As gardeners we will always find something to complain about. Our cold evenings will be drawing to an end soon but we will now have to face the heat of summer and chance of a facing a real drought. We had used up all our rain barrel wetness weeks ago, and the spring showers we have had so far have hardly filled half a barrel. With all the new planting I have had to resort to the tap, hose and sprinkler a few times which always makes me feel somewhat uneasy–water being the precious resource that it is. The hottest driest part of the garden is in the front, and I have tried to keep most of the planting here fairly drought tolerant. Yet even plants tolerant of dry conditions need water to establish themselves. So we will water, protecting our investment and paying the price for the garden we desire. Hopefully things will be well established should the city ever need to call for water restrictions.
And what is flowering in the garden now? Our harbinger of spring, Anemone pulsatilla, is still showing some blooms, but most have gone to seed. Delightful seeds, I might add, that still bring delight to this hardworking ornamental plant. In the front, the Leopards Bane, creeping phlox, yellow spurge and ‘Purple Sensation’ onion are blooming strongly., and in the white corner a patch of white windflower draws the eye. Walking past the small side house garden we have Vinca minor, violets and a small flowered Japanese groundcover (whose name eludes me) blooming among the unfurling leaves of hostas. In the sparse soil along the fence, several self-seeded bleeding-hearts (Dicentra spectibilis) are also in full flower. In our bed between the house and garage little blooms yet, except for a small patch of Primula veris, three trilliums and the annuals in the window box. As I enter the back garden proper, the flowering is stronger, with white windflower predominating. At the pond the pink bottle-brush flowers of Persiaria bistorta are visible , the ornamental rhubarb (Rheum palmatum)and the globeflowers are still going strong. Our Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum x hybridum) and lily-of-the-valley are in bloom, as well as the wild false Solomon’s Seal, Smilicina stellata.The apple is almost finished blooming and the pleasant scattering of white petals on the patio are now becoming dried and brown fragments for the broom.