By the beginning of June, we can be fairly confident if a plant or shrub in the garden hasn’t started to push out greenery, it probably didn’t survive the winter. This is always a sad reality, knowing that plants, too, have a life cycle. I was reminiscing with my daughter about the loss of some hydrangeas and how attached I get to them …that they are like my second family.
After the rain (and snow!) a couple of weeks ago and the (almost unbearable) heat this week, the garden has magically transformed. The reliable performers have not disappointed this Spring.
I appreciate the “foundation” plantings in the garden…the hedges (photos below) provide structure and formality to my garden. Both the boxwood and Cotoneaster hedges are looking happy and healthy. Yes…the hedges are demanding, but I’ve managed to get the annual clipping of all the boxwood hedges done and have started the weekly clipping the of Cotoneaster hedge.
The bulbs, (below) the first thrill of Spring, are well worth the back-breaking effort and cold, stiff fingers that planting in October usually entails. The tulips are almost finished, the Muscari are at their height, and the alliums are ready to explode.
The ferns and lily of the valley are the pesky members of the garden family. Both have overrun a garden bed in the front garden…no matter… they are beautiful, and I can’t part with them.
The lilacs are simply intoxicating. Last summer, all the lilac bushes were given a hard prune, and I was rewarded with multiple glorious blooms this year.
The peonies are the real beauties in the garden. Over the past couple of years, I have divided tubers in the fall of some of my favourites, as well as purchasing quite a few new varieties. My garden is now abundant with peonies that will bloom at different stages over the month of June.
Although we shouldn’t admit to having a favourite family member, I can’t deny that the roses hold a special spot in my heart. Again, another high maintenance plant, but is there anything more beautiful than a hybrid tea rose? It’s a little early for the roses, but some are already about to show off.
Along with trees, shrubs and plants, the birds and bees are an integral element of the garden. I have cleaned out the fountain early this year (I usually get around to it later in June) and started it up for the birds to enjoy during our current heatwave. Yesterday I happened onto a robin that was flopped over on his side, almost overcome by dehydration. With the quick thinking of a visitor to my garden, we revived him with a light sprinkling of water and a bowl of fresh water. Happily, I have seen a robin in the front garden today, busy on the hunt for his next meal. Not sure if it’s the same one, but I’m hopeful.
I do have some annuals planted in containers, but I’m so grateful to the perennials that reliably perform year after year. Annuals bloom beautifully over the summer, but then it’s over. I equate annuals to a summer romance…fun while it lasted… and perennials to finding “the one“!