April 28, 2013

Weeded, Mulched and Waiting for Blooms in the Cottage Garden

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The cottage garden, bare compared to previous springs,
 is ready and waiting for blooms. April 27, 2013.
Any complaints about the weather where you garden?

The cool temperatures, while delaying the blooms, provided the perfect weather for preparing the garden. I don't feel as rushed this year and gardening has been more enjoyable. It isn't ninety degrees already. Sixty and seventy degree weather could be worse as other parts of the country have been flooded and experienced late snows.

Looking at photos from 2006-2012, peak spring bloom in the cottage garden happened in the first week of April.  Still waiting for blooms, but the plant foliage looks healthier and happier than ever.

The centaura varieties (in the photo below) were tiny new plants in 2012, and now, they're starting out huge! In a future post, I'll tell you more about centaurea gymnocarpa "Velvet Centaurea" as it blooms. It's one of my new favorites and hope it meets my expectations.

cottage garden  by Defining Your Home Garden and Travel
Silver lace foliage of centaurea gymnocarpa in back.
Green foliage of centaurea montana 'Amethyst in Snow' in front.
cottage garden  by Defining Your Home Garden and Travel
The rose bed along the fence received a make-over.
In February, the Knock-Out® Roses (dark foliage above) were cut back by two-thirds. I edited this rose bed, adding divisions of other perennials and tucking in a few annuals around the greyhound statue. I'm most excited about this area in the cottage garden to see the results of my rearrangement, having incorporated more white blooms (phlox, liatris, cosmos) for late evening enjoyment. Another future topic.

Few Dutch Iris remain after vole damage from previous winters.

The voles took a bite out of the cottage garden in the winter of 2011-2012. We added metal edging and used more gravel in areas surrounding the cottage garden. Doing so thwarted the varmints this winter, so I'm encouraged. I've made my wish list of bulbs and seeds to plant this fall for spring 2014.

While the blooms are sparse right now and we have another week of cool temperatures in the forecast, I'm envisioning a peak bloom like I've never seen before—when spring blooms merge with early summer blooms.

Perennial blue flax is being encroached upon by pink phlox subulata.
Encore® Azaleas typically bloom around April 5, but waited until April 27.
P.S. There's a new dog in the garden. Meet Brie, our six-month old miniature poodle puppy. She's a sweetheart.

Puppy look one day.
After her first professional spa day.
No longer a little ragamuffin.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

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Defining Your Home, Garden & Travel

Home, garden and travel tips by Freda Cameron

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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Paris, France; September 2013

The Musician. My late husband

The Musician. My late husband
Paris 2011