Saturday, May 09, 2009

The results of all those April showers

Some May flowers are definitely here, with more in the wings.

This is actually a weed that most gardeners try to eradicate. I can't remember its name, but it is so pretty I let it grow some. It seems to favor the shadier parts of the lawn.

The pink creeping phlox grows in the bed with the asplenifolia and yucca and sand cherry. I have tried growing some white under the barberry but it is too shady there. I may expand that bed a bit and try again.

My old fashioned lilac is a bit droopy, thanks to an ice storm last winter, but it is putting on quite a show this year to make up for it.

The fragrance is divine!

The Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliant' aka chokeberry is in bloom. (I'm trying to use proper Latin names more.)

The first iris, with many more to come. Another sweet smell but definitely different than lilac.

Last summer I moved the bleeding heart to protect it from the construction crews, but I plan to move it back once it is done blooming. This year's blooms look kind of puny compared to previous years, due to the transplant shock no doubt.

The forget-me-not under the rhododendron pooped out, so I was very surprised to find this volunteer in the yard.

And my new Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' aka Japanese maple. The laceleaf one I bought last year from Lowes did not make it through the winter, and since I can get my money back on that one, I'm not too sad. The laceleaf version takes a lot of water and more care than I am inclined to give one plant. For only about $35 more, I picked up its replacement, which is four times as big, from Beverly Nurseries.

While at Beverly, I also picked up a Viburnum dentatum 'Chicago Luster' which is supposed to cross pollinate with the 'Blue Muffin'. My son is here this weekend. I hope he feels like digging a couple of big holes.

Other achievements this week include emptying out three big containers, mixing sphagnum peat, blood meal, and bone meal with the soil, and refilling them. One is going to become a salad bowl, with greens and radishes and green onions. Another I will populate with an 'Early Girl' tomato and some basil. Pot number three will probably be home to some herbs because I am redoing what was the herb garden last year. And it looks like another one of my colonnade apple trees bit the dust, so there may be a fourth pot to fill.

Re the mowing: I did mow the backyard with the electric mower and sort of liked it. My gas mower is self-propelled and the electric one is not, but the latter is very light so pushing it is not that difficult (that might be a different story were I to bag the clippings). Dealing with the cord took some coordination (ha) but again, not all that bad. As more of my lawn gives way to plants, when the time comes to replace the gas mower, I will definitely consider an electric one. Meanwhile, I took the Toro to the repair shop. It still had its tag from when they serviced it, which probably helped sway them to charging me nothing for what turned out to be a very minor repair. Thanks, Crescent Garden!

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