The summer of 2004 will probably be recorded in weather history as the summer that wasnt! May and June were dismal, leaving us trapped in March/April conditions for four months instead of just two. Gardening was difficult and most vegetables were planted late with some never coming out of the ground. I will be buying fresh corn this year ah well, you can only eat so much of it anyway!
The silver lining in the long term cool wet weather pattern is that the blooming period for the perennial flowers is dramatically extended. Heat and sun takes a toll on blooms but the cool wet weather is kind. The spring flower beds are beautiful and the blossoms last much longer than usual.
The first to bloom are the hepaticas which are always open for Mothers Day. The Pink Beauty shrub gives us a short-lived burst of pink before the leaves appear and gives us a boost towards the colours of summer. I look forward to it annually a spring ritual in my yard. The tiny snow drops and scilla produce a swath of colour in the front beds and soon the tulips and daffodils burst into bloom. Next come the glorious colours and smells of peonies, gas plants, violets, Johnny jump-ups, trollius, Stella DOro daylilies, forget-me-nots, bearded irises, the centaurea family and the painted daisies. Flowering crab and plums, a mock orange, the Siberian pear, an Evans cherry and a pink flowering almond contribute to the display. These are joined by monkshood, poppies, Asiatic lilies, delphiniums, lady slippers and bleeding hearts. The lily of the valley, meadowrue, caraway and catnip expand the range of colour and are soon followed by larkspur, more daylilies, phlox, and hostas.
I am finishing this up on September 27. I expect it will freeze tonight but the yard is still green and full of colour. Echinacea, sedum, day lilies, cinquefoil and gloriosa daisies are all in full bloom. The vegetable garden is full of sunflowers of all shapes, sizes and colours and the chatter of tiny finches fill the daylight hours as they busily harvest the seeds.