Friday, May 9, 2014

Sirens In The Garden

 We have fog today. I should probably be outside working while it is cool and before the snow sets in. Yes, I said snow for that is the prediction for Mother's Day. We generally do not have fog this time of year, or do we? I can't remember, for fog is rare here on the plains. I like fog. I don't much like snow in May.

Despite her finickiness, Spring has not disappointed. We planted the tulips the first fall we were here. This year, the 4th,  they have bloomed exceptionally beautifully.

The crab apple trees have been gorgeous, too. These were planted by a previous owner, but when the second one in line died, we had replace it and were not able to match the other trees. This year weather conditions were perfect for flowering trees all through the area.

Our neighbor has a beautiful view out her front door: our trees and tulips that line drive.

I have named them The Three Sisters, these little crab apple trees in the pasture at the driveway. Grandma Violet gave us those pretty tulips and this year they have bloomed beautifully, adding a bit dash to the pasture.

The tulips were so beautiful and abundant, I cut a pretty bouquet for the patio table.

On of my favorite little trees is the flowering almond, but it seems to struggle this spring. We had such a cold winter that the garden has suffered some. Last year the almond was covered in blossoms; this year there appears to be some die-back.

It is the perfect shade of pink drenched in rain drops.

The apple tree blooms profusely. Sundance will love the red, but wormy apples. We will catch him helping himself.

Pink freak that I am, I love the subtleness of the apple blossom.

The second apple tree will produce golden summer apples. Not sure of the variety, but while tasty, they are a very soft apple and generally wormy since we don't spray.

A wild child, this Bachelor Button looked really pretty this morning in the fog, sparkling with rain drops.

The chamomile has taken over the front garden. As pretty and sweet as it is, the lady has taken advantage of her uninvited status and she will be weeded out.

Despite her prolific nature, chamomile is a pretty combination with the day lily.

In the front court yard this dwarf iris blooms perfectly this season, a gift from Heather.

The lilacs are just beginning to bloom. Their sweet scent fills the air.

I had started this blog the other day after I returned from Ft. Collins Nursery, then the garden called me to take more photos, so here is the original intended post. 

Gardening is No Myth

In the Greek myth The Odessey, Odysseus must pass by the island where the wicked witch Circes lives. After she messes with Odysseus, she warns him of the dangers of the Land of Sirens who sing enchanting songs to sailors as they pass by, causing them to crash into the deadly rocks. She cautions him to plug his men's ears with wax so that they cannot hear the Sirens sweet song as their ship passes by. She tells Odysseus he can enjoy their dangerous, but beautiful song if has himself bound to the mast with heavy rope, telling his men not to release him until the ship has passed the Sirens.  Perseus, on the other hand, has to do battle with Medusa, the beauty with snakes instead of hair. Should he look directly into her eyes as he beheads her, her gaze will turn him to stone.

And so as I entered the enchanted lands of the garden center, I had to deal with my own mythical drama. Heeding Circes' warning, I was able to resist when the roses whispered my name, softly calling to me. My step faltered slightly as I passed by. Had they been in full bloom, I surely would have succumbed to their beauty. The bleeding hearts begged to come home with me. Since the one I planted last year was brave enough to return this spring, I felt emboldened to purchase another one. I bravely resisted.  I dared not look the delphiniums in the stamen to avoid their captivating gaze. I was, then,  focused on this mission with a list that I vowed to stick to, making only minor adjustments.

I had a plan-- Plan A, one that I had found on Pinterest that I wanted to plant in the point of the center garden: one zebra grass, two Rose fountain grasses, three blue fistula-- I needed five, but at 15 dollars a pop I scaled back. The garden plan calls for three day lilies which I will transplant from another part of the garden. The nursery lady said that grasses will grow a third of their size the first year, so it will take time for the garden to fill in. Thus Plan B, the second modification. While the grasses mature, I will plant from seed zinnias, cosmos, and sun flowers to add color. Another modification called for marigolds around the edge. I needed two dozen; once again I had to plug my ears to their call for they were 5.95 a 6 pack. That call was pretty easy to avoid.

I came home with these few plants. They look pretty skimpy, but the grasses have not fully awakened yet, the nursery lady assured me. I wondered silently to myself why these plants were worth full value looking more than half dead and when it is up to me to wake them up and hope that they thrive.

While shopping for plants is a sweet journey, there is still the realty of gardening: WORK. The shrub roses in the front died back to the ground, so they require a severe pruning this spring; thus, new sharp pruners were added to the shopping list. 

(Yes, I know. I should be out there pruning, not blogging).

I had hoped to get a lot of work done this week end, but the weather is going to be crummy. Instead, I am off on another mythical adventure to the Denver Botanical Gardens annual plant sale. I am so excited. Heather and her friend go every year; now that I am retired, I begged to tag along. It is supposed to be cold and wet, but who cares? 

Today's lesson: As we visit our favorite garden centers whether they be Walmart or nursery garden center, we must take a wad wax with us or blinders maybe, or a firm commitment to stick to the list, to adhere to the plan. To make only modest adjustments to the plan. 

Pinky swear? 

Have a fabulous week-end. 
And thanks for taking the time to stop by. 
I love your take on my thoughts.

Happy Mother's Day.


  1. OH my gosh, iris blooming already? I'm so full of garden envy...sigh. And those crab apple trees...stunning. My neighbor has the flowering almond, it's so huge it looks like a mammoth mound of cotton candy. Yum.


  2. Wow Ann your garden is coming along so quickly - considering you have only just got rid of the snow. I quite the way the chamomile seeds itself with gay abandon. Try to restrain yourself when visiting garden centres - ha! some hope - even with a list I still get more than I intended. Love the misty foggy photos - kind of eerie.

  3. I can't believe you are expecting snow in May!
    I find it very difficult not to succumb in a garden centre!

  4. I SO hope our snow doesn't douse our blossoms and make them disappear! Yikes!
    Isn't it fun to make plans? We'll have to plan a field trip, you and I!

  5. How very pretty. I love blossom and May is such a lovely time of year....good luck with your garden plan. Xxxx

  6. I love the pictures of your garden in the fog, Ann! Love your flowering crab apples, your tulips, and your apple trees. I enjoyed reading the gardening "myth." :) I have a bad habit of buying more than I can manage to plant in a season, then I feel guilty when I can't get them all in the ground before they die. I'll have to remember the sirens next time I'm in the garden shop. :)

    Have a lovely weekend!