April 15th pictures

This weekend has been all about the front yard and all the gardens there. I went to the garden center today, and bought more than I intended, but much less than I wanted. It’s a dangerous place this time of year.

1. This was the view yesterday from the north side of my shade garden, which adjoins what I'll call the echinacea garden, although it is more daffodilly than anything right now.

2. The crab apple tree is a veritable wall of pink.

Now let us examine the purchases of my mini-spree.

3. Normally I don't buy annuals, seeds or plants, but this year I figured I'd give a few a shot. The colors, boy. I was unable to locate the one annual I wanted more than anything, gomphrena. Only now do I realize it was probably under my nose the whole time, as globe amaranth. Whoops.

4. Also picked up forget-me-nots for a few shady areas, catnip for my abiding love of the cats, and pumpkins to give them another go for the second time, after the first attempt (a real bust) severeal years ago).

5. It was a very Brassica kind of day, too.

6. Two kinds of basil

7. And four strawberry cultivars!

8. Plus some marjoram and sage. Marjoram is my favorite herb as far as scent goes.

Back to my garden.

9. So then I laid down this light mulch in my garden, but didn't have quite enough to cover everything as much as I wanted. Here you see the area where I am halfheartedly trying to make it look like a dry stream bed with scattered rocks and things. I don't quite have enough rocks, though, and the nearest rocks are unfortunately about a quarter of a mile away down some very steep hills....

And now, meet some of the individual members of my garden.

10. Wouldn't you know, there's some buckthorn popping up in my garden. This little guy and many I've seen all over the woods have these orange spots on them. Some quick Googling suggests it's probably crown rust. The saddest statement ever from a UMN Extension website: "Crown rust does not harm buckthorn." Too bad.

11. There's four or five hostas in there, some doing quite well, some doing...less quite well.

12. The vinca marches on.

13. A necrotic lesion in a vinca leaf.

14. I've got some Jack-in-the-pulpit, four of them, which are looking pretty sad in comparison to the stuff in the woods (most of which is blooming now, I imagine).

15. This is one of those better hostas I'm talking about.

16. As far as I know, the many, many kinds of sedum are all full sun, but I've had this cultivar (and another even lower ground cover version) in my garden for years and they do alright. They just spread very, very slowly, which is fine by me.

17. I have a very liberal policy towards violets.

18. I have clumps of moss in my garden, which I've tried to encourage since the beginning days when I thought this was going to be some kind of tidy little Zen garden. Some of it does well. Some of it does not do well. Sometimes it is the same clump of moss that does well and not well.

19. Possibly the saddest, most forgotten corner of the garden. Some sedum is slowly creeping around the corner, one of the bigger hostas anchors the corner, beyond that are some false Solomon's seal. I also sowed some love-in-a-mist seeds the other day towards the border, in the hopes that the sun it gets at this time of the day will sustain it. There's also some globe allium and bishop's weed along the back.

20. Just another flower blossom thrown in for good measure.

21. One of my garden ornaments. I spray painted it white a few years ago. It has not held up.

22. The no man's land between the shade garden and the echinacea garden. The little stone marks where the cat my roommate/friend and I had a few years ago is buried. (Poor Charlie.) I left the soil bare between that, the globe allium or chives or whatever, and the daffodil, because I sowed some forget-me-nots in one half, some zinnias in the other.

23. Moving on towards the echinacea garden, here's some not-echinacea...a mum, instead. One that's getting pretty big, if memory serves.

24. Some lovely clumps of daffodils with irises in between.

25. All of that from a distance, as it rained while the sun shone brightly. (That was weird.) Most of the bareness will be echinacea this summer.

Now to some other gardens.

26. The sedum has taken over the western side of the house.

27. There's also a rose on the western side of the house, which sadly is looking a little beat up after last week's frost. It's supposed to freeze again tonight. I rigged up a really ugly bedsheet wrap which will hopefully protect it from further damage.

28. Back in my garden, looking at the low-hanging limb which I stand up into an average of once every week or so. We like how it looks and that's why it hasn't been cut down yet. I thought of doing the fake little stream bed directly underneath that limb as a way to make an easy little path that, when I was looking at it while weeding or whatever, I would remember that all along that was the limb.
It hasn't really worked so far.

29. Petals on the pavement

15 thoughts on “April 15th pictures

    • Thank you!

      More than just a weed, buckthorn is a pretty noxious plant. Or more specifically, classified as a noxious weed in Minnesota. Taken by itself it’s not a bad plant (it was brought over here from Europe to use as hedge material; it’s got kind of pretty leaves, nice fruit, and actually I think the bark can be just beautiful). It’s one of the first things I see leafing out in the spring, and unfortunately it has a bad habit of choking out other plants, nor does it really have any natural predators to help keep it in check. We try to remove it wherever we see it, but it’s incredibly hard to stay on top of.

    • Thank you! It’s such a great little tree. Not only does it transform our whole lawn but you can see it from the curve of the road a quarter of the mile up from our house; it really pops. It’s such a great week or two while it’s blooming.

      • …yeah, and then several more weeks of gooey, squishy, rotting fruit on the ground. Right? LOL

        I love fruit trees. We have a couple of dozen, 4 different varieties. We’re about to add some citrus to the mix, provided we’re out of the drought period. The flowers are so fragrant and beautiful!

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