Friday, May 11, 2007

Spring Garden Tour

I live in an established neighborhood, one with historic houses and lots of mature trees. Squirrel paradise, I call it. I enjoy the shade on hot summer days, but it makes gardening a challenge. In fact it is too shady in most places to raise vegetables or annual flowers that require full sun. No zinnias here. But spring, especially before the leaves really reach their full size, is wonderful in my garden. The little snow drops and scyllias are first, carpeting the lawn with tiny white and blue blossoms. Then the daffodils and tulips arrive. Now the shade loving hostas and ferns are up, and hidden amongst them other spring flowers. The lily of the valley perfumes the morning air when I water them. I have learned to put tomato cages around the bleeding heart plants; the wires support the delicate branches with the pink heart pendulums. I do the same with the peonies, though they are still in bud. I have woodland plants too, ones that survive competing with tree roots and dry shade. The jacks are in their pulpits, and the trilliums are earth stars of white, soon maturing into a pale pink. I noticed with surprise that the poppies and alliums are beginning to bloom on the sunny south side of the house. The neon colors are eye popping for a few days, unless a rain storm comes to beat their tissue paper petals to the ground. No rain today though.

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