Another page is turned – Goodbye, April

Hello, and welcome to my blog! Today is the last day of April and the first good rain we’ve had in more than two weeks. The rain started this morning and has continued all day. While it isn’t a heavy rain, I think it is good enough for the garden (and farmers) to be quite thankful. I did very little in the garden this week (energy levels are still quite low following Covid), but it isn’t looking too shabby. We (read: my husband) painted the playhouse, and I’m absolutely delighted with it. Don’t be surprised, though, if the two front ‘windows’ get a facelift at some stage. 🙂

The mid-season tulips are now blooming, while the late-season daffodils are finishing up. I planted late-season tulips right in front of the playhouse this year, which will extend the tulip season. There are two different varieties and I can’t wait to see how they look.

The aubrieta is looking stunning, still. I have a bright pink color, that I’d describe as fuchsia. It is in two neighboring beds, and is supposed to be trailing down the wall. Mine like to grow inwards, though! Hopefully, it will eventually work its way down the wall.

The apple trees are in bloom and look beautiful. I’m pretty sure that there aren’t as many flowers as there usually are. We’ll see what the crop looks like. There are normally too many apples on the branches, anyway. Maybe this way there will be the perfect amount and no need to drop any due to weight. Fingers crossed! The pear tree’s blossoms have already withered!

The strawberry plants have been weeded (again), and fed and should be all set for a really good season. Plenty of little flowers already forming. I really do hope we get loads of strawberries this year – because I’m about ready to convert the bed into a flower bed if we don’t get loads of strawberries! It’s a lot of work tending strawberries. I don’t mind if we actually get the fruit, but I’m not doing it just for fun… They’ve been warned!

It’s Saturday, so I’m going to join The Propagator’s meme Six on Saturday. Feel free to join in, or visit the other gardeners!

I hope you are well. Here’s to getting my energy back so I can get back to gardening! 🙂

In Peace,

Bleeding Heart - Lamprocapnos spectabilis (old name Dicentra spectabilis)

1 – Bleeding Heart – Lamprocapnos spectabilis (old name Dicentra spectabilis). Mine is a delicate plant and usually gets knocked over by our strong winds. This year has been relativity mild (so far) so it is still looking good. You can see the late-season tulips at the front of the playhouse, patiently waiting to bloom.

Strawberry bed all weeded and ready for the season

2 – Strawberry bed. I had to have this picture since they look so neat and tidy. Long may it last.

collage of Arthur Turner cooking apple tree in full bloom

3 – Apple tree – Arthur Turner cooking apple tree. I love the deep pink of these flowers (the eating apple tree has light pink flowers). The daffodils underneath are finishing up, but still look nice.

collage of cherry tree in full bloom

4 – Cherry trees. While it seems that most of the world have pink flowering cherry trees, I have three white flowering cherry trees. I would have preferred to have pink, but there you have it. The white flowers are still very pretty. The top right picture also has the eating apple tree, where the light pink flowers look to be white. It is just so nice to have everything in bloom!

kalanchoe blossfeldiana houseplant with pink flowers

5 – Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana – at least I think that is the name of it. Here’s something new for me: a house plant! I’m usually very good at killing house plants. But I have been working on not over watering my plants, and it really does help in making them happy. This plant is completely covered in beautiful pink flowers, I had to take a picture. Honestly, though, I didn’t have a place inside that was worthy of a picture so I just brought it outside. I’m going to use the Covid excuse again. 🙂

Queen of the Night and Pretty Princess tulips in the rose bed

6 – Tulips: Queen of the night and Pretty Princess. I added more Pretty Princess tulips this year, as they faded more than the Queen of the night tulips had. But I think I can use even more, to balance them out. I’ll have to mark out now the area to plant in as the bed it getting quite full!

Rose bed filled with aubrieta and tulips (dark purple and bright pink) in full bloom

This is my favorite photo of this season. It captures the tulips, aubrieta, anemone, the roses and peony to come, the apple and cherry tree, the birch trees, the pink parrot tulips way down by the gate, and the top right corner is a field of rapeseed – all taken on a lovely sunny day!

I do hope you’ve enjoyed the tour. Thanks ever so much for stopping by! 🙂

Gardening as Therapy

'Queen of the night' Tulip

‘Queen of the night’ Tulip

Sometimes, things happen. Things that we don’t expect to happen, happen, and life changes… forever. We’re living through that at the moment, and it is really hard to navigate through all of the emotions we are feeling. Gardening is such an important part of my life, and it is in the garden where I feel healing. Please join me for a few minutes to enjoy some peace and tranquility in my garden.

‘Queen of the Night’ Tulips

The Queen of the Night tulips are strikingly beautiful, and for me their darkness also represents the sorrow that we feel. A friend and colleague of ours, and a genuinely super nice guy, Shay, achieved his life long ambition to reach the summit of Mt. Everest last week. Tragically, he fell on his descent. There are no other details, other than he is missing. It just doesn’t seem possible. Not Shay. But this is our new reality, including feeling numb with sadness. Gardening seems so trivial at times like these, but the garden is where I can go to find peace, and beauty, and renew my faith that somehow we, the immense community with whom Shay has so positively impacted, will all somehow get through this sad time. Come walk with me, as we use gardening as therapy…

Viburnum surrounded by Mystic van Eijk (the large tulips) and Don Quichotte (the small purple tulips)

Viburnum surrounded by Mystic van Eijk (the large tulips) and Don Quichotte (the small purple tulips)

The first of my tulips bloomed in March. They are circled around the Viburnum which blooms in May. The Beech hedges along the fence are still wearing their winter browns in this picture.

Viburnum opulus 'Roseum'

Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ May 21, 2019 with the remnants of the tulips still showing. The Beech hedge is now wearing sporting green leaves.

parrot tulips

Parrot tulips also bloom early in the season

Princess tulips April 27

Princess tulips April 27

The Princess tulips are just a couple of years old. Tulips can tend to “fade” with time (not look as nice after a few years). These are still young enough to look fresh.

Princess tulips + Queen of the Night tulips

Queen of the Night tulips + Princess Tulips

Queen of the Night tulips + Princess Tulips

I thought the contrast of the dark Queen of the Night and the bright Princess tulips would be nice together.  My only complaint is that the Princess tulips wither much quicker than the Queen of the Night tulips. But they are pretty.

Blushing Lady tulips

Blushing Lady tulips

The Blushing Lady tulips are special to me, because they were one of the first flowers that I planted in our home in Manlius, New York. A number of years ago I planted some in our current garden right next to the playhouse, but they were dug up (unintentionally!) and destroyed in the process.  So these were planted autumn 2018, well away from the playhouse. They are tall and the flowers are huge.

Blushing lady tulip

Blushing Lady Tulip

Merlot tulips + cherry tree

Merlot tulips + cherry tree

The Merlot tulips are also a new addition, planted in autumn 2018.  It is quite a strong color, which I like.

Merlot tulips + aubrietia

Merlot tulips + Aubrietia

The Merlot tulips look amazing with the Aubrietia (this is a second grouping of the Merlot tulips in the same bed).

Merlot tulips

Merlot tulips

Here’s a look at the full bed.  There are 3 groups of Merlot tulips, and 2 spare Ballerina tulips (they are orange) that were supposed to be moved out of this bed last year. The Aubrietia did really well this year. It is ever so slowly making its way to crawl over the wall (hopefully). The Boxwood (Box) has a lot of new growth, giving it a yellowish hue. I have a few Rose plants in here, too.

Merlot tulips open May 14

Merlot tulips open May 14

I do like capturing the inside of tulips.

Double Angelique tulips

Double Angelique tulips

Ballerina tulip fully open

Ballerina tulip fully open in May

Ballerina tulips are a fiery orange.  I have (most of them) at the ditch wall in our garden and they can still be seen from across the yard.

Tulip Ballerina

Ballerina tulips

Ballerina tulips open in May

And that brings us to the end of our garden tour, using gardening as therapy. Thank you for walking with me on this journey of grief. I pray for Shay, and his family, and that all of us will find peace.

In peace,