Temperatures are forecast to climb toward 90s F. this weekend. Rain? None still.
Peonies are fading away. They have been exceptional this year and I have stored away a few in the refrigerator to bring out for fun later. It’s been glorious to have vases of them arranged through the house for the past several weeks. A side shoot from a stem of Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ surprised me by opening into a tender pale pink version this week, and tiny—just two inches in diameter. It is so delicate compared to the usual expression, which I will show first for comparison.
I have a couple of Phalaenopsis (grocery store impulses) that re-bloom reliably despite neglect. This one has been blooming for several months.
A Christmas gift from our lovely niece keeps on giving. This view is ten days ago looking from the back porch into the garden. The unopened bud seen here is now the only one remaining.
The oakleaf hydrangea suffered quite a lot of damage from late cold snaps, but portions have recovered.
While planting zinnia seeds on Wednesday I heard the unmistakable flutter of a hummingbird and looked up just in time to see it pause mid-air, then disappear. There have been a few early butterfly sightings starting April 4 but getting good photographs has been challenging. Finally yesterday a cooperative Silver-spotted Skipper let me get close as it sipped on Verbena bonariensis.
An American Lady preferred our weedy front lawn but was too skittish to allow me near.
I’ve spotted Cabbage Whites (maybe the same one and very camera-shy) for several days. I can’t quite be sure from this picture but I think it is exploring the non-native weed in the foreground called Potentilla indica (Mock Strawberry). The plant spreads along creeping stolens and is a constant problem.
Potentilla indica forms a small, bright red berry, non-poisonous but apparently not delicious.
Another problem in my garden is a plant I actually love, but I have developed a skin rash to spiderwort. I have tried for years to get rid of it without success. Within a couple minutes of touching spiderwort my skin turns red, swells, and itches. It does attract pollinators and it is photogenic. I once painted a white front porch column with it when I was a small child (and subsequently had to scrub the column).
Another spreader, but one I don’t mind, is Lamb’ Ears. It was a passalong that I’ve had for many years. It wanders until I rein it back.
The first echinacea opened a week ago, rising up through a clump of spiderwort. There are many more that return each year around the garden.
Mostly the many Husker Red penstemons are calm and stately, but I snapped this boisterous shot of one towering above dianthus. The dianthus are colorful but I must come to their defense. I’m not sure why they appear so bubblegum pink.
Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!