It’s the Purple Period!

The purple period marks the transition from spring, with its columbines and Baptisia, to early summer, with its roses and peonies, and irises bridge the seasons.

The planter box at the end of the driveway runs south to north; just north of it, the Alpine columbines are  coming into bloom. Right behind them are the rather asparagus-looking Baptisia flower buds; the highly divided leaves to their right belong to the geranium Johnson’s Blue, which is just budding up. The last plant wraps around the outer edge of the entire bed; it’s crested iris, which was at its peak Saturday.

Looking across the brick entryway into the backyard. Front to back: Alpine columbines, Baptisia flower buds, and crested iris. Photographed on May 23, 2020.

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How Can You Look at a Trillium and Not Smile?

Indeed. A friend asked me this when I sent her a photo of the newly popped flowers. There is something very peaceful about them.

Trillium. Photographed on May 8, 2020.

I put in a few nursery-raised bare-root plants several years ago and now have a nice little group. They are a sturdy little plant as long as you leave them alone. These are under one of my pawpaws, far enough away from foot traffic to be safe, but not so far that they are hard to see.

They broke ground about a month ago…

The trillium have erupted! They share space with Dutchman’s breeches. Photographed on April 11, 2020.

…and about a month from now they will fade, but beautifully. Trillium flowers go pink before they depart.

Unwrapping the Fig

Last year, I waited too long to unwrap my fig tree, and there was a fair amount of mold on many of the branches. This is not a mistake I would care to repeat, so this year I decided to unwrap it earlier. I went through my photographs and discovered that I had unwrapped it April 6, 2019.

My final decision was driven by the weather report. The weather people predicted rain for this last weekend in March, so I decided it was time. I don’t want it sitting in wet wrappers when the temperatures are going to be reasonable. That sounds like a recipe for mold.

The fig tree, fully wrapped. Photographed on March 27, 2020.

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March Means Snowdrops

The snowdrops were blooming noticeably by the last week of February, but they really came into their own in March.

All stages of these flowers are very interesting. I am beginning to think that I am a sucker for white flowers decorated with green—just wait for the Solomon’s seal.

At this point, snowdrops had been appearing for a couple of weeks. Photographed on March 6, 2020.

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Maintenance: Moving a Prickly Rose to a Safer Place

Rosa setigera is an early summer-blooming native with a variable growth habit. Depending on what you read, it grows from 3–4 feet to perhaps 12–15 feet. This one is certainly in the double digits. I clipped long canes from July onwards last year, and came to the conclusion that I would have to move the rose further from the sidewalk. Its thorns are numerous and sturdy; I would not want a neighbor dog or child to tangle with it. There would be yelping. There would be tears. Continue reading “Maintenance: Moving a Prickly Rose to a Safer Place”

Was This Our April Snowstorm?

It was just this past Monday that we woke up to wet snow on unpaved surfaces. It really looked like the last snow we normally get at the beginning of April, including the part about being gone by the end of the day.

The garden entrance in snow. Photographed on March 23, 2020.

The snowdrops were completely unperturbed. New flowers have been appearing since the first week of March.

Snowdrops in snow. Photographed on March 23, 2020.

The forecast for the next few days is pretty seasonable: 50ish during the day and not quite freezing at night, so the changes will continue at a reasonable rate.

Spring Is Toying With Us

After a cold end of week, it got into the mid-40s this weekend. Most of the snow has melted, but not to worry, there is snow in tomorrow’s overnight forecast. These plants will not care.

What could off-and-on snow cover mean in February? Snowdrops. It took years for them to really take hold in this little downtown yard, but the squirrels were really helpful. They rearranged the bulbs endlessly, resulting in some lovely swaths of snowdrops. They are just beginning to bloom.

The first snowdrops of 2020. Photographed on February 24, 2020.

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