Saturday, April 19, 2014

The flowers that bloom in the spring tra la!

My apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan (and maybe the weatherman), but I'm humming a little tune myself today. The temperature is 10 C (50 F) and we have bright sun. Woo-hoo! A few hours of
warmth brought those crocus buds out all over the flower beds. There are 10 or 12 clusters of purple blossoms so bright and cheerful that they are easily visible from our second story windows.

I went down about 1:00 (what a difference from yesterday's blizzard!) and worked in the first bed to the right as you approach the building. This is the one which gets the most sun and therefore is farthest ahead of any of the beds.

There was a single dandelion, which I yanked out, but happily as I pruned back old growth and cleared away leaves I found that at least one of the roses I planted last year survived. Sadly the one the landscaper took his gas-powered trimmer to in the fall appears to have died of outrage. In this climate you do not prune roses in the fall but in the spring. He was only supposed to neaten up the shrubs but he got a bit enthusiastic with those trimmers. By the time I got downstairs to shoo him out of my flower beds the damage was done.

But there are some Oriental poppies coming up, and several shasta daisy plants. It looks like some of the white swan echinaceas may have survived and surprisingly several of the dusty miller made it through the winter, when they are sold strictly as annuals here.

So far no signs of life from the sage or the "Little Rocket" ligularia, which you see in this photo of last year's bed. I followed the directions on the ligularia's pot, which said "plant in full sun, water sparingly" and now I'm reading that ligularia likes shade and wet feet. sigh…. That is a spectacular plant. I'll look for another one and plant it in a more suitable location this year.  What I'll put in its place is a question - maybe some very well-staked delphiniums.

I pulled back all the leaf litter which was mucky with mud and pruned the potentilla. I've finally got the potentilla down to nicely shaped four foot globes, when they were eight feet of mostly dead wood with green tips to begin with.

By this point I'd had it. My feet were beginning not to pay any attention to what my brain was telling them to do. I just about did a face-first header onto the sidewalk when I caught my toe on the edge of the walk. Thankfully there's a bench there and I grabbed it.  I'll leave the rest for another day.  


Linda P. said...

I did a face plant (and right shoulder and knee plant, too, with some road rashes on my hands as an extra little touch) about three weeks ago when walking the dog. You don't want to do that!

Deb said...

I hope you are recovering quickly!

That's what kept me out of the garden last summer. I tripped over the woodgrain in the floor and fell head-first - injured my neck so badly I was unable to do anything but sit in my rocker and curse/weep as the landscapers laid waste to my garden.