Flowers in the garden have slowed down, with a couple of very late freezes in mid May turning all the azalea blooms brown. It has slowed the emergence of the rhododendrons and mountain laurel too. I missed going to the downtown Garden Jubilee festival this weekend, which was canceled and moved to individual garden centers. In the past, we would spend a whole day there looking at the flowers and plants on offer in all the booths, buying some pretty things to plant, eating some festival food and enjoying the music. But there is plenty going on, so get ready for a long and picture heavy post. In the flower beds at home, I did get a few more purple iris blooms, but this year the gorgeous deep purple ones with the white throats didn’t bloom at all. These are a medium purple, and good size blooms with multiples on the stalk.
Last fall I put my dahlias in pots so I could take them inside over winter without having to dig them up. This seems to have worked, and they are sprouting nicely now that they are back in sunlight and warmth.
The hydrangea is budding out, and I can’t wait to see what color the blooms will be. I’ve put lime on the soil a couple of times, hoping to turn the blooms pink. I really love it when I get one that is pure clear lavendar, but those are few. It needs the pH of the soil to be exactly at 7 for that to happen, and I am usually somewhere above or below that. Sometimes I get a muddy pink with a lot of green, particularly at the end of the season. Now, at the beginning of the blooming time, I have the best chance of the lighter clear colors.
There have been many visitors to our woodlands and meadows recently. I spotted this little guy on the brick wall below the veranda. He is an Eastern Fence Lizard, the first one I’ve seen. I hope he stays around as these guys eat a lot of bugs.
We still have a family of skinks living under the steps. This big one is all orange. I had to look him up, and found he is a Broadhead Skink.
Smaller ones are Blue Tailed Skinks, and have stripes with bright blue tails. They skitter off when I am going up the steps, but come out again quickly to get back to sunning themselves.
More blackberry flowers are showing, close enough to pick berries if they actually make some. That is if I can get to them first. The bear already got my peaches. At least that is what I think, since I saw a big one last week, about 200 pounds.
On the feeder, a grosbeak shared the bounty with a downy woodpecker.
Eastern bluebirds are coming by more regularly. We still have all the usual suspects here as well. This guy, I found out later, is an Indigo Bunting!
Amazingly, this impatiens survived the winter. It is in a pot with a geranium, and I was surprised to see it bloom.
Then, a rare treat. A mother wild turkey with three little ones, called poults. It is hard to see the third one, it is behind the little chick on the right, you can see its head below the head of the other one.
Two ran a bit ahead, and I snapped off a few more quick shots to try to get them. One in the sunlight shows its spotted feathers.
Mom followed with the last one at her feet. They were just adorable.
This is the best year I have ever had for starting tomatoes. The plants are getting really big and strong in the sunlight and warmth of spring. Some have the buds of flowers, and I am hoping for a lot of tomatoes this season.
Oliver has gotten a bit more demanding, LOL. He got chased off with a broom when he pulled this trick.
When he showed he could behave himself, he got his treat, a nice crust of oatmeal bread.
The bleeding heart came through the winter just fine, and is putting out a lot of leaves. I hope to have flowers this year.
We got caught out in the rain at the garden center on Friday, but managed to get a flat of torenias for the hanging baskets. Saturday was warm and humid, so I got busy at the planting bench.
The veranda just doesn’t look right without them. These were so big, I could once again get away with just two to a hanging pot, so I had a few left to fill some empty pots.
I put two in my big teacup planter.
Three yellow ones go in this rectangular planter every year, but this year I put it on a wire table instead of on upside down pots. Now I have two more pots to hold more flowers. On the rack below, more purple torenias and a geranium. The empty pot on the left will be filled with something else later. Maybe a pretty white flower.
The geraniums continue to flower well, with long lasting, deep pink blooms.
I put the summer pillows out on the bench to freshen up the veranda for summer. These came from my internet buddy Jenna’s shop, Painted Apron. She is an amazing artist.
Spending more time on the veranda than usual this year means it should be a garden paradise, right? How is your garden doing?
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