The garden is coming alive, and more things are blooming now, too. It is lovely to have warmer days while still having cool nights. It makes me want to go dig in the dirt just a bit. It was a busy time for the garden this week, so settle in for a long and picture heavy post. Last week, a warm day with a cool breeze was perfect for getting some of that clean up done that I talked about last week. As I hauled some tools out to the front, the beauty of the azaleas made me pause, and then head back inside for the good camera. This group is on the island in the middle of the driveway circle and faces the house.
I just adore white flowers! These had a tinge of discoloration here and there from a late freeze after the buds were formed, but it really isn’t a lot.
Next to this one is a cotton candy pink.
A deeper pink blooms next to those. All were alive with large bumble bees.
Here’s this same grouping from the other side.
We have lots of azaleas! On the other side of the island, and going all the way down the right side of the driveway, azaleas in multi-colors are beginning their spring show.
More white beauties on the lower azalea bush.
While I was taking photos, I looked for my lady slippers to see if they would come up again, and I was thrilled to find them. At least I think these are the ones. They are in the right place and the leaves look right.
And then, oh my, can it be? Another one? Just about a foot away from the other two, the fairies may have touched the ground again, I’ll watch this bud carefully.
The lady slippers are in the island, and as I was walking toward the house, I noticed these hostas all lined up in a row. They are volunteers, likely seeded from the hosta bed across the driveway. But they will need to be dug up this year and moved. I do not want them to take over that section as the delicate lady slippers cannot compete. So I’ll get them moved this year before they get too big.
I went back to the veranda, and noticed some furry movement in the meadow among the blooming ajugas. I was hoping it was our resident rabbit, who is elusive and not often seen. But the zoom lens revealed it was just a squirrel. He noticed me and sat up, hopeful. Cuteness on display.
Ah, but I had work to do. The iris beds were full of dead leaves, and I waited too long to clean them out. They were already leafed out and producing buds.
Carefully using a rake, and my gloved hands, I pulled the leaves away from the rhizomes, opening them up to the air. These are white ones, just days away from opening up. I also have some deep purples, and a burgundy with yellow. All gorgeous when they bloom.
Next was to rake the leaves out of the rest of the bed, and prune back the daisy. While I was raking, look what appeared in the pile – my cake topper art project from my post Creating Yard Art. It needs a touch up of paint, and I’ll get that done soon so it can once again be an interest point in the flower bed.
Moving on to the hydrangea, it needed deadheading badly.
I pruned back about a quarter of the branches to rein in its growth through the stair railing, then topped off the dead flowers at points where leaves were beginning to show. It looks a lot better all cleaned up! All done with cleanup, I filled up three lawn bags with debris!
Time to rest in the rocker for a moment on the veranda. I noticed the purple pansy now has three beautiful blooms.
While I rested, I waited and watched the redbud for wildlife. I was still hoping to get a good photo of a goldfinch among the pretty pink blooms. The goldfinches wouldn’t cooperate, but I did see a chickadee. I still couldn’t get the focus to do what I wanted as I wanted more depth of field to bring more of the flowers in focus. But overall, not too bad. With my camera, the more you zoom in, the shallower the depth of field becomes.
He moved to another tree after grabbing a seed from the feeder. I must have taken a half dozen shots of him. Each time he lifted his head to look around, I snapped the shutter. But, every picture is like this one, with him pecking at seed between his toes.
Oh, well. I finished putting away the tools and bags, and went to the Carolina room to clean up my pots there. I got the dead fronds out of the toad lilies, and cleaned up some dead leaves from the spike dracaenas and gardenias.
Out back, our little stand of wild May Apples has come up again. They will bloom in a couple of weeks.
As the garden comes alive with color, it is a reminder that spring is ever hopeful. And hope lives at our home right now. The stress of the past couple of months is reaching its end, as My Sweet Babboo had major surgery which took 8 hours on April 11. He was home the next day, though, and is recovering well. The pathology report came back 10 days later with wonderful news, the margins were clear, the surgeon got it all, so no additional treatment will be needed. It will be months before he is completely back to normal, but we are past the biggest hurdle. The other issues in the family are also reaching a conclusion, and I look forward to May, when all the deadlines will be past, and all the problems will be solved in one way or another. We hope for the best outcome there, but are prepared as best we can be if it doesn’t. I look forward to having some fun again, playing with my sewing machine and my stamping projects, painting more rocks and hiding them, playing pickleball, having lunch with friends, driving our MINI on our beautiful mountain roads, and being free from worry. Soon, very soon. Like my orchid which is slowly opening, I feel like I am almost able to bloom again, too.
What is blooming in your garden?
Sulky Thread Sale – 30% Off Rayon Spools and Slimlines! Plus free shipping on orders of $60.
Impression Obsession – 20% Off Sitewide sale with code 2020! IO is discontinuing their red rubber stamps, so there are great buys on closeouts now! Due to high demand, their ship times may be a bit longer than usual. Sale ends April 30.
Fat Quarter Shop – Sales on Notions, Books, Patterns, and Fabric. This month get 20% off the Basic of the Month, Spotted by Moda Fabrics. See the Precuts and Books of the week, and don’t forget the daily Flash Sale.
MadamSew – up to 63% off notions, like their fabulous wool press mat, rotating cutting mat, and the Ultimate Presser Foot Set.
Find new ideas with Books on Sale at C&T Publishing featuring Embroidery books, Sizzle Quilts, patchwork pattern books and Wool Applique among many more great project and technique books at great prices.