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Friday, April 15, 2011

Springtime at Casa Quintana

Springtime has arrived at Casa Quintana.  In fact, it arrived a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't been out taking pictures.  One of my favorite tulips is Big Chief.  These have been in a couple of years and with my heavy clay soil, they will have to be removed and replanted probably this year.  They lose their vigor under the best of circumstances, but in my soil, faster than others. I'm hoping that I'll feel up to it by fall.

I love daffodils and plant the whole range from early to late, full sized to miniature.  These are Cheerfulness, I think, and they are very fragrant.

Species tulips and old time crossesare also welcome in my garden.  I need to plant "Coleur Cardinale" which is a variety from the 19th century.  These Greigii tulips are favorites because I love the spotting on their leaves.  This silky number is "Toronto."

My next door neighbor is a "Guerrilla Decorator."  I came home to have my little Forest Pansy Redbud decked out in plastic Easter Eggs.  In the fall, she brought over a jack-o-lantern plastic bag filled with leaves.   

Lem likes to come out and help.  Here he is keeping watch.
The Bradford and Cleveland pears are in full bloom.  While spectacularly covered in blossoms, I'm not too thrilled with them.  I feel that there are other equally beautiful trees which don't split (in the case of Bradfords) and don't seed themselves all over.  I'm also not too thrilled with the fact that they are very slow to lose their leaves and sucker.  When there are this many, it smells...well, rather putrid.  My daughter things they smell good..but.....I think they are nasty.
Older single narcissus are wonderful too. 
Lem's on the job hunting voles....I have lots and they love to eat bulbs and plants.  I think he caught one, but I don't know if he killed it.  I saw one run and he pounced and batted it...but I wasn't in the mood to dispatch them today.
I have several vareities of Brunnera (perennial forget-me-not).  Their light blue flowers look great with the daffs.
I love this one called Hadspen Cream. 
One of my other native lovelies is Mertensia virginica.  It's just coming into bloom. This is a spring ephemeral and it will disappear after being coverd in lovely periwinkle blue flowers.  I laughed because my husband's cousin loves these and I bought her 8 at a nursery in Connecticut and brought them down to her, only they were dormant. 

This spring, when they first poked up, her husband was concerned.  The foliage is purplish when it first emerges and he thought I had gotten the wrong plant.  They both piled in the car and drove to a spot in Dayton where lots of them flourish.  I was redeemed.
I also have several different types of bleeding heart.  This one is the common Dicentra spectabilis.  I have a white one and a yellow leaved variety in addition to other smaller woodland varieties (exemia and formosa).  Dicentra exemia and Dicentra formosa aren't blooming yet. Spectabilis will go dormant in the hot dry summers; the other two will continue to bloom.

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