First Iris of the Season

I moved several irises last summer in the hopes of better balancing out my garden design — and getting some irises to bloom that I’d never seen in bloom in the six summers I’ve been in this house.

This particular iris is one that has been in this spot the whole time, yet this year is the first it’s bloomed for me.

I’ll take it.

Camassia

Putting my son on the bus every morning gives me the opportunity to walk past my flowerbeds daily (instead of just driving past them as I come up the driveway in the evening) and keep closer tabs on what starts blooming when.

The candytuft also started blooming this morning, but this Camassia won the photogenic award for today.

Lunaria (aka Honesty)

I saw these purple blooms from a distance while getting my son on the bus this morning, and had to take a minute to figure out what was growing here that I hadn’t planted.

Answer: lunaria that reseeded from last year (or the year before). In a while, they’ll form seed pods that look like silver coins — hence their other common name of Money Plant.

A Surprise Bloom

Tulip

I saw an unexpected pop of color this evening as I looked out from my sunroom. Once I threw on my slip-on Skechers and went out to investigate, at the base of the butterfly bush I found this lovely tulip.

Which I didn’t plant.

That means it’s been there under my nose for six springs and either never bloomed or never been noticed. Nothing else in that bed is that particular color, though, so I can’t imagine I would have missed that pop of coral.

Welcome to the Early Spring Border, little tulip.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: April 2018

It’s been a typically wacky spring here in NW Ohio Zone 6. Bulbs and buds are coming up slower than the past two (early) springs, and I’m OK with that. I’m not so OK with the hail-snow that I saw this evening, or the fact that it’s been really too cold to get out into the beds and borders and do the cleanup they so desperately deserve.

I got out a couple days ago when it was unseasonably warm and took a few photos of the emerging colors:

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: April 2018 (more…)

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: March 2018

Last year, my Zone 6 garden had an especially early spring; by this time, I was seeing crocuses and reticulated irises in bloom, and fat buds on the hyacinths. Even the year before was an early spring — crocuses of yellow and purple had shown their colors, although I hadn’t yet planted the irises.

This year, things seem to be proceeding at a more normal pace — maybe even a bit behind the average. My usual early-blooming yellow crocuses are nowhere to be seen, and the only color (besides green) in my Early Spring Border are these two reticulated irises.

Purple Reticulated Iris

(Blurry) Blue Reticulated Iris

Although these are the only actual blooms so far, I can see the leafy green promise of daffodils, alliums, hyacinths, muscari, peonies, and a few tulips.

These next few weeks are when the garden really wakes from its long winter slumber. I’m looking forward to enjoying some less-frigid weekends outdoors, doing some spring cleanup and preparing the beds and borders for their chance to shine come April and May.

As always, many thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Bloom Day on the 15th of each month!

Homegrown Dulce Rojo Paprika!

The deer left me six dulce rojo paprika peppers by harvest time last fall. I’ve had them sitting in my kitchen, drying, for months now, and I finally decided that tonight was the night I’d put them through my spice grinder and turn them into a delicious spice.

I unintentionally made “pink paprika” by also including some seeds and ribs of the peppers — those inside bits can be hard to shake out of a dry pepper sometimes. Perhaps next time, I’ll slice them in half and remove the ribs and seeds before I dry them…?

At any rate, it definitely has a distinct smell and taste about it, and it’s just a little different from any store-bought paprika I’ve tried. I hadn’t been planning to buy any more seeds for this year’s garden, but I might have to try some different pepper varieties now.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: January 2018

Kalanchoe

The last couple of weeks have seen the weather reach the Average Extreme Minimum Temperature for my USDA Hardiness Zone (6a/b), rise back up to 50F for one rainy day, then go back to ice and sleet and snow.

As per usual for January, the only bloom in sight is my kalanchoe.