In the good old spring

Well here it is dears, a nice late-spring post, coming to you by way of the fecund earth, just like your daffodils did –vibrant and fresh. (FYI those things in your garden with dried up blooms now? Those are daffodils.)

[I hope that “by way of the earth” part is okay–I know you are a fan of The Walking Dead and I don’t want to confuse you so, to clarify: I am not a zombie yet.]

Here are some really pretty images of plants I’ve probably posted about in previous springs but do you expect me to plow up my garden every year and replant just to make it more interesting for you or what?  So be generous and pretend you don’t remember seeing these plants from before, or if you are a new reader recently tricked into reading drawn to this brilliant blog well then that’s peachy just have a good time –it’s what we do here.

not sheep

These plants are called grass.

Usually this field is full of sheep, and the sheep necessitate opening and closing of some most annoying gates in order to get to the mailbox or indeed to the highway and the rest of the world. This year the farmer has cut hay from the field instead so the beauty of this shot is the missing sheep. (Sheep are great. Gates suck.)

Oh I expect it’s flowers you want. But I am still so happy about the hay…

Here is what grew from my little cutting of a Clematis Montana, now vining all over the trellis that used to hold up the utterly hopeless raspberry plants. Surprising horticultural note: the Montana produces exactly as many edible raspberries as the raspberry canes did and it’s much prettier.

Montana clematis flowering

Next is one of the beds by the front porch. Note the tail: the garden terrier at work.

front of house with tail

I’ve been having “discussions” with that big over-bearing Spirea, the one blooming white in the lower center front of the above bed, and these discussions have involved my hand pruners, but still this shrub is on the list to move in the fall, the growing list. Hard to wait…

Speaking of moving plants, here is a clematis that I moved just a bit late, or early. Last week really. It may be suffering some minor shock but I do expect a full recovery. (I also expect to find a magic ring of invisibility, maybe in one of the birdbaths.)

clematis recovering

Lest you worry about the overall detrimental shadow such an under-the-weather plant might cast in my cheerful garden, I next illustrate how a couple of years ago I strategically situated the Exploding Flower Plants (aka Allium schubertii) to draw the eye away from the dead temporarily indisposed clematis.  (See how I plan?) In addition Ms. Nature has seen fit to plant a little row of breadbox (opium) poppies there as well, so after they bloom remember to visit me in prison please thank you.

exploding flowers

The taller white plant in the earlier dog-tail photo is a double mock orange which is covering the parlor window but gets to stay because I said so. Here is a photo I took for it to put on its Christmas card.

double mock orange

In other happiness, the variegated dogwood likes its new location.

variegated dogwood

Honestly it had to be moved– it was frying in late summer and just needed out of any afternoon sun. We’ll see how it goes in August but so far so good or at least it looks quite a lot better than that repositioned clematis but maybe that’s because I moved it in the dead of winter which is a not-fun time to garden and I don’t recommend it.

In other news there was another murder in the kiwi neighborhood and the kitchen remodel/restoration is moving forward but right now I have to go work on my coyote movie because I know you are excited about it.

PS: a rose for you

Sharifa asma rose






About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in actual gardens, actual plants, Clematis and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to In the good old spring

  1. Cathy says:

    Oh Linnie, you made me laugh out loud…. NOT a good thing. I am recovering from lung surgery. Laughing = Pain. Bad Pain. Please email me if you get a chance and I’ll update you…. Cathy

    • linniew says:

      Cathy! Oh dear. Lung surgery sounds like less fun than digging up shrubs in January. Lovely to hear from you but such news! Of course I will email…

  2. susan troccolo says:

    Hi Linnie, you make me laugh out loud too. Better get to working on that novel of yours–the world needs it. So….what is the name of that “overbearing Spirea?” I need one just like it. You are probably sick of it, but from the photo, the whole image is gorgeous.

    • linniew says:

      Hi Susie! My gardening book is coming along but I need some very creative or possibly slightly mentally ill publisher to work with me so if you know anyone like that let me know right away– thanks!

      The shrub is called Spirea “Snow Storm” — here is an image from last year. It is really pretty, and I do prune it after it blooms, but after 3 or 4 years it has developed a goal of flower-bed domination so it will be hitting the road to a new neighborhood.

      • susan troccolo says:

        Well, I went to my local nursery today and checked out the spirea you mentioned. It is very pretty, but after your cautionary tale, I’ll have to think hard about where it would go. Grandiosity in a shrub is not a pretty sight–“when spireas go bad”-:)) I’m looking at the “She Writes” subsidy press at the moment only because they include developmental editors, copy editors, cover designers, quality people. I have some tough decisions to make about my next book and will need the services of a top developmental person. Also, I want to manage the process soup to nuts. I’m too old not to do it my way after what I’ve seen in the biz-:)) The industry is busting wide open for content creators and we get to be in charge, IF we want to be. Interesting read:

        • linniew says:

          Susie you are a wise gardener. Which probably means I can’t mail you my enormous Spirea “Snow Storm” (more like “Blizzard”) so I will just have to dig up some more lawn. The publishing thoughts are hugely appreciated. It’s all changing so quickly but really I like the growing role of the author. I’ll be reading at shewrites– thanks for the link.

  3. Hi Linnie Love. You are such a smart gardener, thinking ahead like that, knowing that you would need a visual diversion from the “recovering” clemmy. Nice going. I love the drive in to your tucked-in-the-woods piece of paradise, even better sans gate. Your mock orange is lovely and I bet it smells heavenly. And the dogwood is also looking spiffy. Nice color-echo with the Heucheras. See, I notice those things. 🙂

    • linniew says:

      Hi Gracie
      Yes sometimes I think I plan ahead too much, that I’m kind of neurotic in my endless attention to detail, then it all works out perfectly like with the dead clematis you know, so gratifying.

      Good job noticing my swath of pale heucheras. The color match with the dogwood was of course the reason I bought them. No wait, I planted the heucheras there first when the dogwood was over by the house burning up– Well sometimes I just design on automatic pilot… (And sometimes I crash.)

  4. Lyn says:

    Linnie, this post reminded me just how much I was missing when you weren’t blogging – it’s so perfectly you. I’m glad you’re not a zombie yet – I’m pretty sure they have no sense of humour (and then there’s that whole brain cuisine thing). I liked the missing sheep and the clematis that doesn’t produce any raspberries, and the dogwood is lovely, but I do have to take you to task about your flagrantly unfair criticism of that Spirea when the Philadelphus is clearly much more of a bully. Just look at it, smirking there because it knows it’s the favourite child.

    • linniew says:

      Okay here’s the thing. The mock orange is the background plant, kind of like the back curtain. And the spirea is part of a carefully choreographed forward ensemble (ie: “I bet I can wedge that rose in here…”) and now it is stepping on all the other dancers. I quite like the spirea. I especially like that it isn’t dead. So I will be handling it with massive care which is to say I will completely not move it until deepest winter and I will definitely have the new planting hole dug before I up-end the plant. So calm your worries dear Lyn, and be comforted in the knowledge that if moving the spirea is a mistake well I will never mention it.

      ps: You are right. I like the mock orange better so it can get away with stuff.

  5. I’m really surprised the clematis collapsed like that. Has it recovered? It sounds like you live in the boonies so there will be less zombies to find you, unlike my neck of the woods where the roads fill with them every Monday morning. Love that dogwood. I think variegated almost everything needs afternoon shade. 🙂

    • linniew says:

      I moved that clematis in a lot of earth, and at first it continued to grow, twining around the new little trellis thing. I kept it watered, I said nice things to it, then suddenly and without a word of explanation it just wilted to oblivion. Today it looks like a clematis that has been dead for hundreds of years, maybe planted by Johnny Appleseed by mistake. This brand of clematis has magenta blooms, and I have another one just like it and really one magenta-bloomed clematis is probably enough so I was willing to risk it. Mostly I needed its previous site for a sweet autumn clematis, which I finally found at the farm store and impulsively bought… Glad to hear my zombie-risk level is only maybe orange while it sounds like yours is red. Be careful. -L

      • kininvie says:

        That’s classic clematis wilt, Linnie, and it has absolutely nothing to do with your moving it. So you can shrug off any remaining guilt and burn it (in fact it would be wise to burn it).
        On other fronts, I see that yet again your spelling has suffered from my absence. It is ‘plough’. I can’t help it, but it is.
        Thats a very pretty philadelphus. I don’t suppose you know the variety? No, thought not….

        • linniew says:

          Hi Kininvie
          I must certainly agree that the clematis wilted–no doubt about that. You’ll be pleased to hear it’s been pruned back, to the ground, and sent off to the far pasture where the mower will help it along to its next incarnation.

          I just noticed HERE that plough/plow began as ‘plog’ which we could agree to switch to if we don’t mind puzzling anyone else who might be reading.

          The mock orange is Philadelpus x virginalis “Natchez” which could have something to do with Mississippi but probably not. (“Mock orange” mostly makes me think of the mock turtle in Alice.)

          About time you got home. I hope someone was feeding the chickens.

  6. Love the rose! and the blue hosta! 🙂 I grow hosta too, you have a beautiful garden. Looks like you have been gardening for a long time!


    • linniew says:

      Welcome Michael
      Yes I am getting tired 🙂 — but not today. Beautiful sun and yes I will be out there with the hosta. Thanks for coming by.

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