Thank you for all your lovely comments on the last post – later this week or next week I will try to respond to as many as I can.
Meanwhile, I want to share some photos of spring in the garden with you. The garden is blooming its heart out, which is both a great comfort and a reminder that Jason is not here. Because we both traveled so much for work, we texted a lot, and I keep finding myself wanting to take a photo of something spectacular in the garden that he needs to see.
Let me give you a little tour.
First, the bloodroot, which I am trying to watch closely — it has a way of blooming one day and being gone the next, and I don’t want to miss it! (It’s also possible that this is just wild ginger, and that the bloodroot has died out — I hope not!! Feel free to offer opinions in the comments.)
Here is one of the May Apples. I love the spring ephemerals, but you really have to watch them, or they’re gone before you know it. You can see the bud; it’s hiding below the leaves to make it even easier to miss.
A couple of years ago, Jason planted Golden Ragwort. It was spectacular in 2020 and 2021, but failed to appear last spring. It seems possible that it was accidentally pulled by the gardeners because it closely resembled a noxious weed as it came up. These things happen. I’m hopeful that this is it, coming back strong. Its bright yellow flowers are so intense and cheerful.
The hellebores are covered with flowers, and have been for weeks. I’ve picked five bouquets to fill bowls, for myself and for friends, and still there are so many more flowers. One thing I have learned: I put about 15 flowers in a Tupperware with some water to send home (to St. Paul) with David for his wonderful partner Meridith. Alas, when the flowers get their faces wet, they don’t want to float any more. I further proved this by taking some flowers to friends who invited me to dinner; they (the hellebores, not the friends) only had 20 minutes in water, not the seven hour drive to Minnesota, but they too refused to float properly.
Here’s the trillium that Jason planted a few years ago. There are two or three plants (one too small to be sure that’s what it is). I thought they had grown bigger and more established, but I could be wrong. At least they are still here and blooming. They have a history of being difficult.
We used to have a lot more Bleeding Heart. It’s one of those flowers I didn’t think I was going to like (too pink!) and then fell completely in love with. I have made a note that we need to plant more. It’s especially lovely combined with Virginia bluebells and ferns (although the Ostrich ferns in the front window bed are just barely starting to come up, see photo below in the collage).
The yellow flowers below are uvularia. We discovered them when we briefly lived in Madison, Wisconsin, in a house whose border garden had been allowed to go wild, next to a woodlot with lots of natives. When we moved to our current house, 20 years ago, uvularia was not common in plant catalogues, but Jason found some. The main planting is on the west side of the house, where it gets less sun, and is still just opening. (Don’t you love the red birdhouse, it turns any plants nearby into a lovely vignette.)
Serviceberry. What can I say. One of Jason’s favorites. A shrub that I didn’t appreciate at first, but have come to really like.
Is it even possible not to like False-forget-me-nots? Their cheery blue is just the thing most corners of the garden need in early spring. I’m sure most of you would not confuse these Brunnera with Myosotis aplestris, or (real) Forget-me-nots. Brunnera have heart-shaped leaves and are perennial.
X%?#@ Rabbits!!! They are hopping about eating things in the garden, though mostly less destructively than here with this poor denuded Virginia bluebell stem. I’m watching the Martagon lilies like a hawk, and will fence them in at the first sign of munching. Tulips in the front yard have also been nibbled.
Virginia bluebells and Celandine poppies, a classic combination here. The poppies are coming on just as the daffodils are passing their peak, an excellent bit of timing and some consolation for the loss of the earlier blooms. (The poppies have really started to spread everywhere; I asked the gardeners not to pull too many of the ones that had traveled to new sites because I love them; I hope I don’t regret it. I am much less ruthless than Jason.)
This corner, which a month ago was filled with snowdrops, continues to make me smile. Celandine poppies, witch hazel, moss. Leaves at lower left will burst with allium in May.
I realize I can’t show you everything, and it all moves so fast — especially since we had weather in the upper 70s last week. So here is a collage of blooms from the front yard. I’m so happy that the Princess Irene tulips made it through the winter (in a pot, in the garage). There’s the Ostrich ferns, just poking their heads up. Lower left, the clove currant is wafting its scent across the sidewalk.
One more bit of spring growth to show you — our delightful granddaughter Addie, who is now eight months, and has just started to crawl. She is absolutely full of smiles and giggles.
Coming up next, I’ll try to respond to some comments on the post about Jason, and I’ll pull together some photos from our trips to the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary.
Many heartfelt thanks to those of you who have sent cards and donations (see the previous post).