Tag Archives: daffodil

Dutch Iris And Other Blooms

My maternal grandmother grew rows and rows of flowers for cutting—Dutch Iris in spring and Gladioli in summer. When five or six years old I sometimes spent the night with her and every morning we would head out early in the morning to clip the flowers that were ready to be added to her large, tall vase.

I have only a couple of Dutch Iris, just enough to make me smile and be happy when they bloom. The warm temperatures of the last few days must be encouraging them. I first noticed their tall stems this weekend. By this morning buds suddenly were bulging and by late afternoon, a single flower had opened.

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris

Also Blooming

I added a few more Daffodil bulbs last fall, something I had planned to do for years and never quite got around to before.  These new Thalia Daffodils opened this week, in front of the Ilex crenatea ‘Drops of Gold.’

Thalia Daffodil

Thalia Daffodil

At the street end of the side garden a large patch of Emerald Blue Phlox is almost in full bloom.

Phlox subulata 'Emerald Blue' (Emerald Blue Phlox)

Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’ (Emerald Blue Phlox)

Sunshine and Weeds

Today was ideal for being in the garden, even if the task at hand was to weed a long strip along the fence on the north side. It was sunny, temperatures in low sixties and peaceful—no mosquitoes, no air conditioners running yet and only one neighbor mowed his lawn.

There is nothing new blooming at this time, but the daffodils continue to add brightness and cheer.

Daffodil

Daffodil

Daffodil

Daffodil

Recently there have been some very windy days, sending drifts of lemony fragrance around the yard from the Daphne odora (Winter daphne) The Winter daphne has been blooming for weeks. Most of the flowers are browned, damaged by cold weather, but the delicious scent lingers.

Daphne odora  (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Progress in pulling weeds today was slow as I have injured my left hand and doctor’s orders are to rest it and not lift more than a few pounds. The hand seems to be improving, but slowly. I could not waste the beautiful day so I weeded with the other hand. This was highly inefficient but it allowed me to enjoy being in the garden, thinking garden thoughts.

One thing I contemplated is where are all the early spring plants I added last year? There is no sign that Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebell) will return—I think it should coming up by now. It was among a group of natives I added to the garden last March. From that group at least the three Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower) and three Phlox divaricata (Eastern Blue Phlox) have survived.  Others which I believe likely did not make it are Chrysogonum virginianum (Green and Gold), Geranium maculatum (Wild geranium), and Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot). There is no sign either of Polemonium ‘Bressingham Purple’ (Jacob’s Ladder), which was crushed by a neighbor’s broken pine tree mid-summer. I hoped somehow it was tough enough to rebound.

It is too early in the gardening season to be discouraged I think. Tomorrow should be another nice day for gardening. With plenty more weeds awaiting, there should be ample time to ponder the fate of these lost plants and to work out how to fill the void, yet again, left by their absence. Better still, perhaps the plants will turn up.

Daffodils

Daffodil

Around the mostly rural area dotted with small towns where I grew up, daffodils were ubiquitous. There were no impressively designed massive swaths or huge naturalized plantings, but almost every house had a clump or two of these dancing yellow flowers announcing spring.

Driving in the country nowadays past these old homesteads, many of them abandoned over time as owners died out and children moved elsewhere, one sees the evidence of past lives. Even if the buildings are long gone, there is almost always a towering oak tree near where the house once stood and nearby, a patch of daffodils.

One spring as we passed by a stretch of road we had travelled for many years, I pointed out to my husband just such an old homesite. I never knew who had lived there, but the cheerful daffodils blooming near the old drive was a sight I knew to expect and watch for.  Those flowers had greeted me annually, as they must have the family that once inhabited the property. Intrigued, my husband wrote this poem.

Daffodils

Within this clearing rife with weeds,
No homely headstones stand askew,
But daffodils in patches tell
That here once worked a hand, a heart,
And there once stood a house, a home.

No headstones set this ground apart,
But daffodils in patches tell
Of heart and home as sure as bones.

(DVM, v.G, April 2007)

Daffodil Patch

January Signals

The garden is waking up. Lenten roses opened mid-month and today, the first Daffodils. A nice clump of Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) brightens a spot near a walkway.

[Note: I learned yesterday Helleborus x hybridus is the acceptable way to refer to Lenten Rose, instead of the previously accepted term, Helleborus orientalis, which I have been using.]

Is It Desperation?

Daffodil Bud

Daffodil Bud

The third season of Downton Abby is now being aired in the U.S. and I enjoy following along. I laughed aloud at this conversation from Season 3, Episode 2 where Lady Edith Crawley is visiting her grandmother, Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Maggie Smith. Edith has recently been jilted at the alter and her grandmother is pressing her to find something to do with her life.

Violet: You must keep busy.

Edith: What with? There’s nothing to do at the house, except when we entertain.

Violet: There must be something you can put your mind to.

Edith: Like what? Gardening?

Violet: Well—no. You can’t be as desperate as that.

Gardening out of desperation—one could do worse. What better place to spend time after having lost hope, despairing, than in a garden where the cycles of nature can be observed, can soothe and restore.

Daffodil

Daffodil

“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” Thomas Jefferson to Charles W. Peale, August 20, 1811.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – December 2012

It is time to join Christina‘s Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), a monthly tribute to foliage.

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ has been a rewarding addition to the garden this year and GBFD would not be complete without including it. The tips have deepened to a captivating, velvety red.

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

The leaves of this Wintergreen boxwood have taken on a bronze hue for winter.

Buxus microphylla var koreana 'Wintergreen' (Wintergreen boxwood)

Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’ (Wintergreen boxwood)

This bronzing effect is a normal coloration change for this shrub, but it seems more noticeable this year.

Buxus microphylla var koreana 'Wintergreen' (Wintergreen boxwood)-Detail

Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’ (Wintergreen boxwood)-Detail

The bluish-gray leaves of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood) are unaffected so far by the cold.

Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (Wormwood)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

This Ilex crenatea ‘Drops of Gold’ (Japanese Holly) was planted in front of the house in October. It lost some of its gold leaves from the stem tips a few weeks ago, but the plant seems to have stabilized now. It formed attractive, black berries, but only a few.

Ilex crenatea 'Drops of Gold' (Japanese Holly)

Ilex crenatea ‘Drops of Gold’ (Japanese Holly)

Mounds of Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) catch late afternoon sunlight along the Southern side path.

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

A pot of mixed sedum adds texture and interest to a corner just inside the garden gate.

Mixed Sedum

Mixed Sedum

Fern-like leaves of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) offer surprisingly fresh greenery to the southwest corner.

Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

Daffodils already are sending up leaves beneath the brittle canes of Lantana camara (Common lantana). The lantana will be pruned back hard in early spring.

Daffodil

Daffodil

This cheerful little mound of green is Iberis Sempervirens. Although Iberis died out in the meditation circle this summer, it is growing in several other spots around the garden. This one may be blooming soon.

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)

This potted geranium’s leaf is punctuated with tangerine edges and strongly outlined veins.

Pelargonium (Geranium)

Pelargonium (Geranium)

Thanks to Christina of Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for hosting Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) each month. Check out her foliage observations and those of other GBFD participants.

A Mild March Day

It is seventy-one this afternoon and the clouds move in and out.  Earlier, the sun was nice and warm and the several hours spent weeding this morning passed easily.

Suddenly the spiraea is covered in little white flowers, several weeks earlier than usual perhaps. This deciduous shrub is a long-time favorite.

Spiraea

Spiraea

Spiraea

Nearby a recently transplanted plant with two mottled, red leaves is reminiscent of a trout lily, but its identification is uncertain.

Perhaps a Trout Lily?

Three or four Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove) were visible all winter and are starting to grow.

Digitalis purpurea Foxglove

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) never died back during the winter. The clumps could use division. Transplants from last year look healthy and strong.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Several new Phlox subulata added to the garden a few weeks ago have acclimated well. This one is ‘Purple Beauty.’

Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty'

Helleborus orientalis (Lenten rose) continue to add color around several areas of the garden. I transplanted a few small seedlings to a shady spot near the back steps.

Helleborus orientalis (Lenten rose)

A row of ‘Chuck Hayes’ gardenias once formed a low hedge along the back border of the garden, but a couple years of drought killed off many. The five that remain look greener and healthier than usual this Spring.

Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

The daffodils are already finishing up their cheerful displays. This one is ‘Flower Carpet.’

Daffodil 'Flower Carpet'