State of the Garden, Month of April, 2010
I really should do these more often.
For the uninitiated, this is a layout of sorts, of the front gardens. I don't have one for the backyard, mostly due to the fact that the back is where I do trial and error, figuring out what will do well in hard, rocky soil, and until last Fall, heavy shade. The landlord took down a tree, had another trimmed back, so now, the back gets dappled shade in the mornings and lots of sun nearly all afternoon/evening. Ah, the joys of a South/Southeast facing back yard.
It needs to be redrawn as of this year, so it's updated. That's next on the list while it [supposedly] rains this afternoon.
Earlier this month, my dwarf German Bearded Irises, 'Royal Knight', bloomed. I say dwarf because despite buying this clump from the same grower I bought my original rhizome of Royal Knights from, this clump is continuously only maybe 12" tall on the flower stalks, compared to 18"+ on the others.
Behind them, you can see the Wisteria, Chinese Purple. Both are still in pots, and this year, both were literally covered in blooms. They need to be repotted into bigger pots this year, after I figure out how to force the ant colonies that have taken up in them to move.
Earlier in April, the Creeping Phlox under the Birch tree bloomed as well...
The Phlox, along with the Lamb's Ear, is doing very well. Both have tripled in size this year. I had to transplant several dozen small Lamb's Ear plants out of the yard and back into the bed again. The wild flowers to the back left, self seed and come back yearly. The Daffs I received from someone over in the Gardening comm on LJ, and planted out there, also came up and bloomed well this year.
Someone needs to tell the Clematis on the fence, there are 3 out of the original 4 ('Ruutel' didn't survive past the first year), that they are a bit early in their blooming cycles. This was at the beginning of the month, within the first 2 weeks.
'Snow Queen' and ' Asao', respectively, both started in April. Neither is supposed to start until May-June. Heh. "Asao' is about done, but 'Snow Queen' is still going strong, as evidenced in the next photo...
This past week, ' H.F. Young' decided to also start blooming early. That one is the blue-purple to the left. All three outdid themselves this year. The purple Lilac bush next to them, on the left, actually had THREE clusters of flowers this year. Normally, it only has 2. Yeah, I don't know either, it's a strange bush.
In one of the 2 large containers of what remains of my Daylilies from 9 years ago- mainly yellows and reds now, the lone Lily of the Valley I got from my MiL several years back, has multiplied into several dozen plants and quite a few bloomed this year. I'm thinking of taking one plant from here and trying at the top of the hill, where I buried Puck and Nyx. The Chocolate Mint I planted on Puck's grave is coming along nicely and it's just shady enough that the Lily of the Valley should do well too.
Speaking of top of the hill...
I had originally planted 2 Clematis up in the bed I built. 'Ernest Markham' didn't make it, but this year, 'Henryi' put on a beautiful showing. And here I was considering transplanting it if it survived the winter. I guess the bit of extra sun after the tree removal helped it out. It's not moving now.}:)
And the last of the Clematis at the side of the porch... "Bright Eyes' has bloomed exceptionally well this year. It's nearly covered in blooms and buds. 'Etoile Violette' on the other end, is showing a substantial amount of buds as well, and I expect to see a nice showing from it in May, when the 'Natchez White' Crepe Myrtle blooms. The violet-red Clematis against the white Crepe Myrtle blooms will be really nice.
Back along the fence, my one and only clump of Columbines that comes back yearly, is blooming well too. I think it was getting crowded by the Feverfew, which was severely thinned this spring- it had been getting out of hand.
Surprisingly, the Yarrow 'Paprika' that I bought for my birth day, already has flower buds started. The Bee Balms have also settled in nicely and are doing well along the fence too.
In pots because stupid me didn't read the tags and see that they were bushes and have no place for bushes right yet, the Anise Hyssop and Lemon Verbena have adapted well. I've pinched them back to make them more bushy. The Basil, 'Magic Michael' and 'Rubins Red' are doing well too, and have been pinched as well. I need to get more river rocks to cover the soil in the pots so the squirrels don't dig in them. I ran out. Behind them you can see the self seeded Tansy that grew were the original I brought up from North Carolina 9 years ago is growing well. And the Chocolate Mint is taking over that bed as planned too.
Up next to the porch steps, the Creeping Thyme has taken to its new home well. The Lemon Balm, which refused to budge when I tried to shift it down towards the front of the bed more, has grown by leaps and bounds. Behind it, the Lavender, that I managed to overwinter, woo!, actually has flower buds on it. Next to that, the Rosemary, which was shifted down to give the Lavender more room (as I tried to do with the Lemon Balm) has taken the moving well and has lots of new leaves on it. The heavy snows didn't hurt them too badly, although the weight did make the Lavender grow sideways.}:/
All the Tomatoes I got this year are growing well. Every one is at least 3"-4" taller already. The Greek Oregano came back, the Thyme is struggling, but trying valiantly. The Lovage has come back as well and is doing well.
The Spiderwort I got from my dad last summer bloomed this year. The white one next to the purple hasn't yet, but has buds on it.
One of my purple Japanese Irises is blooming. This is the lighter of the two. The darker one has flower buds starting, and the variegated leaved yellow hasn't started yet. All three need splitting this year. I may take some up to my dad like I did my German Beardeds when I split them 2 years ago.
The back raised veggie/herb bed is doing well too. The leaf lettuce is trying to take over the world, I think. The rhubarb likes it better back here too. My poor Japanese Maple that Caena decided was a great chew toy last Fall before I finally fenced it in, is bouncing back nicely, albeit a bit lopsided.}:P Where it and the Witch Hazel behind and to the right are, will be the new raised bed after I clear it out and level the ground. That's a project for this summer, along with finishing digging out my pond out front.
My German Bearded Iris 'Rites of Spring' is currently blooming. It, as well as many of the others, have really bounced back this year after the splitting and transplanting 2 years ago. I missed seeing all their beautiful blooms.
There are several flower stalks on several others that I'm not entirely certain which they are. The 6 German Beardeds I got 3 years ago have yet to bloom, but it appears at least 2 have flower stalks on them. 'Celebration Song' will be blooming in the next day or so. I'm not certain, but I think 'Fire and Ice' is going to bloom again this year as well. 'Pirate's Quest', which I got last year, will bloom by tomorrow, that will be its first blooming.}:) There's another that is either 'Superstition' or 'Stepping Out', but because they are right next to each other, I can't tell which it is until it's a bit bigger.
My other German Bearded are as follows-
Sat. Night Live
(which has bloomed exactly once in the 4 yrs I've had it, hmph)
a copper/peach colored one from the hubby's late Grandmom's house
a purple one similar to what you see on roadsides from back home
2 Siberian Irises- one yellow and one purple.
3 Japanese Irises
If you were keeping track, that's 26 different Irises, and between them, countless rhizomes/plants. Heh.
Does anyone recognize this plant? I didn't plant it but it showed up at the base of the back hill last year. Only this one single clump, about a foot in width.
Close up of leaves and flowers. I thought last year it looked like it might have been Arugala I mean Ajuga d'oh!, but I didn't plant any, so no clue. Then this year it decided to bloom. And only grow in this one spot.}:P
And that is the State of the Garden for the month of April, 2010.