Thursday, March 28, 2013

New pleasures of the season

Joining the iris contingent are Siberian irises, all-yellow Dutch irises, and yellow-and-white Dutch irises. We can see from buds that soon there will be pale blue Duitch irises. We have more plain old (not plain at all!) poet's narcissus than we've had in years and years. There's one white wood hyacinth in bloom. Each day brings more April Tears flowers. We still have quite large clumps of white Dutch iris. Our trailing nasturtiums are blooming in several colors. We try to train them up fences but they escape onto the neighboring property. Iphieon and pink oxalis are blooming in profusion. We now have four saucer-sized flowers on our 99-cent clematis from Albertsons, with more buds every day. All trees and shrubs are leafed out except for the pecan tree and at last it is showing swelling buds. There are more ranunculus flowers every day, of all colors and varieties, including a pretty pink-and-white picotee type. The blue florist's anemones did the best this year; last year the dominating color was red. All the ascplepias in pots is in bloom, but among the butterflies attracted to them have been no monarchs, yet. There are beginning to be more Tubergen's Gem species tulips. There are now seven different varieties of sweet pea in bloom. We think we see buds on a hollyhock grown from seed; it's the tallest one. The armadillo or some other creature bulldozed another hollyhock plant that was looking promising. We could certainly use some rain.

Family factoid

My paternal grandfather was born over a hundred years before I was.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This week's floral arrivals

Tubergen's Gem species tulips joined the display today. Narcissus Hummingbird is tiny and sweet. Monday brought us many white Dutch iris flowers, along with one double daffodil Texas. We have many lantana flowers, many asclepius (milkweed flowers) of both colors growing in pots, still some grape hyacinths, and more and more poet's narcissus of various varieties, more than we've enjoyed in some time. The iphieon flowers are many. The giant swallowtail butterflies are everwhere. There are a few flowers on hyacinth beans that have wintered over. Yesterday, we saw an armadillo when the sun was up, not as large as the one seen in our yard recently, but quite a good size, and loping along to the west in a neighboring yard as fast as we've ever seen one go. We've seen a third variety of sweet pea, a deep pink one with a beautiful non-soapy scent that's spicy and a little like freesia. There are three types of nasturtium in bloom, all trailing or climbing types.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Day by day in the pleasure grounds

Monday brought the first appearances of hawera, ranunculus (orange ones), and lots of swallowtail butterflies. Hundreds of honeybees were attracted to the allium flowers. Cedar waxwings visited on Tuesday. On Wednesday we noticed two new colors of sweetpeas and some buds on the one-dollar clematis. There's a different variety of pink Dutch hyacinths at Spike's corner, with a fine fragrance. Each day brings more and more Lilac Wonder species tulips. A poet's narcissus was open this morning, Geranium narcissus, we think.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Seasonal progress in the yard

Monday (4 March) brought us the first iphieon; Tuesday, the first sweet pea, a purple one; Wednesday, a rose on the stock that used to be the base for another rose; and today, Saturday, our first tulipa clusiana (alternating soft red and blue-white petals on the outside, with a blue-white interior. We have more and more iphieons and more and more grape hyacinths. In Mack's yard, there are now blue Dutch irises and tending-toward-blue-violet ones making a show everywhere. There's a red anemone out front. Sun Disc and plenty of Ice Fillies are to be seen from the windows of the study. One of the potted nasturtiums is blooming now more than ever (golden-orange with red-orange rays) and is elbowing itself up on a hardware-cloth fence and some Turk's cap stalks. Geraniums and milkweeds are flowering happily and profusely in pots. We have some mystery narcissi that are similar to Suzy but a bit larger.

Friday, March 01, 2013

New appearances in the pleasure grounds

Ice Follies daffodils are few so far this year, having been spectacular last year. We're seeing more Ceylon and Caruso daffodils now. Carlton daffodils are producing multiple stems of flowers. A spectacular red-and-white hardy amaryllis with a greenish center was knocked down by the high winds but is very handsome in a vase indoors. A lettuce plant that wintered over in a pot has bolted. We've picked three pods of peas. A hyacinth bean and several lantanas are in bloom. This morning we saw the first flowers on the ornamental pear tree, so it will overlap with the redbud flowers. We have one blue florist's anemone, a couple of Siverian squills, about five grape hyacinths, several pink wood hyacinths, about six different shades of Dutch hyacinths, and a few flowers from the purple hearts and the pink oxalis. There are two very small Lilac Wonder tulip flowers. The two nasturtiums that bloomed earlier continue to furnish flowers, as do many milkweeds, both the all-yellow ones and the bi-colored variety. The fig tree is seriously budding out. This morning we found at least a dozen deep blue Dutch iris flowers. All the ornamental allium flowers provide a beautiful frothy background to the other flowers. Spring is in progress.