Daybreak comes early these days and who can sleep when… well, when it’s spring and nature awaits! The morning is aglow before the sun is fully up. That’s when I step out for my first walk in the garden. The dew is usually heavy and the air cool enough to see steam wafting from my coffee.
I’m certain my neighbors are asleep, however I’m hardly alone outdoors. The birds are awake. Hummingbirds zoom like jets here and there around me fighting for the sweetest nectar spot in the garden. The larger birds are flying from the birdbath to suet and back, foraging in the borders for insects, fussing for territory, mating, or busy gathering nesting material. It must feel like the day’s half over to them.
Early mornings are the best time to me for to appreciate the little things in the garden before I pull on garden gloves and begin chores. It’s the time to witness what will be lost when the sun rises.
Today I walked through the small shade garden to check the newly emerged plants. Bleeding hearts are in full display and are being enjoyed by bumblebees that usually wait for the sun’s warmth to fly.
Not everything has broken ground but I loved seeing the fuzzy leaves of Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla Mollis) holding onto dew droplets that look like tiny pearls.
The groundcover I prefer in this shady area is Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum), that grows about 8″ tall and has green leaves in whorls of 8. The lacy white flowers are just beginning to appear. Some gardeners have problems with invasiveness but I find it easy to manage. This striking green carpet spreading beneath taller plants like ferns, hosta, epimedium, wild ginger, Solomon’s seal, and astilbe, is worth the maintenance.
I notice it won’t be long before the doublefile viburnum (Viburnumplicatum tomentosum ‘Mariesii‘) will burst forth with white blooms… looking just like little soldiers standing doublefile at attention all along the branches. This is my favorite blooming shrub and when in bloom it will be the highlight of spring for me.
I don’t have much red in the garden. mister gardener, the only one who regularly observes and critiques my work, stated I needed more red for contrast out there so two containers are now growing lovely ranunculus (Ranunculus asiatucus) that are opening to more of a tangerine shade. That works for me. It’s the first time I’ve tried them and hoping for a long bloom period with some flowers to cut for arrangements.
That’s about all I had time for today before having a second cup of coffee and catching up on the news…. 😳 Yikes!