March 19, 2016

Signs of Spring

Spring!  Spring is in the air!  Everywhere things are coming back to life!

As I walked through the yard, I got more and more excited to find blooms and buds galore.  

The Forsythia bushes I planted last year at the front of the house are beginning to burst out in delicate yellow flowers. 

I also planted hollyhocks from seed last year, all along the front of the house.  I fell in love with this flower when my mom and I were visiting Germany once.  We went to a small seaside town that was laden with these dramatic, tall flowers.  They were popping out of cracks in the sidewalks, lined the fronts of houses, and grew in big patches planted throughout town.  Hollyhocks in this country are sometimes known as "outhouse" flowers.  Seed Savers Exchange, where I got the seeds from explains why: "Europeans brought this flower home from China in the 15th century and later took it to the American colonies.  It is a classic flower on Iowa farmsteads where it has been grown up against outbuildings. Some say that years ago, in the days before indoor plumbing, hollyhocks were grown around outhouses so that refined ladies visiting other farms would not have to ask for directions when nature called."  They are a biennial so didn't bloom last year.  I am so excited to see what they do this summer!  For now, they are shooting out green leaves like crazy...

My lilies are growing inches per day!  These greens were barely out of the soil a few days ago.

Next to the lilies is a medium-sized hydrangea bush.  It too has put out it's first green shoots and leaves.

Last year, I planted three small Mulberry trees, which the deer promptly stripped of all their leaves.  I wasn't sure how they'd do this spring, but they are budding out as well.

The herb garden is coming back to life, with mint, thyme, parsley, strawberries, chives, tarragon, and rhubarb starting the show!  I made some iced tea today and put in some fresh Apple Mint.  Oh, I am so ready for spring abundance!

This bush planted itself by my mailbox last year.  When it was small, I thought it was a flower so I moved it up to the front of the house.  By the end of last summer, however, it was nearly 3 feet tall.  I asked my neighbor Rita to have a look and see if she knew what it was.  She said she thought it was an elderberry bush that had migrated across the street from her patch.  That makes sense now how it got by the mailbox, which is almost directly across from Rita's garden!  So I moved it as soon as the ground thawed over in with the herbs and berries.  It is starting to put out leaves and some new shoots down by it's base.  

I may need a separate garden for berries soon.  My strawberries are spreading out so much, they have taken over half the bed.  I'd love to have an asparagus patch over in this area as well.  The gardener always has more plants to add...

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what visuals! Spring has definitely sprung on the Phillips homestead!
    Neighbor Rita