Monday, June 8, 2009

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~ Ruth Stout

OH, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
~ Robert Frost

When spring finally arrives in the north, plants explode with blooms. They know how short our season is and they have a lot to accomplish before another long winter sleep.

Allium karataviens is still blooming. It's a little charmer with leaves almost as wide as the plant is tall.

A few tall, gangly alliums Purple Sensation are still blooming but most have passed to the green seed head stage. The strappy allium leaves are already disappearing and will leave their airy skeleton orbs standing above the lower foliage and blooms.

This is garlic. A bulb from the local farmer's market was pushed into the soil at the feet of Rose de rescht and it thrives and increases every year. I've never dug the bulbs or eaten the garlic. It makes a nice ornamental. After it blooms the nepata will move into its space.

More iris in a rainbow of colors.

These yellow and blue blooms crowd each other like two children wanting attention.

Nepata (cat mint) is everywhere. It hides the bare ankles of taller plants and covers the gravel garden. Its blooms are tiny, not significan, but a three foot wide plant smothered in a million blooms is like a blue mist hovering above the ground. This plant definitely has a work ethic and never stops blooming.

The peonies are just opening so there will be peony photos in the next post.

Wildlife Rumors by Miss B

Let me tell you about the wild time we had last weekend. A starling somehow got into our house. I told my photographer, quick get the camera but she was absolutely frantic and wouldn't listen to me. The bird was flying through the house, crashing into windows and landing on picture frames. We cats (myself included) were racing right behind and leaping to grab it. My photographer fetched a big towel and threw it over the bird. Before we cats could pounce she had that bird scooped up and out of our reach. Very disappointing. If my photographer had only done her job and gotten some good action photos for my wildlife column. Not one photo do we have.

Now she keeps mumbling about bad luck and birds in the house. It was bad luck for cats that we didn't catch the bird. House cats don't get a lot of opportunities.

I need a photographer that stays cool under pressure and does her job. Her job isn't catching birds and setting them free outside.


tina said...

Too funny Miss B! I can just picture the excitement now. A starling is a pretty big bird to have loose in the house. And you are right, housecats don't get many opportunities-next time jump on it right away and save the photographer the stress.

Lovely plants Marnie. That garlic is really special. I had some onions bloom and I like them too. I may just leave them like you did the garlic.

Unknown said...

Lol.... that was some excitement! Good thing you can relax is your pretty garden. Glad you are getting some nice weather.

Phillip Oliver said...

We used to get birds in the house before we had our chimney sealed up. It can be quite an experience! Love the alliums, I don't know why I've never tried to grow them.

Sherri said...

I absolutely love the peach colored iris! It is beautiful!

What an exciting time your reporter has reported to us! Yikes! We had a carolina wren in our house last week, it was the same one that flew in our house in the fall. Teddy, our Golden Retriever tried as hard as he could to catch the little bird but I used a towel too and was able to get our little wren out before he was dinner for Teddy!

Susie said...

Hey Marnie, I have elephant growing too! I planted it last spring and have never dug up the bulb either. It has a lavender color bloom too.

F Cameron said...

Marnie -- your garden is so full of pretty blooms! I really like that first allium, too. I just had my first season with Purple Sensation and am hooked. I even loved the green orbs left behind since the foliage went quickly.

Nepeta is a workhorse here. It's time for me to cut mine back after the first bloom, but the bees just don't want to let go!

Miss B writes a good story. I enjoyed your "guest blogger" today! :-)


Rose said...

I can see why Ms. B is a little unhappy with you--you deprived her and her friends of some real fun:) Of course, cleaning up the house after they'd had their little game wouldn't have been very pleasant.

Lovely blooms, Marnie! This has convinced me that I really need to plant some alliums next year!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This narration cracks me up. I can just see all the frantic activity. Feathers and fur flying.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I do love your low, white allium. I have some very cute yellow (!) allium blooming; I'll post about those later this week (I hope). They're concidentally placed near some yellow-flowering sedum and it looks like I really planned that. The truth is, I don't remember planting those allium at all! Have you been noticing a lot more starlings than in previous years? I have.

And from Fiona the cat: Miss B, I love your column. Humans can be so disappointing, can't they? I once cauhgt a blue jay (A jay! they're big!) and my human chased me around the house until I released it. I was just teasing it, anyway, they don't taste so great, but still!

Unknown said...

I should say your plants up North get busy straight away!! Beautiful!

sweetbay said...

Lovely pictures Marnie. Can't wait to see your peonies!

Gail said...

When I was a brand new southern gardener I mistakenly thought the plant combinations you have would happen here! NOT! So I will enjoy your alliums and nepata and peonies and iris! Ours are long past blooming time. Gail

Miss B ...There is no accounting for photographers and nature lovers. When I burst through the screen and caught that chipmunk, I was so proud, but my human caretaker took it from me and can you believe it...she set it free! It taunts me each day, as it runs by the new screen door. Coal

Kathleen said...

Oh that Miss B, she's the best! I stressed over having a baby robin in my garage, I can't imagine the hoopla that would have gone on if I had a starling in the house! Good thinking to throw a towel over it. I'll have to remember that in case any such thing happens here. I'd say the photographer kept her wits about her!
Back to the flowers, that peach iris is gorgeous Marnie. I would like to add that color to my few (which I did a terrible job photographing this year). Also love the Allium karataviens. I just started getting fall bulb catalogs and am marking some favorites to add. I'll make note of this one. I haven't had any regular garlic either and it's very attractive. We, with the cold climate gardens, have to enjoy this rush of blooms all we can, don't we?? It's over much too soon for me (and probably for them too). Can't wait to see your peonies, mine are just opening also.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Tina, a few herbs are attractive in the garden. The garlic is really crowding my little rose so I may eat it this fall;)

Hi Brooke, yes, birds are much more enjoyable outside;)

Hi Phillip, I didn't see them before last year. Saw some on GardenWeb and did some research. Last fall found them at Menards.

Sherri, I can imagine a golden chasing a bird thru the house. Lucky they didn't topple some furniture.

Hi Susie, doesn't it look just like chives too?


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cameron, yes the perspective of a house cat;) I'm researching more alliums to try next spring.

Hi Rose, the alliums are nice but if I had it to do again, I'd pair them with taller plants or shrubs so they don't look so stark sticking up there.

Lisa, it was probably worthy of America Funniest Home Videos.

Hi Monica, I wonder who planted those yellow alliums in your garden;) I'm anxious to see them, I'm trying to decide what to look for this fall to add something new. Tell Fiona if it wasn't for the fact that Miss B and her friends can't open those cans of Science Diet, they wouldn't put up with me.

Hi Darla, spring does get off with a rush of bloom

Hi SweetBay, I will bore you all to death with peony blooms.

Hi Gail, Miss B understands Coals frustration. Who makes these silly rules anyway?

Kathleen, be happy you didn't have some helpful kitties with you and the robin in the garage. The peachy pink is probably my favorite iris color too. Iris look fantastic in pastel colors. Looking forward to your peony photos. You do a wonderful job with your camera.


A Wild Thing said...

I know what you mean, I was running like a mad woman chasing a big retriever from a baby Robin in MY yard...why don't people have consideration for other people's property...

I have a new rain...sun came out, hung laundry out, rain came out, sun came out...well you know the rest of the story!!!

Enjoy your peonies Marnie, mine still have a few blooms and my iris all open at different times on each side of my house, so I have blooms a lot your varieties...stay dry!!!


joey said...

Beautiful photos ... your garden is stunning, Marnie! Let's hope you don't get another chance for a 'starling shoot' :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that the photographer caught the poor bird before the housecats got their paws on him. ;) Love your Alliums, I ordered Allium karataviens for fall planting this year. After seeing it on Tina's & your blog I'm glad I did.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Sharon, pet owners can be very inconsiderate. You're lucky to have little micro climates to prolong your iris season. The weathermen are threatening us with big storms this afternoon. Talk to you tomorrow if I'm not in Kansas.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Joey, I can't say I like starlings very much. Woman's instinct to protect vs cats instinct to catch and eat;)

Racquel, I think you'll like it. It blooms for a long time under good conditions.


ShySongbird said...

Oh goodness, I really started off well! After finding you last week, and being thrilled to do so, I promptly managed to miss your next post, but it shouldn't happen again as I have put myself on your followers and I will also put you on my sidebar. Your posts are far too good to miss!

I love all the blooms on your last post and on this one too. On the last one I found the colour combination of the Iris and Columbine almost mouth watering, and on this post the blue and yellow Iris are beautiful, but then they all are! So beautifully photographed too.

Miss B's report was excellent and very vivid, please pass on my congratulations to her but tell her I'm glad her photographer saved the Starling, they do seem to have a habit of getting into sticky situations! ;)

walk2write said...

You would think that garlic would ward off things like birds run-amok. Marnie, your flowers are gorgeous. I hope Miss B doesn't sulk too much about the one that got away.

Balisha said...

I love the color of those iris. The nature report by Miss B is hilarious.

BeadedTail said...

Again, such beautiful flowers! I love the irises! And Miss B, another great report and too bad your photographer didn't get a picture of the bird. I'm sure that was real exciting!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

That's the kind of excitement I am fine doing without. Silly bird!

Roses and Lilacs said...

ShySongbird, Miss B leads a much more exciting life than I do. I'll tell her you enjoyed her story.

Walt2Write, LOL, I need to wear some garlic around my neck or maybe hang it above the door;)

Hi Balisha, I'm finally collecting a variety of iris colors. I find iris are kind of hard to photograph.

BeadedTail, Miss B and I have slightly different views of what should be photographed and what should happen to wayward birds.

Hi Sue, I agree the bird must have had a death wish to enter a house full of cats;)


ChrisND said...

I can tell it is allium time here too...chives, walking onions, and others are putting up nice blooms right now.

That garlic is interesting...never thought it would look so much like chives...duh they are related :-)

Q said...

I also grow garlic for the flowers...the bees love it.
I like to grow food in with my flowers. Yesterday I planted spinach and lettuces under the lilacs. In the shade they both will tolerate our hot summers.
Miss B is a clever cat.
I enjoy her reports...she has a remarkable vocabulary for a cat...I can tell she is not an ordinary cat. I can just imagine how exciting a Starling in the house was...
Thank you for a fun post.

marmee said...


i can only imagine what the scene in your house looked like the day the bird flew in. lol!
that peony is a lovely shade...they are just beautiful. so wonderful to be home and catching up on your posts.
happy summer days!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Chris, I noticed the onions and chives on your post. I was surprised that the chives and garlic looked alike.

Sherry, Miss B is about 16 years old, I guess she picked up a nice vocabulary in that time;) I will try planting some lettuce in a shady spot and try to keep it going thru the heat.

Hi Marmee, I'll bet you are glad to get back to your own house. Yes, if there had been someone there taking video, I'm sure America's Funniest Videos would have wanted them.


oldcrow61 said...

Such beautiful flowers. I'm so looking forward to my garden in bloom.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Old Crow, I'll bet your late snow set everything back. Our weather has been so cold and wet only the cool season plants are doing well. Things like tomatoes and pelagoriums are just sulking.

Cheryl said...

I love lilac coloured blooms.....alliums are wonderful, I have many. I also enjoy you say to have it en masse is wonderful and the bees love it.....

Well done saving the starling......poor thing must have been terrified.....
love the cats write

crimsoncat05 said...

"very disappointing..." I can just hear the disapproval in her voice! glad you got it out safely, before it made too much of a mess!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cheryl, you're right, the poor bird must have thought it was the END. I've visited your website and we have much in common. I'm trying to do the same thing with my farm. Provide an environmentally friendly spot for birds and butterflies.

CrimsonCat, my sister had a starling get into her home a couple years ago. It was there all day while the family was at work. The result was she had to have her sofa reupholstered;) What a mess.


Northern Shade said...

Miss B, you will have to go back to doing your bird watching through the window, with your cute little nose pressed against the glass.

Marnie, I always love double peonies, packed with petals. It looks like your blue iris won the competition for the photo shoot, managing to get its petal in front. It's even giving bunny ears behind the yellow one.

Pat said...

I love peonies but think I'm running out of space unless my one privot shrubs which is cover with wild honeysuckle gets yanked out.
I think you should fire the

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

So funny!! We had a sparrow in our garage and I had the same reaction. LOL -Jackie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi NorthernShade, double is always twice as good;) I love doubles in any flower.

Patsi, I know what you mean. I've arranged my gardens so I can walk thru them on the way to work each morning and see them from the kitchen, dining and bedroom windows. There is only so much available space.

Hi Jackie, don't know why they insist on getting indoors.


Anonymous said...

OH how funny! I guess house cats just have to dream about catching birds. I do wish the cats had captured you chasing the bird. Cats probably rarely get to see a human chase a bird. Cheers all around.

Got to remember to order alliums--just gotta have some like yours!

Nan and =^..^= said...

Loved M B's account of the starling adventure! Almost felt like I was there... Whew! I would have been frantic!
You seem to be a little bit ahead of us in the garden...our peonies are almost ready!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Anna, I certainly didn't enjoy it as much as they did;)

Hi Nan, it seems to me we must be at least a couple weeks ahead of you folks back east in Maine. We had very good weather for spring flowers this year. Cool and plenty of rain.


Anonymous said...