April 26, 2012

After the Rain

After a much needed soaking this weekend, the sun came out.  We took a walk around to see if the gardens liked all that rain.  They did.

I checked on some plants that I was worried about.
The weeping Japanese maple 'Crimson Queen' was shining in the morning light as I rounded the corner of the front walk.  This tree split apart in winter snow, and I surgically bolted it back together.  You can't tell.

The 'Hakuro-nishiki' dappled willow shrubs were cut to the ground in March, and I panicked, seeing the bare stubs of branches.  Everyone said don't worry, they'll grow back lustily.  Everyone was right.

A long line of yellowroot (Xanthorrhiza simplicissima) was crowding the lower branches of the big spruces, so we moved all of them forward 3 feet in March.  Dug them up, wrestled them rudely, and manhandled them all around, but they are none the worse for it, and are even sending up hazy maroon flowers.

I moved the 'Northblue' blueberry bushes.  They had been getting overtopped by big plants behind them each summer, and were not doing well in the shade of their companions.  They look good out in the open now, and are blooming.  (Although, they bloomed well last year but produced no fruits.  If it happens again this year we'll have to have The Pollination Talk.)

The sourwood tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) that I moved last month, despite the fact that it positively hates root disturbance, is leafing out.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Last year I planted a Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) against the advice of most nurseries around here, who thought this woodland tree would not do well in an open landscape.  The first winter is always a nail biter, but look --- pleated leaves and fat buds.

And in other breaking news --- this is the first year I have blooms on the sassafras I planted in 2006.  It is the first year I have flowers on the Blackhaw viburnum (V. prunifolium) I planted that year too.  Nothing to oooh over, and pictures don't show enough to post here, but to me, after six seasons, it's a thrill.

After the rain, it's all growing and it's all good.

 

18 comments:

  1. What a thrill it must be to see those very first blooms on both the Sassafras and Blackhaw Viburnum. No matter the size, it's just terrific. Actually everything you moved looks perfectly content these days. That Weeping Japanese Maple looks sensational, and I love the colour of the new growth on your Willow shrubs. It is indeed all good.

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    1. Bernie, thanks. I am pretty pleased that everything looks good right now. No casualties from my interventions yet!

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  2. Thrilled about the japanese maple, and I wasn't worried about the willow, I do mine every year, except this year as I arrived home too late. I know how exciting it is when sometime flowers after such a long time, I am hoping my cornus kousa has settled into her flowering cycle now, and was not teasing me last year.

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    1. Deborah, Once the cornus kousa starts blooming it will not fail you. What a show it can put on, and pretty reliably. It truly is exciting to wait for several years and then see blooms for the first time on a treasured tree or shrub.

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  3. Glad you got some of that rain that restores, Laurrie. Your images show how glad the plants are, too.

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    1. Lee, Everything just looks better the first sunny morning after a good rain.

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  4. Hooray for rain! Also: please consider writing a children's book about pollinators called "The Pollination Talk." When a bee loves a bloom very much . . .

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    1. Heather, I like your intro! But .... a children's book?? I didn't learn this stuff about pollination and botany and flower sex until my late adult life. And it's still so mysterious. What does go on out there?

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  5. Hello Laurrie !
    Thanks for stopping by my blog : )
    We share the same Japanese Maple "Crimson Queen" .. I love her to bits .. she is a gorgeous creature .. and the same willow too ! Mine are both quite young yet though .. I love the Dogwood .. I want one as well in my garden ... some where ? LOL
    Joy

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    1. Garden Joy, Crimson Queen can get quite big and look like a giant haystack, so you may need to prune her up a bit as she ages, but what a lovely tree. Since you have and want the same trees as my favorites, I have to say --- great choices : )

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  6. Amazing how resilient plants are! Good to see your maple so happy and healthy. I remember being heartbroken right along with you when it was damaged in the storm. And yay for that Dogwood, too!

    A friend just brought me a nice sized loropetalum from a client's house. We put it in the ground yesterday. Probably a little late to be transplanting but it's in a semi-shady spot and I'll give it plenty of water...hoping it survives the shock.

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    1. Cat, I am always amazed at what abuse plants will tolerate, either form us or from nature. They want to live! Good luck with the new loropetalum.

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  7. Those spring rains just do wonders don't they? Everything looks very green and lush in your garden right now. Lots of good news stories too, that's always wonderful to hear.

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    1. Marguerite, thanks. There don't seem to be any garden "oops" events in my yard right now. (crossing fingers. . . .)

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  8. I love walking through gardens after a long-overdue soaking rain. Everything is so much more vibrant.

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    1. Joene, and everything just smells better after a rain too!

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  9. I love the Japanese maple with the matching pots in your first photo! Seeing your willow--another one of my plant wish list entries--makes me wish I'd cut back my smoke tree. I wanted it to grow taller this spring, but it got hit really hard by the freeze a few weeks ago and looks pretty unattractive.

    Everything in your garden looks lovely, Laurrie; we're still waiting for some rain here.

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    1. Rose, thanks. I didn't realize how much the pots add, even the empty one, in that location until I saw the photo. I think you can still prune the smoke tree and it will still resprout even in late spring.

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