mulberryshoots

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: rain

latecomer . . .

 . . .  orchid plant shelf

. . . orchid plant shelf

When I rearranged and cleaned up the shelf of orchids a couple of weeks ago, I culled out four pots of amaryllis, the soil dry and the flower blooms long gone by. After C.’s visit, I carried them out to the back deck so that the leaves would be watered by the rain, cut back at the end of summer, allowed to dry in the cellar and then brought up to the window shelf to flower again during the winter months. That’s the cycle for reinvigorating and nourishing these plants to bloom year after year. It is always astonishing when they come back and bloom, sometimes two stalks of four flowers each. That’s why growing amaryllis bulbs that originate from South Africa is so rewarding. These were forgotten and left untended in the front entryway over Christmas. But their blooms were so gorgeous in the dead of winter after the holidays.

We had a lot of rain recently as I noted in the last post. Yesterday, I went out with a pair of shears to trim off the unsightly yellowish brown leaves and to tidy the pots up. As I snipped the dried brown bits, I came upon this incredible late bloomer! Isn’t rain great?

    amaryllis in June!

amaryllis in June!


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starters . . .

a group of morning glory seedlings

a group of morning glory seedlings


morning glory seedlings planted near the clematis

morning glory seedlings planted near the clematis


Spring has been optimal for growing this year: alternating sunny, dry breezy weather interspersed with showers and soaking rain, sometimes for a couple of days. I am often surprised why people object to rain when it is so important to the natural cycle of things. Our Sassafras trees have the most graceful leaves when they unfurl in May.
lush white and pink in the front triangle garden

lush white and pink in the front triangle garden


in front of the barn

in front of the barn


For at least a decade, we have had a planting ritual for “Heavenly Blue” morning glories right around Memorial Day. There’s a nursery in Framingham, about a half hour’s drive towards Boston that grows and sells morning glory seedlings that are about four inches high when I purchase them. The seedlings are not that easy to find and while I’ve tried growing them from a packet of seeds, they don’t seem to want to sprout for me. So I buy a flat of seedlings and place them in the shade under the rhododendron bush to keep cool until we have a chance to plant them. I cluster a four-pack together and plant them in the ground. Then G. measures out fresh twine from the decking above and anchors the string to a brick which nestles in the earth right next to the seedlings. As they grow, they wind themselves around the string and climb. This year, I planted clusters near the purple wisteria vine and the white wisteria vine in the front, thinking that by the time the morning glories bloom, the other flowers, roses and such would have gone by. One new place was near the clematis arbor (see photo above) where there is a wrought iron trellis that branches out in both directions under the stained glass window. I thought that they might take and clamber up the trellis to grace the house sometime in late Summer, early Fall.
"Before" planting wildflower seeds

“Before” planting wildflower seeds


Finally, there’s a very rocky, poor soil area in the front near the street where G. pulled up the weeds and crabgrass, brought some compost over from his mother’s house across the street and the guys put in a stone pathway, sprinkling a mixed assortment of Northeastern wildflower seeds throughout. Afterwards, it rained for about two days, sometimes a heavy downpour from Hurricane Andrea in the middle of the night. Then, the sun came out and for the last couple of days, it has been temperate, sunny and dry with a light breeze: perfect weather for sowing and growing!

All of this is just to belabor a little bit the plantings that we made last week.
What’s most fun is to see what comes up and how they flourish as the Summer and Fall gently roll by. Later, that is.

In the meantime, here are some photos of early roses and right-on-time peonies.

apricot roses by the barn

apricot roses by the barn


climbing roses

climbing roses

peonies along the driveway

peonies along the driveway

Note: to enlarge photos, click once; to magnify, click again.