No, that's not my garden above (!), but a beautiful scene from the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, where my family and I were lucky enough to visit last weekend, on a beautiful, warm, sunny day. The flowering trees were magnificently in bloom, the bulbs were flowering their little heads off, and everything was lushly green and growing.
St. Louis, about 250 miles south of us here in Iowa, is usually about two weeks ahead of us each spring, and this spring is no exception, even though spring has come relatively early this year in both locations. It was nice to see a preview of the flowers that will soon be blooming here (if not in such impressive quantities as in the MOBOT).
|A scene from the MOBOT bulb garden. This was just one tiny corner of a huge area filled with|
massive beds of flowering bulbs, spring perennials and annuals. It was lovely.
I have visited the MOBOT every spring (and at other times of the year too) for more than five years now, and every time I take away one main idea. Last spring it was "More bulbs!"
This year, it was "More scented plants!". I was really entranced by the many lovely scented flowers in the gardens: lilacs, hyacinths, and those of the many tender plants in their Linnean House (the oldest continuously operating display greenhouse in the United States), including jasmine, fragrant olive and numerous citrus. So I made a note to myself to try to plant more scented plants in my own gardens, and perhaps I can even grow some of the tender scented plants in the sunroom that I am hoping to build this year.
But back to Iowa. Here are a few scenes from my own modest plot. Things are just starting to get going this spring:
|A closeup of the Single Early Tulips 'Flair'. These are supposed to be 14" in height, but I think they somehow became stunted,|
as they are blooming on stubby, short stems. Has this ever happened to anyone else?
|Some Libanotica Puschkinia or striped squill, with a leftover blue hyacinth on my West Terrace.|
|A 'Royal Star' magnolia. I don't think our recent light frosts have hurt the blooms on this small shrub that I planted in 2014.|
|A progress report on the new iris bed that I am making as part of the Peony Border: It will contain iris, alliums, poppies and perhaps some lupines, if they will take full sun here. I'm inspired by the magnificent May displays at Schreiner's Iris Gardens in Oregon, and I hope I can bring a little of that May magic to my modest Iowa gardens. I rented a sod cutter on Monday and removed the sod, loading it into our pickup truck and unloading it in one of our compost piles (hard, dirty work, but I hope the end result will be worth it!). I just have to dig in a thick layer of leaf compost and it will be good to go, and I can begin moving in divided irises and other perennials over the season, and planting bulbs in fall.|
It's been cold and windy for the past few days, so I haven't been very motivated to work outside -- if I had to, I could, but it's still early in the season, and I garden for the enjoyment of it, so why not wait until sunnier, warmer days? (I guess I embrace being a fair-weather gardener....)
Hope you are enjoying some sunnier, warmer days in your own gardens. Thanks for reading! -Beth