has earned it's own post (not because it's beautiful, although there is no dispute there) but for being the first clematis to EVER bloom in April! At least in this garden...
It's not just one lonely bloom either ~ it's in true "full-on-bloom-time" mode!
You have to love that aspect of this wacky spring weather.
On the flip side, the above average warm temperatures & below average precipitation have already sparked talk of water rationing in our area. If something doesn't change soon, it could very well become a reality. :-(
Today is a day to shrug that worry off tho (momentarily) & to enjoy the novelty ~ for who knows if it will happen in another year or not? I would say all things are possible and all bets are off for 2012 ~ wouldn't you agree?!!
I participated in the annual 'Rush for the Roses' event at a local greenhouse yesterday (of course I bought another David Austin ~ it's mandatory, isn't it?!) but what struck me most was all the other buying going on. No one seemed focused only on roses ~ annuals, veggies, perennials, etc., were also being loaded up in garden carts. More like a normal May-weekend-buying-frenzy which is our usual 'safe' time to plant. I hope this wacky weather doesn't come back to bite us & frost all the tender plants that went home.
I said "us" because I was among those purchasing ~ besides the rose, another hibiscus,
Pink, of course!
and to feed my latest obsession (with standards) ~ a violet tubeflower standard!
Can't wait to plant it with something equally scrumptious around the base.
Maybe a yellow companion??
With planting on the brain, I stopped by Lowes to get some potting soil and was thrilled to find Hosta 'Frances Williams' for sale at the low price of $5.98! For you long time gardeners, I'm sure you remember when this was THE coveted hosta and you couldn't buy it for less than $20 something?!!
Goes to show, if you're patient enough, every gardener can afford those much desired plants. Of course by now, 'Frances" has been replaced by some newer, more-sought-after varieties but that's okay, I still find her highly attractive. :-)
I bet you know what I did today after reading about yesterday??
Yep ~ a bit of planting. Not everything, but the hostas, new rose and a couple other odds & ends. Plus I did a little rearranging in my beds (something I'm remarkably lax about but trying to change) I couldn't help it ~ it was a beautiful day and the supervision was supreme:
ha. (annoyed at having the camera pointed in his direction)
At eye level with the plants, I noticed "Jack-in-the Pulpit" ~ something I'd overlooked:
I added two of these last year, because the tag specified "nursery propagated" ~ making me feel better that they hadn't been dug from the wild. (important because of some reading I'd done on how collecting has almost eradicated some species from their native habitats.)
Not in jeopardy of that happening ~ Muscari ~ best viewed in my position, eye level:
Looking upward, for the first time ever in April, soon-to-be-blooms on Clematis 'Asao:'
That shows you just how warm we've been ~ I guess I'm not the only one who thinks it's feelin' like May?!?
P.S. Saw the first Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly today ~ the earliest sighting for them in this garden ~ also a "May" thing....
I had so much fun photographing the tulips in the previous post, I decided to do it again. Anything that enjoyable bears repeating, right?!!!
Besides, 'Sensual Touch' just keeps getting better & better:
So it would be stingy of me not to share the goodness with you!
They've opened to the most heavenly shade of apricot/coral/orange ~ like having a gorgeous sunset on a stem.
Definitely, definitely ordering more!!!!
Also, all my fellow pink lovers, you'll be thrilled to know 'Foxtrot' deepens to an even lovelier montage of our most beloved color:
Yummy, yum, yum ~ right??!!
Enough of the updates, let's move on to some new blooms (because this time of year it's hard enough to keep up without going backwards!) Another exquisite double, 'Charming Beauty' is opening next to 'Sensual Touch:'
That was good planning, wasn't it? I think it would be even more magnificent if I added in some yellows this fall??? Note to self....
Then there are Greggi tulips, 'Tsar Peter:'
which, I think, are starting to multiply. :-)
Most happy about that.
The next photo's for you Shady Gardener ~ look how the Virginia Bluebells have multiplied since you shared the start with me:
I had to move them once but I think I found their happy place!
They've rewarded me with a nice clump so thank you, again, very much!
Finally, the new project ~ an enclosed yew bed with a lilac standard as the centerpiece:
The left side of the bed is actually part of the yew pathway I put in last spring. I'm still deciding what to plant in the center but whatever I decide, I'm pretty sure there will be some veggies mixed in.
Above, a longer shot of the back garden ~ I've certainly made a dent in the grass now!
The garden is re-energizing me ~ thank goodness ~ so much happening every day, it's impossible for it not to rub off! Thank you for all your support too ~ you've left me the nicest comments & they absolutely made me smile. :-)
I'm officially nominating myself in the category of "worlds worst blogger" ~ so if anyone is still reading out there ~ feel free to check that box next to my name! The truth may sting but it could quite possibly motivate too....
No excuses, no promises (in regards to future postings) but at least I haven't shown up empty handed ~ I have tulip photos for all. :-)
Upon viewing, you'll notice I had a "thing" for double & peony flowering varieties last summer (when I placed my order.) I'm not at all disappointed now that they're blooming ~ please admire the delightful lushness with me ~ 'Gudoshnik:'
Don't you think a photo of 'Gudoshnik' should be right next to the definition of "divine?" I sure do!
If pale creamy yellow perfection is not your thing, maybe 'Foxtrot' will be??
I know I am eating it up ~ pink loving girl that I am.
Having said that, 'Sensual Touch' is also dropping my jaw with it's magnificent combination of fringed petal edges & fully double blooms:
The catalog described it as "smoldering orange, golden-apricot & rich tangerine with pink flushes & yellow edges." SOLD (as duly noted)
That is some "in your face" genius coloring. I'm definitely ordering more!
Out front, 'Indian Summer' (not double) is fronting 'Akebono' (fully double) for a breath-taking display:
Could it get any better??? When the neighbors all stop to drool, it has to be a winning combo, right?!
'Indian Summer' has been in the garden several years now and still ranks at the top of my favorites list. I can't imagine pink & orange being paired more exquisitely. 'Akebono' was a new addition last fall.
Backtracking to the rear garden, check out the display below of 'Big Chief' (I think?) tulips & Double Pink Flowering Almond:
The Almond is new ~ thanks to many of you and your fabulous portrayals last spring. You made me think I *had* to have it and now I'm so glad I do.
Sprays & sprays of sweet pink blooms & buds ~ it's really, really incredible ~ and totally lives up to the hype. Is it greedy to already want another??
Also, would sharing a "normal" tulip photo seem quite unremarkable or not (after the exotic beauties featured above??)
I'm feeling a little sorry for my "regulars" after waxing on and on about the newbies. Can you blame me tho?? I'm truly not partial ~ blooms of any kind & color are thoroughly appreciated and relished ~ it's just the novelty of the new toy bulbs putting stardust in my eyes....