By this time of year, it's usually safe to move my hibiscus plants from their indoor warm spots to the front porch without killing them, but I'm not so sure that was a good idea this week--one has a nice dose of the plant equivalent of frostbite. My landscaper buddy Paul was surprised at how late my rose-of-sharon trees are in even budding this year although they are obviously still alive. However, I am seeing some more signs that warmer weather may soon be coming.
My irises are in full bloom. If you enlarge the picture, you'll also see some peonies that have budded up nicely. I wish they'd bloom at the same time as the irises, but they always seem to be a wee bit later so the impact is missed. If you have any need for irises (or daylilies--I'll post when they bloom), all of mine are in need of thinning, so I'll have bulbs available. have typical purple and white ones, and then I have the spectacular coppery-lavender ones that are HUGE. I can't recall where I found these--it was in one of the bulb catalogs that I receive--but they are very unusual.
My yard has also been overrun by gnomes. They've built a house in my oak tree. Craig (my 16 year old) looked at this and rolled his eyes. He thinks I'm getting eccentric in my middle age (although he uses other verbiage). Bonus points if you can identify what the vine climbing up the tree is! It's bigger around than my closed fist, and the leaves are as big as my hand (luckily, they're about 40 feet up in the tree!).
And finally, as I've indicated in the past, I have critters that eat my flowers, herbs, and veggies. I chased away a squirrel who was nibbling on my lemon balm and lavender this morning, then I put cayenne pepper in the planters to discourage the wily critter (and I actually don't mind the squirrels). Over the winter, I found a patio planter that may be my saving grace. It stands about 4 feet high. If you look at the plants coming out of the bottom--those are tomatoes and cucumbers. Having them grow downward eliminates the need for staking and keeps the "fruit" out of the reach of most animals. On top, I have cilantro, basil, and a couple of types of hot peppers. I'm just hoping that it's not too cold still to have these out.
Enjoy the long weekend. Remember our vets on Monday.