Today was finally the kind of day I’ve been waiting for. It was beautiful, the sun was shining, the temperature was in the mid-60s, the grass was turning green, and everything outside seemed to be green and growing. It finally feels like spring, so I took the opportunity to check things out in the yard. I also wanted to provide some updates on the seeds I planted a few weeks ago.
As I wander through the yard, it’s always nice to see mother nature in action, sending up new shoots. I spotted some of my bearded irises first. They have such beautiful blooms, even though they are short-lived, but the spikes of leaves last longer and really add contrast to the garden. The other great things about bearded iris is that they multiply fast. What starts out as just 1 small rhizome quickly spreads. You can divide them also to have more and also spread them out. I’ve found that after the clump gets too big, you really need to divide or the flowers aren’t as big.
Some of my favorites, especially in the spring, are peonies. I love the big flowers. They put on quite a show. I have both tree peonies and herbaceous peonies. The tree peonies are interesting in shape, but I think I lean towards the good, old-fashioned herbaceous ones. Thankfully both are starting to show growth in the garden. The herbaceous ones always send up these amazing red shoots. They are easy to spot in the spring soil. They will be bursting with color in May.
The tree peony is a very interesting specimen. As the name suggests, it grows as a tree, and it sends out new shoots every year. These shoots will include the buds that will also put on quite a show in a few months. The one very nice thing about the tree peony is that the flowers don’t weigh the plant down. Often times, towards the end of the blooming season, especially if we get a good rain, the herbaceous blooms will end up on the ground because they weigh the delicate branches down. The tree peony comes with its own built-in support!
Daylilies are just starting to burst through the soil. The bright green shoots are coming up in a number of places. They prefer a little bit of shade and do really well, growing into very substantial clumps, sending up big, colorful blooms.
Even though many people think of mums in the fall, they do start to sprout now if you have them in the garden. They are a hardy perennial, and I’m always lecturing people about how they can plant their fall potted ones in the ground. The good news is a bunch of friends have no desire to do it, so I get their leftovers! These will need a cutting back before July 4th to make sure they don’t bloom too early. Any later than that, and they won’t have time to bloom at all this season.
Probably the favorite plant in my garden as far as my niece and nephews are concerned, the strawberry plants are doing well already. They will have sweet, delicious berries in a few months. One thing to note, they spread like crazy. I have a few sections on the side of my house where there are beds that are surrounded by sidewalk. They have done great in this location, and also can’t take over anything! It’s a win/win.
I have a number of bulbs that I’ve planted over the years. Some of my favorites are daffodils and tulips. I love that the daffodils are one of the first to bloom in the spring. They are such a welcome sight, and they multiply and create full clusters in the garden. Tulips are another favorite, and you can really spread out their bloom time with the different varieties available today. They are just starting to poke through, although they will take a little while to send up buds. Even so, they are always such a welcome sight in the early summer garden.
As for the seeds I wrote about a few weeks ago, I’m happy to report that I have seedlings for all of them. Some have definitely done better than others, but I’m not loosing hope. There is still time for a few to come through. Here is what’s growing so far:
Eggplant…small, but coming along.
Kale…I’ve gotta thin these!
Tomatoes…these are both the San Marzano and Brandywine varieties.
Beets…you can’t miss these…I love the red color.
Fava Beans…these are growing like crazy!
Chives…these are also so tiny.