Sunday, March 30, 2008

Delightful discovery

The find of the day is a Johnny jump-up (viola), self-sown and thriving without attention until today, when it bloomed. It's the bicolored favorite form. There are five eye-popping pink-striped flowers of saucer size on a dollar clematis plant from Albertsons. Ranunculus continues to brighten the yard where it grows. Red anemones flourish from past years; they're smaller in size than newer ones. The dutch iris continues to produce, with multiple blooms in blue per stalk, newly joined by iris in yellow and white. The last clump of hyacinths, a surprise, begins to fade now. We're enjoying spiderwort and lantana flowers. Leftover trailing nasturtiums in pots are blooming like crazy. Thalia and others are done, but Ice Follies continue to bloom. We have various Shirley poppies. The third and final harvest of peas from the first batch has been accomplished and the peavines there are beginning to turn brown. Lettuce (mostly fancy Italian stuff from packets bought at Mandola's, I think) is highly ornamental and very tasty. Bush beans and squash are thriving, but they're in the grasshopper corner and something is already consuming some of their leaves. The bush beans germinated much more quickly than my non-purple hyacinth beans did. Ancient zonal geraniums from which slips should have been taken are revitalized and blooming like new. Four o'clocks are popping up in all the old places. The first firewheels are blooming. Delphiniums continue to germinate everywhere in the grass out back; the earliest at last have buds. The stock is past its prime but still gives some color and plenty of scent. Sweet William never quit all winter long and neither did gazania. Cyclamens in pots outdoors continue to be showy, and the pink oxalis everywhere is doing better than it has in years and years. Iphieon continues on, giving us a very blue show this year. We've seen nothing yet of flowers from the sweet peas. Loquats are turning bright and dropping the first fruits. We enjoy views of spirea and pomegranate flowers next door. Houseplants will stay indoors until the oak flowers have dropped. Nothing much is happening in the pecan department yet (there's been not a hint yet of that sassafras-turpentine scent), but those flowers won't affect the potted plants. Everything looks the most beautiful and lasts the longest when the days are overcast.


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