The native redbud showed a few spots of pink against the gray bark last week. What a difference a few days can make—today its lovely color is full of promise. This particular tree is poorly situated, crowding out and being crowded by two ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress. The site was meant to be temporary for this once tiny twig, but time got away and now this once tiny twig is about to bloom again in its default permanent location.
Along the Southern Path
At the top of the Southern path outside the garden entrance is a Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ with a few newly formed buds.
Lavender’s young leaves are soft, silvery and fragrant.
Nearby, fresh growth abounds on the Linum Perenne ‘Sapphire’ (Flax), although (oops!) last year’s brown has not been trimmed away. This herbaceous perennial was reintroduced last spring after many years of absence in this garden and I look forward to seeing its pale blue flowers.
Irises are tucked all around the garden, different kinds and all gifts from friends. All should have been divided years ago. Some irises along the Southern border have leaves more than a foot tall, others are but 3 or 4 inches so far. When the irises bloom this garden will be in its peak.
The meditation circle has provided so much pleasure since its completion last April and I am grateful I will not to be digging my way through Spring this year.
I have experimented with a few evergreen perennials the last eleven months to learn what might live easily in the narrow 12-inch spaces between the stepping stones of the labyrinth. Once imagination and budget for perennials ran low last summer, annuals were used to help the circle look vibrant and colorful. The evergreen nature of the chosen perennials helped maintain interest throughout the winter.
In the center of the meditation circle Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’ (Candytuft) continues to be a showy feature. The newer ones planted this winter (shown in front) will soon catch up in size to those original ones in the back.
Though most are green, several of the Thymus x citriodorus (Silver Edge Thyme) seem to be just hanging on. It has been too wet for thyme to thrive and the thyme need to be given a better home. This variety is not tall enough to provide much impact in the circle.
The three new Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) are doing well, as are the original two from last year that were tested for performance in this site. The foliage is lovely close-up but does not provide a lot of contrast against the brown mulch when seen from a distance. When in bloom the tall white spires were lovely last year.
The outermost green plants on the far right of the meditation circle are also Penstemon, though not nearly as well behaved, a bit scraggly in fact. They are Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ and have recently had a severe shearing to tidy them up. They weathered winter well and have remained very green.