More Spring Blooms, Future Combos, and the First Bouquet

Spring is a season here this year. We’ve had a few solid weeks of above freezing and below sweltering weather. The tulips are putting on a long show compared to the three days they survived the heat last year. The only drawback is that I have tons of plants on standby. I cannot wait to start planting!

Tulip 'Daydream'.

Tulip ‘Daydream’ basking in the sun.

Tulip 'Daydream' with boxwoods.

Tulip ‘Daydream’ with boxwood. This bold color really makes a statement on the street.

Below are two tulips that are intertwined with the orange variety above. Not a great color combination, obviously, but it was the only bed I had available when I moved in. The plan was to move the following varieties to a new bed, but I forget to label the foliage/location every year. Supposedly they do not appreciate being moved before they have gone dormant for the season… Maybe this year will be the year for me to remember.

Tulip 'Innuendo'. These are just opening and on the short side. They will color up a brighter pink and lose the green in a few days.

Tulip ‘Innuendo’. These tulip are on the short side, nearly half the height of the ‘Daydream’ tulips above. They are also just beginning to open. In a few days, they will color up a brighter pink and replace the green coloration with white.

Tulip 'Carnaval de Rio'. This is a taller variety of tulip than 'Innuendo' with variegated foliage. It doesn't have as much red as some other bicolors, but should look nice when moved next to my solid red tulips.

Tulip ‘Carnaval de Rio’. This is a taller variety of tulip with variegated foliage. It doesn’t have as much red as some other bicolors, but should look nice when moved next to my solid red tulips.

Tulip 'Apricot Beauty'. These tulips are shorter than I expected, but I didn't read their description thoroughly. From other images, they seemed much taller. Either way, they are beautiful.

Tulip ‘Apricot Beauty’. These tulips are shorter than I expected based on other images I’ve seen. According to the variety descriptions, they should only be a few inches shorter than ‘Daydream’. It seems like more. Either way, they are beautiful.

 

Red tulips with variegated Brunnera in the background.

Red tulips with variegated Brunnera in the background.

I bought the tulips above in a box of mixed red tulip bulbs from Lowe’s two years ago. The image on the box had a beautiful combination of parrot, double, and single tulips in varying shades of red. That was a bit misleading… All that flowered last year were single, plain red tulips. There may have been one parrot tulip, but the bud died before opening (heat?). This year I have a few deep pinks. Luckily I didn’t pay much for these bulbs. I guess I will add in some variety on my own.

Like I said earlier, I am overrun with plants indoors. I have overwintered some petunias and calibrachoas from last year’s hanging baskets, seed grown plants, and many tender annuals I had to buy. Calibrachoas are my weakness. They come in so many beautiful colors, flower continuously, and trail beautifully. They work great in almost all container combinations. I love pairing them with petunias as I enjoy the repetition of their flower forms. The number of callie varieties I have is climbing almost exponentially. It doesn’t help that there are now some double varieties and I know I can overwinter each of them.

I don't have a purpose for this combination, but the 'Miss Lilac' calibrachoa was too beautiful to pass up. And the Nemesia 'Opal Innocence' looks great with it. I also picked up a cheap lavender petunia (though it is a bit on the pink side of purple) and a soft lime accent plant (Helichrysum 'Lemon Licorice').

I don’t have a purpose for this combination, but the ‘Miss Lilac’ calibrachoa was too beautiful to pass up. And the Nemesia ‘Opal Innocence’ looks great with it. I also picked up a cheap lavender petunia (though it is a bit on the pink side of purple in person) and a soft lime accent plant (Helichrysum ‘Lemon Licorice’).

Nemesia is a plant I’ve never grown, I’m a bit nervous about it as it is a cool weather plant. Our summers tend to arrive quickly, but I’m hoping that Proven Winner’s self-proclaimed good breeding will help them last. The ‘Lemon Licorice’ Helichrysum is something I also haven’t grown, but its muted lime coloration was something I had to have. I tend to use sweet potato vines as a foliage accent, but am aiming to diversify my container combinations this year (not using only callies and petunias would be a good start).

I picked up this calibrachoa, 'Painted Coral', on a whim. Since then, I've been struggling with what it will combine well with. I think I will be adding deep purple and some bright two-toned peach flowers. I haven't decided on anything yet, but this coleus 'Stained Glassworks' looks nice.

I picked up this calibrachoa, ‘Painted Coral’, on a whim (addicted to them). Since then, I’ve been struggling with what it will combine well with. I think I will be adding deep purple and some bright two-toned peach flowers. I haven’t decided on anything yet, but this coleus ‘Stained Glassworks Luminesce’ looks nice.

The salmon petunia here is similar to 'African Sunset', but I'm not sure of the variety. I, of course, had to buy this callie 'Minifamous Compact Orange', despite already having the similar callie 'Dreamsicle'. However,  'Minifamous Compact Orange' has some nice pink highlights that I enjoy.

The salmon petunia here is similar to ‘African Sunset’, but I’m not sure of the variety. I, of course, had to buy this callie ‘Minifamous Compact Orange’, despite already having the similar callie ‘Superbells Dreamsicle’. However, ‘Minifamous Compact Orange’ has some nice pink highlights that I enjoy (thought it isn’t very obvious in this photo).

In addition, I finally cut some flowers to bring inside. I always have trouble deciding whether I’d rather enjoy them outside or in at this point as there are so few in the garden. But the tipping point were the early blooming lilies that needed some companions. I started these lilies in mid-February under high-pressure sodium lights. I planted the remainder of the bulbs in the garden. It will be interesting to compare the colors that develop on those plants, the ones inside are much more pink than salmon.

Tulip 'Apricot Beauty', Daffodil 'Pink Charm', and Oriental Lily 'Salmon Star'. The lilies should be more of a peachy-salmon color, but these were grown indoors.

Tulip ‘Apricot Beauty’, Daffodil ‘Pink Charm’, and Oriental Lily ‘Salmon Star’. The lilies should be more of a peachy-salmon color, but these were grown indoors.

Tulip 'Apricot Beauty', Daffodil 'Pink Charm', and Lilium 'Salmon Star'.

Tulip ‘Apricot Beauty’, Daffodil ‘Pink Charm’, and Lilium ‘Salmon Star’. Again, this lily was grown under artificial light so the color may not be representative of the variety.

Some final notes: spring cleanup is slow going. We have been out of town a few weekends in a row for plant activities. Additionally, my SO installed an irrigation system which will be a relief in the summer, but has set us back where spring chores are concerned.

I’ve planted a few of my seed grown perennials and cool season annuals. A few beds are weeded (though the dandelions and chives have already sent up re-sprouts of any roots I’ve missed). I still need to finish weeding, planting, and mulching for the spring. And cleaning up the porch/mowing the lawn are quickly getting added to the to-do-list. Hopefully the garden will start producing more blooms to reward me for the hard work!

An unexpected advantage of the irrigation system is how lovely plants look when covered with water droplets. I hadn't realized how lamb's ear sparkles and glows when covered with water.

An unexpected advantage of the irrigation system is how lovely plants look when covered with water droplets. I hadn’t realized how lamb’s ear sparkles and glows when covered with water.