Last year I brought some assorted iris bulbs home with me
from my brother who lives in North Carolina.
They have finally bloomed.  
I especially like the yellow ones.
The heavy rains and hail we experienced over the past couple of days
have not been kind to them -- or to our boxwood bushes either! 
We could use some sunshine and dry-out days to perk everything back up.
Mostly, I'm just thankful to be safe
and not have the troubles and loss that so many in our
United States are experiencing...

Extension Garden II

We checked out the Extension Garden briefly this afternoon...
making the rounds before the storm.
Many new blooms!
Click on the picture to enlarge and see the flowers  
up close and personal
It really IS a wonderful place to visit.
(See those pinks on the top row?  They are columbine!
I've never seen any like them.)

Saturday Scenes

 Occasionally we see LIVE ones....
 Our l-o-n-g side flower bed.
 A purple columbine flowers shyly beside the house,
and we return inside, hearts full, coffee cups empty,
and with some dirt under our fingernails.
Serious weeding will have to wait until
the ground dries out a bit!
By the way, I "found" the Spiderwort
that I originally went out to find
(having been reminded by the post of Sweetbay,
a North Carolina blogger).
No blossoms on ours yet.

Home Sweet Home

It's been too cold to tour all the flower beds today,
but stepping out to greet a friend on our front porch
I noticed this--the first of our columbine to bloom.
 At the corner of our front steps, this statement greets all who arrive or leave...

A Fine Tip and a Finishing Touch

One of our rosebushes stands behind the white, seatless chair..
"This is what I was told by a brilliant gardener and then seconded by another: When 'dead heading' roses throughout the season, go down the stem counting the clusters of leaves. Normally they are in threes (who knew?) when you reach a group of four (5) leaves, snip just above them. Supposedly the technique guarantees lush flowers for months."  So says Tish Jett here.  (I suppose most of you already knew that.  I didn't.)
The chairs have been moved to the newly created "tree-bed".
I'm going to enjoy this spot!
The "finishing touch"

It Was a Very Good Day

Last evening, I watched as my husband unloaded two trailer loads of mulch around our newly formed tree-bed.  He borrowed the trailer from a friend and our neighbor Jim's pick-up. I sat with Jim's wife, Shirley, on their front porch and watched.
 Below is the ONLY tulip that bloomed in our yard this year
(and at that, quite late)!
 The lily-of-the-valley just began blooming yesterday.  
They make the fairly large St. Francis appear small!
Maybe it's the camera angle...
 A few feet further toward the front of the lot,
this tree blooms in all its splendor.
It seems to me that each year it appears a little differently.
I SHOULD organize & compare my photos.
 Earlier in the day (while Blogger was out-of-order),
I sat on our back porch and read.
 This was the sight from my chair...
It was a VERY good day to enjoy the outdoors!
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Sherlock Solves Mystery!

~Gardener on Sherlock Street asked me, 
Could your mystery plant be the one shown on Margaret's site:  
...this is the one in our flower bed...
At first, I thought the leaves on my plant were more pointed than the one on Margaret's site.  
But after checking out images of garlic mustard on the internet, I was quite sure that's what it is!  
After smelling it, I KNOW that's what it is!
Gardener on Sherlock Street certainly lives up to her name!  Thanks, my friend! 
Garlic mustard is an herbaceous, biennial forb that is an aggressive invader of wooded areas throughout the eastern and middle United States. First-year plants are basal rosettes with green, heart-shaped, 1-6 in. (2.5-15.2 cm) long leaves. Second-year plants produce a 1-4 ft. (0.3-1.2 m) tall flowering stalk with small, white flowers in the early spring. Plants can be easily recognized by a garlic odor that is present when any part of the plant is crushed and by the strongly toothed, triangular leaves. A high shade tolerance allows this plant to invade high-quality, mature woodlands, where it can form dense stands. These stands not only shade out native understory flora but also produce allelopathic compounds that inhibit seed germination of other species. Garlic mustard is native to Europe and was first introduced into New England during the 1800s for medicinal and culinary purposes.  (

Before the Rain

 The Fern Bed has really thrived with all of this spring's rain.
 One of the "Three Sisters" (as we call our three viburnum bushes) is about ready to bloom.
 Lost.  The identifying marker for this low-to-the-ground perennial, so beautiful right now...

Yesterday, my husband/groundskeeper
mowed the lawn with a new mower blade.
This is already the 4th mowing this spring!
I dug out some dandelions and pruned a rose bush.
For the first time, I sprinkled about 1/2 cup of  Epsom salts 
around the roots of the rose bush.
The gentle rain early this morning 
made us glad we'd done the yard work yesterday!

Well, Not OUR Garden...

 We spent part of Mother's Day checking out the Extension Gardens not so far from our home.
 It was exciting to see the expanded and new flower beds!
 The Master Gardeners who maintain this beautiful spot have already been hard at work!
 I've gotta get me some of this!  Siberian Bugloss.
The fine, blue flowers absolutely charm me.
 The fragrance of the viburnum was SO sweet...
 the poppies vibrant in color...
the trees dressed in their finest!

Spurts and Sprouts

Most of the winter pile of lawn furniture and yard art has been distributed. 
For more on THAT subject, see Yard Furnished by Thrift.
Otherwise, it's mostly "Spurts and Sprouts" here  in the flowerbed department.
 I took a break from inside chores to check the progress 
of the buds and blossoms yesterday afternoon. 
The tree (above) is just about to break out in a glorious display. 
 This ground cover is beginning to show its yellow finery...
while the creeping phlox are starting to respond to the rare snatches of
sunlight that punctuate our rainy days.
This transplanted grape hyacinth seems to be adjusting to its new home.  
Thanks to a friend, I now have four or five mounds of color 
gracing one of my flower beds.
Two bleeding hearts so far.  Alone.  Together.

Hey!  It's not to late to "name that plant"!
Is it a weed?  Is it a keeper?
Should it stay or should it go?

Can YOU Help Me?

OK.  Here's the dilemma...Every year I pull out some legitimate flowers, thinking them to be weeds.  No matter how I mark them, seems the markers disappear over the winter.  SO....can anyone tell me if the above plant is a weed or a flower???  It is about 18" tall (seems a little "mature" for a real flower...)
Just above the middle of this cluster is the first bud to unfold...
I am VERY impatient to see the entire cluster in bloom. 
I don't know what I anticipate more--the sight or the scent!
Every year, lilacs surprise me all over again
by their beauty.

Before & After in the Back Yard

Yesterday we expanded the rose bed.  Already we're pleased with the result.  The roses grew over the yard and interfered with pain-free mowing, etc.  This way, we think the roses will be highlighted and not lost in the smallness of the previously-sized flower bed.  It also blends nicely with the flower bed in front of our backyard cabin...

FROST ADVISORY for tonight!  What's up with THAT?

This Morning's Workout

Moved rocks to expand this bed.  Husband will help this afternoon.
Removed some invasive plants.
Three piles worth of winter debris.
One of three newly purchased perennials...
The second...
The third one.
I should remember what this is, but I don't.
A young clematis about to bloom.
We're not done yet!