Tag Archive: pansies


Of Tulips and Pansies…

Product Thursday

Remember all of the beautiful tulips from the spring?

The tulips at my house.

 

Yellow tulips against a Sage green house.

They were quite beautiful and always a surprise. I never know what will be coming up in what color clumps because bulbs get moved all of the time. I forget where I have placed them and when I plant other items later in the season, I come across bulbs and realize I have to replant them.

 
I mention all of this because now is the time to plant bulbs, purposefully. It is also time to take those perennials you have and divide them if you so wish.
 
The tools for such a job are simple. Gardening gloves to keep your hands clean, a shovel, a bucket for transport.
 
 
 

Picture by Solrac Gi 2nd

Picture by Taliasin

And don’t forget the bulbs. Tulip bulbs, daffodils, crocus, narcissus, alum and others. You can find them at garden centers, hardware stores, and big box stores.
 

Picture by Borae

I bet if you ask around, neighbors might be willing to share in order to thin out their beds a bit. Look in the classified ads and see if people are selling or giving away if you come and dig.

 
Personally, I am giving away some of my hosta plants and putting in more bulbs in that garden. I am also on the lookout for unusual hosta plants to create a more interesting bed.
 
The other plant I am on the lookout for is pansies. They can handle cold weather and live through the summer if protected well.
 
They add a color lift to beds that have been wilted by summer’s heat and are beginning to get leggy. Oh,  I am not specifying a brand or variety nor do I want to do that here. I want to encourage people to plant flowers and help make the world a little more beautiful.
 
How are you finishing the growing season? 

The Look of Spring…

Spring is here.

How do I know?

The Forsythia bush is in bloom.

Forsythia Bush

 

I love that shot of yellow that lets you know the warmer weather is on its way.

I'm Ready for My Close-up.

Some people trim up their Forsythia bush to make it look nice and neat. One of my neighbors made it look like a tree. While I normally hate shaped bushes, this one is pretty nice. It fits with the formal Georgian style home.

The shaped version of Forsythia

There are some other signs that spring is really here. One of my neighbors planted their yellow daffodils against their red brick home and edged the bed with more bricks.

Parsonage daffodils

In my garden I managed to put last years pansies right in the middle of the tulips. Considering they like shade, this might not be that big of a problem.

Yellow Pansies about to bloom

Last but not least are pictures of my peonies emerging. This first picture is of one patch I was able to clear away last years stems before the big storm Sunday night. These guys are standing tall, nestled between star of Bethlehem on the left and tiger lilies on the right. The peonies will keep the rose bush’s feet cooler in the summer.

The red stems are the peony sprouts

I didn’t have time Sunday to clear off the stems from this other bush. See how my laziness has affected the look of the stems. That has been corrected and we are one good rain storm from have great stems.

Old stems in need of removal

Hollyhock to the left and Spider Wort to the right. I like to save some of these removal chores for the spring because it forces me out of the house after a long winter to get it done. Plus, I like leaving the stems for possible mulch and seepage of nutrients to the ground. Tomorrow, I will put in the tomato cages in the center of the peony plants to give them structure and the ability to stand when big rains make them fall with the weight of the flower heads.

How is spring looking in your area?

Spring 2011 has finally arrived!

Yesterday, March 16th, was a truly gorgeous day.

Finally, the temperature during the day made it impossible to wear a coat of any sort. A jacket could and did suffice. When I went for my morning walk I had a wind-breaker on over the zippered sweatshirt. There was still some frost about. But then the sun came out and it was wonderful.

Pansies on the bottom, tulips on top

When I got home from work, I went digging around the garden. I didn’t have to dig for the first bit of returning plants. The tulips had been coming and the pansies made it through winter. Now they were side by side, enjoying the sun.

One pansy plant had been knocked out of the planter and I will have to ensure it is in the ground before much longer. I blame the squirrels, they are convenient villains in this tale. Why the husband does not allow me to shoot them is beyond me, besides the fact we live in town on the same street as the former mayor and fire chief.  I would be doing a public service considering they are always chewing up the soffit of another neighbor’s portico.

Daffodils with tiny blooms

I started looking around again and there were the daffodils by the base of the rose bush.

I did not plant these particular bulbs. I might have daffodils in this garden but this group I did not plant. Nor am I ever moving them elsewhere until this rosebush is done done. I mean never going to sprout again done. The thorns on this bush are particularly nasty and I only try to touch it when I am pruning or dead-heading. So there, the daffodils stay.

One of my favorite plants in the spring and early summer months is the Star of Bethlehem. Right now

Star of Bethlehem

the green stems with a white strip are coming up. These particular ones have not been covered by mulch so their color is green. In my shade garden I discovered a number of these under the mulch and they are a green-yellow color. Once the mulch has been removed, they will green up and later in May they will bloom.

grassy weed

As happy as I am to see these plants, a few others that I do not like have re-emerged.

I do not know the name of this one but I hate it. It has long roots and tries to spread. There is no pretty flower, the leaves are not notable and it is unwanted. That makes it a weed in my book.

Creeping Charlie

The same goes for this creeping charlie. I pull and pull and pull it all summer. It has a miniscule purple flower I do not value as it winds its way around the flowers I do value.

It is always one of the first and last plants I will pull this growing season. But wait there is one more.

Dandelion

Can you believe it? I actually saw several of these throughout the garden. Today is going to be spent clearing the mulch and using my weed stick on dandelions. I guess we could use them in salads as these are younger and more tender.

But I see them as weeds so out they will go. At this point in the year, I have a one gallon ice cream bucket I use for weed collection.

By May, I will be using a five gallon bucket.

How is your spring garden shaping up?

Moving from Winter to Spring

Blizzard of 2011

 Just  a few weeks ago we were under piles of snow. The blizzard of February 2011 actually kept me home from work for one day. Back then it seemed as if there would always be nothing but snow. Even my bouncing dog seems dwarfed by the snow. However, it is a month later and look at what I found in my front garden that receives full sun.

Tiger Lilies Sprouting

That is the start of my Tiger Lilies. I did some shifting of  plants in an effort to create a more rounded formation last fall. After I finished digging and moving plants and replaced the dirt, I had the husband cover the entire bed with compost and leaves from the yard.  And then came the cold and snow and more covering till the warm weather has melted most of the snow away.

Mums starting to sprout

I started looking around the rest of the garden, hoping that something else might be coming up, that signs of spring were being repeated. That is when I noticed the tiny mum sprouts hidden in the dead branches of last year’s plant.  This sighting got my very excited but I need to let the compost rest for another two weeks at least. I need to await the crocus that have not yet started sprouting.

The Shade garden in the morning

 My shade garden in the back looks bare right now. The only green is vegetation of the dianthus. I did lift compost here and there to see if there would be any crocus popping out. But the answer to that is “no, not yet.” Patience, we gardeners must practice patience. We know change is on the horizon.

Shade garden, May 2010

In only two months that same garden will look like this. Pansies, impatiens, snapdragons, star of Bethlehem, columbine, dianthus and peonies will all abound in beautiful blooms. I just have to remember to leave the compost for two more weeks, let the final frosts pass and then I can remove the old compost, put in the new plants and enjoy for the rest of the warm months.

What does your garden look like?

Making Winter Green

 This picture was taken on Christmas Day. Winter in its utter perfection.

My neighbor's Pine Tree

 We still love winter and its whiteness. But when there is a lot of snow on the ground and the wind starts blowing, it gets cold. Today we are to see a wind chill of 8 degrees.

My desk in the office is right next to a west window. As much as I love the light, the cold wind that comes through makes me run for my wool socks. (Thanks goes to the hubby for giving up one pair of his, I wear them all of the time now.)

Because January and February are soooo loooonnnnngggggg, I made a bold step this past fall. I brought the pansy in the hanging planter and put it in my bedroom. I had my husband bring the bench up so there could be a resting place.

Pansies in my bedroom window

At first, the husband thought I was a little crazy but then he liked the look of the bench in front of the window. After that I added the pansies and the pot of spearmint. Both had suffered from fall dieback. Since the daily watering, the pansies have come back to the point that we have a bloom this week. The spearmint is just leggy and not interesting.

You are thinking “I want pansies in the middle of winter.” Perhaps next year, you can bring a pot in during the late fall. For now, it is possible to buy African violets and set them in a north facing window. Soon the primroses will be in the stores and March will see daffodils and ox-tails available.  

How do you bring the green into your home during the winter?

Time Moving On In The Garden

In the day-to-day, everything moves slowly till one day you notice the spiderwort is blooming and the peonies are slowly opening up.

So I took these pictures today to show how quickly it can all go.

Spider wort in bloom

I like spider wort for the fuchsia colored flowers and medium green leaves. They work well together and fill a big area in my front sun and perennial garden.

Trouble will start in a few weeks when we get really hot weather. The grass will die back and leave the area bare. I am always at a loss what to do to fill the area. This year I am going to try putting Cosmo seeds in the area and see how it works. Gardening, after all, is about experimentation.

Columbine

This is my columbine in the shade garden. I bought it last year at the Farmer’s Market from a local greenhouse and was delighted to see how it came back this year for an encore presentation. It is currently surrounded by white Dianthus, allowing this darker rose to show up well.

How quickly can things change in the garden? This first picture is from two weeks ago when I was getting snap dragons and the first Impatiens in the ground. There was plenty of Star of Bethlehem but not much was in bloom.

Picture take two weeks ago

You can see the remains of late-blooming daffodils and a few pansies. The green is starting to mound but there is nothing splashy going on.

Since then I have taken the time to weed and place a few bedding plants in as well as straighten up those stones.

picture taken today

What a difference a few weeks and plenty of rain can make. We have had rain every other day for the last two weeks, making everything jump out and burst into color.

The Dianthus seems to be in every color. I do need to weed this garden and put in more Impatiens, which will happen this week. If you look towards the back wall you can see that columbine.

Lastly, I wanted to show a picture of what has been my favorite flower this spring. If you think this picture is nice, you should see the plant in person because it even more outstanding in the blue coloration.  The yellow and red varieties I have are just as wonderful.  All came from plantings I put in last fall, proving that pansies do come back, if you take care of them.