A little sunshine does the trick!

Hi there! We were away for nearly all of last week and the garden looks completely transformed. Thank God for warmer weather with some sunshine thrown in, between the showers, of course. It is great to see. It really lifts my spirits when the weather improves. Suddenly I find myself outside in the garden, not wanting to come in!

All is not perfect in the garden, though. I seem to have some issues with my hyacinth and some tulips. I’ll give the tulips a bit more time, but the hyacinth have already bloomed, albeit half heartedly. Such a change from last year. I’m hoping it is due to the very wet spring we’ve had.

Otherwise, the garden is looking good, with lots of growth and buds of things soon to come.

I’m joining Garden Ruminations for the Six on Saturday meme. Feel free to join in! 🙂

Enjoy the tour.

In Peace,

pink aubrietia
pink aubrietia

1 – Pink Aubrietia. This makes me smile every spring. Mine was more interested in growing into the bed than down the wall, but I think we’ll eventually get there. It is really quite striking! Last year I planted more in the second bed and it is already heading down the wall.

'Cool Crystal' (pink parrot) tulips
'Cool Crystal' (pink parrot) tulips

2 – ‘Cool Crystal’ (pink fringed, peony-like) tulips. These were planted just this past fall, in my newest bed. They haven’t all fully opened yet, and they already look very pretty.

Helleborus Harvington Double Apricots

3 – Helleborus Harvington Double Apricot. I know I’ve already shown these a while back, but I really think they are at their peak now. Wow! So many blooms, all with dainty double petals, in a delicate apricot and pink coloring. 🙂


4 – Primroses. These are also back for show and tell, again. I just can’t get over how well they’ve done (counter to all my previous primroses). I wasn’t able to capture them all in the picture, but I have red, purple, cream, light yellow, dark yellow, and dark pink. And I’m sure that they’ve spread from what I planted last year.

dark pink, light pink and purple hyacinth

5 – Hyacinth. The pinks are part of the Raspberry Ice Fusion collection. I don’t know the exact name of the ‘purple’ ones. These all did fairly well again this year. I’ve had these for quite a few years now, and I am always happy with them.

Hyacinth Woodstock last year
Hyacinth Woodstock this year

6 – Hyacinth Woodstock. Here’s my example of poorly performing hyacinth! The top picture of these pretty maroon-purple hyacinth is from last spring (they were planted that fall). They were full flowered and beautiful. The bottom picture is this year. They look terrible! I am hoping it was just because of the rain. I’ll give them another year before digging them up.

I hope your garden is faring well with whatever weather you have!

Thanks so much for stopping by. If you have an idea of why my hyacinth aren’t happy, please do share! 🙂

The blessing of a stretch of good weather in Ireland – Six on Saturday

Hello, and welcome to my blog! It is funny how I have lived in a bunch of places where the weather was often the topic of discussion. In Arizona, it was remarkable when it rained – or if it wasn’t sunny. In Pittsburgh, the weather was typically overcast, and remarkable when sunny. In Syracuse, it was more snowy than sunny – averaging 100 inches per season! Zurich, well, Zurich’s weather was rather unremarkable because it was a reasonable mix of sunny and overcast (overall it was quite pleasant, actually). Now, Ireland’s weather is so often ‘unsettled’ – meaning overcast / windy / rainy – that it is remarkable when it is sunny and calm, and boy does everyone take notice then!

Sunny and calm is exactly what the weather has been over the past nearly three weeks. In fact, at this stage, we really need a good rain! I am thankful to have gotten a lot of gardening jobs done in March: trimmed the boxwood hedge, pruned the Russian sage, (the roses were pruned the end of February/beginning of March), cut the ornamental grasses, moved some plants: some snowdrops, hellebores and a peony (the peony should ideally be moved in September, but I’m hoping that getting it done before it had serious spring growth will be ok), and worked in a ton, figuratively speaking, of aged manure! Of course weeding was done along the way. Weeding is always being done!

A highlight for me, was creating a flower arch for my daughter’s 18th birthday. That was a lot of fun, as I love getting the chance to be creative. It all came together serendipitously!

I’m thankful for the joy that the garden brings to me. The flowers pushing up through the soil bring such a feeling of hope. Be sure to see the beauty that is all around you! I’m joining The Propagator for his Six on Saturday meme. Won’t you join me?

In Peace,

Playhouse with beautiful clouds

1 – Ornamental grass and daffodils. Here’s a look at the now cubed ornamental grass. The grasses should be cut low every year. I don’t want this one getting big and unruly, and even though it will quickly grow back, I quite like this look! I planted a bunch of primroses in this circle bed, just to give it some color for the spring. The two large containers of daffodils brought such color and cheer to the garden. I’m so glad to have added them this year.

Narcissus Dutch Master
Narcissus Double under the apple tree

Speaking of daffodils! The first picture is a close up of the daffodils from one of the containers, and are quite traditional if you ask me. They are called Narcissus Dutch Master, and their color really grabs your attention. The collage is of Narcissus Double, and they are super pretty and rather delicate looking. Unfortunately, they face the ground, which is a bummer. I have them under one of the apple trees.

Magnolia Stellata

2 – Look at this beauty! Magnolia Stellata is completely covered with fabulous white flowers. The flowers appear to be star-like to me, although I’ve read of them looking similar to water lilies. This variety should be planted where it won’t get morning sunlight (thank God for a tall hedge!) as they tend to bloom when it can still be frosty, and the morning sunlight on the frosted flowers will thoroughly kill that beautiful look. I am absolutely thrilled with this slow growing, mid-sized shrub which was a gift for our 25th wedding anniversary last year. It is in with my chickens, so I have it caged up for protection. Being chickens, they still try and eat the flowers, though. I am hoping to get something nicer to protect it, and that eventually they will not bother it!

View of boxwood cutting, trimmed Russian sage and aubrietia

3 – It was time to trim the boxwood hedge. I had my husband help me with this job, which was tough because he had a different idea of what I wanted. 🙂 But all is good and I think it looks neat and tidy again. This bed is now fully ready for the season as the boxwood is trimmed, the Russian sage and roses have been pruned, the aged horse manure has been worked in, AND it has been weeded! The aubrieta is such a stunner and it seemingly comes to life all of a sudden. It is supposed to grow over and down the wall, but mine prefers to grow into the bed.

Aged manure and lots of worms!

4 – Did someone say horse manure? My neighbors gave me this garden gold. It’s not like me, but I didn’t take a picture of their beautiful horses when we picked up the manure. I’ll have to do that next time. The best part was seeing all of these amazing worms!

hyacinth woodstock, white and pinks

5 – It turns out that I have a ‘thing’ for hyacinth! I have pinks and white under the lilac shrubs (picture bottom left). New this year for me are the burgundy colored ones, called Woodstock from Farmer Gracy, which are under the birch trees. I *really* like their color! Those two beds where these hyacinth are have all been weeded and ‘manured’! Woohoo! 🙂

Mom in the Garden's daughter under the birthday flower arch

6 – The birthday flower arch. Our ‘baby’ is 18! It truly doesn’t seem possible that the past 18 years have flown by that quickly. I’m so excited for what the future holds for her. I’m also so happy she liked the flower arch! My older daughter helped me out and made the ’18’, which I think made it perfect. So, the frame is made of bamboo and dogwood. My neighbor, a different one!, was doing major yard work and offered them to me for the arch. The timing was perfect, as I’d just mentioned to her my idea of making an arch. My husband helped me to tie the branches together and put them in my two pots of bamboo that I’ve had for years. We used two very heavy (and ugly, I might add) cinder blocks to hold the pots in place. The fake flowers were somehow all in my house, already! They’ve been used for different projects over the years, and this will probably finish out their lives. The six white painted allium are the only real flowers from the garden. I added ribbons, too, as I thought it was more festive with them.

And that’s a very full, Six on Saturday! Thank you so much for visiting, and I hope you enjoyed the tour. I leave you with one final picture, of one of the many lovely sunsets we’ve enjoyed of late. 🙂

Evening sunset over the garden

We’ve had some beautiful sunsets, too, with this lovely weather!