My favorite tree limb of all belongs to this Butterfly Japanese Maple. There are two of these planted at each corner of the stoop at the front door that is original to the house, planted on the day we closed on the purchase in 1996. It has been written that pruning is a passion here, especially with these small types of maples. But the curlique is not a pruning marvel, it just grew that way, maybe due to the traffic on the step stones leading to the utilities around the side of the house. The newly emerging leaves are green, pink and white, heavy on the pink. Later in the season the pink will fade only slightly. A few leaves will revert to solid green and will be removed. If left to grow naturally, this type of tree would mature at fifteen feet tall with a vase shape. They are kept small to keep the view from the front door open and it’s just fun to prune them.
Magnolia ‘Jane’ is at its peak now. This tree shares the name of my dear mother in law, and was purchased the year she left us, 2005. The blooms were lost last year with the late freeze, but the tree rebounded and produced several more this year.
Abutilon ‘Fool’s Gold’, ordered this winter from
Plant Delights Nursery, and shipped in bloom, has been a glorious addition to the greenhouse plants. It will spend its summer outside in a shady spot, close to the watering wand. I find the abutilons to be easier than the orchids and much more generous with their blooms during the color deprived months of the cold season. More of these may take the place of those stubborn orchids.
My first container grouping using the thriller, spiller and filler plan. The thriller, stocks, will be replaced or more likely just removed as the lantana will fill this pot. The sweet potato vine, Sweet Caroline, should be able to survive by cascading over the edge, hopefully rooting in the gravel beneath. I was taken by the color of this unnamed lantana, a pleasing mix of pinks and oranges.
Under the window box on the shed, japanese painted ferns have multiplied, having dropped spores down from the window planter. There are many variations of colors on the leaves, some more red, some more silvery. All are exquisite. It makes me chuckle at the named varieties sold, as if each color combination were the newest greatest must have, but can only be had by getting their fern. Sort of like the hellebores that come from seed, one supposes. If you let these plants propagate themselves, you will get many wonderful traits, each one unique. Sort of like people.
This is the dwarf bearded iris that was featured in
this post as a close up macro shot. I love this blue and maroon color mix.
Oh boy. The free seeds that came with the Chiltern seed catalog, celosia cristata ‘Coral Garden’ mixed, have grown to the point of flower color showing. The stem is even colorful. There are loads of these and they will be planted in the knot garden quads after the tulips are done.
Here are the seedlings and greenhouse plants having a preview of fun in the sun. They will have to go back in this weekend for our weatherman says we are to have frosts at night then. This would be our dogwood winter. These cold spells are named according to what is blooming when they occur. The last one is blackberry winter. These mini winters don’t always go below freezing, but do seem to happen every year. I can’t remember what the other ones are called, so if any of you know, feel free to comment about it.
This is the year of growing food in the garden, not just ornamentals. These sugar snap peas are looking good, climbing the plastic chicken wire, an odd name but that was what the label stated. A row of onion sets lines the front edge and some self sown lettuce seedlings from last years crop left in place are inside the fence. Tomatoes, green beans and peppers will go in after the soil is warmer. Fitting everything in that we want to grow is the hard part. Too many seedlings are available to plant in here, some will have to be composted, it is feared. The proper number of seeds to be started inside will be learned from this experience.