Fabulous Friday: Each Magical Moment

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The last of the daffodils have finally finished, and I’m feeling impatient for their foliage to fade.  The pansies are a bit overblown now and starting to flop in most of the pots.  I’m ready to move those out, too, in favor of summer treasures.

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The first roses of summer….

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We’re in that awkward transition when summer is ready to begin, but spring is still lingering here and there.  The heat hasn’t helped.  We suddenly find ourselves in ‘instant July’ with our daytime temperatures in the high 80s and nights staying humid and warm.

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Dutch Iris are in full bloom this week. Spanish lavender blooms behind them, mingling with the foliage of spent daffodils.

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I find myself the guardian of eight large boxes of sprouting Caladiums, and now all need the light.  I moved two more out onto the deck today and am trying to cluster the last three planted near an inside window.  There is only so much ‘bright shade’ available where they are also protected from the rain.

I moved nearly 20 Caladium plants into individual pots today and barely made a dent in a single box of sprouting bulbs.  I expect to be planting a lot of Caladiums over the next few weeks!

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But I finally got to work on the hanging baskets on our deck today.  I’ve been waiting to see whether any of the Lantana, Pelargoniums or Verbena from last summer survived the winter.  There is always hope, and a few plants in the pots on the front patio have growing survivors!

It may be a bit early to write off the Lantana, but I’m tired of looking at the sad remains of last summer’s beauty.  I didn’t plant up the baskets last fall with Violas, and the baskets have been looking a bit rough.

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I accomplished a gentle replanting, cleaning the baskets and removing only those remains I was sure had given up during the winter.  A few plants showed signs of life from their roots, and I left them to re-grow, tucking the roots of fresh Verbenas, Lantana and scented Pelargoniums around them.

I added some pineapple mint this year, some beautiful Dichondra, and a Cuban Oregano.  I believe in adding a few new touches, even while staying with tried and true plants for our full-sun hanging baskets.  The few that get some shade are planted in ferns, Begonia and a Caladium.

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Siberian Iris also began to bloom this week.  Our other perennials are growing so tall so fast!

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The sun is fierce these days, and once the heat builds it is hard to keep the hanging baskets hydrated and happy.  I toyed with the idea of planting only succulents this year.

Herbs do better than most plants.  In fact a gorgeous Spanish lavender that I planted last year grew all winter, bloomed last month and now fills its large basket in a beautiful display of deep purple flowers.  I couldn’t be more pleased with how it has performed.  Who would expect a sub-shrub like lavender to thrive in a hanging basket?

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Despite the heat today, I managed to accomplish a fair amount of my home ‘to-do’ list, and I’m satisfied we made good use of the day.  I moved another of our new Alocasias into its permanent pot and took time to admire (and dead-head) all of the beautiful Iris.  I try to guard against getting so busy in May that I don’t take time to simply enjoy the beautiful flowers and fragrances of the season.  It all happens so fast!

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Mountain Laurel is blooming in our garden this week.

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Even as spring draws to its inevitable close, summer sights and sounds fill the garden.  The Cannas are growing  inches each day and the hardy Colocasias appeared this week.  Birds begin their conversations before dawn and we listen to the mayflies whine whenever we step outside.

Daylight lingers deep into the evening.  I remind myself to breathe in the sweetness, relax a little, and enjoy each magical moment of our garden’s unfolding.

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Woodland Gnome 2019

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Lavendula stoechas ‘Otto Quast,’ planted last spring, survived our winter beautifully in its hanging basket.  Spanish lavender performs extremely well in our climate and is the first to bloom each spring.

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Fabulous Friday:  Happiness is contagious; let’s infect one another

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

8 responses to “Fabulous Friday: Each Magical Moment

  1. Hanging baskets are just too much work! We have a few at work, and the pelargoniums in them always look . . . less than ideal. I would prefer to get rid of most of them. The buildings would look less cluttered without them. In my home garden, only zygocactus and catnip are in hanging pots. The catnip is only hanging to keep it away from the bobcats.

    • You taught me a new term today! We call it Christmas or Thanksgiving cactus…. never tried it in a hanging basket, but I bet its gorgeous! Ours has to come inside for half the year so I keep them in pots. Yes, they are a lot of work! And once a basket dries out, it is hard to get it back to where it was. But they sure are pretty when they are growing well. I just planted up a new one this morning with Dichondra, prostrate Verbena and a rooted Begonia cutting. Fingers crossed!

  2. Gorgeous iris. It is amazing that you have 80s and we’re still struggling to get out of the 40s! I’m still having fires in the wood stove. I wonder if the switch is going to turn on summer overnight? Time will tell.
    I’m looking forward to seeing your begonias and caladiums – always pretty.

    • Thank you, Eliza. I took a chance and started six tuberous Begonias this spring and I’m anxious to see them in bloom. Classic Caladiums sent me a few of their new violet Caladiums to try, and they are just beginning to emerge. I planted one into a basket yesterday and can’t wait to see it once its first leaf fully opens. A new color of Caladium is always fun! Eliza, expect the ‘summer switch’ to turn on very suddenly. That has been our experience this year. 40s to 80s over just a couple of days….. The gradual warming we expect helps to pace everything in the garden so each wave of flowers can be enjoyed. This year, it seems to all be coming at once! I had hoped to hold some of the daffys until the Garden Week tours at the Botanical last Tuesday, but ended up with only a few N. ‘Poeticus’ left. They were lovely, the Iris opened right on cue, and the peonies are blooming! Spring is currently stuck on ‘FFW’ here. I hope you taste spring soon and have time to savor it, Eliza. ❤ ❤ ❤

  3. Fabulous Friday indeed – 😉

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