Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oh, spring came to my garden And caught it unaware Wearing just a few old leaves And a dejected air. ~ Velma Bates

I always buy annuals early, favorites and the more unusual varieties are gone by mid April. Since I’ve had terrible luck starting cosmos from seed, my only alternative is to buy a flat or two. Didier greenhouse grows a very limited number, so I grab them the minute they become available. I was never able to find any yellow or orange cosmos but love these pink.



Plum Crazy is my favorite petunia color. It sells out pretty quickly too so I pick mine up early. Our last frost date is May 15th so plants, in their tiny cell packs, must be babied along until they can safely go into the garden.





I spent more than half an hour hovering around the flats of annuals and hoping this red admiral butterfly would land on one of the blooms and let me get his photo against a pretty background.



He was determined not to cooperate. He spent his time sunning on the ugly brown leaf mulch, on the concrete driveway, and on a torn dogwood leaf. He never went near the flowers.


Last year was so wet we saw almost no butterflies until August. This year is the opposite, very dry so butterflies are out early.



In addition to the lilacs and flowering fruit trees, viburnum x Burkwoodii is in bloom. This is the first viburnum to flower here. It isn’t the showiest but it has a strong, sweet fragrance.



While I work outside, Toby patrols, keeping me safe from marauding mice and gophers.



Hope everyone has a great weekend.

34 comments:

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

I know what you mean about getting those favorite plants early. Your patience to get the butterfly photo...maybe next time he'll want flowers.

Becca's Dirt said...

I so love that cosmos. I have planted cosmos from seed and just put the trays out 3-4 weeks ago and they are doing very well. Hope they look as good as yours. Lovely shade of pink. The petunias are also beautiful. Have a great day. Becca

tina said...

I love the smell of Burkwoodii. I've only smelled it in the nursery though. Lovely butterfly-so glad it cooperated and I hope you have a great year for them.

Louise said...

Toby is such a handsome fellow, and he looks like he will protect you well. I tried Cosmos one year, and really liked them. Then, I kind of forgot about them. Hmmmm, another trip to the greenhouses may be in order.

By the way, I have put this in a couple of other places, but I'm not sure you would see it. Please feel free to come by my blog any time and help me identify things. Although I'm retired, I didn't start gardening until a few years ago, and there is a lot I have to learn.

Diana (Di) said...

Marnie, can I borrow Toby for a while? I can tell we would be great friends. ;)

I tried photographing a Tiger swallowtail down at the vegetable garden the other day, but he would have none of that... so elusive even though I stood perfectly still. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

Randy and Jamie said...

Toby looks like he takes his job very seriously! Such a determined look on his face. :-)-- Randy

Southern Lady said...

I love Toby. I can't wait until my little kitties get big enough to go outside and help out. Carla

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos again Marnie.

I love Cosmos and have had it most years but somehow mine turned into trees last year, they were gigantic!

Isn't it great to have the butterflies back again? They never seem to understand that they should cooperate and pose nicely though...a bit like the birds really :)

Darla said...

You should try Cosmos from seed, easy peasy! Toby looks like a great protector!

nancybond said...

Your frost date is about the same as ours (May 16) and things are so far ahead this year, I can't help but be optimistic that we've seen the last of Jack Frost. However, Nature is full of surprises. :) The first thing I need to buy is some potting soil...and lots of it. I can't wait to see what's new in annuals this year.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What fun buying annuals for your garden. I haven't done that yet. Maybe this weekend. I too have seen many butterflies this spring. It will be a good year for them, hopefully. I hope you have a great weekend too. Give Toby a pat for me.

Fuat Gencal said...

Resimler muhteşem. Tebrikler.

sweet bay said...

Toby is a good cat. Prissy does the same here. Tommy is a lounger. Currently he is laying on the back porch under a horse blanket with just his tail sticking out, a typical pose.

The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

I admire your patience, we've had some Orange Tip butterflies in the garden today, but they're much too quick for me to catch them on camera! So well done!

Muhammad khabbab said...

First of all the cherry blossom flowers in previous post are just exquisite. The petunia and cosmos are very pretty. I also like the pink cosmos more than others. There are shell type petals also available but not here. I also liked various butterflies on your blog.

Manuela@TPOH said...

I need Toby! The chipmunks are driving me crazy!

Lovely photos! I hope to buy a few annuals this weekend.

Manuela

BeadedTail said...

Toby is a great garden snoopervisor! He's so handsome!

I bought some annuals last weekend for the containers on our decks and I bought cosmos! Didn't know I did the right thing - yay! I also got purple striped petunias cause I just love purple!

Cheryl said...

HI Marnie......lovely annuals. I have a greenhouse full of plants, ready and waiting to go out. We have been having lights frosts overnight so everything is on hold.

Glad the butterflies are back in your area......wonderful

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

Petunia and Cosmos remind me of what I need to shop for soon.
Oh so pretty !!
I have seeds(tons of them) for very tall orange cosmos if you want any.
Soon, I hope to have a colorful garden like yours.

Judy said...

I brought some cosmos seeds from a neighbour's garden. She said they self seed all over for her, so I am hoping the will do the same for me. Your lilacs are in full bloom, while mine are almost there! Definitely time to bring them in the house!!!

Sherri said...

Viburnum has such a wonderful fragrance. There is one that doesn't have any scent, which is unfortunate!

Susie said...

I did have a little luck growing those cosmos from seed. I emphasize little. They are such a great plant to grow for the summer.

Hope you have a good weekend!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Marnie. Love Cosmos. My seeds are growing but they do not look the healthiest of the seedlings. I hope they fair better when I get them outdoors. Your viburnum has such lovely blooms. Your cat Toby looks just like the stray that has adopted me. Does it have green eyes too? Have a wonderful weekend.

joey said...

Patience is golden, Marnie. Your photos are endearing favorites. I grew cosmos for many years and perhaps will again this year since I'm revamping my sun/semi-sun garden. Because our growing season is so short, I too rely on the greenhouse for starters. I don't buy many annuals except for pots and a bit worried about the iffy weekend weather while gone so will bring mine inside.

perennialgardener said...

Good choices for annuals. I love that shade of purple on the Petunia. It's been hot & dry here. We need some rain soon. :)

Dawn said...

Marnie, I can hardly go anywhere that has the annuals outside, like the grocery store. I tend to spend a good amount of time outside deciding, my poor daughter.
Love a cat that knows his/her job, because some don't.....like mine! :)

Rose said...

You are so smart to buy your annuals early, Marnie! I haven't bought a thing, worried they might all die while I'm gone this week, so I hope my favorites are still there when I get back from Oregon! I've seen quite a few butterflies already this season, too; I hope that is good news for this summer after the lack of them last year.

Toby is such a great guard cat:)

Kathleen said...

Our last frost date is a touch earlier than yours Marnie but you sure wouldn't know it this year. You've certainly had it much warmer. boo hoo for me. :-)
I completely relate to what you're saying about snapping up favorite annuals early. I usually do that too but not this year. I hope there's something left when I go this weekend.
I love cosmos too but I normally start my own. Anything I want in mass quantity, it feels cheaper to do that way. Same with zinnias. Your pink ones would make me happy tho ~ that is my color preference for them!
I hope it warms up and dries out here so a few butterflies show up. We didn't see many last year either.
ps. About the Camassia bulbs, I don't know what's going on with yours? The one pictured on my blog yesterday was one planted just last fall. I've planted them two years in a row now and they have come up healthy & vigorous both years. I hope it's just a fluke of some kind ~ maybe next year you'll have a good display? or maybe the cold weather is helping mine?? We had a cool spring last year too.
Have a terrific weekend!

Balisha said...

I forgot the name "Plum Crazy" when I was buying plants. I was trying to describe it, but the clerk just scratched his head. Hopefully I can find some yet...
Have a great weekend.
Balisha

troutbirder said...

May 15th. A date etched in the memory of us northern gardeners. I can't wait.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Gosh, here cosmos is an outdoor seed plant. We just throw seeds on the ground. It's hard to find them in pots although I did see them in one store.

Loved your butterfly photo. I find them so hard to photograph.~~Dee

Naturegirl said...

Marnie here it's still too early to plant annuals although I'm so tempted!We've had such a COLD snap this past week..I dare not step into my garden!!
I did have a walk about and the perennials are filling in as are all my planted bulbs!
How exciting to see butterflies back in your garden!Now how cute is that mug shot of Toby!
Wishing you a Happy Mother's Day!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I do love cosmos of all colors. And lilacs are so wonderful. A bunch of them were blooming along a sidewalk where I went for a bike ride recently. Oh so lovely fragrance!

Msrobin said...

Marnie, don't be afraid to try orange cosmos from seed. They come up easily and flower quickly, then reseed. They are small like marigolds. I tried seashell cosmos from seed last year, and they didn't bloom till October! They were fabulous for about one week. So not worth it!