Last night, Steve and I went for a nice 10-mile bike ride through the Metroparks after I finished working at the garden center. This evening, I went searching for a couple of my old blog posts on trilliums and angelicas, both of which I pointed out along the trail, so I could send him the links. As I nosed around my archives, I was surprised to see that we're in the FIFTH month of the year already, and yet I have just FOUR blog posts published in 2009. Yikes!
It's not for lack of things to talk about, either. Spring has definitely sprung here in Northeast Ohio, as you can see in these pictures of the front yard garden:
The photo above shows you what I see when I walk out my front door. Here's a closer view of the bright color in the middle of the bed, where the golden marjoram is starting to emerge in all its chartreuse glory after a close spring cropping:
The golden marjoram makes for a very pretty groundcover, and when the dog is out front and gets excited about seeing a visitor (either 2- or 4-legged, or even winged) it smells lemony good while she stomps around on it, as I had hoped.
The groundcover to the left of it in that same bed is a sedum album, which fills in nicely without being a thug. However, this section of bed looks sparse since I cut back my sages and grasses so severely in April:
Luckily those beautiful species tulips (plus a handful of 'Prinses Irene,' my all-time favorite tulips, are massing and multiplying well enough to distract from any bare spots.
Some of the shorn plants look very interesting as they grow in... this carex buchanii (leatherleaf sedge) looks like a caramel-colored cousin of the lavender plant behind it, until its blades get taller and start to gently curl over:
Some of my purple lyreleaf sage are emerging, along with returning Mexican feather grass, baby sea kale (seriously, I cut all of those bloom stalks back last summer--how is it still having babies?!) and a steady creep of the aforementioned sedum album:
The lyreleaf sedge has some nice backlighting effects... but it is nothing compared to the fire of the unnamed (inherited with the house) heuchera when the western sun sets it aglow. Especially when highlighted with the equally en fuego tones of 'Princes Irene' tulip flowers:
Two side notes, quickly: 1) Am I the only person who thinks of Dan Patrick and the old Sportscenter every time I hear the phrase "en fuego?" And 2) I know that sometimes gardeners get big surprises in the spring, but... I REALLY don't remember planting this next fuzzy, affectionate thing in my garden last year! *grin*
Beyond the catmint in which Mr. Kitty was indulging himself before he came over for a petting is my 'Solar Flare' bergenia. Right now it's obnoxiously bright, as it is both blooming in bright pink and flaring with acid yellow variegation on its new leaves. Later in the season, this plant will revert to all green... and in the fall, its leaves will turn a lovely burgundy color. I would probably hate it if it were so bright year-round, but as it is, I am completely smitten:
Oh, speaking of smitten, here's another shot of a single 'Prinses Irene,' with golden marjoram in the background--and little tufts of allium schubertii leaves poking up all around it:
I can't wait for the allium to return--more than a few people have told me that they dont have luck getting those particular alliums to perennialize. I hope that my well-drained soil gives me a little bit of an advantage there, but we'll see.
Based on last year's posts, 'Prinses Irene' and a few of the other tulips are a week to ten days ahead of last year's pace. That 80-degree weekend really gave things a kick start around here... even my Japanese maple is leafing out, in spite of the fact that I haven't given it an annual pruning/shaping just yet:
I guess I'll be foregoing the Japanese maple's haircut this year, at this point--Ma Nature seems to have her own agenda where that is concerned!
Speaking of going with the flow, I think that may be what 2009 is going to be all about for me. At this time last year, I never thought this spring would find me where I am right now, in so many ways... but it's a pretty good place, all considered. And I am determined to enjoy it, and appreciate it, and take notice of all of the little pockets of color and fragrance and... life.