Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Plant Pleasantries and a Giveaway

THIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR when our gardens change dramatically. Here it is the end of April already. When I look back at the photos I took at the beginning of the month, it shocks me how much my plants have grown in a single month. 

I work full time so I sure appreciate my evenings in the garden, looking over my plants, catching a whiff of fragrance or a new blossom opening up. For the next several months I would like to slow down time. I would like to bottle every sunny day and every stroll down the garden path. But since I can't, I'll just do my best to take it all in. And share it with my garden buddies.

I'm excited to show off this unnamed Clemmy my neighbor rooted off of her plant.
I'm psyched to finally see its very first blossoms--pink of course. 

Equally thrilling is my Weigela florida ‘My Monet’. Purchased back in 2008. It has been extremely slow getting established and has put on very little growth. This year, finally it has blossoms.
Could it have been the colder-than-normal winter?

I bought this little species Penstemon at a plant sale last year.
I'm pretty sure it's Penstemon cardwellii. I love the grape-colored blossoms.  

A little pot of Ledebouria cooperi came home with me after seeing them at Dancing Oaks nursery. 
I don't grow very many spring ephemerals, preferring to have my garden
hit its peak in summer. But these guys were so dang cute.

Ledebouria cooperi 

These are Caesalpinia pulcherrima seedlings. Caesalpinia, commonly called "Pride of Barbados"
 or "Peacock Flower" is purported to be a fast grower. It comes in reds and oranges or pink shades.
Bet you can't guess which flower color I chose.
I'm hoping they'll behave like Cosmos, growing quickly, blooming and dropping seed for next year. 

Pink Pride of Barbados, must have!
Here is an Internet photo of the flower in bloom. 

Here's another photo.
I'll let you know if my experiment works.
Fingers crossed.
Before saying sayonara, I wanted to let you know that my garden blogging friend Susan Troccolo is featuring me on her awesome blog, Life-Change-Compost. You can read an excerpt of my new book and if you leave a comment with your email, you're eligible to win a free copy of Grace in the Garden. Click here
Good luck and happy gardening!

Fishtail Cottage 


  1. Your Ledebouria cooperi is adorable! I too would like to bottle and preserve every sunny warm day.

  2. Your pink blooms always speak to my heart.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  3. Ledebouria cooperi is such a sweet little plant. The leaves on the Caesalpinia pulcherrima looks like Mimosa leaves. I love the texture of the leaves.Great addition to the pink garden. :)

  4. Looking forward to hearing about your experiment as Caesalpinia pulcherrima looks gorgeous in both foliage and flower!

  5. Grace, like you, I also work full-time, and the only way I appreciate how quickly my gardens grow, is to take before and after photos. I too love to spend time wandering outside, after dinner, soaking up the beauty and pulling a weed here and there.
    You have so many beautiful plants.

  6. I wonder if we have peacock flowers here? I will have to check at the nurseries. As always your plants look amazing! Exciting times here as every day when I take my walk around the yard something new is emerging from the ground!! I am worried a bit about my tree peonies as they look a little worse for wear after the horrible winter we had. But a lot of times Mother Nature really surprises a person! Patience pays off sometimes. Especially with gardening.
    I went to the site you mentioned in your post. What a wonderful looking book! Of course I had to put my name in the drawing.

  7. Gracie girl I am loving all of your plants .. they "fit" you perfectly!
    Yes .. when things change here it is an explosion .. right now with the couple of days of rain it is going to take off dramatically and I have to draw out my battle plan for switching plants around FAST !!
    Let alone plant some that have already come from the mail order garden santa ! hehehe
    I am running over to the other blog to see if I can catch a copy of your book girl ! LOL
    PS .. Funny ... My Monet (for which I have 2) flowered for me right away and has been doing so well !

  8. Being in the garden whether to work or absorb everything it has to offer is such a joy.

  9. Grace, I went running outside to my Clemmy because I was certain it was the same one you have pictured and that the tag was still there, but alas it is not! But boy, it sure is the same one....so I'll keep looking. Thanks for the shout-out on the contest and referral to my blog, I already have a number of new subscribers that makes me sooo happy and pleased. Thank you. I'll do the random drawing "from the hat" in about two weeks. susie

  10. Hi Grace,
    I am so tickled that it is spring! You have some nice looking plants there. I hope your pussytoes do well.

  11. Your Penstemon bought at a plant sale is wonderful, love this dark color! I think the plants we buy 'on sale' are the most thankful in our gardens.

  12. Stunning flowers in your garden. Just stunning!! I wish I lived in a more tropical climate to be able to enjoy those....

  13. It's me again! The last leaves on that beautiful flower looks similar to mimosa doesn't it?

  14. It sounds as if April bought you much pleasure Grace swift though it was. Have not come across Ledebouria cooperi before so off to find out more as it looks most attractive. Your book is awaiting me on my Kindle :)

  15. I really love seeing so many blooms I never see around here and in great shades of pink.

  16. While my list of plants that died seems to be getting longer, I swear some are doing better that ever. I have a zillion unwanted seedlings and my sedum are thriving. Love all that pinkness you posted! :o)


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