Finally, I have caught up, in the garden and on these pages. Today’s update will cover just about everything that’s been blooming over the past week or two, and then in coming days there will be viburnums, redbuds, and dogwoods, and the buds of azaleas are swelling noticeably. So, there will be plenty to talk about. As for the status of my spring garden clean up, I’m calling it quits. Any messes that have been left will be covered over by hostas and shrubs that will be leafing soon. At least, that’s the plan, as it is every year.
With a garden that is a tad too large for one person to manage (and particularly one who prefers to avoid as much work as is possible), choices must be made, and I’ve avoided the same chores for enough years that I’m certain I won’t be bothered by something or other that has been neglected. My only concern right away is the winter weeds that waited until late March to pop up, and I’ve had a devil of a time keeping up. I’m nearly done with them, but more pop up each day. Of course, if I fall behind and they go to seed, as they do every other year, there will be an even larger crop next year. I do my best not to worry about tomorrow.
Three boxes of bulbs, vines, and assorted perennials that arrived last week by mail order were planted over the weekend. Though there were no plans ahead of time where anything would be planted, I think that all have found good spots where they’ll be happy. The bulbs and vines are easiest since they require little space, and sun or shade is not so much of a concern. The perennials, hardy orchids and toad lilies, required a bit more thought (for which I was completely unprepared), but I’m satisfied with how everything ended up. Now, I’ll be able to relax a bit, though there’s never a time in the garden when absolutely nothing needs to be done.
I knew I had planted more in autumn than only snowdrops. Now, I’m discovering what else. There are only a dozen or so Dogtooth violets, but this small number puts on quite a show.
The gold leafed Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabalis ‘Gold Heart’) has survived shade and shallow roots of the yellow flowered Elizabeth magnolia where other perennials have failed. I suspect the flowers and brightly color foliage combination is not for everyone, but it works well for me. One bleeding heart is in a bit more sun, and it fades more than the other in mid summer, but all bleeding hearts fade in the summer, so this is not a surprise.
I’m encouraged that Wood poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) has begun to spread through the dry shade in the side garden. I’m pleased that many perennials have been successful in this dreadful ground, with the challenge to carve out a planting space between roots of maples and tulip poplars.
A few muscari somehow found their way into this planting of sedum and Hens and Chicks. I most certainly didn’t plant them here. I’m forgetful, but not that forgetful. I don’t know if this is a color combination I’d plan, but it wakes you up when you pass nearby.
A year ago Robb’s euphorbia suffered after the severe winter. It barely flowered and looked sad through the year. I suspected the same fate or worse this year, but this tough perennial surprised me. Even in horrid dry shade it grows vigorously and spreads. It is easy to control if it heads in the wrong direction.
The flowers of Iris bucharica last only a week, but it’s a welcome sight. The clump is planted beneath paperbushes that leaf just as the irises are fading. A few rhizomes have spread nicely.
Eternal Fragrance daphne appeared ready to flower at any spell of warmth through the severe winter. Now, it will flower from April into November, maybe December. Only one of four daphnes failed to thrive. It was trampled by deer. While Winter daphne has been injured by recent winters. Eternal Fragrance has had no problems.