It's close to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day which happens on the 15th of each month, and in which I used to participate religiously but honestly, I am so not a scheduled person. Sure, I like to plan and have a loose set of goals because how else does one get things done? But tell me I have to be somewhere at a certain time and immediately the anxiety level rises. Maybe it's PTSD from working in a cube for so many years? I just don't like to be boxed in. I work along these lines: I need this and this done by this date. Okay! Anyway, I got the urge to capture Spring. There's much happening in the garden in spite of the cold and rain and yes, even snow these past few days. Then I thought, why wait for GBBD? Why not just capture what's blooming in the garden when I feel like it? So, here you have it, what's blooming in the Violet Fern Garden right now.
I have many, many daffodils mostly because nothing eats daffodils. I add some every year and I apologize but I don't keep track of what kind they are, or the names of them, as long as they "naturalize" they are in my shopping cart. I am surprised this year to discover I have some really pretty varieties!
Lungwort or Pulmonaria always pleases. It is one of the first to bloom in Spring and she has been spreading itself around. She's welcome wherever she goes.
Bergenia is blooming! I have been trying her out in different spots because I love this early blooming perennial with its large, lush leaves that also put on a Fall show. She likes this spot if she's blooming for me, yay!
I seem to have lost one of my Hellebores (so now I will need to get another one!), such a shame, but this one is doing well and is still blooming! I finally got around to cutting back her old leaves so now she really is a looker!
The only thing to rival that gorgeous burgundy color on Miss Hellebore would be Miss Pasque Flower. She is moping from all the rain we had but I'm sure she will hold her head up high soon.
Little, polite Lady Jane is also in bloom. One of the few tulip varieties I have that big, fat rabbit doesn't seem to like.
I've been trying to incorporate more native Spring ephemerals into the Violet Fern Garden. Some Dutchman's Breeches from the lake driveway has come back (jump for joy!) but isn't blooming just yet. Shooting star is up but isn't quite blooming yet, either. My mom gave me this beautiful Trillium (along with some Bloodroot which has finished blooming) and it IS blooming! Aren't Mom's awesome? Happy Mother's Day Mom! Can't wait to see you.
There's nothing like blue in the garden to set off those yellow (white, peach, orange) daffodils! And I got it! Brunnera is the bluest of them all. Forget-me-nots are never forgotten and are always enchanting with their tiny, dancing blooms. I love when the bumble bees land on them and sway to the ground.
Virginia Bluebells, a native spring ephemeral, has my heart right now. I planted two plants last year with the hope of having a large drift of them someday and they're both up and looking slightly different from one another. One seems to have lighter green leaves and paler blooms while the other has a little pink in the blooms and deeper green leaves and seems more robust. I have to research and figure that out unless you can provide some insight?
I am reveling in the glory of Spring, grateful to be working in my own garden getting to know her again. The Serviceberry was a show stopper this year but sadly her show does not last very long until the berries. Next, the Dogwoods and Crabapples will be in bloom most likely in time for the Memorial Day Artists' Studio Tour. I hope you'll stop by.
No, I have not disappeared off the face of the earth, although there are some who believe I am from another planet. It's just that we have officially entered "Mayhem." I have actually been in mayhem mode since April, however. It was a mad, mad dash to leave "paradise" literally mopping the floors on our way out the door so that hopefully, vacationing folks, would enter and stay in a clean and comfortable place. It was no small feat to purchase a house and have it turn key ready in three months. Most of the walls were freshly painted, walls came down, bamboo flooring went in, furniture was shuffled out of one place into storage and then finally shuffled into our place. Artwork was sorted, selected, framed, hung. Some landscaping was attempted, irrigation systems installed. I am flattered when I run into someone here up North and they say I look well rested. I have to chuckle.
And so I am home again, sort of. Unpacking, laundering, cleaning, wondering why we haven't finished the billion projects on this house in ten years as the faucet handle falls off into the kitchen sink, again which I fondly remember my husband exclaiming when we moved in that it would be the first thing to go and be replaced. I have to chuckle.
I can also explain. Projects like the lake and the Florida cracker house were opportunistic, so we had to "jump" on them and seize the opportunity. Both opportunities were like jumping aboard a speeding train and pushing our way to the locomotive to finally take control and slow it down.
The kitchen sink, well ... why replace just the faucet? We should get a new sink, too. Why put in a new sink without changing the countertop? Why change the countertop on these cabinets? On and on and so, a simple new faucet might turn into a full blown kitchen remodel which is why it never was replaced.
And so now is the time we finally focus on our "house" and begin finishing all those projects that fell off the train. The Board Room will finally be sided inside and out and floored (since we're such experts now — chuckle some more), the exposed junction boxes will house lighting, the carpet will be ripped out downstairs, the roof will have to be replaced, the garage roof also and resided, and something must happen to the kitchen ... this house is a LOT of projects as most houses are. We, however, have come to realize that two can live comfortably in a tiny, simple space. You might even go so far as to say we are on board the tiny house train. The tracks have shifted yet again. I am all for tiny house, big land!
And land ho, I am back in the garden with mixed emotion and as typical, the weather is being completely uncooperative. This year I finally timed my return just right, the daffodils were up to greet me but I caught the bloodroot, trilliums (blooming now) and Virginia bluebells! The garden needs so much work due to my negligence over the past three years but it is wonderful to be bringing her back into her glory! (In between rains that is.) And wow, all those alliums I forgot I planted last Fall, are up and coming. They're going to be beautiful, I hope. And wow, am I sick of weeding out grass. And wow, how can have so many rudbeckia laciniata plants when I removed a wheel barrow full last fall??? I will say however, that rudbeckia laciniata is on Xerces list of good pollinator plants for our region so I will not have any qualms about selling my extra stock. I am also helping to create a pollinator pathway garden in front of the Cornell extension of Jefferson County with the master gardeners so I have some great plants to donate to that project. So I wait for the latest deluge of rain to stop, and wait, and wait ... this is getting old.
Daffodils in all their glory in the Bird & Butterfly Garden in a rare hour of sunshine.
Bloodroot (finally!) blooming in the Woodland Edge.
In spite of any weather setbacks, I feel a groove dancing to this new venture of mine, art studio and garden. I love the focus. I look forward to getting out of bed, planning my day. The garden is there beckoning me. The studio is there beckoning me. I undertook The 100 Day Project again this year. Last year, 100 Leaves. This year, 100Bs. Surprisingly I am having much fun with the 100Bs. Surprisingly, I look forward to my drawing table and paints and the next "B." I am also looking forward to, and preparing for, the Memorial Day Studio Tour Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28. Maybe, just maybe, this year I will truly be prepared with all the items on my list checked off.
A sampling of some of the "Bs" from The 100 Day Project now available in the gallery.
Seeds started for the garden and possibly for sale by the Memorial Day Studio Tour.
I also have a new painting in the works for the TI Arts Center "Along the River's Edge" upcoming show — a painting that I am actually excited about, enjoying the process of, and not slapping together at the last minute. I may just keep it secret until the show, that is if it is accepted. This new breath of life allows me to plan ahead, and paint, and garden all in the same day! This is revolutionary for me. I am no longer drawn and quartered. Suddenly, I do not want to see anyone, go anywhere, share any part of myself with anything — I just want to stay in this groove. I want to keep digging, weeding, planting, painting, creating, evolving ... it is wonderful to be focused.
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Author Kathy Sturr
In this blog I may write about the garden, flowers, plants, and the garden ... mostly the garden, but also new art and inspiration.