The violets are blooming and as always I am taken in by their sweet fragrance and colourful little faces. I met a gardener yesterday afternoon, a woman decades my senior, and as we spoke of the violets in her garden and our mutual affection for their graceful charm, I was surprised to learn that she did not know that they are edible!
Labrador Violet (Viola labradorica) growing in the garden of the gardener I met yesterday afternoon. She said that, “…they like it underneath the tree.”
I love the combination here of Labrador Violet (Viola labradorica) with chartreuse Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’)
Last fall, once the summer annuals had died off, I began the process of dividing up the right side of my garden into smaller beds separated and accessible by paths. While I managed to move a few perennials out of the newly formed pathways before the ground froze, there were a few borderline tender(ish) perennials that I kept in place for their own good. It was simply too late to uproot and establish them elsewhere.
I am now in the process of transplanting those that remain to new beds and accidentally dug up this species tulip in the process. Since it was out of the ground I figured that I might as well take its picture.
Soon, once the flowering bulbs have finished doing their thing, I will carefully remove those that are sitting in the middle of pathways and replant them as well. Since I’m bound to find fault with some of these new plantings, I’ll likely dig up and replant a few of the perennials again in the fall once I see how the garden looks with its new form. We gardeners are rarely satisfied.
They are out early this year, especially this plant, a variety named ‘Red Bells’ that I planted last spring in my own garden — it is already on its third bloom!
Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is one of my favourite spring ephemerals and a wonderful perennial plant that thrives in full sun or part shade rock gardens. I have mine planted just at the edge of my dry bed/rock garden where dry pea gravel meets a slightly moister wood chip pathway and early morning shade is cast by the house. Pulsatilla is a good choice for dry spots underneath slightly shady trees as it seems to grow tolerant to drought once established.
I find the soft and delicate hairiness of this plant irresistible and after flowering the silky seed pods leave behind something to look as well as some seeds to help it spread.
‘Yalta’ is another of the crocus varieties that I planted last fall. It has alternating purple and soft, silvery lavender petals with a delicate and long throat. Apparently it is a C. tommasinianus hybrid, which is another species that I prefer, particularly ‘Ruby Giant’.
Last month I showed you a picture of this particular variety, Crocus biflorus ssp. isauricus ‘Spring Beauty’ (aka Crocus sieberi), growing in a pot in my friend Barry’s greenhouse.
Now here are a few photographs of the same variety as they came up in my own garden last week. As I said in the last post, it is the dark striping of the outer petals that really make this variety. The flowers are interesting to look at whether fully open or tightly closed. This variety is also quite petite, much smaller and more delicate than the typical grocery store bulb. These are the crocuses I like best. My only regret is that I didn’t buy more.
I’ve got another diminutive, multi-toned variety to show you next.