"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring surprises!

Cold and rainy again here, but that doesn't stop the plants from growing.  I was happy and surprised at what I found in my growing in the garden.

Athyrium nipponicum - Japanese Painted Fern 'Pictum' I thought for sure this wasn't coming back.  I'm still missing a couple of others, hopefully I'll see them again.  This was the 2004 perennial plant of the year.  It's the most beautiful color, I have it growing near my pond.

Clematis and Sweet Peas?  How did that happen?  I thought I moved this clematis last year, and the Sweet Peas were planted by my littlest gardener when I handed her a few to stick in the ground.  Now I guess I let them grow together.  They are in a half wine barrel with a large hardy fuchsia in front.

Dicentra hybrida - Fern leaf bleeding heart.  I planted this several years ago and it never really grew, now I see flower buds.  My Mom has this one and it spreads all over the place.

Dicentra spectabilis - Common Bleeding Heart.  I keep getting new plants in this front flower bed.  Last year I dug up a large one and divided it.  Now several more have come up.  I think they are coming up from the roots of the plant that was there.

Buddleia alternifolia - Fountain Butterfly bush.  I wasn't so sure this was going to survive the winter, but I see there are some new leaves growing.  This gets huge, about 15 feet tall and covered with pinkish purple flowers that I think smell very good.  Hummingbirds love it.

Deutzia hybrida 'Pink Minor'.  This only gets about 2 to 3 feet high.  It has a really pretty arching growth habit.  This will be the first year for it to bloom.  This is another one I thought might have died.  It's covered in buds, so I guess it's just fine.

Deutzia hybrida 'Pink-a-Boo'  Another pretty spring blooming shrub.  Unfortunately it also has a dead look until early spring when the leaves finally return.

Viburnum plicatum  'Summer Snowflake'.  Talk about a slow grower.  This has barely grown in 3 years it's been in this spot.  It always blooms and the leaves look healthy.  Eventually it should be 6 feet, but that will be a long time from now!

Here's the best surprise of all.  I received  the candle that I won from Darla at Family and Flowers.  It smells so good, and the etching on the glass is so cute.  There's a little bee flying over tulips.  She also sent a surprise for my girls, these cute bubble rings which they loved and played with all evening.  Thanks again Darla!!
My plan for today is get some more compost.  The weather is supposed to improve beginning tomorrow, they are saying sun.  I hope that's right!  I'd also like to plant some of the winter sown seedlings.
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  1. Wonderful you have a bloom started on your Bleeding Heart. I think I lost one. Thank goodness I have 2 others.

  2. Looks good out there! We're up to 75 bags of composted manure this spring, and not done yet. I checked the local bulk landscape suppliers and their compost price was 1.5 times the cost of the bagged manure, plus you have to deal with the huge pile in your driveway right away instead of spreading it a bit at a time (though their compost isn't all manure so it probably smells better). I love the look of freshly spread beds. Like the garden put on a black tuxedo that makes all the colors really stand out.

  3. Hi Catherine, Everything is looking wonderful. I sure hope the sun comes out for you tomorrow and you can enjoy the garden. We are having rain and wind also. I am ready for SUN!

  4. I have many of these same plants, but I am excited you have a 'Pink Minor' like me. I cut mine back last fall early this spring, but it is full of buds. Soon now. That was awful nice of Darla to include the surprises for the kiddos. How wonderful!

  5. That was so sweet of Darla!!!! I need to check my plants to see what has popped up in the past few days. I have just been so busy with other things. This morning I was looking for Skeete (my bunny). Someone left the cage open and she made a break for it (in the house). The fern is REALLY neat...looks like little creepy fingers clinging on to the trellis

  6. That is nice of Darla to send rings for the girls. Your stuff is popping out. It always makes me feel good to see the green in spring - just knowing they made it. Hope your weather stays nice for a few days.

  7. You do have a lot happening in your gardens........bleeding heart glad to know what that looks like, planted two......no shows so far. Glad you got your package.....thanks for mentioning it on your blog, that was sweet. I do hope you will enjoy the candle..

  8. How neat! That's actually my plan this year. I am purposely planting sweet peas around my clems!

  9. I am still hoping that my Japanese Painted Fern is going to show after a cold winter. No signs as yet and I am doing my best to resist poking around in the soil. You must have been delighted to see yours :)

  10. Hi Catherine

    Hope your weather picks up as promised. I know what you mean about getting the seedlings out, I'm putting mine out on Thursday (forecast storms tomorrow, Wednesday).


  11. Rain Gardener - I hope your others all come back. Mine are close to blooming.

    VW - I thought 40 bags was a lot. I totally agree with the big pile and all that. That's why I'm doing it this way, it does look so pretty. Everything just pops out with the fresh black compost around it.

    Mildred - This time of year it can get hard to be patient with rain and wind and cold. I hope your weather improves!

    Tina - It's a nice little shrub, perfect to mix in with perennials I thought. Isn't Darla nice? The candle is so pretty.

    Dirt Princess - I hope you found your bunny. We had one as kids, and my daughter begs for one all the time. Hope he doesn't nibble any of your new plants :)

    Becca - She is very nice! I hope you're finding lots of new growth in your yard!

    Darla - My girls were excited to see something for them! I already am enjoying the candle.
    My bleeding hearts are almost ready to bloom. I wonder if you bought bare root, they may not bloom until next year.

    Nat - I hope you get a nice surprise like I did too then! I just love the smell of sweet peas, these are right outside a window.

    Anna- I actually remember seeing on your post how you were looking for yours! I thought of you when I found mine.

    Rob - I hope we both get better weather. I want the seedlings to grow once they get in the ground, not freeze :)

  12. I have the Japanese fern too and it comes up and seems to flourish every year. It is located in places where it gets rain off the roof and is not given any special treatment.


  13. Congratulations first of all on receiving the candles. It's cool to discover Mother Earth's surprises, isn't it? Fresh green photos in your blog makes me excited and know what? I sowed Mexican Sunflower three days ago after reading your Seedling galore! Your posts bring out that thing... You know the thing that tingles those senses in you that make you wanna get dirty... Ahem, I meant your hands dirty :D. Thank you!

  14. Congrats on the plants that did make it thru the winter. That's always a nice surprise! I hope you get some sunny weather soon.

  15. Catherine- they are all growing so well. It seems such a nice surprise when things come back that were labeled lost cause. I hope my luck holds in that category this year.

  16. Your babys are so much further ahead than mine! Looking at yours makes me worry a little! I guess that's the mother in me! Love Japanese Painted ferns!

  17. Abe Lincoln - I bet it likes getting that extra moisture. I think I need to add a few more this year even if the other ones do return.

    Chandramouli - I hope your Mexican sunflowers will give you nice blooms for some of your macro shots! I think since I started reading garden blogs I've gotten even more into wanting to have more plants and seeds. It's so fun to see what people have growing in their gardens!

    Susie - It's always nice to see the ones you really like come back. I hope you've been able to get in your garden!

    Heather - I think most of my plants did return, although I did lose several. I hope you have all yours coming back too, you have a much longer winter there!

    Cate - It seems like it just has really taken off in the last couple of weeks. I'm out there checking on them all the time :)

  18. What great surprises! I just told my husband that almost everything in the beds is coming back this year, even things that don't normally overwinter for me, like delphiniums and foxgloves. Just today, I saw nigella seedlings coming up. But, I am sad that the bleeding heart fern looks like it's not coming up. The white blooming one is up, though. There are some plants not up because they show up later in the season.


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