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“Mom, you need to start blogging again!”

That has been the refrain I’ve been hearing from my children for nearly two months now, since the forsythia bloomed on St. Patrick’s Day!  Don’t tell them, but they are right!

So, here is what’s blooming around my yard this week:

The rhododendrons are starting to open.  Last year they were spectacular, and you could barely see green leaves through the heavy cover of blossoms.  This year they are just so-so.  I can’t help but wonder if the very odd winter we had here is the reason.  The bumblebees and hummingbirds do enjoy them, regardless, as well as another “friend”  I was shocked to find relaxing under one of the bushes (scroll right on past this picture if you don’t like reptiles!):

Last spring, I planted some alyssum “Basket of Gold” seedlings.  They took very well, and have spread among the rocks.  I’m very happy with them; it’s nice to have some yellow amid all the white candytuft.

   It’s almost done now, but ten days ago, it looked like this: 

The candytuft is not as extravagant as usual this year; again, I wonder if it’s because of the strange winter.

I also planted some new creeping phlox last spring, and it is coming into a modest bloom.  I would love to see the yellow alyssum, white candytuft, and pink creeping phlox bloom all together next spring!

Still in the rock garden, here is the bleeding heart.  It’s tucked in the back, behind a plot of black-eyed Susans.  I really need to do an overhaul of that area of the garden.  The black-eyed Susans have become too crowded, I think, and the Virginia creeper and barren strawberries are staging quite a nice little coup among them.  Yet, the bleeding heart carries on!

Back in late-March, it was already warm enough to plant pansies and violas, so I have two nice pots full on my back deck, strategically placed for optimum viewing from the window over my kitchen sink!

           In my mind, this little guy has a grumpy look on his face!  I wonder why he’s so angry!

In the vegetable garden, last year’s sage has been neglected to the point that it is about to bloom.

The clematis on the corner trellis is poised to put on a lovely show soon, I think!

Over in another bed, the lilies of the valley are fading, but their heavy, sweet scent still hangs in the air, especially in the evening, when it wafts through open windows into the family room! Above them, the allium “Purple Sensation” stands in glory.  These are a first for me this year, and I am very happy I tried them!  They are a bit of a showstopper–everyone who stops by remarks on them.  I must plant more this fall!

Here they are about 10 days ago, as they were starting to open. I love this picture of them against the backdrop of the yellow alyssum!

Here is what they look like today, fully open:

Allium look best in clusters, rather than in a straight row.   They also could benefit from some plantings of medium height around them.  Look at this row of them  against the back of our house, and you can see what I mean:

This is one of the places I transplanted so much lambs’ ear last fall, but only a few shoots seem to have survived the winter.  Given how it spreads, I suspect that by next spring, it will be quite thick and high enough to balance out the allium’s height.

Today’s garden tour ends inside, where the African violets are very, very happy:

They reside next to north facing windows, where they enjoy plenty of bright light, but no direct sun.  The purple one on the right was my grandmother’s, and is at least fifteen years old.  It is almost always in bloom, and spawns new plants readily, needing to be separated at least every two years!  It really is a treasure!

Thanks for coming along on this little tour, and thank you to Carol from May Dreams Gardens for hosting Bloom Day!

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