Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lubbock Arboretum Plant Sale 2015

Despite the wind the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum was able to host another successful plant sale. The spring plant sale is their annual fundraiser that helps keep the arboretum, which is run by volunteers, going.
I planned only to buy one plant as a way of showing my support for the place but as usually ended up buying several in addition to 8 packets of flower seeds (they were only 25 cents each) and a practically new cottage garden book. What a deal!
After paying for the plants and tucking them into the car I headed back into the arboretum to explore the grounds. My favorite spot was the wildflower garden with its curving gravel pathways. It was established in 2013 in honor of two of their volunteers. There were several gardens, from the size of a small pocket rock bed to the large wildflower beds, that had been created in honor of someone and plaques were attached to rock formations nearby. I suspect those honored either paid for their gardens or their family did.
Many of the wildflowers have not yet bloomed. I'll have to come back next month and take new photos. I bet this garden is spectacular when in full bloom. 
 I really like the use of rocks, flagstone and gravel throughout the gardens. The Arboretum is definitely a strolling-type garden and several other people were walking around checking out the flowers.
 I hadn't realize how far back the grounds went and was delighted to find several sitting ares with stone benches and pergolas.
This was a grouping of 6 large stone seats with an open circular place in front that seemed made for hosting a small wedding or a small church sermon. The trees surrounding it have not yet filled out with leaves.
 Some of flowers were in bloom already. Pictured here are hardy Gladiolas and Irises. The Winecups next to the Irises haven't yet sent up flower buds but they must be close.
These pink Evening Primroses are doing well in the semi-shade. I've killed it in my own garden the two times I tried growing it. 
The few Poppies that were blooming were gorgeous. I bought some poppy seeds in the sale so fingers crossed I'll have some next year in my garden.
Finally, the irises lovely. I especially liked the black one with gold specks that seemed to shimmer. Took a photo of it but it doesn't show off the glow well so I uploaded this one instead.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Scented Irises

The Iris display this year has been good. Generally 20-25% of the irises bloom while the remainder give me nothing but leaves. Don't know why. Even after dividing and transplanting that ratio seems to hold up.
Only 1 Dutch Iris bloomed this year. The other five bulbs probably died due to the prolonged drought.
The surprise has been the reminder that the majority of the tall purple irises blooming are scented. Heavily scented to my delight. They were pass along plants from a colleague who think they might have been "Memphis Belle" irises. 
 This lovely pink iris was another pass along from a different colleague. Unfortunately it's planted underneath what is now a 7 foot tall rose bush and not getting enough sunlight. Guess I'll have to dig it up in the fall and move it.
The other purple iris I have is a smaller one, faintly scented one that grows between 12-15 inches tall. It's not very impressive. The local Garden and Art Center is having their annual plant sale next weekend and I plan to dig up some irises and daylilies to donate to the sale. Particularly the daylilies, which have run amuck everywhere. Since I'm not certain what color the unblooming irises are I'll just have to label them purple since 90 % of the blooming ones over the years have been purple. Don't think the plant sale folks will care since they specifically asked me last year for irises. Plus, maybe I'll get lucky and find a different colored one at the plant sale. Would love to have more pink ones and add yellow ones to the strolling garden.

Pinks in the Cottage Garden

A flower that fits perfectly in a cottage style garden is Dianthus, commonly called Pinks. They can be perennials in many places.
And they're filly flowers are so cheerful and attractive to butterflies, Hummingbirds, and Hummingbird moths.
Sadly, they don't seem to survive here in West Texas for longer than 2-3 years. I suspect the hard water has something to do with that.
I got several pots on clearance for $1 in late fall at Lowe's and not only did they survive but they're blooming like crazy.
They also have a nice spicy clove scent. Every cottage garden should have scented flowers. More so when one has a strolling garden that's meant to be traveled regularly.
 Have you planted any pinks in your garden?

Climbing Clematis

Spring came to my garden while I was away for working. The clematis are doing well this year and are covered with buds.
 I planted two varieties at the base of a Climbing America rose bush several years ago. They really haven't grown as tall as I expected but the blossoms are so lovely I don't care.
 I think the purple one is H. F Young but I can't remember what the white one was. The number of blossoms this year is another sign that perhaps we've finally come out of the severe drought cycle and returned to the normal precipitation cycle in West Texas.


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