The garden wore blue and white flowers for Easter, really pretty and fresh in the sunlight. Blue-eyed Marys dressed the soil under the crab apple tree in delicate sprays of blue flowers. To counterpoint that the tree's abundant blossoms covered its branches with a graceful fragrant veil.
There isn't a glut of blooms in the aftermath of this endless winter, but my faithful daffodils pour forth love as always, little rays of sunshine peaking through the clouds.
Blue-eyed Mary itself is not scented but if you are looking for a beautiful ground cover that blooms in full shade you can't get much better than this plant. The broad heart shaped foliage spreads quickly to brighten a shady spot and in spring it offers a real treat to the gardener with its lavish blossoms that look just like forget-me-nots.
Don't plant it in full sunlight, it gets scorched dramatically and looks guilt inducing but will continue to grow, which is really not a garden feature. It thrives in the shade where it is very undemanding, spreads quickly and inhibits the growth of weeds, maintaining a compact, deep green and lush foliage through the summer and fall, even during drought spells.
Blue eyed Mary is a perennial plant. Harsh winters don't bother it and it self-sows freely to provide extra seedlings if you want to plant it in other areas of your garden. Like any spring perennial it doesn't like being disturbed during its blooming period, wait for a cool day at the beginning of fall to move it to its desired location.
The date of the last frost came and went and I eagerly set out to plant this year's vegetable garden. I will say the seedlings were 'hardened' for a couple of weeks, although their experience was to plant hardening like a welding torch is to a heating lamp.
They came out of the ordeal world-weary but with new found strength. As I was planting the tomatoes yesterday they looked so out of scale next to their supports it's easy to forget that in the fullness of summer their luxuriant growth engulfs the poles and cages in an exuberance of leaves and stems.
I sort of followed the plan laid out at the beginning of the year: the tomatoes got better supports, soil and sunlight, the squashes and cucumbers got planted in hanging baskets and out of the walkway, I amended the soil for beans and herbs and spaced the plants appropriately. Future will tell.
The yield table will follow in a month or so when I get something to put in it, but we know it will feature tomatoes, carrots, peppers, hot peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, zucchini squashes and herbs.
The latter took on a more prominent role this year, not only the kitchen herbs like parsley, basil, chives, thyme and dill, but medicinals and aromatics too - calendula, lavender and Saint John's wort.
Despite the fact that the kitchen garden didn't grow in size (not considering the hanging baskets it is still around 20 square feet), I added some flowers to it this year, colorful nasturtiums sprinkled in the baskets among veggies to cheer them up, nasturtiums are edible flowers after all.
That's it, now all I have to do is watch and wait. But grow already!