Surprises In and Around the Garden, April 15

One of the things I love about gardens and gardening is that they are full of surprises and dramas. Non-gardeners might smile at this, but it’s true. Life and death. Good and evil. Sublimity and earwigs. And in a spring where lilacs, tulips, and tree peonies are blooming together, anything can happen. The surprise in my garden today was finding two blooms on my tree peony, appearing a month early. But closer examination revealed other small dramas.

A bee obligingly poses in a golden lemon balm plant. If you like herbs, golden lemon balm is stellar. Beautiful foliage, self-seeds circumspectly, and the golden seedlings are true to the parent.

Here are some currants forming on a red currant bush. The race is on–will I win or will the birds?

Do you have dry shade? Wood poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum) are your friend. The flowers are a glowing buttery yellow, and look beautiful with brunneras. It will self seed, but nicely, and sometimes re-blooms in the fall.

Epimediums always bear closer inspection. Their flowers are like tiny birds taking wing. I believe this is Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilafee’ but don’t quote me on that.

The hellebores are already going to seed. The pointed structures will turn brown, shatter, and shed fresh seed.

Speaking of good and evil, the flowers of this perennial comfrey are lovely, but this plant is invasive–it’s tunneling under the  patio as we speak. The herbal comfrey is also invasive, and as helpful and beautiful as comfreys can be, I would skip them.

Ferns are drama queens as they emerge from the soil, lifting their heads up slowly as they unfurl. This is a spleenwort, not a household name in midwestern gardens, but it is one of the most drought-tolerant ferns I know of.

Well, time to lie down on the living room sofa and pretend to be reading the paper, when I’m actually softly dozing. Love Sundays!

4 thoughts on “Surprises In and Around the Garden, April 15

  1. Fran, the peony is beautiful. And I love wood poppies, too! Mine is growing with lungwort, jack in the pulpit, columbine, which flower-wise isn’t a great combo if they happen to bloom together, but somehow the whole of the thing looks pretty. I must try spleenwort! I love ferns, but don’t give them all the water they need so by July they’re sulking with brown margins.

    1. Thanks, Carol. I use a Fujifilm Finepix JV100–it’s a point-and-shoot camera, but I use its macro feature, which allows me to get very close to the subject.

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