while Emma was young. We haven't really used it the last few years, and they seem to have recovered from our foot traffic. I know they can be invasive, but I really love violets. They just seem so charming and romantic.