The Progress of a Week
Spring is so wonderful because things happen so fast. In only a week, the garden began to wake up and behave like, well, a garden.
A week ago I showed you these photos, and this evening I took a bunch of photos before heading back to school. (I actually took a lot more but enough of you are bored of the plant photos that I'm being considerate.)
Here's the result of a few hours of work with the adze, a rake, and a flat spade. And picking out rocks and shaking dirt from bermuda roots. I will be pulling that stuff out for the rest of my life, I imagine.
One of the bigger changes over the last week is that almost all the roses have started putting out shoots. In a few weeks, we will have real bushes there, which should change the neighborhood animal dynamic (there are a couple cats who like to take shortcuts across the rose bed who are likely to choose a new route). I can't wait for the first buds.
I planted a small stand of Viola 'Etain' among the roses today, because Noel likes them, and there is a bit of a gap in the hedge where I moved the Constance Spry over and did not rearrange the rest of the roses. They're kind of pretty.
The lavender has been underappreciated. It is one of the few plants that would survive having a ton of dirt and bricks dropped on it. And now it is blooming. I think I will add a few more lavender plants this summer.
Waiting for planting in that painfully hoed front bed are the California natives I've bought at Annie's. Mainly not planted because I'm still in bermuda-removal mode, and I want to wait a week or so to work on the bed after some rain (due tomorrow).
Unmolested by dogs (because it is outside the fence), the Harry Lauder's Walking Stick is doing very well, dropping its catkins and putting out leaves.I really do love this plant, and I can't wait for it to be a tree someday.
Inside the fence we have the contorted quince, behind a protective wire cage. Nice little leaves and some new shoots. In a few months, I expect this guy will not need the cage for dog protection any more.
This afternoon we made a quick pit-stop in Richmond at Annie's to pick up some more plants. I got several varieties of poppy and planted them near the quince tree. They all self-sow, so in a couple of years I will have a large, mixed bed of poppies. Patience is worth a lot in the garden: sometimes you have to put up with a sparse bed for a while until the plants grow into it.
In the background you can see the ranunculus, looking somewhat the worse for wear because the dogs have been both trampling them (understandable if a little crazy-making) and biting the heads off and carrying them around the yard (what the heck? you stupid dogs don't have enough toys, you have to eat my flowers?). I've reached a state of calm about the dogs and the flower beds, but it is slowly becoming clear that the rear shade bed is not long for this world because it turns out to be their favourite place to romp.
Speaking of the quince, it is going slightly mad with leaves. I love the frosty outsides. I'm really enjoying watching this tree wake up, and I can't wait for it to grow into a monster of a tree that throws rock-hard fruit at us all summer. I do like plants with personality, even if it all comes from my anthropomorphizations.
Likewise, the apples are starting to show leaves. We're still in the bud stage with the Asian pears, though.
As if to show everybody else up, the blueberries not only have leaves, but they have actual flowers. Of course, they are shipped awake, rather than dormant like the other trees. I'm not even sure they ever go dormant in this climate; I don't see why they would need to.
There are ripening buds on the cherries; in the next week or so they will be leaves.
My variegated lemon is starting to bloom. Very pretty, pink flowers. The tree is obviously too small to handle any fruit, but blooms are a great sign.
Likewise, the Cara-Cara navel is blooming.
The George IV peach is finally bursting into bloom, as well. Both the nectarines and the Strawberry Free peach have been blooming like mad all week (on Thursday there was a hummingbird on the nectarines!), so I was getting a little worried about George.
See: nectarine blossoms. (And Noel's feet.)
The strawberries are also getting ready to bloom. I do like strawberry flowers, and the berries that come from them, of course. I hope I can protect them from predation. Goldie has been occasionally eating leaves off them, which means they may have to be moved to a less accessible location.
Across the yard, the wisteria is breaking into its gorgeous spring bloom. I like wisteria, even if it is a bit aggressive for a small garden. And this one makes that fence look so much better.
The current attraction on the garden wall is the wisteria vs. Cecile Brunner rose death match. I'm not sure who will win but there will be a lot of flowers.
PS - if you have tried using Typekey authentication and not had it work here, I finally fixed that this weekend (configuration error on my part). If you use Typekey (and are not a spammer), I can make you a trusted commenter and your comments won't be moderated. If none of this made any sense, feel free to ignore it.
posted by ayse on 03/26/06