Monday, June 5, 2017

A month of actual spring

Aruncus dioicus, Astrantia, and Wayside King Royale
For a few years I've been complaining about how the weather goes from 50's to 80's and sometimes 90's in just one day, laughing at us as we wish for a slower, friendlier transition. But this year we've already had two weeks with most of the days in the upper 60's and 70's, with just a few days colder or hotter—and it's really been nice. It's also been dry enough to get a lot of my spring work done—weeding, clean-up, weeding, and weeding. So it's already starting to look like a real garden around here.

The camellias are done, the rhodies are in mid-bloom, and the early perennials are starting their show, like the goatsbeard and red astrantia above, with a favorite daylily, Wayside King Royale. I really enjoy the goatsbeard—I never have to do anything for it except cut down the dead plume stalks during cleanup, it doesn't make babies, and it seems to be staying pretty much the same size, leaving room for its neighbors. I don't have many combinations here as nice as this one.

Nicotiana and Salvia Vista Purple
This morning I finally got to upgrading a pair of nursery pots in the front, and putting my favorite red nicotiana in them. This year they have have to share with this large-flowered salvia that I've never tried growing before, called Vista Purple. The nicotiana bloom every day till frost kills them; I hope the salvia is as happy.

Temporary shade for new starts
Unfortunately for them today and tomorrow are going to be sunny and around 80, so I got out one of my hydrangea umbrellas to shade them till it clouds up again on Thursday. I have four of these that I got at Ikea for $4 each, in a white & gray pattern. I stained them in hydrangea shades of blue and purple with acrylic inks from my studio, and they still look new after two years in the elements.

It's really nice to have so much nice weather to enjoy my garden before the real heat arrives.

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