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Delft blue

Grape hyacinth

After oh so many cleaning days the garden is sparkling. The seedlings are planted, the roses are pruned, the weeding is done for now, the perennials are sprouting healthy growth, the herb garden is expanding. These are the moments that fill a gardener's heart with joy, the moments when all the grueling work pays off.


Yes it did!

This is not an archive picture, it is a recent snapshot of a tuberose blooming in April. When I saw a flower stalk a couple of weeks ago I couldn't believe it. Now it has two. I guess in the warm climates they come from they bloom repeatedly throughout the year.

Of course, because these things never fail, we were blessed with a frost advisory the week after the official safe planting day for our area, and I had to rush out and cover all the tiny plants so they don't die overnight. The chill front is supposed to last for another three days, lovely!

They fared well over night, it even looks like their miniature greenhouses gave them an extra oomph, I could swear they weren't this big yesterday. The good news is that temperatures are getting back into the seventies and eighties on Monday, which fares well for the perennials that have started showing buds. The creeping veronicas are already dotted with tiny blue flowers.

The grape hyacinths, sweet violets, bugle and navelwort are in bloom and this makes the flower borders look covered in Delft pottery.

I'm so excited that the garden finally came back to life that I make up gardening chores just to be outside. I divided and replanted some summer and fall perennials, combed the remaining leaves out of the ivy ground cover, bought and planted calendula, valerian and mint, sowed cosmos and cucumbers, the chore list only ends when you get tired of them.

I get out every morning to inspect how much the little seedlings have grown. They are, of course, still tiny, still trying to figure out that their new location is better than the sprouting pod. Despite the cold, the sun is shining brightly and it rained enough last week to give them a great start.

I am not done, by any stretch of the imagination, there are still a couple of areas I haven't even started sprucing up.

So happy to be outside!


Spring border

Spring Border

A trip to the plant nursery in spring is like a brief glimpse into paradise: overflowing baskets of pansies, fields of cheerful snapdragons, endless pots of marigolds, begonias and petunias. There was fragrance in the air, a heavenly scent I couldn’t identify, but which I'm fairly sure was a combination of hyacinth, pansy and tree blossoms, with just a hint of mint and basil coming from the herb patch.

The weeping redbuds and cherry trees were in bloom, their gauzy curtains of pink flowers waving gently in the breeze. I can't help bringing more plants home when I go to the nursery, no matter how hard I try. I exercised great restraint this time and only got a few medicinal plants for the herb garden. The season is just beginning and I'm waiting for the trays of annuals to show up.

The resident cats walked the grounds with territorial confidence, while customers came and went, loaded with flats of flowers and potted azaleas.

The sweet violets pushed ahead of all the other plants and are now covering every square inch of the back yard with cheerful white and blue blossoms.

I lingered around the kitchen herbs, marveling at row after row of basil, thyme and tarragon, as if I'd never seen cooking herbs before. Mine haven't sprouted yet, a lucky break considering the late frost.

It was a lot warmer in the greenhouse, and the unexpected April chill made the temperature difference more obvious. Pampered in their sheltered haven, away from the cold, sharp winds and dry spells, the plants lived in summer already.

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