Sunday, April 11, 2010

Why I love spring...

Even with the never-ending work load and constant demands for my time that appear out of nowhere, I love what spring has to bring and offer the gardener. It's a time of emergence, a time of unexpected surprises, and a reinvigorated spirit within oneself that is eager to explore the sumptuous bounty of nature's ethereal magic as the season unfurls before our eyes.

My infatuation with the species tulips

Though the cause of my anger and frustration as they've been devoured by mice and squirrels this winter and spring, the bold survivors pulled through to produce a show that makes me weak and compelled to place another early season pre-order for bulbs to be delivered this fall.

I've raved about Tulipa kaufmanniana 'Ancilla' in previous posts, but there's still a few beginning to bloom and a few more to follow in the next couple of weeks.

Tulipa Juan
Tulipa 'Juan' (Fosteriana type)
Think intense, sultry, and undeniably hot; these are words not typically used to describe spring's delicately innocent flowers, but one look of this seductively sexy tulip and you're at a lost for words. Fiery orange with a hint of warm yellow and the cooling calm foliage with just the faintest hint of clean, purple-gray lines for a somewhat understated, but compelling presence. Yeah.....that was a little over top. AAAANNNNYWAY....pretty tulip.

Tulipa Little Beauty portrait (2)
Tulipa 'Little Beauty'
Certainly living up to its name, this little charmer is the cutest thing to pop out of the garden in mid-April as the cherry red blossoms pop open to reveal a faint blue center, painted black markings and a halo of violet-pink.

Tulipa praestans Unicum book cover
Tulipa praestans 'Unicum'
Often mistaken for an emerging hosta, this unusual tulip looks great all spring as the pale green leaves are gilded with a wide creamy margin and out of nowhere, pops a intensely red bud that, to the surprise of many who encounter it, is just one of several buds on this multi-flowering species.

Being able grow and nurture these lovely gems is certainly gratifying, but to be able to share springs vibrant color and blooms with others is wonderfully fulfilling.

On Easter Sunday, I asked my oldest niece, Alex, to help me carry my flats of unsold daffodils to my brothers house. I asked her to cut the flowers to put in a vase to decorate the dinner table.

Alex with Daffodils

My youngest nephew, Jean Paolo, peeked out the window wondering what we were doing and insisted that he take part.

Alex and Pao with daffodils

So he did and carefully arranged them in the vase. =)

Pao with daffodils 2

Spring is certainly a time where, as the weather improves, everyone gathers. The past few weeks have included barbecues, family get-togethers (more than usual), garden work and potting parties, and the occasional bonfire or two.

DSC02948At a local pea-patch in Seattle.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a cozy get together with several of the graduate students at CUH. Not only were they fun people to be around with, they were also avid gardeners. Even at night I enjoyed perusing the wood chip paths to see their perennial and vegetable beds, but what compelled me most was the humble gathering of people surrounding a warm and welcoming fire.

With a simple burning fire (and firewood they've dubbed as "PANTS"), I am so enthused to design my garden around one.

Pants at Kathleens

Even if for myself, it's so incredibly relaxing and, hey, should the right person come along, it could even be quite romantic.


1 comment:

  1. I can see your nephew has that spark of interest in flowers, so cool to see in kids. I heart species tulips too. My funky anti-squirrel method is to sprinkle paprika on the surface where the bulbs are planted. Have you tried that? It makes the garden smell a bit like Hungarian goulash, but it's worth it. I didn't lose a single bulb this year!