Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spring gardening in the Valley

 Spring means hands in the dirt, blooming perennials and trees, and planting bountiful pots of annuals that will grow and bloom into the fall. This purple salvia perennial has been especially pretty this year.

The plants in this flower box will grow and fill in the empty spaces until it is overflowing and draping over the sides.

 The rhododendron bloomed while we were on vacation so we're catching the last of the fading blossoms.

 Throughout the yard the sweet-smelling peonies are showing off in a way only peonies can.

A tender, colorful Columbine.

 Tools of the trade ... new potting soil each year helps grow gorgeous flowers.

 All these plants were transferred into terra cotta pots and window boxes, and will now spread their roots and flourish with watering and fertilizing through the growing season.

 Besides perennials that are already growing in the yard, the new crop of annuals includes white impatiens and red geraniums for the back yard/porch and for the front yard/porch/deck there's pink and purple dianthus, purple alyssum, white alyssum, violet petunias, and yellow zinnias. As scraggly plants are marked down in garden centers, I'll add some new varieties and nourish them from ugly ducklings into beautiful swans.

 More tools of the trade: planting pots. I love the texture and Old World look of terra cotta.

These two were ready to be placed on the porch. As the alyssum grows and spreads, it will fill in under the dianthus.

Sadly, we lost our bluebird babies Tuesday when a five-foot black snake crawled up the post and got into the house. The parents had been busy all morning flying back and forth feeding their little ones but the snake had wiped them out by the time SWAC Husband found him. He won't be back.

We're back into the mowing-gardening routine, and ready to begin outdoor entertaining. It's spring in the Shenandoah Valley....

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
May 28, 2013

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