I'm not what you'd call an avid gardener. I'm enthusiastic, but not very good on follow-through; I don't enjoy weeding and even watering gets to feel like a chore after a while. But I like having lots of interesting plants in my yard, and I'm very fortunate in that I didn't have to plant very many of them myself. The previous owners of my house were, to all appearances, Avid Gardeners, and for the past seven years, we've enjoyed the fruits of their labor and expertise, just maintaining what is already here. We've planted a few new things here and there, but mostly, it's older growth - very established, growing and blooming reliably year after year. It's lovely and enjoyable - and a great relief.
For all that, I am always trying to learn more. I've decided to keep better track of the plants and when they bloom. For the next few months, as things in the yard come into flower, I'm going to share photos and notes here. A couple of years ago, I did something similar with my half-barrel of annual plants in the backyard, and I found it very helpful. I learned a lot about myself as gardener, actually, and a little about the plants too. I think I'll do this at the beginning of the month through the growing season, just to keep track of what's happening out there.
What's happening in your garden right now?
We have irises in two places in the backyard - around the stone water feature, and in a raised, curved planter bed that runs the depth of the backyard along one wall. I noticed some of the buds were being eaten by squirrels early on; I don't know what to do about squirrels and had never noticed them eating irises before. I wonder if they're being attracted to the backyard by the chickens and their feed, which is often spread on the ground near the coop. The irises that did bloom are glorious, and I love watching them bloom over the course of a single day.
Most of the pyracantha is blossoming now. The bloom is patchy, though, as many branches only have tiny buds so far. We need to prune the pyracantha pretty soon, actually. We started pruning it in a new way a couple of years ago, removing "crowns" whole, instead of lopping it off straight across the top and down the fronts, like we used to. This has helped them grow thicker and bushier.
Primroses are just starting to bloom. We have them in the raised bed where some of the irises are. They form sort of a tall ground-cover in the bed. I look forward to them every year. They bloom for weeks, take a break during the hottest part of the summer, and bloom again by August.
We have a lot of Jupiter's Beard, or red valerian, in the same bed. It's just starting to bloom this week.
The strawberry patch is getting off to a good start. Some of the flowers have become tiny fruits. I'm very hopeful about it, like I am every year. Just have to keep those naughty hens out of the patch...
Our apple tree has tons of tiny apples and I'm very hopeful about our harvest. I really hope most of them last through the summer. I haven't found any on the ground yet. I'm thinking about making apple butter this year!
Photinia "Red Robin" is beginning to bloom now. I think these are very pretty-looking, but their scent - not so much. It's amazing to me how much the flowers look like pyracantha flowers.
My big rosebush should be blooming by now, but the buds were frozen in a
recent cold snap. I'm very disappointed. I almost always have roses to
bring indoors for Mother's Day, and this is the first year, I think,
that I won't have them. Hopefully new buds will appear soon. I love my
backyard bouquets and I'm eager to start making them for the season. I bought some alstroemeria this morning, for a kitchen-table bouquet. I never liked alstroemeria but it's growing on me lately. A big bouquet is $4 at the grocery store and the flowers last for a couple of weeks. I'll just fill up on cheap-and-cheerful alstroemeria until my roses are ready.