Friday, May 3, 2013

Around the Yard This Week

Some pictures of what's going on around the yard this week.  Tulips are the big story, blooming in their bold yet elegant way.  I have them planted in hot colors out front, with just a couple clumps in cooler tones out back.  Some of the daffodils are past their prime now, but some are still holding their own.

I just planted a whole bunch of annual dianthus around the back yard, in groups among the perennials.  I have a weakness for the mixed varieties that come in any number of colors and patterns.

These tulips change color as they age, from yellow to shades of orange and red, so every day is a different show.  It's a shame it's been so warm this week, because they won't last as long in the heat as they would in cooler or cloudy weather.  I guess I can't have it both ways, can I?

My peonies are looking good this year.  I think they liked the cold, long winter much better than the warm/cold/warm schizo winter we had last year.  I'm hoping for some really nice blooms in a few weeks. 

These daffodils are blooming a little later than the others around the edge of the main raised bed out front.  They're supposed to be the variety 'Ice Follies,' but they're not - they're pure white.  So either they were mislabeled, or my memory is faulty.  Either is possible.  Whatever they are, they are lovely.

New leaves on my "Charlie Brown" tulip tree.  It was a tiny little thing when I bought it the year we moved in.  It was about 3 1/2 feet tall, and had barely three branches.  Now it's taller than I am, and starting to have a really nice shape.  I love tulip trees, both for their unusual leaves and yellow tulip-like flowers (so unexpected on a tree), but also because they're a hardy native tree.

The front of our house in the evening, earlier this week.  I'm really pleased with how the rust-colored shutters look.

The cherry tree, with its blossoms just opening.  Today, almost a week after this picture was taken, the blossoms are mostly gone, and the leaves are over an inch long.  Such a brief moment of glory, but it's so worth it.  I just wish the previous owners had not planted it so close to the porch.  I have to prune it severely each year to keep it in bounds.

Did I mention that I love hyacinths?  Their fragrance is one of my favorite signs of spring, and I always buy a forced pot of them when they first show up in the stores in early March, just to have that divine fragrance indoors.  These are perfuming my front porch.  They're advertised as orange, but they're a lovely soft peach with pink accents.  Pretty any way you describe them.

More yellow tulips. I told you I liked tulips, right?