fast clip

Springtime perennials bloom at a pretty fast clip in the Midwest. The bridal veil spirea had its hurrah for about two weeks, which was replaced, seemingly overnight, by allium.

A tennis ball-sized cluster of tiny, spiky purple flowers. Perhaps predictably, these said adios in about two weeks when hello, peonies.

Some of the peony blossoms are the size of a small ham–huge by most standards. These have hung on a bit longer, and my neighbor’s roses are starting to take off.

out with the tulips, in with the spirea

Last week seemed to be the last gasp for local tulips and the honeysuckle blossoms. As the temperatures got warmer, these blooms appeared to be signaling, See ya next year and peace out. But taking their place are these bridal veil spirea (spiraea prunifolia) flowers.

Oak Park Illinois Gardening Horseradish Armoracia Rusticana Flowers

The late afternoon sun caught these flowers just so. Late spring is here, and it is magic.

happy bees, happy life

Local bees are taking full advantage of spring flowers in Oak Park, and who could blame them? These nearby cherry blossoms are potent draws for bumblebees.

Oak Park Illinois Cherry blossom

These flowering honeysuckle shrubs also attract bees and cast the best smell. The air is perfumed with their scent. Dreamy.

Oak Park Illinois Honeysuckle

You might be wondering, what makes bees happy? An article by Melissa Caughey offers insight on what makes bees cranky. We can infer the following on what contributes to bee happiness:

  • Good weather
  • Abundant food sources
  • Freedom from predators
  • A nice queen

To read up on bee behavior, click here.

tender

The adjective tender has a couple meanings. My favorite is probably this:

Showing gentleness and concern or sympathy

Is there anything more tender than pink hydrangeas? I think not.

Chicago Illinois Garfield Park Conservatory Hydrangeas

I visited the Garfield Park Conservatory this afternoon to get my flower fix, and fix fixed. These tiny buds and petals are magic. Feathery soft and the perfect shade of pink. How tender.

gardening hits and misses

If you live in central #Mississippi and are thinking of working on or creating a garden, I say go for it. The soil here seems conducive for all kinds of plants and flowers. Here are my hits and misses.

The winners:

  • In the fall and winter, pansies and violas. I planted some last October that are still buzzing along.
  • In any season, liriope/lily turf/monkey grass. This might be my favorite clumping grass. When the plant matures, you can divide it and rehome the divided section just about anywhere. It’s like a BOGO plant. Buy one now, get one (free) later. Also, these grasses require little to no maintenance. It’s the plant gift that keeps on giving.

  • In the summer, impatiens, colocasia (Elephant Ears), and Boston ferns for shady areas.

  • In sunnier areas, impatiens, begonias, coleus, and crotons. Also Kimberly Queen ferns and knockout roses.

The misses:

  • Mums. Really love how full and bushy these flowers look, but they conked out pretty quickly. I ended replacing them with pansies and violas.
  • Hydrangeas. Terribly smitten with the pink color that hydrangeas can impart with the correct acidity levels, but these annuals did not thrive in my backyard. (Perhaps because the backyard was just too shady.)

bloom on, azaleas

March 2019 marks the end of my third winter in central Mississippi, and I’m embarrassed to admit this is the first time I’ve noticed all the beautiful azaleas.

This shrub produces some fantastic flowers in the most saturated colors. A bright pink, as observed on Quinn Street in #Belhaven:

And vibrant red on Whitworth Street:

And even fuchsia at the Mississippi State Capitol in downtown Jackson:

How magnificent.