Fabulous Friday: Time Marching On

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I am delighted with how many of last summer’s marginal perennials survived winter to bloom again this spring.  It satisfies my thrifty nature to enjoy another season’s blooms from a plant sold as an ‘annual.’  Actually, quite a few of our ‘annuals’ are perennial a zone or two to our south.

With a little thought and effort, and a bit of grace, we can shelter them over winter and enjoy them again.

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Last year’s Lantana blooms for another season in one of our patio pots, alongside a favorite Clematis vine.

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I leafed through a book on container gardening this week which offered the sage advice to empty all of one’s pots before the first frost, composting the contents and storing the pots indoors.  I’m sure many gardeners swear by a clean pot and fresh compost each spring, planted up with brand new plants from the nursery.  If I had nothing to do with my time and loose change but garden, I might enjoy that approach, too.

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Dianthus and Saxifraga thrive in their pots near the back door, growing larger and giving more flowers every year.

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But I am hooked on the ‘Four Season Pot’ approach, and try to keep something interesting growing in most of my pots year round.  Some may be growing in the garage, but quite a few weather the season outside with small trees or shrubs, bulbs, violets, perennials, and herbs.

I change out some of the upper layer of compost in some a few times a year, fertilize generously, and re-do the entire pot rarely.  Our climate is mild enough that the plants generally live through the winter, and the pots don’t crack in the cold!

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‘Annual’ Verbena returns this spring from its roots, quickly filling its pot before I’ve had time to even plant most of my new starts from the nursery.

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And as we near the middle of May new plants are blooming even as earlier beauties fade.  Our heat this week has taken the Iris sooner than I’d hoped.  In fact, the heat has put a serious crimp in my plans to move pots back outside, and to re-plant many of our pots with summer herbs and perennials!

It has been too hot and the sun too intense to spend much time outside in the middle of the day.  I’ve had to ration my morning and afternoon hours among several different ‘to-do’ lists.

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But time marches on, as native perennials grow at lightening speed, demanding a firm hand on the clippers or string trimmer to cut them back.  Irises need trimming as their flowers fade, perennials need pinching back to make them bush out, and I have rows of sprouting Caladiums wanting to sink their roots into a permanent home.

Having a few marginal perennials return and fill their pots once again pleases me so much, as those pots burst into flower with little from me beyond an approving smile.

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The first Lantana bloomed this week, and all of our Clematis have covered themselves in flowers.  What more could I reasonably hope for?  Watching perennials emerge and bloom feels like greeting old friends after a while apart.  I’m surprised all over again by their beauty and character.

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It will be June before we know it; solstice lurks on the horizon.  I appreciate the longer evenings to wander in the garden, water a bit, and do a few more gardening tasks.

The sweet fragrance of blooming Ligustrum thickens the evening breeze, even as bats fly low over the garden catching their dinner.  There are huge buds on the Magnolia trees, ready to open one day soon, releasing their nostalgic perfume.

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Oakleaf Hydrangea blooms with the foxglove.

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Time seems to evaporate when I’m engaged with the garden; and yet time governs its unfolding, the rise and fall of every creature and leaf.

Timelessness permeates the relentless waves of change, eternity lives in root and rhizome.  Each flower opens in its own unique color and form, synchronized to the deeper rhythms that govern us all.

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Yellow flag Iris pseudacorus blooms this week.

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Woodland Gnome 2019

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

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“Time doesn’t seem to pass here:
it just is.”
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J.R.R. Tolkien
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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

7 responses to “Fabulous Friday: Time Marching On

  1. My topic for next Monday (in the blog – next ‘week’ for the garden column) is annuals that are really perennials, and leaving some types to regenerate when their season comes back around.

  2. we Share zones and so I love when annuals come back – I had purple verbena for a long time – a very cold winter took it out finally – but my Neighbor’s survived (has it in an enclosed area) and he offered me some back (I have his starters) but I don’t have a spot for it right now .
    Anyhow – I smiled at each photo – happy May Friday indeed

    • That is the best comment yet, that every photo makes you smile. Thank you, Yvette ❤ ❤ ❤ I am sure you'll find a great spot for the Verbena. Happy Mother's Day!

      • Thanks a lot and happy mother’s day to
        Anyone it applies to over in your woodlands –
        And how cool the comment had a nice landing – I will also share that I slowly read the post and so maybe that helped the enjoyment – there are times to skim blogs and other times I like to have a slowrr mode –
        So anyhow / you just so happened to show annuals that I have also had perennial success with. Memories cake at different times. Like the light purple clematis was similar to one I had three of – maybe four – and have years of memories (took it off the mailbox because even tho it came back – it did not flower in summer the way others do- and the one near the porch had an awful knot weed of some sort get intertwined with its roots – and I did foot surgery and had fun exploring trying to superset the two – and analogies for life unfolded) and the dianthus had a memory for me – it was the first pop of color out back after a long winter – and it reminded me of what flowers do to us….
        Anyhow – stuff like that cake and went – so it was nice –

        • How interesting that we are growing many of the same tender perennials and loving their spring color, Yvette. Dianthus is always a winner for me and I have quite a lot of it this year.. new plants and returning plants. That light blue Clematis has been in its pot for nearly 10 years now! Sometimes I blooms sporadically during the winter, because its spot is very sheltered. It is always one of the first signs of new growth on the patio each spring and it does bloom through most of the summer. We lucked out with that one! Thank you for the Mother’s Day wishes. My daughter and granddaughter live on the West Coast so we had a long distance touching with a couple of calls. I didn’t get your way this weekend to visit with my own mother, so it was a quiet celebration, but a happy one! I hope that you enjoyed your day ❤ ❤ ❤

          • Also had a quiet day – but nice –
            And I don’t have many of the plants anymore – we took up two garden areas and then the third was mostly cleared away – (long story for each one – perhaps another time – but one thing that led to a clearing was the blackberry shrubs leftover shoots messy and moldy and then we wanted it cleared out – go back to flat grassy area –
            And later in life I will explore again – but for now it is minimal by choice – I almost bought a Clematis last month – ugh – love them – and heard a guys asking about them and the name always grabs ya – can say it different ways-but don’t have a spot for it – but I love the way they have those coils after the bloom- and how tucked in your clematis is – very nice spot

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