Bloom Day- Patience

Three years ago (or was it four?), my wonderful Mother-in-law gave me an envelope of seeds from her yellow columbine, which was spilling over the sides of the flowerbed (the flowers, not the envelope). I scratched them into the soil next to my brass headboard, near the dark red lilies, and stella d’oro daylilies…and this week for bloom day….they are about to bloom. Still waiting.

The waiting is the hardest part.

Oh sure, they have pretty ruffly leaves, and a bright green color, but none of us got into this for the foliage! Give us flowers!

Also about to bloom, roses and peonies.

Planted before we moved in- unknown variety.

As big as a dinner plate when it opens…did I say dinner plate? I meant coffee cup. Which is still pretty darn big. For a flower.

Actually in bloom, we have Honeysuckle Blanche Sandman, well-loved by pollinators and in continual bloom from May through August.

Bearded iris is still blooming.

Clover is  in the paths and lawn. Clover fixes nitrogen, and the flowers attract bees and butterflies, so I have it even though it doesn’t make my heart pound.

And, of course, we have strawberries. Blossoms now mean fruit in June- all mine! Mine, I tell you!

In June, I’ll eat strawberries…


Bloom Day- Apple Blossoms

A wall of flower petals.

I have an elderly apple tree which continually grows into the power lines and every year city crews come by to whack it back. The apples are sour, and numerous (overly numerous most years). This is the best year for blossoms I can remember- the tree is a shower and curtain of blooms. And, they are predicting a snow tonight, and a low of 28 degrees. Sigh. I guess we won’t have to worry about numerous apples this year.

"Ooh-leee-oool" I think that's how you say it, anyway. The French don't spell things like they say them.

Also in bloom- species tulips, white,purple and yellow hybrid tulips ones whose variety I can’t remember. There is one blooming “oullioules” tulip, out of 50 I planted several years ago. It is my absolute favorite pink tulip- it is kind of on the orchid-colored range of pink, with white stripes. It makes me realize I should buy a bunch more. I also have siberian squill and grape hyacinth, which are both naturalizing nicely.
Golden currant, lilac and mock orange shrubs are blossoming as well, and a goumi shrub. Goumi is related to russian olive and is a nitrogen fixer. It is supposed to have delicious fruit, but this one has never produced any, to my knowledge. It is windy enough that the flowers on shrubs are coming out ridiculously blurry. It is the storm coming in.
And, of course, the dandelions are in full bloom. hooray! I know, I should have picked them before they bloomed and eaten them…

Bloom Day- Welcome Back Topside, Persephone!

I love these flowers! Even if they weren't the first thing blooming, only thing blooming, right now, I would still love them.

Technically, as both my children are fond of pointing out, it isn’t spring until the equinox, but it sure feels like Spring. Like Hades has lost his grip on his lovely wife, and she has moved back in with Mom.

Only two things blooming in my zone 5 yard right now, Iris Reticulata, also known as dwarf iris, and crocus. I looked for squill, which I have mixed in the with lawn, but didn’t find any, so either it didn’t survive, or it will bloom later.

I wonder why the yellow crocus seem to bloom earlier than the purple?

Inside, we have blooms on the lemon tree, or it might be lime…I lost the tags, and I know I have one of each the same age, but can’t remember which is which. I’ll pollinate it with a watercolor brush, and hopefully when it bears fruit, I’ll remember to put a label on it.

Lemon or lime?

Bloom Day- Let’s shop for stuff that blooms in August…

It has been hot and dry here lately. Typically we get late afternoon thunderstorms that cool things off and moisten things up, but not so much this year.The lack of water has made things peter out sooner than usual, and looking around, I am realizing, I don’t have that much that blooms late summer. I need to get to work on that.

The asteraceae family does well in the dry heat- purple coneflowers and daisies and black-eyed susans have been blooming their heads off, and attracting pollinators for a few weeks now.

I don't deadhead the Echinacea (purple coneflower) because the birds like the seeds. What the birds don't eat will self seed and grow next year.

The herbs are the pollen workhorses- bees are all over the lavender, anise hyssop, oregano, thyme and mints.Not much to look at, but the bugs sure love them.

I have one tiger lily blooming right this minute, and I want to order about a gross of late summer lilies. I had some other oriental lilies that have already finished blooming. Never liked lilies before, but they fill an important role in late summer.  Orange is never my first color choice, but they just fit this weather and this time of year.

Love this tiger lily.

Wait, a gross of lilies, that’s a gross of holes to dig. May have to rethink that plan.


edited to add- I noticed some sweet peas still blooming- which I have always thought of as cool weather flowers- but no, it’s crazy hot and dry, but those little old fashioned sweet peas are still blooming. Hooray.

Bloom Day- I love Larkspur…

Blue and white larkspur, golden yarrow and white chamomile.

I have encouraged larkspur to self seed all over my back yard, ever since my wonderful MIL gave me that first envelope of seeds several years ago. At some point, I will probably consider them a weed, too, and complain that I can’t walk down the flagstone path because of them. Until then, they make July a little brighter.

I have only recently gotten into lilies, and my expensive R.O Backhouse Martagon turk’s cap lily has not flowered this year, and in fact looks yellow and horrible, while the Walmart lilies, whose variety I don’t know, if I ever knew them, are flourishing.  There’s probably a lesson there.

The brass headboard is actually a plant support in disguise- installed so I don't have to stake liles.

Love this dark red.

The roses are late this year, usually they are pooped out by now, but it has been such a wet spring they are going crazy. I don’t think I have ever had roses in the middle of July before.
I’ve mentioned before that the previous owners crammed several rose bushes into a bed at the end of the driveway. I don’t know the variety, kind of a cameo pink-but they bloom every year without any help from me. No fertilizer, no dusts, no sprays. After they bloom I whack them back to about a foot tall. By September, they are 5 feet tall again, and blooming their heads off.

This bunch doesn't even begin to empty out the bushes- there are still a couple dozen more on the plant.


Bloom Day- Look at those Peonies!

We have lived in this house about 10 years, and there are certain things that the previous owners did that I just have to wonder about. For example, they crammed about 4 different rose bushes into a square about 2 feet by 2 feet at the end of the driveway. It looks great for about a week in June and a week in September, but then it grabs passersby with spiny tentacles the rest of the year.
They also put Russian sage under the mailbox- a sub-shrub that gets 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide, and is extremely attractive to bees, right next to where the mail goes.
What I have to approve of, though, is that they put peonies lined up next to the driveway. I don’t think they are fancy named varieties, just dark pink, light pink and white, but they have bloomed reliably every June that we have lived here, with virtually no care, other than pulling away the brown leaves and stalks at the end of winter. And this year, I didn’t even get around to that.

Mock orange- gets to be 6-8 feet tall, and has amazing-smelling white blossoms.

Mid June is the best time for blooms around in my yard, peonies and roses, and the herbs, and honeysuckle and the mock orange, and the bearded iris are finishing but the Japanese iris are budding out. I love it.

Blanche Sandman honeysuckle, worm's eye view.

Through an accident of fate, we are not taking our vacation until early July, and I am so glad  I get to stick around and enjoy the best flowers of the year.

The bees love the thyme and chive flowers- I wonder what the honey would taste like?

Bloom Day

Wish I'd planted these lilacs underneath my window, instead of way back by the fence.

Last year, there were enough currants on this bush to make jelly- see, even on bloom day, I think in terms of food.

The tulips and daffodilas are faded, and the iris and peonies are waiting in the wings, so right now it’s a show that belongs to the cherry tree and the lilac.

Tiny proto-cherries, Northstar variety.

Bloom Day-Tulips

Looking over the edge of the pond- this is a new bed I just planted last year.

Tiny red/orange species tulips(T. clusiana chrysantha)  that I planted in the same hole with tall white emperor tulips(Purissima). They got snowed on yesterday morning, but have bounced back and are ready for more. I love Spring.

The native shrubs in the xeric bed (i.e. the bed I don’t water very much) are just about to bloom all over the place- so far the only one with open flowers is the golden currant.

Happy little flowers are almost open on the Golden Currant (ribes aureum)

I have seen some lilacs open around town, and an ornamental cherry tree blooming in the park, but so far, not in my yard. We got over an inch of moisture this week from our “rain-snow mix” so everything is greening up, and the bees are waking up. That doesn’t have anything to do with the moisture, though. Anyway, my last bloom is ubiquitous- and I like to believe that if you call plants by their latin name, they aren’t really weeds.

A bee gathering pollen on taraxacum oficianale (dandelion). Yeah, the Latin thing doesn't help...