My second-grade neighbors told me yesterday that there’s too much yellow right now. Here and in the neighborhood, where I have certainly shared the wealth of black-eyed Susans. This is part of our front yard right now. What do you think?
I like that we should have color for the better part of two months. What other perennial can give you that?
My fall replanting plans include creating wedges in the mass of black-eyed Susans and spreading out day lillies that can then create clumps over the years. I also want to move some red crocosmia that bloomed at the same time as lilac bee balm to create another clump and to spread out the color and height.
Here’s some of what’s blooming in the yard right now. The peonies and the allium bulgaricum have never looked this good, and I love the weigela (red prince) we bought last year. It has certainly doubled in size, and those deep red flowers are visible from the kitchen window.
Yes, there’s still plenty of purple, which is normal for us in May. Siberian iris, amsonia, Nepeta Walker’s Low, even more large allium balls than w’ve had in a long time… And these allium bells add some fun to the mix.
Here’s a debate: Should I move some of the yellow swamp iris (not that I have a wet area in my yard) to mix in with the purple Siberian irises (nice color combination), or is it invasive and I should be ripping it out instead?
So they didn’t start blooming in February, despite unseasonably warm days.
But I spotted on with my headlights on March 1, plus another already in bloom early on the 2nd that I am crediting to the 1st. So it looks like a new first bloom date for me, just barely. (The previous earliest date my records show is March 2, but usually it’s the second half of March.)
Then there’s this one that looks like it is just about unfurled and will bloom properly today.
This photo was taken on Saturday, the third straight day that highs were in the 70s. The 70s! In February! Madness! And it nearly reached 70 last weekend. (Accuweather now claims snow will start in 52 minutes. Uh huh. And that it will be 57 tomorrow.)
A guy in my Italian class on Saturday said he spotted one blooming in his yard, so I am betting the answer to my question is yes.
Yes, I know we have hundreds (likely 1,000+, since they keep naturalizing) already in the yard. Yes, I know I didn’t need more.
I tried to resist. I resisted the offer of two bags of 50 mixed bulbs for $12 at an area garden center. I resisted an email fall clearance offer, though after some internal debate. I resisted when a friend emailed about it, suggesting we go in on an order. Everything 35% off! But when he repeated the offer and said he was ordering the next day, I took another look. Not just at those listed in the email but all the daffodils on the website. And when I saw the mixed assortment of “double” daffodils — fragrant, frilly, showy — well, I caved.
The smallest pack was 50 bulbs. But I’d already fallen off the wagon, so why show restraint now? I figured I’d get 100 and worry about where to plant them later.
Fortunately, my friend missed that part of my request and only ordered 50 for me.
I picked up the bulbs on Thanksgiving morning and just stared at the size of that bag. What had I done? Where would they all go? I didn’t know where the other bulbs were, just that they were all over the flower beds. And I’d moved some in the spring from a back bed that hasn’t worked out. At least then I could see where I could squeeze them in. But after all that, did I have any space left?
No time like the present to do a bit more “editing” of the beds .. thin out some, move some others. And yes, try to find room for daffodil bulbs.
I had some early success, but then it got hard. I’d dig — and slice through some bulbs. (I hope they can heal.) Time to be more careful. I would find a spot — and tuck in one, maybe two bulbs. This was slow-going. I eventually got about 30 in the ground and had no idea where to put the last 20. I really didn’t want to create a fresh bed, and I didn’t want to put them in a section of the front beds where I’d rarely see them. Could I put them in one of the raised vegetable beds for the winter and transplant them in May or June, when I could see the gaps? That might mess up the spring peas, or the tomatoes or …
But maybe somewhere else where they could later be moved? I settled on a spot in front of our garden bench, visible from the kitchen window. It nicely connected a flower bed and a lemongrass plant that just expanded and expanded over the summer (and now is indoors) on one end and that weigela we’d planted in the spring on the other. (Yes, the bench will likely get squeezed out as the shrub grows.). Plus it was an excuse to clear out some mock strawberry (a pointless effort, I know, but it made me feel good). The bulbs will stretch along the length of the bench and beyond, look pretty in the spring and yet be easy to transplant.
When I’m tempted again next year, I should read this again and just keep saying no. Unless, of course, I’ve created a new bed in anticipation.
When I looked out the kitchen window this time last year, I knew what was missing: color in the backyard flower bed.
Not this year.
The bold red of these crocosmia flowers are visible. Yes! All the more impressive since the flowers themselves are maybe 2 inches. (I’ve been spreading them out from their initial spot at the corner of the house; should I do more?) They also pair really nicely with the yellow flowers in a shrub that anchors one end of the bed. Which the bees were all over tonight.