Last summer, Brooks and I spent quite a bit of time thinking about adding plants to the yard that would result in more continuous blooms from early spring to frost. There are wads of graph paper stashed around the house that are basically hand-drawn Gantt charts of planting and blooming schedules; this, to my mind, is taking my project manager-y-ness to an extreme, but it worked. We did a lot of planting last fall, and some in January and February as well. In all, we have added poppies, Asiatic lilies, day lilies, hyacinths, phlox, ranunculus, irises, tulips, crocuses, dahlias, and other flowers that aren’t coming to mind right now…to a yard that was already well-planted with flowers.
The result has been fabulous. We have had flowers since late January, crocuses by the hundreds, and months of tulips. To balance out the number of bulbs that die back and leave blank spaces, we have also added numerous new flowering plants this spring: a beautiful camellia snagged at Portland Nursery one beautiful February day, a Daphne ‘Carole Mackie” for scent and floral interest in mid- to late spring, an Endless Summer Hydrangea (Blushing Bride) and a couple of Edgeworthia chrysanthae, which stopped me in my tracks with their lovely light yellow blooms in late winter. The incomparable Meg de Hass van Dorsser of Margaret’s Enchanted Gardens, Ltd., helped immensely with recommendations. She also helped legitimize my Hydrangea longings to Brooks, who sort of hates them. And by “sort of,” I mean truly detests them.
Following are some photo highlights. I’ll write more about some of the specific areas we have focused on at a later date.
Our first irises opened in early March, which actually scared me a bit. That seems too early.
Now, we have many in bloom. Most of the irises we have are the light purple color shown first, as luck would have it:
Daphne “Carol Mackie”
Edgeworthia chrysantha (aka Chinese paper bush)
Garden supervisor, Canis lupus familiaris (common name: Brooks Jr.)
With the exception of the dog’s photo, all of the images are from today–what beautiful weather we have been having!