Saturday, 3 May 2014

Spring has Sprung!

Last fall I planted bulbs for the first time in my life. I quickly got confused with hundreds of them to plant and wasn't always sure I had stuck to my colour schemes. I have been waiting anxiously to see what the final display would look like. I took pictures with my cell phone every few days throughout the spring so I would know what I had planted where. So here is my first spring garden. If you have any ideas how to improve my garden I would appreciate hearing your opinions.

The very first blooms, crocuses. I planted 100 snowdrops in various places and containers, but none of them came up :(  and only a few of the crocuses came up, I am sure I planted more than this!

This is a large bush near where I worked that bloomed in the early spring, not sure what it is called but I like it and want one!

This is one of two containers I rescued last summer from a business in Steveston. She was going to throw them away because she hadn't been tending them and they looked wilted. I grabbed them and brought them home because I knew they had treasures buried in the soil, like this bleeding heart for example. Wait until you see how gorgeous it gets!

The first small garden on the east side of the shed showing signs of life, these are daffodils starting to come up. The ivy finally got a growth spurt over the winter and is starting to look healthy and like it might someday cover the shed.

The other small garden on the other side has some miniature daffodils, some tulips and a bleeding heart coming up and the ivy there is looking good as well.

The center of the main garden, these hyacinths were the first main colour to come up.

A cherry tree in full bloom in Steveston where I work. Their cherry trees bloom about a month before the ones here at home.

Back to the hyacinths, they are in full bloom now with tiny daffodils coming up between them.

The neighbors horses across the street checking me out on my way to work

The larger daffodils are now making an appearance in the main garden, the bees are happy to see them!

The bleeding heart in the container is growing like a weed, in just a few days it is now this big! The containers on the ground beside it have plants that are perennials that are supposed to survive winter. I had replaced all my annuals from last summer with these plants. While they did survive, they didn't really grow at all. I have set them to the sunny side of the house for the summer to see if I can get them bigger before next winter when they will go back over the front door.

The main garden starting to wake up now, lots of daffodils, grape hyacinth, narcissus in bloom, the grape vine in the left corner starting to get some leaves, the lilac bushes on the right starting to leaf out as well. Nice to see it all coming back to life!

These gorgeous daffodils were a nice surprise, I forgot that I had planted them!

A close-up of the paper whites.

A few weeks later and now there are tulips about to bloom in my centerpiece.

Another pleasant surprise, I had forgotten about these tulips as well.

Tulips now in full bloom

Full shot of the main garden. I picked some of the dandelions in front to use in a healing salve, they are soaking in olive oil for a few weeks first.

The tulips in the centerpiece are now open, a nice shade of pink!

The right hand corner is really filling out now, the bleeding heart is blooming, the gooseberry bush has its leaves and all the bulbs in full bloom.

I planted a pink and purple columbine last year, for some reason the purple one is growing faster than the pink, its almost ready to open its flowers.

The left hand corner of the shed seemed to get a lot of random coloured tulips that I don't remember planting. Its all good though, love the purple one especially!

Back to the small east side gardens, they are now really coming along as well. The hostas are peeking through the ground again. They didn't do well against the slugs last year, so I am surprised to see them, hopefully they do better this year!

and now back to the bleeding heart in the container, what a beauty eh! Can't believe she was going to throw this away! Coming up underneath it is an impressive hosta that will take over once the bleeding heart dies back.

The other container that I got from the same lady had a small showing of daffodils, one rogue tulip and now a giant hosta is starting to grow.

Small colourful pansies for some deck colour.

The flower boxes on the front of the house. I planted winter pansies, ivy and some other thing that didn't survive so well for the winter and stuck a few random bulbs in. I replaced the dying things in the middle with geraniums and will see how this display holds out over the summer.

Filled some planters with spring annuals, so nice to see colour out the window again after the dreary winter!

This planter got a redo as well, geraniums and I forget what the stuff in front is called, makes little white flowers.

The front wall with a wintergreen bush on the bottom planter and carnations in the two on the each side. I replanted the lavender that used to be in them up in the main garden as it was getting leggy looking here.

The planter under my bedroom window also got the geranium and white flower treatment. They are kind of hard to see in this picture.

The pots on either side of the door used to have rosemary bushes in them but they didn't survive the winter unfortunately so I replanted them with scented geranium which should get quite bushy over the summer, smell amazing and are supposed to repel mosquitos. The palm tree is what's left of it after spending a cold dark winter in the house. I lost about 60 percent of the leaves, so hoping a stint outdoors perks it up!  Hmm, I think after looking at this picture, I need a new doormat!!
The window box under the kitchen window.

The small garden upstairs in full bloom now.

The corner of the main garden and our cherry trees finally in bloom over the driveway.

I love this bower of cherry blossoms over the driveway!

On May Day we went for a walk in the forest and I was so happy to find this plant! Its called vanilla leaf and you tie the stems together and let it dry upside down near doorways and windows to deter flies and mosquitos. I harvested a couple of small bunches for my front door and windows. I am hoping to not have to repeat last summer where in desperation I resorted to those disgusting sticky fly strips that hang from the ceiling. YUCK.....I hated them but the fly situation was getting out of control. I am hoping the vanilla leaf and scented geranium by the front door will do the job instead!

So that was my spring garden experience. I am happy that most of my perennials from last year look like they survived and are coming back. The bulbs put on a nice show and I am hoping they spread and fill out over the years. I will use these pictures in the fall to go back and fill in any areas that I think could use more colour. If you have any interesting colour schemes that you think will go well with what I have going, I would love to hear them.

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The Eclectic Ark