Don't worry! Shortly after taking this picture I cleaned out the birdbath and refilled it to the brim with fresh water. Before that I cleared the little shade garden that's half intentional and half volunteer. In the Foreground are two large columbine crowns and some smaller children. This variety is deep dark red and very prolific. Beyond these crowns is a wealth of evening primrose volunteers. They aren't the wild/field variety I brought with me from the old place or the purple leaved variety that lives in pockets of the evolving sanctuary.
I started to clean up and cut back some of the forsythia but managed to misplace my pruning shears. They cannot be found anywhere and the fanciful part of me wonders if the bird-land crew spirited them away to prevent me from interfering with "their" hedge. For years I wanted to cut it back but J liked the extra privacy. We reached a sorta compromise last year but then in October the house painters butchered a beautiful Yew by the corner of the house. The birds sounded an ongoing alarm of dismay and calamity for days afterwards and I didn't have the heart to take away any more of their cover in the same general vicinity. J agreed. And we've both put a lot of love and encouragement into the Yew. It will take a few years for him to fully re-calibrate. In the meanwhile I'll keep most of the the height but otherwise tidy up the space-hogging sprawl of the forsythia.
Today's "star" emergent perennial crown (giant fleece flower) has been building up to this moment for the past two weeks. This plant was unknown to me when I bought it at an end of season sale a few years back. Sometimes I obsessively read everything I can find about a new plant and other times I just let time and growing together teach me first. Will probably move on to the reading phase of things for this one sometime this summer. Mainly because I want to make sure it's okay to divide the crown next year before I actually do it. This particular garden could do with at least two more of these beauties because they look absolutely radiant with the morning light shining through the fluffy white flowerheads.
Last week our garden "walls" (it's horse fencing and super sturdy) arrived at the co-op but not the posts. With the Thing such a big deal in these parts they only take deliveries on Wednesdays. Today J drove over to pick up both and also the five small rosemary plants I thought to call and order right before he left. We were both worried the ten foot posts might not completely fit in the back of his truck because we also weren't sure how large the fencing bales would be. Thus I did not tag along in case the posts needed the passenger's side extra space. Spent the time working on a few non-food garden projects like the Mary garden. Pretty soon such things will start taking a back seat to food garden cultivation.
Down in the basement everything's growing well. Above are leeks, tulsi, lettuce leaf basil, and monarda citriodora aka lemon bergamot/purple horsemint. Never grew it before but absolutely LOVED the hot-violet flowers upon meeting them last year in a friend's garden.
Some of the tulsi has begun to push the first flower heads. I'll pinch these back once the moon's in taurus and dry the tops to use in ceremonial strewing blends. Once they're outside all harvested parts of this plant are used in tea blends or tinctures. I stop harvesting for the house in late August. This gives the plants an opportunity to yield plentiful blooms for the bees at a point when their options have dwindled and frost will end everything soon enough.
All but one of the basket flowers came up. That leaves me with seven for the evolving sanctuary. They take a bit a fussing to get re-situated and fully on their way to happy life but I'm willing to put in the effort and patience because when they bloom they look like this:
The flowers are four inches wide and beloved by all pollinators and hummingbirds. Their scent is kind of otherworldly buzz-inducing. The first year I grew them back at the old place I used to sit under them (they peak around 4 feet high when they're happy) and watch the hummingbirds come to nectar. My childhood skill of remaining motionless came back to me and I continue to treasure the moments of watching them without revealing myself. It was such a joy to observe these beautiful creatures from an unusual angle. Really got a chance to appreciate the mechanical wonder of their directional flight capabilities.
It's a flower that makes me wish I was a bee.