Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring Randomness

While doing some outdoor chores with Donald this Saturday, I was excited to see a daylily bud that was clearly on the verge of opening.  (It's beginning-- daylily season!!)

First thing Sunday, I peeked out the window, spied the prize, and took the camera out to snap an early-morning photo of the official First Daylily Bloom (in my garden) of 2017.  I probably should've waited a bit longer, because it hadn't even fully opened yet, but forgive my impatience-- I was excited!

First Daylily of 2017

For curiosity's sake, I checked my daylily album on Flickr and discovered that I uploaded my first daylily photo of 2016 significantly later in the month-- on April 20th.  (The one above was taken on April 2nd.)  I also happened to see a picture of what must have been the same plant (the flowers look identical to me, at least).  Last year, it was blooming on May 2nd!  Are we really that far ahead of schedule?

The downside to daylilies blooming early is that (I assume) they'll probably be finished early, too.  Looking for a positive, maybe it also means that the summer-long bloomers will last even longer than usual.  (Really must get those zinnia seeds sown.  I want zinnias this year!!)

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There aren't as many of them as there were (probably need to start more from seed, sometime), but there are a few blanket flowers dotting the garden here and there.  I'm still torn between admiration of their hearty good looks and uncertainty that they "go" with many of their neighboring flowers (in springtime shades of blue, purple and pink, usually).

Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower

The bog sage (Salvia uliginosa) has lived up to its reputation as a spreader.  This spring, it's coming up in all directions around the mother plant.  I've taken up some starts of the plant to give away, and I've moved some to other parts of my own garden, too.  Here's a bit recently transplanted to the Oval Bed.  It seems to recover quickly.

Bog Sage

Yellow flag iris has been blooming around the yard.  Not all of it, but a bloom here, a bloom there.  Maybe some of it doesn't flower because I keep messing with it-- mainly digging it up before it has a chance to settle in, because I'm trying to remove (manually, whenever possible) the horrible torpedo grass that has wormed its way into certain beds.  It might also be simply because they're too young/small to bloom, but I've also read that this is one of those irises that needs to be planted shallowly, so maybe (when I get around to it) I'll lift them up a bit higher and see if that produces results...

I know they're weeds to some people, but (so far) they're not pests in my yard, and I like them.  (I probably wouldn't put them right next to my daintiest, most well-behaved herbaceous perennials, though.  They do seem likely to boss and push.)

Yellow Flag Iris

The last trees to get their leaves in our yard are the two ashes and one particular oak (the identity of which I do not remember, though I got it as a seedling, some Arbor Day of the past however-many years).  The bald cypress is also slow in sprouting its needles, but as you can see, even it is now covered in feathery new growth:

Bald Cypress

Marigolds have volunteered in one of the raised vegetable beds.  Some survived the recent weeding, raking, and top-dressing-- including this one that prudently "chose" to grow in one of the cells of the cinder blocks that serve as retaining walls for the beds.

Volunteer Marigolds

'Blue Bedder' salvia has exceeded my expectations for a plant so often described as "short-lived".  It dies back over the winter, but is quick to spring back up again at the slightest provocation of sunshine and mild weather.

'Blue Bedder' Sage

I've bought another packet of seed, this year, in hopes of creating more pretty purple-blue salvias to fill in with, here and there.

'Blue Bedder' Sage

The Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) has begun to bloom.  I'd forgotten that it does that.  Around here, at least, it blooms best in late summer/early fall, but it also blooms in spring, before the summer heat really sets in.  I intend to take cuttings soon, as I'd like more of this plant, and the cuttings I planted later last summer don't seem to have had time to get established.  (They haven't made an appearance this year.)

Mexican Bush Sage

I was still "in the process of" pruning these no-ID pink shrub roses back in my last "survey" post-- in late January.  I wondered if pruning them then, with signs of spring already in abundance, would mean no flowers for a while.  I guess it was a needless concern.  Those same roses have already bounced back to bud-stage!  They're smaller than when I pruned them, of course, but they're well on their way to decent shrub size.

The bushes I hadn't yet pruned in January are (predictably) a little further behind, but they're also showing no signs of suffering from their relatively late barbering.  Once again, I wish I knew for certain what rose this is, because it is by far the most carefree, foolproof rose I've yet to encounter.

NOID Pink Shrub Rose

Purple heart is getting prettier by the day.  Here it is beside Eucomis 'Twinkle Stars', which has more of a burgundy-green tint.

Purple Heart and Pineapple Lily

The unknown pink climber at the back of the house has just started to bloom.  One of the first flowers:

NOID Pink Climbing Rose

I think there may be fewer buds this year than there sometimes are.  It would probably benefit from some fertilizer, and I also need to get back there and pull some invaders, but I may wait until winter, because wasps are living in the shrubs nearby, and I don't relish the thought of getting into tight, thorny quarters where angry wasps may suddenly be inadvertently disturbed.  There could also be a snake hidden where I can't watch my step.  We saw a fast black snake (non-venomous) near the west-facing patio's trellis, just a day or two ago.

NOID Pink Climbing Rose

The diminutive red Mexican ruellia is getting started.  Last year, I successfully rooted a piece that is now in the Oval Bed.  I'd like to root another piece or two and try it in partial shade and richer soil.  Though it has returned for a couple of years, now, it has never really thrived where it's currently planted.

Red Mexican Ruellia

We haven't gotten much closer to painting the covered patio, but we did get a new pressure washer (the old one being extremely unreliable and faulty), which could be a step in the right direction...

Flower Garden

Luna says "hi" and hopes that all eyes will be on her sweet little face and not the weeds that have been popping up through the mulch.  (A weeder's work is never done!)

Sweetie-Pie Luna