Corona Garden Diary 4/19: Hellebores in a Glass

Since browsing at the nursery isn’t currently an option, I am making the most of the plants I do have, digging up clumps of them and spreading them around — mostly wood poppies, hostas, bluebells, and hellebores.  I had never actually tried to dig up and divide hellebores before; they were surprisingly hard to slice through! (Possibly because my shovel blade isn’t much sharper than the wooden handle).  
Anyway, in struggling to transplant a clump of this nice dark purple hellebore, I wound up slicing my shovel across the crown at far too shallow an angle.  The result was that I cut off a whole bunch of the stems without getting any roots.  Aaaaaah!!!
Horrified, I gathered the flowers I had just violently scalped off the plant and took them inside.
I am rather pleased with how they look in a large drinking glass!  
I wish I had more skill for flower arranging.  However, I have discovered that there is literally no skill needed when you cut several of the same kind of flower and stick them in a glass.  And the result is usually delightful.  Simply leave a couple of the stems longer and put those in the middle, and cut a few stems a bit shorter and those go on the outside.  Ta-da!  
If you have fewer flowers with shorter stems (shhh…this is a trade secret), you use a smaller glass. No vases necessary!
When they start to look crappy — boom! — in the compost they go.  In the meantime, for 2-7 days, cheerful blooms every time you’re at the kitchen sink.
This is really something we should all be doing more often.  

Corona Garden Diary 3/17/20

I planted several handfuls of ‘Tete a Tete’ daffodils last fall and I am reaping the rewards now.  I will definitely plant more of these little guys  — perhaps hundreds more!  Plenty of space on that brown slope there, don’t you think?


Unfortunately, the dwarf iris that I planted at the same time (Iris reticulata ‘Rhapsody’) — which was also supposed to bloom at the same time  — did not get the message and is already done blooming.  Here are the iris a couple weeks ago:


So much for my blue and gold early spring extravaganza!  I can still enjoy them sequentially, I suppose, but still…I had been excited about the combo.  Moving on to one of my beloved Ackerman Camellias:

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This camellia is one of the ‘April’ series…I think it’s ‘April Remembered’ but (ironically) I can’t remember for sure.  The flowers are huge even though the plant is still young and lanky; the effect is sort of like when you see a Great Dane puppy but with gigantic paws.  So sweet.

Next, hellebore patch growing right under my black walnut.  I can’t remember this cultivar right now, but it is one of the Pine Knot farms ones.  I love the ruffly, dusty-pink blooms:


The bluebells are just starting to bloom.  Nothing better.


Little patch of daffs blooming in a far-off corner of my yard.  Planted by the previous owner.


Lindera benzoin with its soft spray of pale yellow blooms (in stark comparison to the eye-popping gold of the forsythias).  Birds planted this one a few years ago.


Daffodil with silhouette of honeybee:


Camellia ‘Nuccio’s Bella Rossa’ planted in much too small a space:

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Clematis ‘Henryi’ working his way up the side of my porch:


Classical statuary in the Orangerie:


(Okay it’s a concrete doo-dad from an antique store on Rt. 50 and it’s sitting in a patch of daylilies, but still nice.)

Tarragon making lots of headway in the herb garden:


Bumble bee resting on the ‘Sage’ sign.  They’re still a bit lethargic in the chilly spring air:


Husband built some new beehives and brushed them with teak oil before setting them up:


Bees coming and going, looking rather….well, busy, I guess.


Like the college students down in Florida, there is very little social distancing occurring here, and little empathy for the weakest members of their community (they just shove their dead out of the hive!) Still, it is nice to see a functioning community at a time like this — full labor participation, lines of production open, etc.  Yeah, it’s a monarchy, but at least for now, the bee economy rolls on!