Mid-Spring Garden Tour


I tour around in my gardens regularly because if I don’t, I miss something. For all that was lacking in some other areas here when I arrived–neglected pastures, inadequate shelters and fencing, non-existent vegetable gardens, few fruit trees–the flower gardens lack nothing. Since I have the least focus for flower gardening, I’m grateful for them. I love and enjoy flowers. I’m just more intent on the practical. Luckily, someone before me was quite intent on flowers and did the work for me.

There is always something blooming here. Always. The gardens around the house and studio were clearly developed with a systematic plan wherein one thing blooms then the next. And the next. The progression from late winter onward has been amazing to observe. My knowledgeable neighbor Jim stopped by the other evening with his wife and we talked about the flower gardens and the previous owners. One of the previous owners, Israel, was the flower gardener amongst them. Another of the previous owners, Jack, tended the lawn. It was Jack’s sister Bobby (the psychic) who lived in the studio. Israel planted many of the roses and bulbs that are in the gardens now. (Israel was completely adorable, by the way. He was Puerto Rican. His accent charmed me instantly the first day I looked at the farm.) He was a member of one of the county garden clubs. (I’m sure he charmed them, too.) He was, as Jim related, quite eager to show off his gardens to the garden club after he’d worked on them the first year they were here. The garden club was all set to come out for a tour. The previous fall, Jim had talked to him a little about hunting. Israel had told him he was opposed to shooting any wildlife, of any kind, for any reason. Just before the garden club was scheduled to visit, deer ate down all his flowers.

The previous owners never did take up hunting, but Jim said their attitude definitely changed about deer season.

I’m not a member of a garden club (though I will be, as of today, a full-fledged master gardener), but with Casper (and Chloe, at the moment, since I’ve removed her from bothering the baby goats and their mamas) standing guard to keep deer away, here is my mid-spring tour of Israel’s lovely garden.

(I’m sure Israel tended it better, and according to Jim, Jack kept the yard mowed properly, too. I’m not doing too well in the mowing department.)

Since I took a lot of pictures, I set them up in a slideshow. Note that my “sticks” aren’t sticks anymore! I have TREES with leaves and everything, even the sugar maples, and I was worried about them the most. I made notes on the photos. If you know what anything is that I noted is a mystery, let me know.

You can hit Play to activate the slideshow, or hit Next to view at your own pace. If viewing in the slideshow, you can also hit Pause to stop the slideshow if you want to look at a particular photo longer.



  1. jinx says:

    :fairy: Hi there! I think i can help a little bit…slide #3 i think is a clematis…its been roughed up a little but i’m pretty sure thats what it is. It should be on a vine……
    #4 i have no idea until it reveals more of itself
    #6 i believe its society garlic
    and #7 i have no idea. Hope that helps. Hugs! deb

  2. liz2 says:

    Photo #3 appears to be a Clemantis vine bloom with petal edges damaged by insects or caterpillars. Clemantis vine leaves are pointed. Photo #7 looks like Baptista Australis, commonly known as blue false indigo. Both Clemantis & Baptista Australis are said to be avoided by deer. It’s wonderful that your newly planted trees are sprouting & the perennials are coming to life. The hostas are beautiful.

  3. whaledancer says:

    I’ve never seen cherries green on the tree, since where I live in SoCal we don’t get enough days on chill to grow cherries.

    Your #3 mystery looks like it might be a passion flower that has been chewed on, but that’s a guess. I think #6 is an alium aflatuense, aka flowering onion.

  4. leagardens says:

    I agree that #3 is a clematis, here in the PNW I would say it’s been slug chewed because that’s our common garden marauder. I too, am sure that the blue flowers are Baptisia australis and that #6 looks like an Ornamental Allium. Wonderful to see the beautiful greenery. I had the same experience when we moved to our home, moved in November and when spring came, great surprises.

  5. Joyce says:

    How lovely to have such a great selection of perennials. I agree with liz2 that the flower appears to be a badly damaged clematis bloom. I don’t know the correct names for the other two plants in the picture but both appear to be what we would consider weeds, namely dead nettle with the pink blooms and creeping charley which has runners that are horribly invasive. I hope the rainy weather eases soon as it has spoiles the peonies and hasn’t done the old fashioned roses much good either. :sun:

  6. Joyce says:

    The seventh plant with the blue flowers looks rather like alfalfa, something in the legume family anyhow.

  7. rurification says:

    Beautiful! And you’re very lucky that someone designed so well. That takes a lot of work.

    #3 is a clematis, possibly Nelly Moser
    #6 is an allium [Don’t know which. There are lots of different kinds]
    #7 is baptisia, False Indigo.

    Sooo pretty!

  8. mammaleigh says:

    I agree with everyone else about #3. I am not sure about the others…I will say this, your hostas are beautiful, but they are going to start over crowd each other. If you wanted to, and it would help them grow better they need to be separated. You can sell the small clumps, (Home Depot sells them for like 5-6$ each small clump), re-plant them somewhere else. My mother has huge hosta beds all over the house that started with just 1 or 2 plants that she separtated and re planted. Now she is begging us girls to take as much as what we want to help her move them.
    Oh and to get rid of the slugs…beer. Dig a small hole next to the plant and burry a small cup with beer in it, not all the way full. They love it but drown. Mean, but you have better flowers. And any kind of beer will work.

  9. bonita says:

    Agree with clematis, allium. Also agree good idea to divide hosta: Dig up entire plant and place it on its side—the clump will most likely fall apart into smaller clumps. Farmer’s market great idea. And yes, beer for slugs. Although…there is not much glamor in picking up stale beer with drowned slugs in it. You may be amazed the first few nights just how many slugs you’ll catch.

  10. outbackfarm says:

    Thank you so much for the beautiful garden tour! It sure is pretty there. Do you know what kind of apples you have? When we moved to our little farm, there were 3 old apple trees in the front yard. We have finally figured out what they are. One is the early June transparent apple that is SO good. And we don’t see many of these any more. My MIL had one and made the best fried apples with them. The next one is a Granny Smith. The 3rd one took alot longer to find out what it is but we finaly did. I took an apple to an orchard a few years back and they said it was a Yates, another old variety. It is THE BEST crunchy, juicy apple I have ever eaten and makes great cider. So I had to get 3 more apple trees to replace 3 that got eaten by a few cows and some sheep. I got 2 of the Yates. Because I love them.

    As for the 7th picture, I would say it’s a surprise lilly. The lady who lived here for over 50 years must have had a few bulbs and threw them out the front door. Through the years they have multiplied like crazy and are ALL over the place. I don’t like them so have been digging them up. They have bulbs like onions and are easy to pull up.

    Also the 3rd picture with the Clematis flower, there is English Ivy all over in there. That is VERY invasive too. Unless you want it as a ground cover, it should be pulled out of flower beds. It’s easy to pull up too. I accidentally brought some with us here from our old house in town. I am still pulling that stuff up. It’s fine in the grass but not in the beds. Unless of course you like it. But it will take over really fast.

  11. langela says:

    #3 clematis, a pretty vine, needs a pretty trellis to climb, likes shady feet and sunny head
    #4 I need a closer look at the leaves, but you’ll probably have to wait for it to grow a bit more
    #6 alum, a bulb
    #7 false indigo, I have one and it is one of my favorite plants. Mine grows beautifully in the worst soil on the farm.
    I love hostas! I plant them around the base of all my trees so I can mow up under their leaves and I don’t have weed around them. They are hard to kill. We once had some on the side of our house. When the men came to put siding on, they trampled them to nothing. They sprang right back.

  12. brookdale says:

    Love your gardens! You are so lucky that they have been done for you already. Isn’t it exciting to see what comes up and blossoms!
    And, around here, hostas and phlox are known as “deer candy”. I have to put wire cages around mine so they don’t get eaten.
    (I was having problems getting the comment box to come up but obviously it’s OK now, it just took a while.)

  13. marymac says:

    I have some Siberian Iris that the leaves look like #4.

  14. FujiQ says:

    How wonderful that you get to enjoy your gardens 🙂 I bet it won’t take long before you get enamored with flower gardens. I was the same way. If you are looking for something interesting to plant, I recommend planting a heuchera (coral bells) species. They are 2012 plant of the year!

    I also love walking around my gardens. I do it daily. It’s a moment of reflection and joy for me as I note what the plants are doing and marvel in life’s simplicity, bounty, masterful artwork, and enduring spirit.

  15. joykenn says:

    At first I was sure #7 was a lupine (lupinus). At first glance it looked a lot like Texas bluebonnets which are a variety of lupine. At closer look the leaves aren’t palmate which lupines are (shaped like a palm with fingers wide spread). So it’s probably false indigo which is also a marvelous spot of bright blue in the spring or early summer garden.

  16. bbkrehmeyer says:

    I.ll add a bit of “advice” about the horses and smaller trees (I see Patriot in the orchard) Horses will DESTROY your trees. They will chew the bark and will pull branches down. I have even seen them chew paint off vehicles! Im not sure if they do it from boredom or if it is a normal thing for the need to chew.They loved to chew our log fences!!!
    the flowers are lovely…especially the hostas..

  17. outbackfarm says:

    I meant to say that #6 is the surprise lilly. Oopps. Not #7.

  18. motherbear57 says:

    Clematis with “creeping charlie”, slugs love creeping charlie so if you get rid of that invasive weed your flowering vine will be spectacular. Clematis doesn’t like to be moved so don’t plan on trying to relocate that plant. It will grow 16 feet in one year so it’s not a bad idea to prune it back, best to go to a garden center and see if you can figure out what kind it is because clematis come in 3 different groups, some like to be pruned AFTER they flower, some BEFORE, that is, some flower on old wood, some on new. They all grow from new buds though so if you want them to flower lower down you take some off the top!
    Lily of the Valley, I think so at least, grows in the shade and multiplies like mad. Always wanted some myself.
    Allium –
    False indigo –

  19. AnnieB says:

    You have some lovely plants in your garden, and your trees are looking so healthy! Thanks for the photos.

    #4 – I think it’s too early to tell what it is. So many things look kinda like that when they first come up.

    #6 is an allium (ornamental onion)

    #7 is definitely baptisia. We have had one for about 15 years, and it comes up every spring like clockwork. It doesn’t bloom very long; but the foliage stays beautiful and green all summer long. They can get pretty big under the right conditions. I saw one once in a garden that was about 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide! Baptisia is a legume – related to peas! You can see the similarity in the leaves and even the little blue flowers.

  20. Jen says:

    I didn’t read all teh comments so I may be repeating some. Here are the mystery plants I know.

    3 – clematis bloom, something has eaten it :o(
    6 – allium, none of mine came back this year
    7 – false indigo, I WANT this!!

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