Spring Is Bursting Out All Over

Been busy with the camera over the last week with the irises up and blooming, the roses succumbing to a combination of aphids and caterpillars despite my best efforts to flush them away with blasts from the garden hose and my Godzilla-like gloved hand swiping at them, and the peach tree already heavy with pea-sized peaches on every branch. Have been running star jasmine vines through wires strategically attached to the fences, and the weeding, of course, never ends.

Here are the first Joseph’s Coat climbing roses in bloom. This is the established one climbing the back fence… pruning it back extra hard over the winter has resulted in the most incredible lushness this spring, and the established roses have NONE of the aphid problems of the tender new plants in the front bed.

This new tall bearded iris, called “Anything Goes” is a gorgeous raspberry color, all veiny (and vain, too, perhaps) and deliciously scented. My sister, who is in San Francisco this week on business, spent an afternoon here with me in the garden this weekend, and declared that the purple bearded irises smell just like root beer. We put some new yellow irises up in the front bed, called “Banana Frappe” but they are not yet in bloom so their debut portrait will have to wait for the next post.

The water in the fountain grew increasingly nasty-looking over the last couple of weeks, murky and an inviting breeding pool for mosquitoes, so I sought advice. Hence, I poured a couple of capfuls of Listerine into the water this afternoon, having been assured that it would do the trick. Has anyone else heard of this remedy? Now I wonder if people listening to the fountain’s lovely trickle will feel the sudden urge to gargle or brush their teeth?

I’m also just about to pick the first batch of rhubarb. The leaves are the size of elephant ears (Okay, maybe a pygmy elephant) and I’m glad I resisted my urge to pick the stalks a week ago because they really shot up and are now thick, crimson, and juicy-looking.

Finally, I am so pleased with the way the shade bed turned out. The corydalis really pops against the bleeding heart and the various shades of green. To my amazement, the hellebores in that bed are still vibrant compared to those planted in the beds that get a little more sun during the day. I guess they really do prefer deep shade!

And of course the bleeding hearts themselves are so delicate and airy. Even though there are so many more blooming riches ahead in summer, I still think spring is my favorite season of all:

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