Friday, May 8, 2015

State of the Garden Address

The lilac hasn't done much this year.  The oldest (tallest) branches have produced clusters of lovely, fragrant flowers, but not as many as in the past.  Unless I missed it, the two (or three?) year old growth hasn't produced at all.  I'm not sure what's going on with this guy.  D wanted to chop it down last year, but I got him to leave it alone because the frost killed ALL of the blossoms last year. This year I promised to let him cut it back, because it's starting to look pretty shabby.  

The plants are coming up nicely, and just like last year, the earliest bloomers have been the dropmore catmint and the salvia eveline.

salvia eveline

salvia eveline

The garden feels pretty uneven at this point, because of the rearranging that happened after the other 2 poppies died, and I transplanted the old balcony lily next to the surviving poppy.  

beginning of  May

 I'm glad the lily has bounced back since it's rescue from the unblooming iris.  I'm just not sure I like it where it is now. 

But even if I were to rebalance the garden to go for more balance, with the lily and poppy budding, now isn't the time. 

fuzzy poppy buds

After the spring bloom, maybe I'll move either the lily or the iris, try for a more cohesive appearance.  I might need to consider trying my hand at dividing either the lily or the iris, which I've never attempted before.  I have a few naked spaces which are now options because the effing deer in our neighborhood ate my other lilies.  Or the squirrels.  Or the groundhogs.  Somebody around here ate my lilies. 

 The coral bells that I planted four years ago are still going, despite the best efforts of the hordes of uncivilized wild violet that creeps into everything.  I actually just took a weed-wacker to this bed a week or so before this photo.  It doesn't even pay to pull them by hand, not that I have time to pull them by hand because ain't nobody got time for that.

 These are the same coral bells that froze solid a few years back.  This past winter I lost three, but the rest have survived.  Best twenty dollars ever spent?  I think so.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring in Cincinnati (April Flawrs!)

Cincinnati had an annual flower show on the regular.  Then the recession hit and then the Cincinnati Horticultural Society couldn't do it (or didn't do it) for four years.  Then in March I started to notice billboards go up for the return of the Show this year. 

Rain or shine.  Guess which day we went.

Saturday weather was idyllic, and we therefore spent it weeding and mowing the lawn and chasing after Smalls.  Sunday it gushed pretty much unceasingly so naturally we suited up to walk around outside in the wet.

  I'm told the crowds thronged in for the great weather, but the good luck within bad luck was that there was no crowd for us.  Or, you know, hardly anyone at all.   We came around 4pm with no tickets, and were given courtesy tickets at the gate for free so this event cost us only what I spent in plants and cheddar+carmel corn.  The rain meant business, and Smalls has a dangerously short attention span anyway, so we just did a quick race through.

There were actually people here, just not many to be found out of tents

There was a barbecue event (special tickets), and a bourbon tasting on Saturday (cry), and a mother-daughter tea (which I would delightedly drag my kid to because they had a gloriously dressed Mary Poppins lady in full chalk-painting-land regalia there I kid you not.  I didn't get a photo, I was trying to juggle my giant golf umbrella and at the time I didn't realize I was blogging again.  Regrets.)  

What I used to love about the flower show is the model plantings, where you can see new and tested plants in garden settings.  

I saw this and thought, "Why! Sweet Woodruff.  I should have that in my yard."  Of course that might require you to reign yourself in if you start to see things that you covet all around.    

"Why!  I totally need these red star thingies!"

This year they featured a variety of model window boxes.  I love looking at the new coleus and heuchera cultivars.  So many more colors than they used to have! 

And, as in the past, they had a competition run by the Horticultural Society.  People compete with their gorgeous orchids and toad lillies and I'm afraid I didn't get more than a few minutes in there.  I did manage to catch this friggin awe-inspiring arrangement featuring David Austin Garden Roses.

needwant  :: drool ::

And lots of perky deer-bait I mean tulips.

excuse my jealousy...

Yeatman's Cove was splendidly decked out with blossoming trees.  The grounds were meticulously cared for, and it was a lovely space to spend time in and sit beneath the trees.  You know, probably.

Despite the unceasing rain, that got quite nasty around 5pm, it was a really nicely turned out spot for the show and I hope they consider having it by the river next year as well.  I enjoy the Flower Show, and I'll go back as long as they keep doing it.  


April is also the time when the mature cherry trees in Ault Park bloom.  We did go and picnic.  

"Is that a leaf?  Don't eat the leaf.  No, DON'T eat the leaf."

 I'm glad we went, though it's a bit more of a production than it used to be.  Cincinnatians know that the cherries in Ault Park are a sight to see.   

Lately I feel it's more important than ever to not be content to just let time march on, but to mark it with personal observances, make my own traditions, and to celebrate life and renewal when the opportunity strikes.   

Preferably with bourbon.

LINK : PR Bit on the Flower Show from the Cincinnati Business Courier