Posts Tagged ‘iris flowers’

We went from a cold and drizzly April to a dry and sunny May. The garden has “popped” as they say. Flowers galore. The daffodils faded and the grape hyacinth followed them closely, then the blue and white hyacinths. The heat came on and the peonies reached for the heavens. The heat turned down and the peonies are hanging on to their blooms: blood-red, deep magenta, salmon pink, cotton candy pink, yellow, and white. Bomb peonies, doubles, triples, and tree peonies. Now the irises are clamoring for their time in the limelight: purple, blue-and-white, purple-and-yellow, yellow. Dutch, wild natives, Japanese, and flag. Out front, the geraniums and Solomon’s seal are in full array of pink and white and green.

The tiny flowers as well are in their glory. The native forget-me-nots and the commercial ones, the inside-out flowers, the bishop’s weed, and the poached egg flowers (meadow foam) are all on display. The native camassia has bloomed and faded now. Heucheras, or coral bells, wave their tiny fronds of mini blooms in the breeze, along with the fringe cups. Speedwells have blossomed and faded along with the sweet woodruff.

Pushing up from the ground to make the next display are the sages: pineapple and Jerusalem, as well as the phloxes, the Peruvian lilies, the crocosmia, the Shasta daisies, cornflowers, bachelor buttons, and dahlias. Then will come the milkweeds and the evening primroses with the scattered sunflowers. The four roses out front have swollen buds while the rhododendrons are finishing off their array of colors. The heavy scent of the lilacs has already faded with the memory of their color. The orange daylilies will put on a show in just about a month. The Rose of Sharon has greened out and will soon bloom with reddish-purple blossoms.

If I am fortunate, the mock orange with blossom this year. I am fortunate: there are eleven spikes of flowers in the bear grass clumps. The hostas will take their turn as well as the lilies: Easter lilies and Martha Washington white lilies. The honeysuckle is striving for its place in the glory of bloom.

There are few bumblebees, and this concerns us: the giant solitary ones are house hunting but the littler ones we have are scarce. But the tiny ground dwelling bees and the mason bees have been plentiful, and we have noticed honeybees here and there. The paper wasps have returned home – they are important pollinators. We always have a plethora of tiny, winged pollinators on hand, from hover flies to yellow jackets.

Birds. The crows built their nest just to the south of our fence. We’re certain they will fledge any day and our hope is that the little ones will not end up on the street below the nest or in our yard where the dog might find them. The juncos that nested on the ground beneath a peony have raised one fledgling. It now can make short flights and avoid the dog easily. The lesser goldfinches are building a second nest for the next brood of babies. We haven’t seen the wrens for a while but have heard them: hopefully they also raised some new babies. The secretive spotted towhee comes in daily for a bath in one of the many baths for birds.

This season of flowers and warm days is my favorite time of year: Spring into Summer in the Pacific Northwest. I ache to be on knee pads with my hands deep in the wormy soil, pulling weeds and coaxing new flowers out of the loam – one more week of being careful after surgery and I will be back at it. I will plant some annuals before then: my usual petunias and pansies need to be purchased and planted in baskets. My fuchsias over-wintered and I have planted nasturtium seeds in the hopes of watching those pretty (edible) flowers will soon grace my yard.

There are issues that need to be addressed: brown spot, aphids, black spot, fungus in the soil, bushes that are half-dead and hanging on that need to be pruned and babied back to life and moving plants from one area to another to better facilitate their needs. I will be doing that in June.

Don is prepping the vegetable garden for the rototiller. We need to build a retaining wall around two sides of that garden (I bought the stones in February of 2022). The apples need to be protected from flies and worms (we have special nylon “socks” for that). The crazy grapevine is bursting with little green blossoms that portend a great harvest later in the summer (I share liberally with birds and with the neighbor whose fence helps prop up my vines). Sadly, I lost my “blackcap” raspberry in 2022 and that needs replaced this year – I live for my raspberries!

OH! Did I mention my strawberries? No, I did not but I will now: I have two urns full and an accidental little strawberry patch by the A-Frame (where we hang bird feeders out front). LOTS of berries are coming on! Sweet Hood strawberries, the best in the world. I just need to keep the slugs at bay.


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