Sunday, April 20, 2008

Monica's Spring Garden Tour

Finally, finally, finally (did I mention it's been a while in coming?), it looks like it just might be spring! Won't you walk with me in my garden?

As you can see, the forsythias are in bloom! The close-up view is in the front garden, which gets more sun, and the one above is in the backyard.

The crocuses have finished blooming, but the hyacinths are in their prime. Not only do they exude a wonderful aroma (so welcome when coming home from work!), but they also don't seem to be favored by groundhogs, as each and every one I planted not only came up but bloomed! Look closely to the right and you'll see the viburnum is ready to bloom soon, too, as are many others in different areas of the yard.

Speaking of which, this viburnum gets a lot of sun. It has three clusters of buds, and these blooms on one of the clusters! I love viburnums; there are so many different species with different colors of beautiful flowers in spring and berries in fall!

The groundhog left the daffodils standing, in between many mounds of chewed down tulips.

For some reason, this one clump of tulips remains unchewed (toi toi toi!).

And look at these two cute little wind flowers. There should be more (see above), but the two that are left are quite beautifully placed, don't you think?

Uh oh, here come some ducks. They want to know if you've brought them any food. No, seriously. Are you hiding it in your pockets?!

Here's some pulmonaria at the north side of my house, with lady's mantle just out of view. Two hepaticas should also be emerging in this bed, but I don't see them. Do you? (Fortunately, this snail is not hungry.)

And what's this? Are faeries setting up tiki torches for a luau? I just love the red foliage of emerging peonies, which appears especially vibrant here with flash-induced shine! I use sections of coated wire fence edging, cut to size and shaped into a semi-circle, as supports for the peonies. The wire fencing is sold in a roll and is much more cost-effective than official plant supports. I got this tip, as well as the peonies themselves, from a former gardening client, Sara, a neat and interesting lady I enjoy chatting with.

Oh, hi there, James! What's that? you don't care about the tulips and grape hyacinths in your little cat garden, you want to know when the cat mint is going to come up? Well, soon, but the valerian will beat it, so move to the left and wait!

You really know it's spring when the prickly pear cactuses (cactus is apparently Greek, not Latin, so its plural is cactuses, not cacti. At least according to Paul James, and, well, that's good enough for me!) are looking less scrunched and more green. Prickly pear is native to this area, and I've even seen it hardy as far north as Saskatoon!

And finally, we walk onto the deck and look at my winter sowing containers (for more photos, see my previous post). I love the lupines with their first set of true leaves; they are just so sweet and I admit I like that fact that they look sort of like a certain illegal plant! ;-)


  1. Some bunch of flowers ya got there! I wonder if the female duck was the one that spent quality time in a basement recently. -Peter's brother Bob

  2. Wonderful tour, Monica. Your viburnum is luscious, most are white or whitish, your appears to be pink. Is it fragrant? Love those hyacinths, glad they don't look like food to the critters. And James is very sweet, waiting for his goodies. Glad to see some spring coming your way.
    Frances at Faire Garden

  3. How nice to walk in your spring garden. There is a lot to see already, so many flowers are showing already. Cute kittycat!

  4. Thanks for the tour. I learn so much each time I visit the blog of someone from another climate.

    Billy G. (alias Garden Wise Guy)

  5. Great tour! I have been thinking about adding some cactuses. I have seen some wild ones last year which looked really interesting.

  6. I also love lupines, even if they do resemble another plant......

  7. Frances, I couldn't believe how leafed out that viburnum was after only 48 hours!

    Yolanda, James is almost 15 and a great companion cat. Fiona (in earlier entries) is about 7 and, um, a more steroetypical cat! ;-)

    Billy, I feel the same way reading about your gardens in CA!

    Bek, I love the prickly pear cactuses and was surprised to learn they're not only hardy here but native. This is the third season I've had mine and they haven't bloomed yet... so here's hoping!

    Kim and Victoria, I do have tons of squirrels but my tulips were never eaten before the groundhog showed up. I think squirrels dig the bulbs but don't so much eat the foliage. A more likely candidate would be a rabbit, though in my particular situation I *know* it's the groundhog.

  8. Wow, you're enjoying a fantastic spring!