April 16, 2010

The Changing of the Garden

Everything is happening so quickly in the garden this week. After weeks of no frost, the plants are practically growing while I watch. We desperately need rain, though. These weeks have been dry with no significant rainfall while temperatures have soared into the 80s and 90s.

The Hummingbirds Have Returned

The hummingbirds are back! Right on schedule, our little friends returned this week. To lure them into sight, hang your feeders and wear a brightly colored shirt into your garden in the mornings. If they are back in your garden, you should get a flyby from the tiny birds. I spotted a male and female yesterday. They are quite friendly little things and visit flowers just a few feet away from me.

Hummingbird food recipe: Dissolve one cup white sugar in four cups of boiling water. Let cool. Stir. Serve.

Lady Banks Reaches New Heights

The Lady Banks Rose, planted beside the gable gate in autumn 2005 is now trying to climb through the upstairs guest room window. When she finishes blooming, I'll just open the window to give her a trim!

Rosa banksiae 'Lutea' can grow to enormous sizes and heights. Last year, I removed the one beside our other gate. She was planted at the same time by our landscaper, but was too much work to keep in check—requiring almost constant trimming. Fortunately, Lady Banks is thornless and the branches do not twine around like a vine.

The pale yellow blooms (no fragrance) are abundant again this year. Lady Banks is suitable for zones 6a-11, but give her lots of space! She can cover an arbor or pergola in short time.

More Blooms and Buds

The calla lilies are blooming; all are from one original mother plant that I purchased several years ago. She stills grows in the waterfall, and her kids are planted directly in the water of our stream in the cottage garden.

The calla lily has handled full sun in the water garden here in my zone 7b garden.

Dutch irises, in many colors, dot the gardens.

Alliums are mixed with other perennials for interesting shape combinations.
There are so many flowers that are in the beginning stages of blooms—lavender, cottage pinks, azaleas, roses, allium, irises and bluebells—are just a few of the stars for the color preview. The coneflowers and salvias are budding up. The yarrows are about to burst open. In just a matter of days—or hours—there will be a big show of color!

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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