Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It's Tulipomania around here! We've got pink ones...

...species ones (T. linifolia, I believe; like most of the tulips, they came with the house)...

...some more purple and yellow ones not pictured here and of course...

...the 'El Cids'!

They waited for me to get home to put on their show, and overall they're delightful. You can see their frosted outer stripe, paintbrush strokes of magenta, and purple stems.

They're not as purple as I had been led to believe by the Brent & Becky's catalog, but it actually worked out OK because the yellow tulips nearby feature petals lined almost imperceptibly with red (click to enlarge if needed).

The color combo is quite nice, and the soft cream of the 'City of Haarlem' hyacinths isn't bad either. The only downside is that some of the flowers are a little deformed, as you can see to the right of this picture:

It's probably the shoddy soil quality or lack of sun. But despite the little imperfections this small spring bulb vignette has fanned my Tulipomania.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Earliest. Bloom Day. Ever.

As we know, Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of every month by Carol of May Dreams Garden. But this month I will be away from the garden on the 15th, so I am writing the very earliest Bloom Day post before I step away!

Not all that much is in full bloom around here, unfortunately. But there are some spring stalwarts, like daffodils...


...and bleeding hearts.

This is the classic bleeding heart, Dicentra spectabilis.

Oddly, my miniature Dicentra eximia is barely poking its foliage above the ground. Is it a short-lived plant? Or is it just struggling this year?

I'm bummed to be away for the next few days because my tulips are all ready to explode, and I'm afraid I'll miss the show.

Here is an example from the front garden; it's the tulip with the oregano planted on top of it.

In the back, my clump of tulips and hyacinths is ready to go crazy. I hope they can make the show last!

Take a closer look at this bud (click to enlarge if you need to).

These are 'El Cid' tulips, which are purple and yellow Rembrandt-types, and you can see the purple swirls on the bud. If the bud is this lovely, what must the flower look like?!

My forsythia is having a banner year, and I know that sounds a little funny because it's really a small, kind of scraggly forsythia. But truly this is the best flowering display I've seen it put on in five years. For some reason it's a great year for these shrubs. My neighbor has one that could absolutely stop traffic. But I'm proud of this small but bright display. This guy may not be the biggest but it's happy, and that makes me happy.

Also exciting (but not technically blooming) is the vegetable garden, where spinach and lettuces are sprouting! (Admittedly, this is not the clearest picture.) That's a broccoli seedling in the top left corner. A couple of those have survived last week's rainstorms and our chilly temperatures quite well. There's no sign of life from the onions yet, but I'm feeling hopeful.

Be sure to check out May Dreams Garden on the actual 15th! Happy early Bloom Day!

Friday, April 2, 2010


I know that the beautiful 70 and 80 degree weather we've had this week is a tease.

I know that just because March went out like the proverbial lamb does not mean that April will continue to act as such.

I know that we will have freezing temperatures and probably even snow, possibly more than once in the next six to eight weeks.

I know all this, but it still didn't stop me from planting the first of the veggies in the new bed. No, I ignored my better judgment and went right ahead planting two types of spinach, four types of lettuce, three kinds of onion sets and some green onion seeds. I'm comforting myself with the knowledge that, yes, these are all cold-season crops and, in a worst-case scenario, I still have many more seeds (and sets) should these ones get frozen to death in a late-season storm.

But in an ominous sign that growing vegetables may not be all that easy, my broccoli seedlings are flopping at a worrying pace. And this is after being exposed to strong sunlight and the fluorescent lamp for regular amounts of daily light. Luckily, I still have numerous broccoli seeds left for direct sowing.

So with fingers crossed, the veggie gardening has begun!

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