April finds the Fairegarden at peak bloom. There is a lot going on, including bee activity.
The slope behind the main house has large concrete steps that we made to be able to climb more easily to the top of the hill when the renovation began in 2000. Creeping thymes were planted on the risers. Those plants have been overtaken by more aggressive ground covers, including but not limited to the Ajuga repens, now in bloom. The bees adore the little blue spires. Once upon a time, when scaling these steep steps while I was wearing a long flowing skirt on a nice April day, a bee became trapped in the fabric as we moved ever upward. Stinging ensued as the bumble had a panic attack. Unlike honeybees, the larger furry ones can sting over and over again. Need it be said, no more skirt wearing in this part of the garden at this time of year. Mistakes are lessons from which we learn.
Narcissus bulbocodium var. conspicuus ‘Golden Bells’ were moved to this sunny spot after it was read that they needed to bake in the sun during their dormant summer siesta. Somehow, they were originally thought to be woodland dwellers. There are several other bulbs that need to be moved out from under shrubbery to meet their flower producing needs. Lesson learned.
One of the most successful mail order plant experiences ever in the annals, and believe me when I tell you, there have been many many orders, is the Heuchera sanguinea ‘Sioux Falls’ from Annie’s Annuals.
I add plants to my wish list on their site, and they send an email when the plant becomes available. This particular Heuchera was wished for because of the bright red flowers. It was ordered January 21 and was held in the greenhouse with the other plants ordered, (we don’t want them to ship a half filled box now, do we?), when it arrived in full bloom. Planted into the hypertufa trough in late winter, it has been nonstop blooming, with no end in sight, plenty of buds visible. Is there a lesson here? We think so.
This is the bed referred to as the Angel Corner, home of a concrete statue that was brought from my grandmother’s garden in Oklahoma many years ago. The sun is the easy bake oven for this unshaded spot and the tiny species Tulipa ‘Little Princess’ (orange) and T. ‘Little Beauty’ (cherry red) have returned faithfully here. The other half of the same order was planted in an equally sunny spot by a copper bowl birdbath that must be constantly refilled during summer. Those littles have dwindled in number with the passage of time. Perhaps they should be dug and moved to the Angel Corner that receives no hand watering. Yes, that would be the smart move.
But in the larger scheme of things, perhaps blue violas were not the best color choice, pretty as they are. The blue Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ and now spent masses of Musari have provided plenty of cool shades. White would have been a better addition. Note to self…
Up in the knot garden, the white Tulipa viridflora ‘Spring Green’ masses planted in the quadrants are having their best year ever. The pea gravel mulch added last year is much to their liking, deterring the digging of the devil squirrels.
Especially now that the woven reed fence covering was added. Talk about a slow learner, I have been struggling to cover the ugly chain link fence on the western upper part of the property since day one. It is my fence, I chose it in a fit of tightwaddedness when we first bought this house for the female offspring to live in while attending college here. The fence down by the house is wood, but up the hill and around the back was done in the cheaper chain link since it was all a wilderness of brambles, trees and weeds, where privacy was not an issue. No one could even get up there. Until we moved here ourselves and had it cleared. Plantings of evergreen trees and shrubs have languished in the shady poison of the walnut tree just on the other side of the fence. But it wasn’t until the next door neighbors began clearing their wall of wilderness that I was spurred to action for the sake of privacy. The reed was inexpensive, available at the big box, lightweight and easy to install with just a few strategic wires attaching it to the chain link. A little slow on the uptake, but this lesson has been learned.
We hope this peek of what is blooming on a southeast Tennessee hillside will be supplemented by the worldwide sharing of blooms that can be seen listed on Mister Linky at the foot of Maydreamer Carol’s blog. Happy learning!