It is the first day of spring and gardening season begins. So far only brilliant gold crocuses are blooming, but I know it is time to review the garden and check to make sure I will have some bloom from now into the fall.
My very first bloomers are these golden crocus that bloom on the bit of ground next to the sidewalk and our parking space. It is not a large space, but I am filling it up with crocuses that will please neighbors who walk their dogs or take a brisk walk during these pandemic days. More crocuses will come into bloom. I can see their green shoots.
Daffodil shoots are pushing up. Last year the daffs were blooming by mid- April. They grow in front of the house, along the sidewalk. They and have been increasing for four years. I have a variety of daffodils, small and tall, different shades of yellow and different shapes. I’d like to say that I chose all this variety , but I just just bought bags of different bulbs and prepared for a friendly assortment. Last fall I decided to plant 100 pale pink and white daffodils in front of my new rose bed. (It is a very narrow short rose bed.) I am looking forward to a long river of of pale daffodils that will increase, and be gone by rose season. In the meantime April will call for the beginnings of grape hyacinths.
But they are not alone. Garden season is moving. Double bloodroot will begin to bloom at the other side of the garden.
This year hellebores will bloom in my garden. I planted them late last spring. This is my first full garden season with hellebores and I am excited. I put them on the shady side of a fence facing the sidewalk. It has been cold but I will be able to cut away last year’s foliage, and carefully reveal this year’s new blossom. I hope passers-by will enjoy them.
Ground covers like barren strawberries, tiarella and primroses are among the April bloomers. Troillus is brilliant in a perennial bed. Then comes a slew of May perennials, irises ,columbine, deutzia, and epimediums. The mountain laurels on the hugel, at the back of the garden are also blooming in May.Columbine
Columbine has many faces. To me they are delicate and ready for a dance, but they come back every year in early June. But roses are the star beginning in mid-June, and nowadays they last into July and August.
My skill with photographing large shrubs is poor and my shrubs are not lush with flowers, but the red and yellow twig dogwoods provide food for birds, although the drupes are not very visible. Viburnums and elderberry bushes clearly feed the birds as well. Food for bees, birds, and butterflies comes from pollen, but less visibly from caterpillars! Supporting these creatures is important to our environment and that means treasuring native trees. God bless the oaks which support over 500 creatures. Fortunately my next door neighbor has three! oak trees. Happily I have two river birches Doug Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home. and Doug Tallamy (of Doug Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home) ranks birches in the Top 5 best woody plants for wildlife.
I have two river birches growing at either end of this planting bed. It was the first tree we planted in 2015 and it has thrived in our wet garden, as has the river birch at the other end of the bed.
By midsummer the garden is in full bloom with Aesclepius tuberose, cardinal flowers, bee balm, Joe Pye weed, blazing star and more. Zinnias!
Spring is here and it is time to get to work.