Sunday, March 30, 2008

Borrowed landscapes

This is a bit of a stretch, because I can't see these borrowed landscapes from my house. But I love seeing them as I drive around Fredericksburg: the huge flowering quince on William Street catty-corner from Jake and Mike's; the wild pear trees seen from the bridge to nowhere, revealing themselves among the bare branches of other trees, then subsiding into anonymous green in a few weeks; the weeping cherry trees along Wakefield Avenue in Ferry Farm. I don't grow any of these myself, but I enjoy the fruits of other people's labors.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Why I Hate Blogger

Because every picture must be posted at least twice, since the first posting persists for only moments. Sorry these photos have disappeared - will pursue next weekend. Clearly, it's time to investigate other possibilities. AARRGGHH!!!

Easter flowers

Easter is early this year, so there's not as much in bloom as there was last year.
The pot on the front steps has been very satisfying so far. According to my notes, the following varieties are in bloom: Narcissus 'Carlton,' 'Flower Record,' 'Carbineer' and 'Barret Browning' plus blue and white pansies. Tulips 'Queen of the Night' and 'Temple of Beauty' are still to come.

I can take no credit for the hens and chickens or whatever sedums these are. I bought them from Kmart/Martha Stewart, planted them in this bowl, and left them on the front steps for a couple years. They are particularly elegant at this time of year, with crisp margins to each leaf and deep colors.

The snowdrops I divided last year have come up again, in a much more manageable bunch.

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The first tulip of the year has emerged, a fringed Symphony variety. I love these and the Rembrandts, oh, and the lily-flowered, and in fact any and all varieties. I am a tulip slut.

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I'm a little worried about the Akebia ('Shirobana' or 'Silver Bells'). The good news is that it seems healthy, and the first flowers are in bud. The other news is that it is not climbing the trellis in a dutiful way, rather reaching out desperately towards the terrace in search of more light. I'm afraid to train it onto the trellis until the Ellinger people come (if they ever do) to rebuild the trellis, so in the meantime it just yearns.

I don't deserve to have this 'Shasta' viburnum alive, since I never did plant it last fall. My excuse is that it was sort of an impulse buy when the viburnum I wanted was not in stock at Merrifield. Clearly, it is sturdy and can take the part shade of the terrace. When I get back from Minneapolis, I may even plant it, probably along the back fence line. I love its leathery, textured leaves, especially when they are young and small. They almost look edible...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pick-up Sticks

The front and back yards are littered with sticks, including most of a squirrel's nest that landed almost intact under the oak tree. Having resurrected the Garden Way cart, I raked and bagged this morning, saving the best ones for next year's kindling. Along the way, I enjoyed what's in bloom on St. Patrick's Day weekend.

The brilliant, piercing blue of Scilla siberica

Early daffodils in front of the shed, a bit rain-battered, their variety long since lost. They're among the earliest bloomers and feature a very pale yellow petal and a striated yellow trumpet with a tiny fringe.

The deeply satisfying blooms of hellebore, big enough to show from the kitchen window, and elegant in bouquets

Wind anemones - originally a mix of pink, blue and white, they've reverted to a sunny blue and spread themselves under the oak tree, where they get good early spring sun. The anemones under the oakleaf hydrangea are puny by comparison, which lets me know not to plant these in shade in future.

Winter hibernation

For the last four months, I've been forcing bulbs but otherwise doing very little in the garden.

Lots of paperwhites - the big ones from WFF are the best

and several amaryllis.The pale green one from Roxbury Mills had a modest flower and then shot up another stalk just the other day. The red ones from Mom had beautiful flowers again, though the stalks are askew and they bloomed late.


Judy gave me some flowering quince when I visited a few weeks ago.

And here's the window garden, with amaryllis in late bloom.

Here are some snapshots of late winter/ early spring at Ferry Farm:
Winter aconite in bloom in February

A single white crocus under the oak tree.


Tommie crocuses (Crocus tommasianus) glowing in the sunlight in February. I plan to plant heaps of them under the maple tree and throughout the lawn this fall.

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Some begonias for my birthday from Mom via Logee's Gardens.