Friday, June 26, 2009

A Week Ahead or Behind? - Not Even the Garden Knows

I was trolling around the garden this morning and was trying to figure out after our bland spring if my garden was ahead or behind last year. Rather than tax my little brain, I thought I'd check my photo-record to see what was what. The surprise discovery was that the plants do not appear to be in lock-step as I had originally thought. Have a look at this shot from last year on the 27th of June: The Persicaria polypmorpha and Thermopsis are blooming together. The Allium are still a little green and look at that old fashioned Tansy - growing, but not so well.

Hmmm, Persicaria polymorpha, check; Tansy much better, but still at the same stage of bloom; Thermopsis days away from colour; and Allium brown. So about the same for two, behind for another, and ahead for yet another plant.

All too confusing for this first bloom of Calendula 'Victoria Sunset'.

With all this thinking I've been doing, I didn't cut these back, so I'm hoping that the gold finches have thrown their portion control to the wind and eaten all these seeds. I don't want to think about where the Doronicum seeds might be otherwise.

The Salvias are starting to bloom - and wouldn't you know, I don't have any photos to compare - note to self - take photo, even if dull just to have a record!

This Salvia transylvanica 'Blue Spires' from Select Seeds was much smaller last year - started it in 2007 - it is a bit rambunctious. I'm going to have to rethink where I've planted it.

You'd almost believe it was blue looking at this close-up wouldn't you?

Salvia glutinosa - a quiet shade lover getting ready to bloom.

And this beefy biennial that I got from the Niagara School of Agriculture:

Which brings me back to my Ahead or Behind game. Here's last year in the back garden:

And this year: The Schizophragma hydrangeoides on the fence just barely has blossoms showing. The Euonymus looks like it is on steroids this year and is currently in bloom. And, sadly you can see to the far right where the Japanese Maple was and also the spot were the wonderful Brunnera once was. So again - one ahead and one behind.

And one more spot in the garden - Look at that Rodgersia blooming its little brains out last year - the Hosta not so much.

And this year - leaves again fantastic on the Rodgersia - but no blossoms, no buds in sight. However, the Hosta have sent up their scapes and are ready to start to bloom. Very interesting, again: one ahead, one behind.

It just makes me smile. Here it is, I work so hard for just the right combinations and think I've got it all nailed and then it all changes. There really is just so much you can learn in your garden - perhaps the most important lesson is that most of it is out of our hands - and maybe that's not such a bad thing afterall.


Gail said...

Plants have no respect for our timetables and boundaries! I just throw them all in there together and hope for the best;-) Clown Pants!
Barbara...they all look delicious to me. I am incredibly impressed with the climbing hydrangea...lovely! gail

Outside In said...

I don't know which I like better, your flowers or photos? Your garden is looking beautiful! Have a great weekend!

Barbarapc said...

Gail - thanks for that - whether it's what we want or hope for - it still all works itself out.
Hi Cathy - you are too kind. Looks like it will be a great Saturday to be in the garden - can hardly wait. Hope it's perfect gardening weather for you too.

Teza said...

I was attempting the same investigation, and found that here, most things are definitely ahead, but then again, its been cool and wet,same as last year so it may just be a trick of the eyes, after all, they're a year older! Great photos!

Frances said...

Hi Barbara, how fun to be able to compare from one year to the next. Keeping those photos that are less than stellar for comparison is something we need to work on here too. So many less than stellar ones though, HA Like Gail, your hostas are impressive to me. What a great combination of plants you have.

easygardener said...

I agree about the Hostas being impressive - and un-nibbled as well! I like the calendula with its layers of petals and dark centre - very pretty.

Kim and Victoria said...

Oh I agree, it is mostly out of our hands, isn't it? Mother Nature has her own schedule. Great pics.

Peggy said...

It is nice to see the garden in photos and compare what has grown well, we forget how small some of the plants started off. Your fence is nearly covered this year.Even though there is lots of green it is all different shades and still provides colour.

Barbarapc said...

Teza, Thanks. It can be hard to compare year over year, when there are so many newbies in the garden. Just glad nobody's judging my garden maintenance year over year....
Thanks Frances, I'm so ready to dump any photo that I don't feel is good enough to share. After I did this exercise in comparison I took at least 10 shots today that are just for me and for record keeping.
E.G. We're very lucky, Hosta grow very well for us - the trick is to only buy the ones with the thick leaves. I'll turf any that can't stand up to slugs.
K & V - I'm in awe of what she can do. Thx.
Peggy, Thanks for reminding me of that. I'd grown all this green so I wouldn't see the pressure treated wooden fence. I should be celebrating its disappearance - not puzzling about fewer flowers.