Paeonia Japonica – woodland peony
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,â€”that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” from Ode
on a Grecian Urn by poet John Keats
Though the poet, Keats, wrote these lines about the paintings on a Grecian Urn, this GardenLady likes to think they could be said about aÂ garden. And this spring the garden flowers have seemed especiallyÂ beautiful. Or does TheGardenLady say that each and every spring when the flowers seem to take one’s breath away with their beauty?
This year, in my garden, it seems that flowers have been opening aÂ month earlier than I remember. I always thought lilacs opened at theÂ end of May on my sister’s birthday. This year mine gave me the mostÂ lavish display but are now already fading in the first week of May.
Other flowers that have put on a spectacular show for me this year: I have a wisteria that is trained to grow as a tree and this year it has a head full of the flowers; my dogwoods, all wild or self seeded areÂ having an incredible show with amazingly large flowers and my bulbsÂ seemed to outshine themselves: from the crocuses, to the hyacinths andÂ grape hyacinths, the tulips to the Hyacinthoides (bluebells) andÂ camassia. It is breathtaking. I feel like my garden will soon look asÂ beautiful as the artist Monet’s garden since I have most of the sameÂ flowering plants.
And because this year, after many years of sitting supposedly stillÂ in the small clumps where I planted them, this year the flower plants have spread tremendously either by underground rhizomes like myÂ Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley ) brought from my parents’Â farm over 30 years ago or by sending out seeds like my hellebores haveÂ done – hellebores that a friend gave me about ten years ago. I haveÂ always been impressed when I visited people’s splendid gardens and they told me that certain of their beautiful flowers were “self-seeded” – they had not planted them. I never had this happen to me until recently, after years of amending my soil with top soil andÂ mulch. Now my garden is aÂ garden where plants want to move in. Also this year with the weatherÂ so warm, so many of my plants have multiplied. So this spring whenÂ there was a request for plants for a plant sale, I had many plants to donate. I also have many plants that I want to put in otherÂ locations on my property.
Interesting to this GardenLady is that because the property my houseÂ was built on had been a woodland property before my house was built,Â the first ever built on this site, the plants that seem to be happilyÂ expanding have been the woodland flowers that I planted or thatÂ planted themselves. I have a large patch of trout lilies (ErythroniumÂ americanum) that have come into my garden from their woodland location, a flower I had never seen until I moved here; I have a very large area in the shade where woodland poppies growÂ with their bright yellow flowers taking over after the daffodilsÂ die (Stylophorum diphyllum); Jack-in-the pulpits have come to the front of my house and areÂ happily living under some yew bushes; woodland or snowdrop spring anemones (Anemone sylvestris) thisÂ year have had more flowers than ever before and also sent out aÂ number of baby plants: and primulas now seemÂ happy in my gardenÂ including primula vulgaris that has made a large clump. I do not knowÂ what it is about woodland flowers that make them among the mostÂ charming of flowering plants so that I delight in their filling myÂ garden.
TheGardenLady wonders how your spring garden has been looking. If youÂ take photos, could you share them with TheGardenLady readers? SendÂ them and TheGardenLady will try to post them to show the beauty ofÂ your gardens.