Friday, April 22, 2016

Worth the Wait

Well, it's the middle of April and we've already had two "heatwaves." This is really unprecedented and for the most part, quite nice. Except for the middle of the afternoon when the 80+ degree heat forces me to find shade. And except for the fact that I'm already watering. But who's complaining? At least slugs haven't devoured my dahlias and hostas, knock on wood. 

My garden, if I do say so myself, looks better than ever this year. This is the great thing about gardening. You can learn from your mistakes and make changes that improve things dramatically. It'll never be perfect but it's sure gratifying working towards that end. 

Last year I found two Ragged Robin plants at two different nurseries. One plant is a tall variety, the other a dwarf. Here is the tall variety in bloom. Isn't it exquisite? 

Ragged Robin or Lychnis flos-cuculi

Ragged Robin or Lychnis flos-cuculi

A year ago last March I purchased bare root columbine plants by-the-bag at Costco. They performed really well that spring and this year they look fantastic. They're just starting to bloom. 

Pink Columbine Aquilegia vulgaris plena 'Barlow Pink'

You know me and my pink flowers... I couldn't resist purchasing this little creeping baby's breath a few years ago. I keep it in a pot so I can see the flowers up close. Its main show is in spring but it will put out a few blooms all season. 

Pink Baby's Breath Gypsophila repens 'Rosea'

Saponaria or Soapwort is a common plant. I had it years ago then pulled it out to make room for summer bloomers and now I'm back in love with it. What can I say? I'm fickle.

Soapwort or Saponaria ocymoides 

A few days ago I was chatting with Tammy about plants. She was talking about her recent purchases and mentioned a plant called "Pink Hairy Chervil." I had no clue what it was but when I looked it up I was like, "I have that plant!" I just didn't know its common name. I showed Tammy an inspiring photo (taken by Grace Hensley) of it partnered with a peony.  

Grace Hensley photo, used with permission
Joan Bentley's garden. Paeonia 'Bowl of Beauty'

I don't grow this Peony, but I have tons of Silene in my garden so, heck why not pair the two? Well, mine isn't exactly a match but, not terrible either. 

Silene robotti and Chaerophyllum hirsutum 'Roseus'

Confession: I've never met a Dianthus I didn't love. They're so easy and their blossoms are fragrant and even when they're not in bloom, the foliage is interesting. I had to buy this one when I saw it at a variety store (BiMart) last week. Four-fifty for a gallon pot! 

Dianthus 'Spotty' I think D. plumarius 'Scent of Heaven - Angel of Desire'

This Lychnis is blooming its head off. I've had it forever and while it only blooms in spring, it has tidy, evergreen, low-growing foliage for the rest of the year.

Lychnis viscaria 

Here is a close up of one the flowers. The bees love them.

Lychnis viscaria 

The Weigelas are in bloom!

Weigela florida 'My Monet'

Weigela florida 'Variegata'

And the Geums are happy.

Geum 'Cosmopolitan'

Mostly Geum 'Flames of Passion' but a few 'Cosmopolitan' in the mix

Thanks to a mild winter, last year's seedling bush morning glory, (Convulvulus) is just starting to bloom. 

Convulvulus cneorum in front of variegated Iris

Such a pretty blossom

I purchased this cute Nicotiana from Annie's Annuals. This is it's first blossom. 

Nicotiana alata x sanderae 'Crimson Bedder'

Clematis 'Multi-Blue' is living up to its name.

Clematis 'Multi-Blue'

Thalictrum ichangense 'Evening Star'

All of the spring-blooming hardy Geraniums are happy.

Geranium maculatum 'Espresso' and tiny friend

The first blossom on Geranium x magnificum

Geranium 'Birch Double'

The north end of the garden

South Island Bed

The 'Seiryu' Japanese Maple is really growing this year.

I need to get one more little blue Fescue for this border.

Gardening often requires patience. Here are some cases in point.

I purchased this Anemonopsis two years ago. I was worried it was not going to survive but it's got lots of green this year. I'm pretty sure it's going to bloom for me. Stay tuned. How's yours doing, Mindy

Anemonopsis macrophylla with Phlox glaberrima ssp. triflora 'Triple Play'

And my Lobelia tupa, also purchased two years ago, grew last year but didn't bloom. Look at it now! I counted nine stems! Hopefully we'll see red flowers in July and August.

Lobelia tupa

And finally, last year I sowed Geranium palmatum seeds. They germinated readily and the plants grew nicely but didn't flower. Thanks again to the mild winter, they stayed alive and evergreen. Isn't the foliage nice?

Geranium palmatum

And now, I'm proud to announce, there are flower buds. I'm excited. Stay tuned.

Geranium palmatum flower buds!

What plants are you waiting to see bloom?