11 June 2009

Pinkies and the Brain

All the hard work of gardening becomes completely worth it when you start seeing results. This morning I took a break from said hard work to snap a few photos. I think you'll understand the title of this post in a minute...

My apothecary rose (Rosa gallica 'Officinalis') is the first to bloom. It smells as lovely as it looks. I try to grow roses that are hardy, disease-resistant, and--most important--scented (what's the point of a scentless rose?) The apothecary rose's drawback, however, is that it only blooms once a season and is done. I still think it's worth it.

This is a climber whose name I forget (although I'm pretty sure it's one of the 'Explorer' series). It's covered in buds this year and surprised me with its first flower today, peeking out from the back. The interesting thing about this rose is that I remember it being far less red last year! I have it on good authority (my mom) that changes in the soil can affect flower colour. I seem to recall fertilizing with "sea" compost (basically manure and ground-up shellfish) earlier in the season. Unexpected results!

So, I'm one of those hopelessly unfashionable gardeners who actually like geraniums. They might be old-fashioned, but they're also beautiful and low-maintenance (and I think the leaves smell nice). They come in a good range of colours too (speaking of which, mine all changed from the original shades with the second batch of blooms--must be the thing to do this year). The pink and lavender ones I've got also sport double blooms.

This is the newest of my three clematis plants and also the earliest to bloom. At this point I'm not surprised that the first flower it sported was far darker than these (almost black). The flowers are large and you can see it's covered in buds. It was a great find (I can probably look up the name if anyone's interested).

All my peonies were here when we moved in (I owe a big debt of gratitude to whichever previous owner was the gardener. S/he even left recipes for potting mix written on the garage wall!) The plants were still young last year and we only got one or two blooms. This year almost all the plants are covered in buds! They're a little late but it was definitely worth the wait. Best of all, they seem to all be my favourite garden colour (I was worried they'd be yellow--one of my least favourite colours in the garden, although a pale yellow could have been nice). And like the roses, they also smell divine.

Our first flower, just re-opening first thing in the morning.

Fully opened by 8 a.m., with another that'll likely join it by late afternoon.

And here's the Brain of the post's title, although all the squirrels around here qualify for that designation. They have rapidly learned that being cute (standing up with their front paws curled in front of them) and/or being persistent will get them food (beyond what they steal from the bird feeder, that is). This guy is enjoying some bread I threw to him after caving to his charms. The birds also got a small measure of revenge by stealing some of the bread for themselves. Welcome to our wildlife sanctuary!

(All photos by me)


bella said...

I've not seen yellow peonies before, but I'm glad the ones you have are pink and pleasing.

Aspasia said...

I'm really surprised you haven't seen yellow peonies. Check out this link: http://www.yellowpeonies.com/

Or you can google images. They don't seem well-represented in the catalogues, but they are out there :)