Monday, May 20, 2013

Spring comes to our Birch Bay Home

Welcome! Welcome friends and family, welcome spring! Come tour my gardens!

Let's start in the front yard. (Edited: I've realized that Blogger has cut off some of the photos and I don't know how to fix it. Please click on the photos to see bigger pictures!)

One of the first bushes to bloom is my Star Magnolia. This one is snowy white. The second, which was a replacement for it's twin which didn't survive a harsh winter several years ago, has a slightly pink color to its' blooms.

Next to bloom is my Spice Verbena. It is a delight to sniff its' spicy flower clusters!

Here's a peek of the Flowering Cherry tree that is next to the Spice Verbena. This is a good view of Dad's house, across from us, and the first of his rhodies coming into bloom.

Here the lilac next to the garage is just about to pop open.

Now, here in its' fragrant glory!

In one of the backyard's raised beds (in front of the propane tank and dogwood tree) is a wonderful purple Pasqueflower. It was a tiny, neglected clearance table $1 find. Now, a second spring in its' new home, and is shows how much it loves its' new location. Such bold flowers on such lacy foliage. It will re-bloom in late summer.

Sirita's apple tree in bloom. The apples may not be fantastic, but the fragrance of the blossoms certainly was! I loved working under it's branches while potting up my deck pots just so I could enjoy the fragrance.

This tree grew from a seed Sirita planted from a Granny Smith apple when she was three years old. With the faith of a child, she told me it would grow into a big tree, as she poked it down into the corner of my patio planter at our Lynden apartment.

When we moved into our new home in Birch Bay, (22 years ago this fall) she was so upset we forgot her tree that I had to knock on the door of the new tenants and ask to remove it from the planter box we left behind. Fortunately, they were agreeable! Now, this tree which spent at least ten years in a forgotten pot against the fence, is now the centerpiece of our backyard.

Here are my bedroom window boxes the day we installed them.

Three weeks later, you can see how quickly they are filling out!

The corner here is the back of our spa enclosure. It has turned into a great shade garden. This beautiful Bleeding Heart plant (Dicentra) is a transplant from Jannie and Shep's Big Red Barn home when they lived in Carleton. I've taken divisions from it and now have two large plants on the shaded side of the propane tank raised beds.

The ferns were transplanted from under the stairs of the deck when Brent replaced the stairs with closed risers.

The left end of this raised bed receives afternoon sunshine and has proved a great place to plant zucchini. This year I planted a yellow summer squash.

Our carrot and beets are sprouting!

Here behind my about-to-bloom white peony is the baby Pink Dogwood tree in the front yard picket fence garden bed. It's dark pink flowers grow larger and lighter as spring rolls onward. Speaking of peonies...

I planted two of my very special wine or burgandy color double peonies on either end of the deck raised bed. These are very special to me, being divisions from my late Mama's garden and I refer to them as Sanna's Heritage Peonies. Years ago, before transplanting to the raised bed, this plant survived being mowed over by SonMySon. It was a traumatic event for all three if us! Fortunately, we all survived, flourished even!

A division slated for Aizia's new home sends up it's first bloom! I am so excited for Aizia to break ground late next month!

For Mother's Day this year, Brent gave me a breathtaking Itoh Peony named Magical Mystery Tour. I must have had an incredulous look on my face when I asked the nursery owner what was it's name because her husband told me with a laugh, " Truly, you can't make this stuff up!"

Itoh peonies are considered rare and coveted. With a heady fragrance, the pointy buds open to a dusky pink blossom that ages to cream with a yellow center.

Here, you can see I've parked it next to the entrance of the spa enclosure. In the dappled late afternoon sunshine, you can see my iPad docked so I can enjoy my Pandora stations while gardening.

Meanwhile in the front yard, Brent has installed a sturdy shelf for each of the jumbo sized window boxes under the bedroom windows.

(Blayde has, since this photo was taken, removed the Christmas lights and dangling extension cord. Yeah! No more Clampett's-ville! I think I'm giving away my age, with the Beverly Hill Billies Show reference!)

The garden bed around the pond area is still waiting a good weeding to rid it of its' current generation of horse tails ferns, so I haven't taken many pictures but here is a couple of the young Rhododendrons planted last spring. This one is at the base of the bird feeder, as you can tell by it's sprinkling of birdseed inside the blooms.

It's twin on the opposite side of the pond area, next to the driveway, I caught an industrious honey bee at work!

Let's return to the backyard. Here's a side shot of the deck planter a few weekends ago when we planted the lily bulbs and dahlia rhizomes we bought at the gift shop after touring the tulip gardens.

Around the corner is the raised beds along the garage side of the house.

I don't know what the red flowers are called. This is a transplant from a self seeded start that came up late last summer. It has just taken off! The hummingbirds love it!

I moved my Multi Blue Clematis from a large pot into this bed. I haven't yet stained and installed its' trellis so it has intertwined itself into a stout Rosemary bush. Quite by coincidence, I planted another self seeded start of a Columbine that is the exact same color as the Clematis.

Across from that bed is the raised bed that runs the perimeter of our yard. In the bottom right hand corner, you can see another blue flower. I don't remember what it's called. It originally came from Mama's yard. Every year I plant it's divisions into my different beds. This photo also shows how my Sun Chokes or Jerusalem Artichokes have filled the entire section of that bed! I am harvesting some roots to eat and hoping to find homes for some divisions. Last year these plants towered over our heads before the bloomed into tiny sunflower looking flowers. This picture was taken a week ago. Today these Sun Chokes are past waist-height, half way to my shoulders! They grow very fast!

Across from the deck bed is a large four foot wide raised bed that has a well-supported net trellis. This bed is divided into three sections. The farthest section houses the largest of my three Rhubarb plants. In the middle bed, you can see two Sweet Million Tomato plants against the trellis and a crowded bunch of strawberries across from them.

In this bed I have decided to try re-growing the bottoms of a Romaine lettuce and celery.

We have new growth on the lettuce...

But nothing yet on the celery.

This shows the trellis side of the front section. On the left is a cucumber start, a Juliette Tomato plant takes center and we have a Spaghetti Squash. I will be training all, especially the squash to grow upwards instead of out. Between each of these, I planted climbing green beans, but they haven't come up. I think the seeds were too old. I will have to try again.

In the center, I planted two pumpkin seeds in each of the three 4" pots. I started them in the pots so I could place the strongest of the starts exactly where I want them. Hopefully, we will have a pumpkin patch amid the other veggies!

Here are the steps from the backyard lawn onto the deck. Atop the seats of the raised beds, you can see the narrow planters I use for my salad gardens. Seedlings of radishes, mixed salad greens and Genovese Basil.

Last month during my trip to visit with The Sisters, I found "Steppables" to plant next to the steps at the bottom of the raised deck beds.
Corsican Mint is the mound next to the second step stone.

Miniature Kennewick Ivy in full bloom, lovely tiny lavender flowers. Maureen warns this can be invasive, so I am hoping she's correct and it takes over this area that the grass keeps trying to reclaim!

And miniature Dianthus just starting its' bloom.

If you go up the stairs and turn right into the spa enclosure you will find the planters in this little cubby-like spot.

This is the view from my kitchen window. You can see the Geraniums, Petunias, Lobelia and Giant Red Salvia still waiting to be put into pots.

Above the lattice atop the privacy screen is another Multi Blue Clematis about to bloom.

Looks like the blossoms are going to be huge this year!

These are my Non Stop Begonia pots. Every year, on May 2nd, I plant a red, orange, and yellow begonia in memory of my maternal grandmother, Mumum. I lived with her during the six months before our wedding, when I moved back to Washington from Oregon. The little deck off of her townhouse was in the shade of several giant cedar trees and she planted lush pots of these colored Begonias. I always think of her when I see begonias, especially orange ones.

This year I am trying, yet again, to repopulate my shady areas with Lily of The Valley, also a favorite of Mumum, her birthday flower for the month of May. This picture, taken today, shows old blooms of a just planted start. I have also planted bare root pips that I hope will grow. Haven't had much luck with bare root pips but, maybe, the third year they'll be successful!

A few more random shots.

On the end of the shed I have my potting area. Here on the bench, hopefully out of reach of adventurous slugs, are my sunflower starts. They will be transplanted into the front picket fence garden when they get a bit larger. The empty pots were re-seeded yesterday. Some of my seed packets are a few years old.

At the foot of the bench, poised to get all day sun, is a large pot of potatoes.

Against the backdrop of the tall grasses just outside of our property line are two pretty little Lace Maple trees from Manda's yard.

Here's a snap of the shed's window boxes. From about three weekends ago:

And from this week, beginning to fill out and show their blooms.

A work in progress, the area at the top of the driveway, against the garage door. I will probably add four square planters to "round" out the area.

Here's a shot of the giant hand-sized leaves of these Ever-bearing strawberries:

At Manda's suggestion, I transplanted three of these plants (from the tomato bed), into two hanging baskets. They are now hanging (from Manda's plant stands) at the top of the stairs as you enter the deck from the raised garden area. They might be moved either side of the garage door pot area, if the plant stands are in the way when we use the deck for family BBQs.

A quick snap of Aizia's hot pink Gerbera Daisy that sits on the table under my umbrella.

My hanging baskets are growing quickly.

Gardening is a process, an adventure and often an experiment. More pictures will come as I tame the corners of our yard, as well as the pond area in the front yard.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me ramble on about my garden-putterings!

1 comment:

  1. SO very pretty!! Your yard is looking so amazing! Xoxo