garden ponderings

Rock Rose Petal Snow

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Rock Rose Petal Snow

This shrub was recently covered in flowers, and now the petals are falling. The ground appears to be covered with a light snowfall.

A few years ago, we moved this plant to its present location below a west-facing bedroom window. For a few days a year, you can look out the window and see a blanket of white flowers covering the entire bush.
Then the petals fall and it looks like a snowfall has come through the area in late May – an extremely unlikely event in this area.

Yes, these plants are protected by a deer fence. On the right, are day lily leaves, a month away from flowering themselves.

About a month ago, I took pruning loppers to this shrub, and cut a lot off. It has paid off already, as the stems are stronger and the flowers did not droop excessively.

Tree Peonies

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Tree Peonies

I was surprised when my older neighbor showed up one afternoon with this in the back of his truck. He apparently thought it would have a better home here.

At first there was no fence around this plant, and the deer pruned it back. But then it came back with new growth at the bottom. I am finally ready to cut some branches this year, after it is finished blooming, of course. I know just where I will cut, and I can see buds ready to break out half way down a long branch. I tend to be a very cautious pruner, taking a few years to study the growth of a particular plant I intend to cut back. This is the way of someone who has over-cut some plant and is trying not to make the same mistake again.

Peony petals are large and paper-like. They live only a few days as a cut flower. I found that if I cut a bud as the flower color is there, but before it opens, it can dry and stay that way for a couple of years. As the flower opens up, the petals don’t fade or turn brown, they just fall off.

I chose this photo of these flowers as it gives a view of the size of the plant. The flowers are over my 61″ high head.

Mystery Flower


Mystery Flower

I wish I knew the name of these flowers.
They bloom very early, about the same time as crocus – except I see them in between the violets. The more recent blooms are more purple, while they fade to a paler lavender color as they age.

I thought I planted a handful of small bulbs a few years ago, now they are coming up all around a particular area. Are the small animals spreading them? Or is it the birds? Could they have gone to seed as many of my flowers do? But bulbs don’t spread by going to seed. I suppose I could dig one up to determine if they truly are bulbs. But I think I like them as they are, so they will stay and keep the violets company.