Spring garden in bloom

For most of last week and this current week, I am pleased to report on the many salvias in bloom in the garden. The Thalia daffodils are continuing to putting on a robust multi-flowered show in S1 and B3, suffering only minor bruising due to repeated canine incursions. The Accent daffodils finished their run just as the Thalia daffodils started their display. The muscari armeniacum are starting to wind down. The white muscari however are popping up here and there, mostly in B3 in the shadows of the Thalias, reminding me again of their late-blooming nature. I wish I could produce a denser stand of these white muscari, but it just seems like this particular cultivar isn’t as aggressive. Another disappointment are the dutch and bearded irises, which have failed to show–they are usually evident about this time in the season.

I finally got the ajuga planted in S1, after cleaning up the remains of 2 more hapless victims of the vicious plant destroyer (an ajuga and a newly purchased purple salvia greggii). The ajuga that I purchased from Sooner are in full bloom, displaying intense blue flower spikes under 6 inches tall. Another happy sight: the first leaf shoots from the Fire and Ice Hosta are popping out of the ground.

I still need to purchase more bags of regular garden soil to level the beds in S1 and B5. I’m also searching the local nurseries for 2 specimens of white salvia to plant in S1 and B2.

Gardening accomplished this weekend

I was able to persuade DH to extract 3 volunteer nandinas from the front flower bed (F2) for transplant in the back beds. I discovered that most of these offshoots seem to have sprouted from buried trunks and stems from the parent, since we required shears and clippers to sever them. Luckily these volunteers had small but developing root stock, so I am hoping they will thrive in their current locations (B1 and B5). I also have to mention that I removed the 1 surviving nandina in S1 for transplant into B5, where I hope it will enjoy more sun.

In its place, I finally planted the new Azalea Gumpo White. I hope that its position next to the patio will give it sufficient protection against summer; I usually dump water into this part of the bed, especially when the dogs’ feeding bowls are set outdoors. I also had to get the purple salvia I purchased last week into the ground, after I discovered its mauled remains scattered in the backyard. Sadly, it met a deadly fate when Dash tore through the S1 bed a couple of days ago. I’m hoping it may have enough root stock left to make a comeback.

Speaking of mauled plants, I also had to set one of the ajugas into S1 after I discovered the half-torn pot lying strewn in the bed. I suspect that strong winds or a rambunctious pup may have knocked it off its brick wall perch. It seems to be blooming quietly and happily next to the replanted ring of tulips.

B5 also required a little fixing; I discovered a crushed dianthus and uprooted lilies and muscari, which I had to reset into the ground. B5 is in serious need of ground raising and leveling; I hope to get some gardening soil into it next week.

The soil will also be useful when I start broadcasting seed into the back beds. I have packets of cosmos, bachelor buttons, nigella, and a wildflower mix that are begging to be sown right now!

Dianthus love

3/17/2008 Dianthus Telstar ScarletI have to express my affection for dianthus, those hardy china pinks that have thrived in my garden through frosty winters and fiery summers while producing a non-stop show. This year the survivors have grown to lofty heights of 8-10 inches tall and are still bursting with color. Typically the china pinks (dianthus chinensis) are listed as annuals/biennials, but here in my Texas garden, they have suffered months and years of neglect and abuse and still put on a show. Nailing down particular species and cultivars have been challenging though. It appears most of my nursery purchases have been of dianthus chinensis, dianthus hybrida, dianthus x Telstar, or dianthus chinensis x barbatus. No single publication tends to agree what the formal scientific names are, but at least pictures and descriptions have been somewhat helpful. I found a good resource on a local Texas wholesaler’s site (Creation Colors) supplying good descriptions of some of the cultivars available in the nursery trade.
3/17/2008 Muscari and Dianthus B1

First Daffodil

The first daffodil bloomed Sunday Mar 9. (I would’ve posted a picture if it hadn’t looked so bedraggled after being trampled by an exuberant pup.) Many more daffodil blooms on the way. Hopefully my newly installed fencing will keep the dogs out. Other flowers making a showing: blue muscari and the dwarf irises seem to be winding down (not the 100 bulbs I ordered, it seems).