Remembering how spring hurried in and rushed past so quickly last year has made the this year’s leisurely drift into spring all the more enjoyable. The garden’s gentle pace toward April flowering has been a gift, allowing time to watch and anticipate.
Standing in the garden yesterday, I had that feeling for the first time this year that the individual plants were coalescing, uniting to form a whole, unifying to create a balance to the garden that escapes it other times of the year. This early part of the gardening season, with its fresh growth of foliage, tender young shoots and the promise of imminent flowering is my favorite time in the garden.
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender) shows a fresh flush of leaves after being cut back severely in late winter.
New leaves of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood) are fresh and healthy after a hard pruning. This sits in front of white-blooming Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion).
The early spring foliage of this Chrysanthemum complements the silvery, fuzzy leaves of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear). Both of these are some old-fashioned pass-along plants.
The first Coreopsis blooms are open and colored a deep sunny yellow.
Chrysogonum virginianum (Green and Gold) is a native that I have tried several times to establish as a groundcover in this garden. This one was added last spring and looks promising. Today I noticed it being used in a garden along with Coreopsis and it worked well.
Melampodium ‘Showstar’ is a reliable summer-blooming annual that tolerates the heat and drought.
The first tall irises to open each year are making a strong show this year, filling up the Southern side path.
A long-time favorite pass-along, this year Tradescantia (Spiderwort) is on probation in the garden. Last fall and late winter I dug out untold numbers of strays and yet many more are showing up in odd places. At this time of year it is lovely though. Here it mingles angelically with an Iris without a name, also passed along by a friend.
Linum Perenne ‘Sapphire’ (Flax) does not perform very well in this garden but the perfect blue color of its dainty flower keeps me trying.
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ was blooming by this time last year. There are two other Baptisias in the garden.
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ opened it first flowers this week as did a striking Batik Iris, Iris ger. ‘Batik.’
Ants have found the Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ and presumably are enjoying the nectar. Looking back I see this Peony is at the same stage as it was this time last year.
Overall the garden has filled in quite a lot in just a few weeks and the Meditation Circle plantings are growing well.
Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) is everywhere.
Iris ger. ‘Raspberry Blush’ is getting lovelier every day.