Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just a Quick Post Today

We are between storm fronts - an unusual warm front from the north went through last night. The air smelled like worms. At least that's how I think of it. Very damp with a soft warm wind - and that odd earthy perfume that I associate with sidewalk worms. At noon we're supposed to be clear, followed by thunder at 5:00 p.m. - nothing like sitting on the shores of a Great Lake.

Took scads of photos and deleted most of them except for a few close-ups and some establishing shots I'll use to i.d. things later in the season. Here's one of my old fav 'green' tulips. The timing is slightly askew. I would expect this blossom with a very bright chartreuse hosta that has just barely poked up. Perhaps they'll catch up with the warmer weather today.

And edges of the un-named new tulip. Almost looks like a double in the morning before the sun hits it.

I was lucky enough to join a group of garden writers who have been asked to trial 4 new woodies. This was Buddleia Lo & Behold Blue Chip a couple of days ago. A short butterfly bush - 60 cm - 2ft. Intended for pot culture - also makes a pretty purple ground cover if you want to spend some money. It is being sold as a low maintenance shrub. You don't have to deadhead the flowers. It started to bloom at the end of June and continued until frost.
Buddleia are treated like perennials here most years - they're killed almost to their base and must be whacked back before the leaves appear. In good years they will re bud on old wood. Generally, we don't get many of these 'good' years.

Was interested to see if the term 'low maintenance' might mean that I might be able to skip the spring trim. Alas, no. The little leaves that appeared two months ago crisped up and died. So following the advice of Tim Wood at Spring Meadow Nursery who organized the trial - I've now just cut everything back to the new growth. Tim says that in years to come, the plant will do better in the winter and there will be less die-back. Can't imagine a homeowner being too pleased to see so much dead on a supposedly easy care plant.
Hoping to get into the garden for at least an hour or so. Several of the came-with-the-house weed/wild flowers are on the rampage. There's a Campanula and this shade lover (pale purple flowers) that are set to take over. It's going to take a bit of time to get the roots out of this poor Hemerocallis. On their own, they're quite the middle of my nice perennials, I'm starting to have violent thoughts of what I could do with one of those flaming propane weed gadgets. Not that I'd ever try.....I'd just think about it.


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

What an unusual tulip. I love the shots with the rain drops on the petals. So pretty.

Gail said...

I love the scents of spring...the flowers are of course delicious but the earth, the air, the days just smell wonderful! Interesting butterfly bush...not sure I want a ground cover, but I like the notion of a smaller size.

If you only saw the invasives and thugs in the south! It's a battle we can't win!


Kathleen said...

That is a stunning photo of your green unnamed tulip!!! I would enlarge and frame it if I could! Congrats on trialing the woodies. I've seen some "container" butterfly bushes for sale in catalogs but none at the nurseries I frequent. I'm interested in how they do as I love to plant containers. They would make a great centerpiece and all the better if they'd overwinter.