For a time I was worried the Rue on the left was not going to rally due to the strange fluctuations in temperature. But eventually it put out sustained new growth very close to the ground. One of the new season's happy surprises is also pictured in the form of a third Mona Lisa Lily crown. The second crown was last year's pleasant gift that warmed considerably during a season of ongoing personal loss.
Took this as a sign the plant feels appreciated, as well as nourished through the copious worm castings that filter through the leaf mulch's gradual decomposition. I'll remove and replace with straw in another few weeks of worms essentially living on the top of the soil (beneath the leaves) and thus leaving castings that are easy to scratch in. This stimulates the worms to go into summer burying mode. This is a co-creative technique the worms developed and I improved upon so that they, too, feel appreciated.
(also to me it's beautiful to witness the retracting energy of the crocus colony that provided the crown/World's Fair flower essence that dive participants will be working with this month.)
This rose campion is back for a record fourth year. I had no idea they could live-on like this while flowering each year in this particular climate The plant volunteered at the very lip of the sunniest strip garden by the porch. It's Angel's Blush - primarily white with pink veining that turns a deeper magenta once the early fall evening temperatures begin to drop more dramatically.
The other day while weeding and uncovering emerging crowns hardy enough to do with the extra sunlight to enhance emergence - I had the insight that this plant's roots are warmed greatly due to their proximity to asphalt and brick. That's far more where they 'live' than the soil's temperature. The soil's probably warmer there as well although I'm sure far more heat is retained by the asphalt as well as the brick.
Behold the two grande dames of the wild columbine colony. Also note the corridor of dandelions which are covered with wild honeybees as well as those from the hives across the road.
A bucket list item realized: primrose in full flower, grown from seed. The plant has also invited me to pluck leaves once the flower stalks dry for inclusion in my leaf printing journal. It's been years since leaves called to me in this way. But now I'm beckoned by the Hellebore as well as this bright watchful lady at the bridge between inside and out.
In the early morning and later afternoon sunlight, the flowering quince bush seems lit with pure red energy. I've been weeding around it a little each day but that's coming to halt now that the catbirds have arrived. Last year the wrens appropriated the catbird's preferred 'seat' just beyond this picture frame. But this year the catbirds are clearly intent to reclaim and maintain their previous homeland. I love these birds. Hearing their return the other afternoon I went running out to greet them. It was a very happy reunion for me.
The sidepocket gardens also feature an emerging white peony, the unfortunately named bloomerang lilac, and the pinkie winkie hydrangea officially re-named Madame Butterfly last summer. With the catbirds back, I'll scale back my ground reclamation efforts and focus on getting the most invasive free volunteers removed or at least thinned back to a dull roar.
The returning volunteer foxglove from last year is a wondrous visitor. I spent a lot of time squatting beside her. Learning her intricacies of design and presumed intention in terms of flower production. I include my foot as scale orientation to the the crown's size.
I love toad lilies in general but this beauty has become a special favorite in the past five years. Her springtime raiment of spotted leaves gives way to more uniform green while the flower heads are forming and blooming. I asked for input about dividing this crown. Let us consider. so we're doing that...