Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tiny Jewels Part I

This is one of those spring weeks when it's great to be a trough gardener.  Above is a purple pasqueflower, pulsatilla vulgaris.

Red pasqueflower.  

Daphne 'Lawrence Crocker'

Anemonella thalictroides 'Cameo' on April 15

 Same plant on April 24th.  It's lost its red leaf color but is blooming like crazy.

Ipheion uniflorum growing in the garden

I can't resist adding a picture of houstonia (bluets) growing in the rocks at Leonard J. Buck Garden in  Far Hills, NJ.  Our NARGS chapter had its annual plant sale there this past Saturday and Sunday.

Leftover plants will be on sale this coming weekend!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Spring in the Troughs

Spring is starting with a bang in the group of troughs on the desk.  It's so nice to see some color after a long, mean March. (Yellow and purple = Minnesota Viking team colors, I know).

The purple is aubrieta x cultorum 'Joy'

What a sight for sore eyes.

The yellow in front of the pine is alyssum montanum 'Tekara'.

It hurts my retinas.

This shy little pasqueflower is pulsatilla pratenis 'Bohemia'.

Old reliable arabis alp. caucasica 'Snowball'.

And finally, though not in the troughs, is the annual blink-and-you-missed-it blooming of the bloodroot in the backyard.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

First Draba of Spring

Forget forsythia. The yellows of spring that quicken my heart are the drabas.  Above is draba lasiocarpa growing in a trough.  It's almost enough to make me forget that there's still snow lingering in parking lots, and that the yard is mushy from all of the recent rain.  

We are getting there.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


After a couple very unseasonal warm spells in late March, it was 12 degrees last Sunday morning. I was horrified to find all of the hellebores, including this gorgeous purple one in front of the house, face down on the cold ground.  They stayed that way for a couple days and I wondered if that was it for hellebore blooms this year.

By midweek the stems had started to perk up one by one, rising off the canvas like knocked down boxers ready for more.

Friday morning's snow was kind of pretty, although unwelcome.

The same hellebore is covered today, like many of its brethren, as the weather early next week looks anything but pretty.

When can we get off this rollercoaster?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

On the Cusp?

We got 8" of snow last week, and now have temps in the 60s this week.  It really feels like we're transitioning to spring.  The sun is startlingly warm while the breeze still picks up the chill of the snow lingering in the shade.

The boundary between two seasons.

Even the bench is warming up.

Ray will correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing that this is dianthus freynii
emerging gorgeously from under the snow in the trough in his front yard.

I know, I know, there's still more cold, sleet and probably snow to come, but I can enjoy the sun today knowing spring is only a couple weeks away.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Yellow Constellation

Even on the dark days of February, the winter jasmine, jasminum nudiflorum, lights up the deck. It's planted at the base of one of the deck support columns, about 8' below this level.  Over the years we've trained it on the trellises under the deck.  It's quietly putting on quite a show now.

This jasmine is quite possibly the best $2 I ever spent.