Hydrangea! And Hortensia!

The list of what’s now open is getting longer! First trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) flowers appeared over the weekend, and very handsome they are! The first blossoms of a very pretty calendula from Renee’s Garden Seeds, ‘Flashback,’ have opened up. The initial offerings are all a rich orange with a deep purple center. My nigella are back! I almost forgot to look for them, though they always, always self-seed for me. I only have a few plants, but that should be enough for them to set some more seed. The dreaded evening primrose are unfurling of evenings–dreaded because last year’s self-seeded about 1,000,000,000,000 plants that I’ve been tediously removing one by one from the soil. Last year’s phlox from Proven Winners is blooming–it’s a deep lavender, and I wish wish wish it weren’t so close to my cerise yarrow. Oh well. Also, two Proven Winners hydrangea are up and out: Incrediball (white) and Invincibelle (pink). Both shrubs are still very thin and splindly, but they are blooming their hearts out, God bless them. My blue lace-cap hydrangea has also started putting on its fascinating show. The closed buds are blue, but the flowers themselves are white when they open. So intricate and pretty … I just found out that another name for hydrangea is hortensia, and what better old-fashioned name could there be than that?

What a wonderful time in the garden! Then again, the roses are pretty much done and over with. ‘Mme. Isaac Periere’ will reliably rebloom (and bring its rich, sweet fragrance with it), but the others are one-and-done. I’d miss them more if I didn’t know that each day will bring other flowers to fill the gap. At least until autumn, when things begin dying back … and then winter, with its long stretch of nothing-to-expect … and then … then … spring!

I don’t know how people survive without gardening. It would be like surviving without hope for me.

Photo by Darrell Barrell

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