ONE – This week my Meconopsis betonicifolia or Himalayan blue poppies began opening. These few weeks of them shining their vibrant blue from two wine barrels along the gravel stairway are a highpoint of the year in the garden.
TWO – The current view from the deck features our Viburnum tomentosum, which lost a few branches beneath the weight of winter snow, but has bounced back nicely. It’s a star along the low black fence.
THREE – Directly behind the viburnum stands a tree that I’ve always assumed was a late maple, due to the shape of its leaves. It is the last tree to leaf out each spring and the last to drop its vivid, burgundy leaves in the fall. I hosted a bunch of avid gardeners for a fun dinner, and during the nickel garden tour a guest who is a trained arborist gently let me know my maple is actually a Sweetgum tree. What!? We figured out it’s a seedless variety of Liquidambar styraciflua (didn’t even know that existed) since it doesn’t produce those awful, spiky gumballs. I’m amazed that Coppertop is still revealing its secrets to me. A few years back we lost another adult specimen of this beautiful tree down by the pond in a severe windstorm.
FOUR – Late spring in the little hillside Herb Garden is always a pleasure. Plants are bulking up even in our chilly spring, and the chives just won’t quit. Grown here are sage, various oreganos, various mints, lemon balm, rosemary, salad burnet, various thymes, and too many chives. The basil, dill, and sometimes cilantro and parsley grow in pots on the deck due to voracious slugs. Above this herb garden are the peonies that haven’t begun blooming yet despite my constant urging.
FIVE – Western Tiger Swallowtails have returned! The early Nepeta draws them in, and soon the Dianthus will keep them here for the summer.
SIX – And finally, some much-needed support! The trio of birches had been leaning at an alarming angle since our late winter snows when they bowed down, shown in a huddled mass below. Our arborist friend suggested we tie them to the nearby fence for a full growing season, and Hubby went to it. Look closely to see the ropes that are a good 7-10′ in the air, so no threat of decapitation.
Head on over to The Propagator who hosts Six on Saturday, and visit links in the comments to see what’s going on in beautiful gardens around the world.