Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Blooming May

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.

18 comments:

  1. What a great idea. I did this a few years back to make sure that my garden had something happening all year round. I took photos and noted where the gaps were as well as where the bulbs were too. That iris is gorgeous. I have a black one from an old fella that gave me a piece but it is yet to flower. Jo x

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  2. Such a great idea to make a record, we try to do that with our veg plot so we know what is successful and worth doing again. Its so nice to look back at the notes at the start of the gardening season and plan. Beautiful iris, such a lovely plant. Take care.

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  3. The flowers all look beautiful, Jennifer! :o)

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  4. That Iris really is a beauty. Squirrels are such a nuisance. They eat many of the plants in my garden, including camellia and roses. Something is even eating the daffodils and they're supposed to be poisonous. The culprit will be easy to spot.. Going around holding his stomach no doubt..

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  5. I do love irises and yours are beautiful. I'll bet you're right about the chickened attracting the squirrels. I like to garden, but Mac does all the heavy work. I do like to weed, I find it very satisfying to rip the little blighters out by the roots.

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  6. So pretty! I'm looking forward to following your photos here. Not much happening in my area yet.

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  7. Wow, so much beauty in your garden right now. I am still getting excited about little green shoots popping through the earth :)

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  8. I really loved the posts you did about your planter of flowers Jennifer, and I look forward to seeing more of your gardens through the seasons. You have varieties of plants with which I am not familiar...so many pretty colors and shapes! The iris are stunning! I just planted a clump of purple petunias yesterday and their scent is sweet. We have quite a few Joseph Coat rose blossoms ready to open OH and did I tell you that for the first time ever I have Sweet Peas growing from seed! I so hope they keep growing and will bloom xxxxxx

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  9. I remember the posts about your planter Jennifer and I really enjoyed them. This years idea sounds wonderful. You have so many pretty flowers blooming already. I pruned my roses tonight and saw some tiny buds. I **think** we're past frost danger now. At least I hope so.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  10. Gosh, your irises are quite swoony! I've not tried growing them but always admire them in other gardens. I am raising loads of plants for summer blooms and they're almost ready to plant out - I'm looking forward to being able to pick plenty of flowers to bring indoors and enjoy there too.

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  11. The colours of your Iris are indeed swoon-inducing and of course they take any amount of heat and lack of water. Have you tried dividing them so you can plant additional clumps around the garden. They propogate really easily from rhizome division. My rises are in bud and looking promising although my darkest one, I. Sable, is being chewed by something. I'm intrigued by your pink primrose and wonder if it is what we know as a hardy geranium here? Its common name is cranesbill because when the flowers finish the seedheads resemble a ... Crane's bill! The apple blossom is just beginning and there are tiny rose buds here too. Happy gardening Jennifer.

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  12. You have many pretty flowering plants in your garden, Jennifer. The iris are lovely, quite different from my purple ones. And the pink primrose is gorgeous; we don't see them at all. Enjoy your Springtime garden!

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  13. I love your irises, they're beautiful. I only have the tiny reticulata variety in my garden and a flag iris in my tiny pond, I'd quite like some bearded irises though.

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  14. Oh wow -- it all looks so beautiful! I love using my blog as a record of what was happening at any given time, although I don't do it as much as I used to. It's been such a sloooow start to spring this year -- we're still freezing here, so not much is blooming yet. I'll just enjoy your photos until we start seeing flowers!

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  15. your garden is so lovely x can't wait to see your photos as it progresses x

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  16. What a lovely idea! I love the blooms in your garden. Not a lot happening here as yet, hopefully soon!

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  17. Your garden looks beautiful my friend. I am enjoying yellow roses and gardenias.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  18. Ha, I like how you described your gardening style - enthusiastic but not so good on follow through. That's pretty much me! Your garden is looking lovely, especially those beautiful irises. My garden is feeling under control for now but I predict I'll have abandoned it by July. ;-) xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

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