Friday, March 29, 2013

Is it Tomato Season Yet?

Now that the bulbs are up, flowers are blooming everywhere and I have mowed the grass THREE times AND edged all the flowerbeds.  I can plant my tomatoes now, right?

I love Spring and deciding what to plant in the veggie garden. It is however, difficult to wait for that elusive May 10th, last chance of frost date.

But now I at least know that the Farmer's Market  is open and I can start searching out my favorite tomato plants.  I can almost taste the Caprese salads.

Me looking somewhat like a tomato.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

First Peony of the Season!

Just a quick post of the first peony to bloom this year. Such a cutie and it smells great too (sort of "clove-ish").

Paeonia mascula

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nature is Hurting My Eyes

I do love a flamboyant flower.  It's probably a "Leo" thing.  I like a flower that calls to me when I walk past.  Sometimes a flower can just grab my attention through shocking bright color, sheer weirdness, fragrance or masses of flowers.

Right now the Camellias are starting to bloom and several of them are in the shocking bright color category.

Camellia japonica 'Scented Treasure'
Camellia japonica 'April Remembered'
Camellia japonica 'Nuccio’s Pearl'

Camellia japonica 'Monke' - Always gets ready to bloom, then it rains for a week and all the flowers turn ugly and brown.  When hermetically sealed in a rain-free environment, the flowers are a beautiful pure white.

Yvee and Madeline in front of the Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) - they can never look at the camera.  

Osmarea burkwoodii (Burkwood Osmanthus) (Osmanthus × burkwoodii) - Just beginning to bloom - the flowers have a lovely baby powder scent.

And for sheer weirdness - I give you one of my favorite orchids. When this blooms in the summer, we can smell it in the yard through the greenhouse walls.  The flowers only last for a good 2 days and then wither fairly quickly.  The smell is a strange mix of root beer and musk.

Stanhopea tigrina var. nigroviolacea

Monday, March 11, 2013

My Peony Addiction Would be so Much Easier if...

My Adleman's peony catalog came in the mail recently.  I have been pouring over what I would like to buy this year ever since.

My Saturday routine is to pour myself a pot of coffee and sit with my Adleman's catalog, read every page, make a list of each plant I like, its stats and the price.  My list changes weekly.

It just makes me crazy (could just be the pot of coffee I drank or genetics) with all the options and my limited budget. Why can't I win the lottery?!?  I could just call them up and order one of everything and have it delivered - that would be so much easier.  Wouldn't it?  They might even come plant them for me, now that would be really nice of them. 

Back to my reality - I spent Saturday and Sunday digging out some more grass in the front yard to make room for my future peony purchases.   So now I need to buy more bark mulch. (sigh)   

I've been carefully watching all the resident peonies in the yard.  Some of the tree peonies are off to an early start and continue to amaze me with how leafed out some of them are already. Yes, I'm counting my buds before they bloom!

Paeonia suffruticosa 'Lu Xiang Qiu 綠香球'

Move along, nothing to see here folks - Paeonia suffruticosa 'Kinshi 金鸟' (Golden Bird Tree Peony) - The rock is so I don't step on the peony, I also like to loosely tie bright colored curling ribbon on the peony stems as another "Don't Tread on Me" visual.  One careless step cleaning up in fall can ruin a tree peony and set it back many years.

Paeonia suffruticosa - My flimsy stake didn't do much to straighten this one out.

Paeonia suffruticosa 'High Noon 海黄' - A little life stirring under there.
Paeonia lactiflora 'Raspberry Charm'
Paeonia mascula (Balkan Peony) - A very cool species from Turkey.  I'm excited to see two fuzzy growths this year. 
I'll continue to try to win the lottery before May, but no matter what, I'll be there when they open to the public in May to snatch up a few.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Soul Renewal

Nothing is better for the soul than a trip out to the garden.

I've had some sad times recently and it helps to have the flowers making their Spring appearance.

Being a slightly obsessive gardener, I often have to make a conscious effort to just go into the garden and "enjoy".  I always want to have my bucket/clippers/gloves, to pull a weed or pick up some debris or trim something.

Sometimes you just have to remember to breathe and enjoy what you have because nothing lasts.

Crocus vernus 'Pickwick'

Daphne odora 'Zuiko Nishiki' - This one has a better smell than Daphne odora 'Marginata' but is not as pretty.
Trillium kurabayashii is up already - I'm happy to see it!

Crocus 'Blue Pearl'
A baby May Apple emerging.
Found this Crocus bulb on the side of the road.  I gladly took it home and planted it.

Plants are popping out all over.

Embothrium coccineum (Chilean Flame Tree) - Looks a little sad but it made it through the winter.