Monday, April 4, 2011

Happiness is…

Yes of course the very day I posted my little weather rant I also spent the entire day working in the garden…without even a jacket on! It was 68 degrees! Nothing short of wonderful let me tell you. I started out the day by mowing the lawn (for the second time this year) and then edged…for the first time. This always makes things look so crisp and clean!

So here in random joy are some pictures from my day…

Even before I mowed I discovered I was not the only one enjoying the day. There were a gazillion wasps (hornets?) in the garden and garage. It was a little disturbing. I wonder what these three are up to? I love the look of Hosta as they emerge in the spring. So spiky…to later become so soft. The Solomon’s Seal has really multiplied this year! I’m finally feeling like I can dig up a few and transplant them to the north side of our house, last count 17 tips emerging from the soil! The Clematis armandii blooms are bursting, unlike past years they are not very fragrant. I’ve shared pictures of my Syneilesis (Shredded Umbrella plant) before, but they are just so cute I have to share a couple more. Did you notice the bright green plant in the background above? It’s a Veratrum Californicum. The key (as with all big leafed plants) is to plant it where wind doesn’t shred it’s leaves. And to pray for no hail storms. Maidenhair fern forest. Fresh Ligularia leaves. I think these little white tips may be Rodgersia tabularis? At least I hope so. You can also spot my slug deterent in this picture. I cut the bottom out of a clear deli container. That way light and water get in but (so far – knock on wood) the slugs don’t slime their way up and over the sides. It’s not pretty but I only leave them on as things are emerging. Do as I say…not as I do. I bitch about the Bishops Weed that someone planted in my front garden but I’ve gone and introduced Sweet Woodruff in the back garden. A while back in a post on ground-covers I mentioned that I hadn’t really experienced it spreading. Well, I’m setting the record straight. It spreads. Boy does it spread. But doesn’t it look fabulous with the color of Black Mondo Grass? Speaking of color I love the bright acid yellow green of the new growth on Hakonechloa grass. I’ve already got my Echiums for the season. Echium pinnata purchased at the Yard Garden & Patio Show. And my summer love…Echium candicans ‘Veriegata’ from Cistus. The Yucca baccata I bought last summer (also from CIstus) finally went in the ground. That’s the magic of winter….new spots open up in the planting beds where previously there were none. Blooming Acacia Pravissima, or Ovens Wattle. These smell just like my neighbors fabric softener sheets (now you’re wondering how I know that right? Their dryer vents near our driveway). Ignore that tacky peeling paint; just imagine a beautiful new chocolate brown paint job. How great would the Acacia look now? I bought this Bergenia last spring specifically because of its multicolored leaves, and I am so happy to see that they’re back! Nothing like a little red to really set of bright chartreuse huh? I am slowly starting to bring containers out from the shade pavilion greenhouse. As that frees up room I’ll start bring some up others up from the basement to enjoy brighter light. I am a slave to my plants… I enjoyed the flowers of the vine growing on our gate so much last year I planted a Passiflora this year. Big beautiful white Passion Flowers….if of course it chooses to flower in its first year. Otherwise I’ll just enjoy the leaves. Ah….a day spent in the garden. What a life. Of course the next day we were back down to a 52 degree high with intermittent rain showers, but it was nice while it lasted.


  1. I'm so incredibly jealous of your garden and climate that allows such a garden.
    I'm a huge passiflora fan, I'm not sure how hardy your vine is, but I over winter mine in a container and it blooms throughout the winter

  2. I spent a lot of time out in the yard this weekend too (including the first mowing!). Got a lot of little things done, repotting, a bit of planting out winter purchased plants, bed tidying, shed cleaning etc. Your backyard looks great!

  3. So glad you had a good putter! You're garden looks as ready as you are for spring. Can't wait to see more and more of these beauties.

  4. I think your slug protection must really be working: your Synelesis youngsters look great. I bought a second Synelesis at the Lan Su sale (to replace the one I thought I lost in the recent backyard upheaval) and the next week, the first one came poking up through the mud!

    So glad you mentioned your newly-robust Sweet Woodruff: I was just considering some for the shady front yard...

  5. Your garden, and toes, look great! Your lawn makes me want a lawn and the light in your photos seem like spring which is encouraging after seeing this week's weather report!

  6. Wow...your back yard is so tidy! I don't think I'll ever be so garden is a land of pure chaos! You've reminded me to go look for my Astilboides (my Rodgerisa just popped up this weekend). Ahh...isn't spring grand!

  7. so glad you got a day to play! i love those shredded umbrella plants. do they open up? your entire garden looks so well-tended and poised to explode!

  8. Your Ligularia leaves sure look great. Mine are already dotted with slug chewings. Wasn't Saturday gorgeous? Sunday was nice too down here. I got so much done. Your gardens look fabulous.

  9. ellie T, the grass is definitely always greener isn't it? I read SoCal blogs and fantasize about gardening in that climate. This one should be hardy...I've got another in way too shady of a spot that manages to struggle on. I think this one will be way happier.

    Ryan, isn't it a great feeling to mow for the first time? Maybe I'm crazy but it always makes me think "summer is coming!" - and thank you for the compliment.

    Denise, putter is exactly what I was fabulous.

    MulchMaid, and (knock on wood) I've got Lupine leaves! This is a first as the evil slimy critters usually nibble it away before I notice it's coming up. I have to buy a new one every year. I'm glad I could alert you...although it is lovely.

    Lauren, I almost didn't use that photo when I realized you could see my toes...but then decided what the heck. It did really feel like spring that day. I WANT MORE!

    scott, it is (spring grand)! Sometimes "tidy" sounds in "not fun" I do like plant know where they are too close together and all mixed up but yes, I am also tidy.

    Laguna, oh yes they do! And loose the fuzz. They are the best, more pictures in the coming weeks, I promise.

    Grace, Saturday was a mixed bag here. A little rain, sun, but cold! Still it beats the grey rain anytime. And thank you!

  10. The Shredded Umbrellas are sweet, I'm looking forward to seeing them open. Your yard and garden look great!

  11. Oooh la-la Loree, you have stuff going on ! My zone 9 finish line was seriously delayed by that March stuff we both had. Nasty crappy wet and slimy. What a week of sun can do here in fungus corners , huh ? Serous jealousy of that variegated Echium.

  12. Aint spring grand! Spring is in about the same place here in DC as it is for you. Allowing for the differences anyway.

    I like the leaves of passiflora too, and the tendrils.

  13. Your gardens are so tidy! It must have felt very warm as I see your barefeet! Love the last photo of your yard...

  14. Wow! What a great collection of plants. And you are growing them so well.

    I love, love, love Syneilesis aconitifolia. My plant really started to thrive when I moved it into dappled shade. The soft fuzzy leaves on the new spring growth is just fab!

    Blog looks great. Great plants. Would love to see your garden some time!


  15. Everything looks DELICIOUS!

  16. Your garden is looking very nice.

  17. i love all your close ups! your garden i super lovely!

  18. How right you are, when the lawn, grass or open space is neat the rest of the garden can grow as freely as it wants and always looks right.

  19. Mandy, thank you! I'll definitely be posting pictures of them throughout the season. They always look good.

    ks, it's an extravagance for sure (the echium, $16 for a season) but it's just so HOT!

    ChrisU, I haven't heard much about the weather in DC...cold and wet there too then?

    Darla, it was warm...fabulously so!

    Van, thank you! I planted my second batch of Syneilesis where they get a bit more light. It will be interesting to see the differences between the two.

    Jenn, ha! Thanks!

    Evelyn & Bianca, thank you.

    Barry, but you state it better than I!


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