Saturday, May 09, 2009

Sunny Friday Bloomfest

Fernymoss had all the luck today ... since he had the day off and I didn't (what else is new?) he got a lot done in the garden and I didn't! By the time I was able to quit for the day, a storm front was moving through and brought us some brief, but torrential downpours (and yes, the intersection flooded briefly), so I wasn't able to get out for very long. He got several of our new perennials in the ground: namely, the Purple Campanula, the new red Columbine, and most exciting of all -- our new Tree Peony, 'Rimpoh' and one of the Elephant Ears (Colocasia) which just arrived this afternoon! The Tree Peony plant we received looked pretty healthy and of really good stock ... with a nice thick woody trunk and several shoots already beginning to grow off the central trunk. We have great hopes for this new plant already ... as I mentioned in a previous post, it went in the back yard in the peony bed we have at the northeast corner of the fence. I'll keep you all posted on its progress as it develops....

Thanks to Fernymoss, we have some really fantastic stuff he was able to shoot while it was still sunny, in the low 70's and dry. I'll be doing more detailed posts on most of these flowers soon, but here's another preview post of some things going on in the Boulder Bed out front....

We have two established stands of this 'Species' Tulip, 'Little Beauty,' which as I mentioned in my previous post on 'Persian Pearl' is a much later blooming variety. Now, you might be wondering if these are two different varieties, well honestly, I don't know what happened that produced those orange ones! I originally got these as a bag of freebies from Park's back in 2005 when I got a bunch of tulip bulbs from them, including 'Persian Pearl.' Some kind soul there must have figured that if I liked 'Persian Pearl,' I'd like these as well, so they threw in a bag of 10 bulbs! Like their cousins, these Little Beauties have naturalized quite nicely in the ensuing four years ... the odd thing is, the first two or three years they all came up looking the same, and then in 2007, these Orange Mutants showed up along with them, blooming at exactly the same time. We're quite fine with that, as they are very attractive as well and provide a nice contrast to the others and give even more diversity to this little area of the Boulder Bed by our front steps. We definitely plan on adding more of these in the fall, because they are small, quick and easy to plant and are excellent naturalizers. I've done some shopping research on them and right now it appears that McClure-Zimmerman Bulbs (of WI) has the widest variety and best prices I've found so far. So, if you're tempted, check there first!

And yes, we have a lovely bumper crop of dandelions in the yard and garden right now! They get dug from the Boulder Bed, but we let them go in the yard, because they are really beneficial to the soil (especially if you need clay broken up, which fortunately we don't), so we let them go in the grass and parking. Besides ... without resorting to nasty herbicides, we're never going to eradicate them anyway, and we're not willing to go that far ... and honestly, aren't they a pretty reminder it's really Spring for real?


Here's a teaser close up shot of more to come about 'Little Beauty,' and Fernymoss got some absolutely spectacular shots of these in their full glory (because, alas, like 'Persian Pearl' they only last about a week at the most and these just opened on Thursday, so they're currently in their prime). I'll have a full post with more information on these very soon, so stay tuned....
I mentioned in an earlier post that I had found a pot of two hardy primroses at a nursery last weekend and snapped it up, mainly because it had one of the elusive blue blooms (the other is red). I planted these same day I got them and they look as if they had never moved and appear happy already in the Primrose Bed, so I have great hopes that they will enjoy the company of the others and multiply as successfully over the next few years....


Finally, just look at this Pansy on fire! A few weeks ago we picked up about 12 Pansies and got them out while it was still pretty cool, and now they're starting to come into their own. Of course, once it gets hot, they'll fade away quickly (but not before putting on seed, I hope!), but as early spring annuals go, Pansies are a great thing to have in the garden because they give you color when everything else is just waking up, and can thrive even with the occasional frost risk that we have through about mid May. We've taken a few risks with a some annuals, but think what we have actually planted so far could survive any frost (Pansies, Snapdragons). Hopefully we're past that threat now, but May in Iowa can sometimes bring unpleasant surprises, so that's why we're holding off on getting the tomatoes and other veggies in the ground just yet. That will happen soon, once we get the rest of the annuals and perennials we've gotten in the ground. As always, at this time of the year, we feel that manic-panic impulse to scramble to get things in as fast as we can ... we vow every year not to put ourselves in this position, but inevitably do anyway ... I'm sure we're not alone!


MOVIE NOTE: Tonight TCM had two of the early (Connery) James Bond films on and though I recorded them both, we actually watched Thunderball in real time. I hadn't seen this one in quite a few years and had forgotten how much fun it was to experience the best of the series again, and wow, Sean was at his hottest in this one, even if he was the ever womanizing, scheming almost scoundrel Bond. Though the intrigue may feel a bit dated at this point, it's easy to see how these early Bonds established a paradigm that would be shamelessly copied in (often inferior) action films of successive years (and decades). According to IMDB, TCM is showing it again on Saturday, May 9, at 4:00 pm (EST), so if you read this in time and get TCM you can catch this again if you're an early Bond fan!

FINAL MOVIE NOTE: If you are interested in seeing Dinner at Eight, which I reviewed recently, TCM is showing it again on May 14 at 5:00 a.m., so set your DVR accordingly and you will be richly entertained by this outstanding ensemble cast!

13 comments:

Dog_geek said...

Beautiful! Geez - I really need to get out there and get some work done in my flower beds, if it ever stops raining here! Things are getting out of control around here!

Beth said...

Great photos! I'm not a huge pansy fan but I loved the deep orangey-red one.

Wish we'd get a little rain ..

FARfetched said...

Pansies are a great winter plant for Planet Georgia; about the only color we get all winter…

Shanster said...

Such beautiful pictures. I love how the tulips' middle ties in the grape hyacinths (I hope that is what they are and I'm not making up names again)

Nothing beats Sean Connery in his prime!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Shanster,
Yes, those are grape hyacinths (Muscaria armeniacum) ... such unique little plants and practically no maintenance once they're planted. Alas, I doubt they'd do well at your place unless you put them in very heavily amended soil. Glad you enjoy the pictures ... there's so much more to come!

Ah early Connery ... there's one of his films I keep looking for TCM to show and they never do. It's called A Fine Madness where he plays a guy pretending to be insane and Joanne Woodward is his psych. I haven't seen it in years, but it's mid 60's vintage... I should look on IMDB to make sure.

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