Thursday, May 8, 2014

Set to Pop (Garden Shots)

Set . . . to . . .


Here's my peony bush, lush and lovely, finally benefiting from my benign neglect [see Peony Update for backstory on this]. Peonies are on my short list of favorite flowers (the others being gardenia and iris) and I feel this little bush has forgiven my past transgressions and is ready to send me Mother's Day love this weekend!

The color juxtaposition of this little lantana plant in our front border is lovely.

Here's my first sunny yellow iris in a large bank of them I planted a couple of years ago in our dry river bed. I received a couple of large bags of these from my friend, Ann, who was splitting her tubers a couple of years ago. These things go bananas and multiply in a marshy or wet area of the yard. I don't mind. I have the perfect spot for them.

Here's a kousa dogwood that was in bloom in my "jungle" a couple of weeks ago. It's a different variety from the ones I grew up with in Virginia, but it brings sentimental thoughts whenever it's in bloom. I also have three of the Virginia-type dogwoods in the backyard, but they bloomed even earlier, during the worst of the pollen when you don't really want to go outside without a gas mask around here, so I missed taking photos of them. The indigenous ones in the back are lovely trees though -- large and tall for dogwoods, so I bet they are a century old or so. Our lot was one of the last cut into a virgin forest.

Repeated shots of the same vegetable garden can be tiresome, so I'll try to avoid too much of that, but the rainbow chard is so photogenic, isn't it? If you look closely, you might see tiny little leaves that give the initial appearance of moss. I believe it is the "wild ground cover" that took up residence in the garden last year due to the shadier conditions from the maturing trees nearby. I thought I had eradicated it by pulling last year, but you may recall that the roots of this mystery plant are deep but fragile (so there is always some left behind), and have amazing powers of underground regeneration. I wasn't going to use weed killer in my garden, obviously, so I covered the whole thing all winter with a blanket of newspaper. This mystery plant seems to be saying thank you for the warm blankie. I salute your fortitude, little weed. Welcome back, I guess.

There are a few additional unidentified weeds here and there. Last year I pulled whatever seemed to be out of place, and then I missed a few days and realized that the pulled "weeds" were actually veggies from the year before that had self-propagated. My recent MS issues include memory loss, so I don't really remember much more about the regretful over-regulation of last year's garden. As such, I have decided to give these apparent interlopers a chance to identify themselves a bit more fully before I decide if they should stay or go. Not all surprises in life are welcome, but surprise garden veggies will be!

Has Spring sprung where you are?

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