Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Spring Bloom Bonanza Continues ....

Monday was a mild, but mostly cloudy day and due to a bad headache I developed during the afternoon, I just didn't have the oomph to get out and try to get some more photos of the current bulb bonanza happening out front, so just a few more shots from Fernymoss' session from April 30 to show off.

Things are growing at an amazing pace here these days, and there's something new to discover practically every day out in the Boulder Beds and the Woodland Garden. Our plan this week is to plant a few things every day after work since we got so much new plant material last weekend. My aim today (if the weather cooperates, since rain is again in the forecast) is to put in a few of the (eight!) new Delphinium varieties I just got ... 3 Blue Elf, 3 Blue Butterfly and 2 Summer Night. I've decided to add a couple to my existing stand of Blue Elf to bring that up to a total of 5, then create two other stands elsewhere with the rest and mix them all up for variety. Since they're all various hues of blue, they should look great together. I'm also going to throw a bunch of Larkspur seed in with them, just to see if I can get some of that going again (though the last time I got Larkspur going great guns, the were rabbits ate them all).

The Primroses (Primula polyanthus) are really happy and blooming right now, so I hope I can get some pictures of them today, but here's a preview Fernymoss provided from last Thursday. I love the gradations of color in this red and yellow one, especially the red "stripe" down the center of the petals. I found another pot of Primroses over the weekend that I planted on Sunday, along with that yellow one I got for Valentine's day, so I think our approximate total of plants is now somwhere around 20-22 in this bed! And to think, I started this grouping with five tiny plants back in 2005 ... they have multiplied rapidly (to my delight) in just four years and I hope they continue to prosper! I've waxed rhapsodically here before about my love of Primroses, so I'll spare you that, but to me, these charming little spring bloomers just personify the quintessential cottage garden plant with their cheeful, colorful faces peeking up from their compact bushy plants. My hope is that these will eventually take over much of this little bed over time....

This is one of our remaining Jan De Bos Hyacinths currently in bloom ... somwhere along the line we have lost two of these, which is regrettable, because I really like this hot pink bordering on fuscha color (though it's classified as "red"), and of course, its fragrance is, like all hyacinths, absolutely lovely. This one is doing well where it is (next to one of the purple Peter Stuyvesants) and has put up two blooms again this year, so I think it must be planning on sticking around for the long haul. So much the better!

Now let's venture into Trillium territory, where things are really revving up quickly! We'll have more shots of these probably later this week, but for now, let's take a look at how quickly these emerge, practically blooming from the ground ... two weeks ago, there were no signs of these in the Woodland Garden, and all of a sudden last week, there they were! When we first found these several years ago (I think it was in 2006), they were identified only as "Trillium, Wildflower." Apparently these are often misidentified even in better nurseries, so my best guess is that these are Trillium luteum, due to their pale yellow flowers. No matter what they are, we love them and they seem to like where we have planted them ... we started with three plants originally and now they have increased to at least five, though I wouldn't be surprised to discover yet another lurking in this stand once we get the dead fern growth cleared out soon. I'll keep you posted ... and this weekend, we found another small plant where we got the new Hellebore, so there will be at least six going into this growing season and the next.

Here's a bit closer view of three Trilliums who have clumped together ... though we love the unique blooms, I think the foliage is almost as stunning as the flowers, and ours stick around throughout the summer even if the blooms do fall off eventually. They're great Woodland Garden plants and make excellent companions for our Jack in the Pulpit, ferns and Toad Lilies we have nearby because they blend right in and give us at least a small impression of a little woodland stand in the middle of the city, which is what we have been trying to achieve....

I think Fernymoss did an outstanding job with this macro close up of a bloom just opening (enlarge to see all the deail) ...just look at those stamens! This is clearly a moment captured in time, because by now I'm sure this flower has opened fully, so thanks to Fernymoss, we have a glimpse into the gradual unfurling of these petals, revealing the intimate inner bits of this lovely bloom....

Puppy pic overload time again ... this is a fairly typical pose for Hanna when she takes up her spot on the couch. Nothing amazing, but just another of her acknowledge my cuteness! poses that we're privileged to enjoy multiple times daily. She just generates smiles by her very being (and this is not limited to us, as Fernymoss sees total strangers break into big smiles when they see her on walkies). We're lucky dogs (as we remind ourselves often) and so is she! Her match with us was just meant to be, as we believe more and more over time....

23 comments:

Gail said...

Hi IVG!

Love the trilliums...and if your yellow has a lemon fragrance...then it is T luteum! What a lucky find! I am so glad Hannah came into your lives...she has been a real gift to you both and I love seeing her charming photos, too~ gail

FARfetched said...

Hey IVG… maybe you ought to try the larkspur again, and let Hanna loose out back to keep the rabbits out of it. They (rabbits) are most active in the dawn/dusk hours, so that's when Hanna needs to be on patrol. She'll have much fun keeping them out of her territory!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi IVG, Love those Hanna ears! I've never had much luck with primrose. Can't stand providing meals for the slugs. Hope to find some nice Hyacinths like yours to add this fall.
Marnie

CONEFLOWER said...

Your trillium are wonderful. I've never seen yellow ones before, only the white and the maroon. As to your larkspur or anything else that the bunnies are snacking on, try sprinkling liberally with ground cayenne pepper. I know for sure squirrels don't like it. It saved all my bulbs from being dug up last fall and also it stopped some bunny munching this spring. I don't like it either (remember to not breathe in while sprinkling) so I can see why the critters leave things alone.

And, Hanna? Well, she's just simply adorable. She really does make you smile.

Beth said...

The pink of the hyacinth is lovely. Don't tell me that bunnies eat the larkspur!!!! Argh! Doesn't Hanna chase those rodents away?

Never see a trillium before but the leaves are really cool.

BTW, what breed is Hanna. She looks like she has some Welsh Corgi in her?

boran2 said...

IVG, You have an amazing variety of things happening in your garden. Those primroses are gorgeous. And your remaining hyacinth still looks great.

I believe that we are past our cold weather now. But it's supposed to keep raining until mid May. Ugh.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Gail,
We checked the Trillium tonight after work and it indeed has a pronounced lemony scent! So my hunch about Luteum was right ... thanks for your help in definitively IDing this plant. It will be interesting to see what the new one we just got turns out to be next year....

Hanna is glad you like her pictures too! She's not always the most willing subject, but the camera loves her!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey FAR,
I am going to try the larkspur again, but out front, where Hanna is not really permitted to roam, at least yet. In her later years, we let Pepa wander around out front, but she was always respectful of the garden, but not the rabbits!

Hanna will definitely have fun terrorizing the bunnies and squirrels in the back (fenced) yard. I doubt they suspect what a strong instinct she has to eradicate those critters.... personally, I want to see her nail a tree rat first. I hate the bunny screams....

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
LOL, we love the ears too... they really make her unique, and she does such fun things with them too (just like Pepa used to do).

It took me a few years before I mastered Primroses, but I've got them thriving now ... I do pamper this bed all season long and water it frequently so they don't die off in the heat of summer. And they do get afternoon shade (only morning sun) here, which I think helps. We haven't ever had a problem with slugs ... I don't know what we're doing right, but it must be something!

FYI, both these varieties of Hyacinths came from Van Bourgondien, though they're pretty common varieties....

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Coneflower,
Glad you like the Trilliums ... like I said, we had no idea what color they would be when we got them! Yeah, the cayenne does work, but I haven't hauled it out just yet this year. Sometimes I make a "tea" with red pepper flakes and a bit of dish soap to use as a spray and that works wonders as well. Problem is, you have to reapply after rains.....

Glad Hanna brought a ray of joy to you too today. :-)

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Beth,
Both our varieties of Hyacinths are real stunners... we may have to put some more in this fall if we're not in the poorhouse and have the ambition! :-)

Yep, bunnies ate my larkspur (even though it's reputed to be toxic) ... I planted a whole bed of it about 4 years ago and it came up thick and they mowed it all down. Grrr. Hanna wasn't around then and Pepa just wasn't in the right place at the right time, but she did nail her fair share of bunnies over the years.

I think Trilliums are probably hardy for you too (it's the official flower of Ontario), the trick is finding a nursery that actually stocks the plants in spring, because they're not easy to grow from seeds.

Hanna is a proud Welsh Corgi-Jack Russell Terrier mix, and really favors the JRT. We've only had her since January when we adopted her from a rescue organization. When I first saw her on Petfinder, I fell in love because my favorite 2 dog breeds are Corgis and Terriers, so she just seemed the best of both worlds!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey there B2,
Yep, there's lots going on right now, so much that it's hard to keep up! Aren't those primroses the coolest? Took me a while to master growing them, but they're more than happy now. You'll be seeing much more of them soon! Alas the Hyacinths and Tulips are fading now, but I've still got a bunch of pics to post so stay tuned.

I sure hope you don't get stung with your tomatoes, but you can always use the old milk jug hothouse improv with them if things start to get iffy temperature wise. In my experience, they don't usually do much in May until it starts getting hot in June because they thrive on the heat. Once we get our plot tilled, I'll be popping them in though!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I really like the Trillium, it's such a great color. Of course the Hanna shot is too cute. It reminds me of my mutt when she was a pup, and 1 ear would get stuck up. When she became an adult, her ears were never up.

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