Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blowing Hot and Cold

So much new energy arrived with the chilly Easter holiday. I traveled to Virginia for an Easter egg hunt in the bluebell fields with Barrie Ann and my family.  She is such a treat!  

She loves to paint too.  So we had ourselves a painting day in her playroom at the nursery. While her Mom helped all the customers get introduced to all her new offerings for the season. The nursery is so beautiful right now. It was hard not to stuff my truck full, but by the time I made it home I had it filled with Dee Runk Boxwoods, scented geraniums and other things I had to gather for clients here at home. 

I will spare you the hundreds of photo's I took of this funny little angel over the entire weekend. Everything she says and does is hysterically funny.

The Dee Runk Boxwood is a conical form of boxwood, a beautiful dark green evergreen that can take the Blowing Rock winters. I think it should replace all the Dwarf Alberta Spruce that yellows in the winter and gets spider mites in the summer. So I am trying to introduce them to the gardens here.

We also took Barrie for her first visit to Oatlands Plantation for the Point to Point horse races,  and a romp through the boxwood gardens.  I am so happy to be there with her as she saw them for the first time. There is no more magical place for a child to explore.  She kept trying to tell the other children the Teahouse was her house.

It has been a challenge knowing how to dress for work these days. I am a month ahead into spring in the foothills, where as, on the top of the world, 18 miles away in Blowing Rock, we had snow on Monday.  My Geurnsey Cream Clematis is in full bloom, but up  top, things are just breaking dormancy. I get a very long spring as I travel between the two geographical locations.  

Last week, my little friend Lindsey came around for the first time since Thanksgiving. She said, in her sweet little Carolina accent..... "I'm sorry I haven't come by for so long, but it's just been so cold! It really ought to be  be summer by now." I had a giggle about that statement all week.

Today the lawnmowers are buzzing away in the foothills neighborhood.  Managing our landscapes takes precedence now over anything that involves idol laziness, or we will be eaten alive by honeysuckle, weed trees and tall tall grass.  It all smells so good!  My tomato seedlings are finally starting to grow in their little pots on the sunny deck, instead of shivering in the cold.  

I have a lot of transplanting to do this evening, as everything needs a bigger root space than the seed trays offer.

We feel a month behind on our jobs, but are catching up quickly, now that we aren't being rained out daily.  Now, we have to patiently wait for the last frost date, as clients call and say can we plant the annuals yet?  We are accomplishing much. I have been good about taking the before photo's of projects, but by the end of the day I forget to take the after photo's. Such is the life of a busy gardener. 

There has been no time for painting. I stare nightly at a half finished portrait of a bouquet I picked weeks ago.  My camera stays busy though,  photographing the family fun and all the gorgeous blooms I find for future paintings. 

One of the weeks most exciting moments was the emergence of Patty's Crown Imperial Fritillaria.

She had traveled to Amsterdam about a year ago and ordered some bulbs.  We planted them last fall, and forgot about them.  She saw them this spring and was delighted to find these exotic creatures blooming in her cut flower garden. They will be interesting to paint one day so I took a lot of photographs for her and  future reference.  I think just about every gardener in town has been invited to see them.  The Fritillaria have a very strong odor. Helpful for repelling moles.

Last evening, after a day of major spring cleaning, I began tending to my own garden. Just as the sun was going down, I grabbed the camera once again.  In this heat, all the spring beauties will soon be gone.  The cool colors of the moss phlox, Phlox divaricata, white flowering Vinca minor, Tree peony, Thalia Narcissus, Trillium, Solomons Seal, Ferns and the helleborus blend so beautifully.  After two years the garden is filling out some and looking more like I want it to. My neighbors dog Buck likes my garden too.