Saturday, May 9, 2015

Tulips, Violets, and Cherry Blossoms, Oh My!

 'Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her.'
William Wordsworth

May arrived and with it above normal temperatures. I have few true spring ephemarals in my garden, but many of today's blooms are equally fleeting, especially with these unusually high temperatures. The tulips are dying back already, but I was so happy to see them, as I thought the squirrels had removed the bulbs soon after planting. Those of you who told me my tulips would survive were so right!! You can read about the planting process and its related angst here. Before the first tulip buds appeared, I sprayed the plants with deer repellent. When I didn't renew it after a rain storm, the deer munched off several of them, so I have sprayed diligently since. I'm sure you agree it is worth the effort.

Tulips planted in the entry garden welcome visitors to our home.

The weeping cherry was so very pretty. By the time I photographed it, the blossoms were falling, so this picture doesn't really do it justice. This is its third year and the branches have filled out and some have reached the ground already. The tree was planted in honor/memory of my mother, who lived at Cherry Tree Court in England where we planted another cherry tree for her. I wasn't there to see it's blooms this year.

Snow fountain cherry Prunus x 'Snofozam'

Cherry Blossoms

We opened the pond, activated the water falls and installed a new spitter, since the 'goose boy' deteriated, springing leaks. As with all our garden tasks, we were late this year. The water is gradually clearing and the fish look healthy.

The new spitter -- appropriately a koi fish.

Years ago, I planted native violets in the cottage garden and of course they have spread. I love their deep blue color and welcome their proliferance (is this a word?)

Pale blue violets with primroses

When many other daffodils died back 'Tahiti' continued to strut its stuff!

Tahiti again. Isn't she lovely?

I am amazed at the giant foliage on the allium 'Globemaster' I planted last fall. This is the biggest and many think the best Allium yet. I can't wait to see its giant blooms. I planted the bulbs where other perennials will grow up and hide the foliage when it becomes ugly. Right now I think it's beautiful.

Allium in the foreground.

Many gardeners dislike vinca as a thug. I love its blue stars and forgive its aggressive behavior each spring. The vinca in my garden was planted by H.H.'s mother years before I appeared on the scene, and was a favorite of hers. She called it periwinkle; I would not dream of removing it.

Vinca appears in every crack and crevice.

I broke this year's resolution to blog weekly, or at least three times a month, blogging only twice in April. I can offer all sorts of excuses including being crazily busy with garden presentations and garden writing. (You can read my latest article published in our local newspaper here. This is the first in a series of monthly articles I am writing on 'Gardening in the Poconos.') We are continuing with home renovations: the inside is finished and the workmen are now outside replacing broken fences, painting, staining, and working on the roofs of the outbuildings. Added to this craziness, I had a flare up of my autoimmune disease, Crohn's, which sent me to the hospital for more tests this week and of course required doctor visits. I am trying not to let my health problems define me, but it is difficult. I too often see myself as 'sick' rather than healthy and I complain a lot more than I should. I am resolved to get out of this cycle. And that is enough of my pity party...

I've finished seed-starting with half a dozen flats of annuals making good progress: marigolds, zinnias, snapdragons, and various herbs. The pansies are puny but still alive, so I'll put them out soon. The rest should be ready for planting after the average last frost date, which is coming up fast, hurrah! In the kitchen garden, I direct sowed snow peas to grow over the pea tunnel, and I planted lettuce to grow underneath where it will be shaded.

Pea tunnel in place and snow peas and lettuce planted.

We have beautiful gardening weather here today; I must get outside. My heart goes out to those in other parts of our country experiencing tornadoes, floods, and even the first-named tropical storm so early in the year. I am truly blessed as I enjoy spring's fleeting loveliness. Whatever the season where you live, I hope you find peace and beauty in your garden today, my friends.

Pamela x

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited! 
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. How wonderful that you managed to keep your tulips without problems from squirrels or deer. It was definitely worth the effort to spray them. Your weeping cherry is beautiful and I'm sure the blossom brings with it memories of your lovely mum, though I'm sure she's never far from your thoughts anyway. I didn't know you suffered from crohn's, such a horrible disease. I hope this flare up doesn't last long and that you're feeling much better again soon.

  2. Beautiful blooms. I envy the tulips which I've never been able to grow here, but I do love the little violets. And your new spitting koi. I think I need one for my pond.

  3. What a wonderful display of spring flowers, love your tulips color!

  4. Your tulips are beautiful, Pam! The weeping cherry is gorgeous as well. Your pond looks nice - enjoy your garden and hope you feel better soon.

  5. Your tulips are lovely. Such a vibrant colour. It's good to see your garden coming back to life. I hope you are feeling better soon. Crohn's can be such a debilitating illness.

  6. Admiring your cherry. I plan to add Prunus nigra to my garden. Not indigenous, but I need one deciduous tree that shows me the changing seasons. (And the Japanese maple)

  7. Beautiful garden tour, Pam. I hope your health improves, I know what that is like and how it can affect your blogging. I have been seeing a lot of people with Crohn's lately. You have so much going on to with all the renovations. Hope you feel better.

  8. Pam, your gardens look so beautiful! Your flowering cherry is lovely -- mine won't bloom for some reason :-( . And your tulips were so worth the effort of re-spraying to keep the deer away. I hope you have time to enjoy the beauty of the gardens you have created; they can be therapy when we need it, especially during health problems. Take care, -Beth

  9. Pamela, I love your weeping cherry and the sentiment behind it. I have lilacs in the garden in honor of my grandmother. I have also planted violets in my cottage garden, although they never bloom. They are protected by larger plants, but it might just be too hot for them here. Enjoy yours!

  10. Sorry to hear you had a flare up...I love that your tulips survived to bloom. I actually planted one variety of violets...well 2 with the white and now have spotted, striped and various colors of purple...I love violets. So much growing there Pam and it feels good to get out altho today is cold and it will be in the 30s tonight but these cold temps will only last a couple of days. Feel better and take a few breaks my friend.

  11. Stunning tulips Pam, I always leave your blog with 'garden envy'.....sigh x

  12. Pam, everything looks just beautiful. Your garden is SUCH an ENGLISH one, even though you live in the States. xx