Life is still beautiful

Columbine

This flower is known as Columbine, Aquilegia or Granny’s bonnet

Hi there! This Covid-19 has me up and down, and spinning all around. Honestly I find myself relishing being home all the time and at the same time feeling guilty because, well, I like being home all the time. I go out once a week to do our grocery shopping, and that’s it. I think I feel the most stress when I am out shopping, because it is during this time that I think about the fact that this is a pandemic. We are living through a pandemic. And while so many people will recover after getting Covid-19, many people will not. I try not to have that thought hang around in my head for too long, but I do acknowledge it.

Hawthorn flowers

Some of the Hawthorn trees are in bloom with these lovely white flowers that are lightly scented

Since the stay at home order was initiated, we have started a new family routine of everyone meeting in the tv room, every night, for the evening news. This was something that we just never did before. I’m glad we do it now. We listen, we discuss, we think about what is happening, and best of all, we are together. We also enjoy family dinners together – every night! With our crazy schedules, that was quite a feat before the stay at home orders. The kids are old enough to help out, too. And by ‘help out’ I mean they make dinner start to finish and then clean up (we are so appreciative!). I’m proud to say that their meals are top notch, too. So for me, there have been many benefits, which I am quick to balance with the knowledge that for so many, there are terrible hardships.

Rosemary flowers

My Rosemary plant is in full bloom with tiny blueish flowers

There is one thing that is constant, though, and that is that there is beauty all around us – pandemic or not. Look and you shall find … Beauty: in nature, in the trees, in the flowers, in the weather, in family and friends, in smiles (that perhaps we can’t see behind the face masks, but are there nonetheless). There are people doing “good deeds” all around the world, and I challenge you to share those good news stories. Better still, be the one doing those good deeds. Now, more than ever, we need to be supporting one another and lifting each other up.

Strawberry Hill Climber David Austin Rose

My roses have just begun to bloom. This one is called Strawberry Hill, and is a David Austin climber

I hope you are keeping well, in every sense of the word. As always, I find my garden to be my sanctuary. I hope you’ll enjoy a bit of a tour around the garden to see what is blooming now and what is coming shortly. It seems to change every day. Take care!

In Peace,
Dana

Syringa vulgaris Sensation

Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’

This lilac with variegated flowers is full of blooms this year. I’ve been waiting patiently for this to happen, as it usually only produces a few blooms. Whether it is full of flowers, or has just a few, it is still a lovely shrub to have!

Lilac shrubs

On the left: Syringa v Sensation and next to it: Syringa v Ludwig Spaeth

Syringa Ludwig Spaeth

Syringa v Ludwig Spaeth has deep redish-purple flowers

Ludwig Spaeth lilac

A little evening sunlight on our Ludwig Spaeth lilac

The allium are also blooming now. I have some that I planted many years ago, which are a light purple color. They have spread, and this year there are quite a few of them, although their blooms are somewhat small. We also have some newer ‘Purple Sensation’ allium, that are not in full bloom yet. Their color is ‘WOW’ purple! ūüôā

allium group

Allium (not ‘Purple Sensation’)

Allium Purple Sensation

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’

Allium closeup

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ not quite in full bloom

Allium from above

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ from above

Allium + bamboo

Allium with our bamboo in the foreground

OK, the bamboo needs to be addressed. I was given a small pot of bamboo quite a few years ago. It is a black variety, I believe. But I haven’t found the right spot for it in the yard (yet), so I’ve kept it in a pot, and then divided it, and then divided it, and then divided it, and here we are! I think it has been too dry for it this spring, but otherwise it is usually happy.

Queen of the Night + Allium

Queen of the Night tulips with ‘Purple Sensation’ Allium

The beautiful Queen of the Night tulips are still looking lovely. We’ve had a mild spring, both related to rain and wind, so it is nice to enjoy them this length of time.

single Queen of the Night tulip

A single Queen of the Night tulip

Rose bed pre bloom

The rose bed with Queen of the Night tulips, ‘Purple Sensation’ allium and roses

This next plant doesn’t usually get any ‘blog time’ at this stage of the season. But I believe the dry spring has helped with us not having the dreaded black spot. I usually cut the leaves off of this hellebore for most of the season, due to black spot. The flowers may be finished, but I’m really enjoying the beautiful blue tinge leaves of my Winter Sunshine hellebore!

Helleborus Winter Sunshine

Helleborus Winter Sunshine

I also have a white lilac. It is actually light pink, until it opens white. I think the closed pink flowers are as pretty as the open ones!

Lilac Syringa v Beauty of Moscow

Syringa v Beauty of Moscow

Syringa v Beauty of Moscow closeup

Lilac Beauty of Moscow

Orange poppies + erysimum

California Poppies and Erysimum ‘Super Bowl’ Mauve

What a combination of colors with the California Poppies and the Erysimum ‘Super Bowl’ mauve! I love the boldness of the orange and purple! What do you think?

California Poppy with purple background

California Poppy with Erysimum ‘Super Bowl’ Mauve

Globe artichoke from above

Globe artichoke from above

We don’t eat the Globe artichokes. I love their beauty in the garden!

Globe artichoke

Globe artichoke

artichoke plant

The full globe artichoke plant – can you see the very tiny artichoke (center right)?

What’s up next?¬† These two beauties!

Iris pre bloom

Iris ‚ÄėBenton Storrington‚Äô

Peony pre bloom

Peony

Take care, and stay tuned to see what blooms next in the garden! ūüôā

Cormac’s Garden: The creating and naming of a flower bed

in the beginning...

in the beginning…

I love gardening.  What a surprise, huh?  I really look forward to the different seasons and watching as everything changes.  Every year it is all new again, even though of course it is not new at all.  It is even more fun when adding new plants to beds and seeing how they grow, change, and add to the atmosphere of the garden!

further along in spring...

further along in spring…

It is fun to make new flower beds. ¬†Hmmm, I think I have to re-phrase that. ¬†It is fun to plant new plants and shrubs in a new flower bed! ¬†The making of a new bed is actually a good bit of work! ¬†I don’t use chemicals, so the first step involves covering the grass with newspapers, then covering with cardboard and then stones on top to hold down the cardboard.

Raspberry Ice Fusion Hyacinth

Raspberry Ice Fusion Hyacinth adding some color to the bed

I don’t have a picture from the very start of this bed, but I’m sure you probably have a “lovely” picture in your head of what that would look like.¬† A few months later, after the grass is dead, I (read: me and/or anyone I can get to¬†help with this job) have to fork up the grass and turn it over. ¬†After the soil¬†is left to dry, the dead grassy bits are easy enough to shake free of soil and add to the compost heap. ¬†Then the soil is forked over again to make sure there isn’t any stubborn grass!

spring time

spring time

Have you gathered the gist? It is a lot of work. ¬†But I think it is worth the work¬†to avoid using chemicals. This bed¬†has been named “Cormac’s Garden” because my son Cormac spent quite a lot of time forking over the soil.

further on in spring

The lilacs’ flowers and leaves¬†are adding a bit of life to the bed, and a new hellebore (‘SP Frilly Isabelle’) was planted.

The hyacinth were added this past fall.  I really liked the two different shades of pink which were offset with white.

three colors to start off spring

bright colors for the start of spring (Raspberry Ice Fusion hyacinth)

a deeper color pink (my favorite)

a deeper color pink (my favorite)

My son¬†is 17 and jokes that all of the beds should be called ‘Cormac’s garden’ as he is often roped into helping out. ¬†Let’s just stick with this one for now…

columbine

columbine blooming in May

The bed has: hosta, bearded iris, hellebore, Dutch Iris, columbine, lilac

The bed has: hosta, bearded iris, hellebore, Siberian Iris, columbine, lilac

I added one more lilac shrub this year, to the 3 already there.  Yeah, I went a bit lilac crazy, but I love their scent!

Syringa vulgaris 'Andenken an Ludwig Spath'

Syringa vulgaris ‘Andenken an Ludwig Spath’ (my favorite!)

 

Iris & Lilac

Iris & ‘Charles Joly’ Lilac

I planted some Siberian Iris last year.  They apparently are quite happy in this soil because they look spectacular this year (says she quite humbly!).

Dutch iris

Siberian iris

I have those same iris in another part of the garden and they don’t look half as nice as these here. ¬†Amazing how different the soil composition can be even in the same yard.

a single allium

a single allium of three which were planted…

It has been fun watching the bed fill out. ¬†I liked how it started with shades of pink, and is now¬†filled with different shades of purple. ¬†I’ll have to think about what colors to add for the fall. ¬†Oh, and I am at it again! ¬†I decided that the bed isn’t wide enough!

hosta filling out

Hosta at the front, and a look at what it looks like while I kill the grass to widen the bed.

here we go again!

here we go again!

Having something new to look forward to in the following season is the best part of gardening! ¬†Don’t you think?

Here’s to new beginnings!

In peace,
Dana