Friday, March 20, 2009

More Bulbs Are Starting to Pop Up ...

Today wasn't as warm as earlier this week, but at this point, even a sunny day with a temperature of 54 seems balmy! So I quit work at 4:30 and headed outside to survey our messy garden that's definitely starting to wake up ... even though I tied Hanna to her long lead in the backyard, she certainly seemed to enjoy the late afternoon sun while I strolled about the gardens ... except for that chattery evil tree rat that tormented her from the spruce. Actually I was amazed she didn't bark at it because it's already clear that she has no tolerance for such vermin! They better be on notice, because she's quick enough she may just nail one some day soon and that won't be a pretty sight (for the tree rat)!

Though these first few photos may look a bit like reruns, they actually have new flowers popping up in them ... this is the same area in the far back garden where the first snowdrops and crocus have appeared, but now you can see that additional clumps of both have sprung up since we last visited this area. Those crocus have definitely been moving around a bit, as have the snowdrops, so just click through to the larger version and let your eyes wander and find the splashes of gold and white ... also note the increasing numbers of Monarda (Bee Balm) starts coming up ... I think this will have to be the year that we thin this patch out! We have both the deep red and purple ('Blue Stocking') planted together out here and with all of the Phlox Paniculata (Pink) that took over back here last year, this corner is in serious need of some thinning. As for the Monarda, we'll probably just give it away to interested gardeners, and our tentative plan is to dig a lot of the Phlox and move it along to our back fenceline and hope it doesn't offend our neighbor, but we hope she wouldn't object because when it blooms, the scent around it is just delightful!


Here's a closer view of the same area, and I think I can spy some other things breaking ground here ... I hope one of them is that blue dwarf Iris! We would be two very happy gardeners to see it reappear this year, despite our doubts ... you'll be sure to see it here if it does!

Out front, the snowdrops are finally, slowly, showing up ... this is a shot of the Primrose bed by the front steps, complete with the "Round Tuit" that Shady Gardener gifted me with during her visit last summer (thanks again, Shady!). There are only about 4-5 Snowdrops in this bed, but I'd like to add more ... the ones that are here ended up getting planted because they were dug up inadvertently from other positions and I didn't want to lose them, so I put them toward the front of this bed where they are multiplying slowly.

I could see today that the Primroses are greening up and pushing up through the leaves, so this weekend, I plan to carefully rake out this bed to give them more air and sun ... I'm anxious to get a handle on just how many we have this year because last year they had practically doubled in number from the previous year and that would be a fantastic discovery to make again this year! I've been toying with the idea of ordering more from Spring Hill Nursery, which was the original source for these Primula polyanthus hybrids, which have been the only Primroses I've ever had any degree of success in growing. They're not cheap (3 for $12.99), but they're pretty foolproof as long as you pamper them a bit during the dry months and these have even been known to produce a brief flush of re-blooms in the fall as long as the hard freeze doesn't come too early. They're hardy from zones 3-8 (yes, Boran2, you could grow these!), and aside from needing a
partial to shady position in moisture retentive humus rich soil and some watering during dry periods, they're very hardy and these hybrids have multiplied pretty rapidly for me. This will be their fourth year here this Spring.

I fell in love with Primroses over 30 years ago during my first trip to France in 1978, where in the spring one sees these planted in huge masses in public gardens and many people also buy them on the streets to grow in windows and balconies ... seeing a mass of these planted by the hundreds, all blooming simultaneously is truly a beautiful sight! When I made my first hike in the Pyrenees (near Andorra) that spring, I also saw them growing wild and profusely everywhere (the "Cowslip" variety) and I still have a project I did for my exchange program --a notebook of dried mountain wildflowers-- that contains a yellow primrose I collected ... along with other flowers of Le Midi such as the famed Violettes de Toulouse, the native flower from my home base at the time. Little did I expect at the time that one day I'd own a home where I'd be striving to make them happy enough to bloom for me! It may have taken me a few years, but I'm glad I finally made it....


These next two shots are the first two snowdrops to show up in our "original bulb bed" that we started 10 years ago (yes, these were Martha Stewart bulbs, lol!) and are usually the first to appear, but this year this bed was piled high with so much snow over the winter it must have really frozen things down deep because even the many crocus in this bed haven't shown themselves yet, but won't be much longer I hope, because there are some real beauties planted here! I think I'll give this a light raking this weekend as well just to get the leaves off of the ground to encourage the ground to warm up a bit quicker ... aren't these two "twins" cute together nodding in the same direction?

This one had actually "speared" a leaf on its way up from beneath the ground, and it's funny, because though I had taken a (not so great) shot of this same flower while I was out, once Fernymoss got home from work, he grabbed the camera and took a few photos as well (he took these two) and he removed the leaf! Galanthus elwesii is a determined little flower and though it may take its time to show up, when it does, it's not going to let something like a leaf keep it from doing its floriferous duty! Now, if the rest of the crocus would just get busy and spear a few leaves of their own, I'll be a happy gardener!

This is actually an inadvertent puppy picture! The real subject of this shot was supposed to be one of our Chives plants in the little herb bed behind the house, but Hanna decided to walk into the frame just as I took it. So far the chives are the only thing that have come back to life, but there are also several varieties of Sage and some Thyme planted back here ... we'll also probably have some volunteer Cilantro and Basil as well because I let some of them go to seed last summer with just that in mind. It's good to see the chives back up, not only because I like to use them in cooking, but if you've ever grown them you know how pretty the flowers can be when they bloom in the spring, just one more reason to have them in the garden! One of many....

There are other things breaking ground here now that I saw today and I'll have another post sometime this weekend showing what I've discovered ... we also plan on spending some time doing clean up (it's supposed to be in the mid-50s this weekend) in the garden, so I'm sure we'll discover a few other Spring surprises ... just one more day until the solstice! It's about time!!!

9 comments:

Zach said...

I am glad that you like the orchid pics. I think I am going to enter them into a photo competition, cross you fingers and hope I win. Thanks for the good wishes with my final. I am now DONE! Thank God! Now I just have to wait and see how I did.

Shady Gardener said...

Love your snowdrops. I'm wondering if they are the Galanthus Merlin as posted by Iowa Boy? They look so much alike. Happy Spring Day!! It won't be long and we'll all be getting "around tuit!" ;-)

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Zach,
You should by all means enter some of those photos in a competition ... after all, you've already done all the hard work! I'm sure that's a relief to be done with your finals ... I remember those days well ... but remember, the work's just beginning for the professors (I know, I've been there, done that!) so take a little pity on them too! Hope all works out well for you this semester....

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Shady,
As far as I know, these are just plain G. elwesii, but I'll have to go look at that photo to check. It was a glorious Spring start here today and we got lots of clean up done out front (5 city compost bags full and more to come). There's tons of stuff coming up out there! Yay!

Anonymous said...

Genial brief and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you seeking your information.

oakleyses said...

prada outlet, kate spade outlet online, coach outlet, burberry outlet online, longchamp outlet, longchamp outlet online, nike outlet, jordan shoes, ray ban outlet, oakley vault, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany and co jewelry, ray ban sunglasses, gucci handbags, christian louboutin, michael kors outlet store, longchamp handbags, christian louboutin shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike air max, coach outlet store online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, prada handbags, louis vuitton handbags, coach outlet, tory burch outlet online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton, chanel handbags, true religion, cheap oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, red bottom shoes, michael kors handbags, nike free, christian louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren, kate spade outlet, coach purses, nike air max, burberry outlet online, true religion outlet, oakley sunglasses

oakleyses said...

ralph lauren pas cher, air max pas cher, hermes pas cher, longchamp, ralph lauren, longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton uk, ray ban pas cher, nike air max, nike roshe, vans pas cher, nike free pas cher, sac michael kors, scarpe hogan, hollister, abercrombie and fitch, converse pas cher, lacoste pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, nike roshe run, burberry pas cher, chaussure louboutin, north face pas cher, true religion outlet, air jordan, north face, louis vuitton, louis vuitton pas cher, mulberry, timberland, nike air max, oakley pas cher, hollister, tn pas cher, ray ban uk, nike blazer pas cher, guess pas cher, nike air force, lululemon, air max, true religion jeans, michael kors uk, barbour, new balance pas cher, michael kors canada, sac louis vuitton, nike free

oakleyses said...

north face jackets, reebok shoes, ugg, nike huarache, uggs on sale, ugg soldes, celine handbags, north face jackets, giuseppe zanotti, marc jacobs outlet, ugg outlet, uggs outlet, replica watches, birkin bag, bottega veneta, ghd, vans outlet, soccer jerseys, babyliss, canada goose outlet, mont blanc pens, asics shoes, insanity workout, canada goose outlet, canada goose outlet, nike trainers, nike roshe, ugg boots, lululemon outlet, canada goose, longchamp, soccer shoes, ferragamo shoes, chi flat iron, mac cosmetics, wedding dresses, ugg boots clearance, valentino shoes, instyler ionic styler, jimmy choo shoes, herve leger, nfl jerseys, beats headphones, abercrombie and fitch, mcm handbags, hollister, new balance outlet, uggs outlet, p90x workout

oakleyses said...

nike air max, montre femme, vans, hollister clothing, toms outlet, canada goose, swarovski jewelry, moncler, iphone 6 case, pandora charms, canada goose, gucci, uggs canada, ray ban, moncler, timberland shoes, karen millen, thomas sabo uk, converse, pandora uk, converse shoes, parajumpers outlet, lancel, moncler, coach outlet, moncler outlet, louboutin, moncler, supra shoes, ugg, links of london uk, baseball bats, moncler, oakley, louis vuitton canada, air max, pandora jewelry, hollister canada, swarovski uk, hollister, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, moncler outlet, replica watches, ralph lauren, wedding dress, canada goose pas cher, canada goose