Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Poking Their Wee Heads Out

Over the weekend I took some pictures of the plants that have just started putting in an appearance. Some I've been waiting and watching expectantly for a while, to see how they did over the winter.

Indian plum/Oemleria cerasiformis, planted last spring, is showing not only new leaves, but also flowers, which thrills me no end. I had never heard of this Pacific Northwest native tree until a local landscape designer suggested it to me. It is one of the earliest blooming trees here in the Pacific Northwest.

 It will only produce fruit if both a male and female are planted nearby. I do have another one elsewhere in the garden, but it is much smaller, and I don't see any sign of flowers on it.

Then again, I may have two females, or I may have two males. We'll see. Maybe I'll get lucky.

According to the website Rainy Side Gardeners, this tree produces small bittersweet fruit that animals love. It doesn't produce fruit for human consumption, although native Americans did eat it. They also used the twigs and bark for medicinal purposes. Because it flowers so early, it is an early nectar source for bees and other insects.

There is no sign of flowers on any of my red flowering currants. In fact, they all seem to be in a different stage of leafing out. One is almost completely leafed out.

 Another is only showing the tips of leaves.

And a third has no sign of leaves yet, just buds. It seems to be alive, but is not yet willing to come out and play. And a fourth has no sign of leaves, but is producing suckers.

Last Fall I planted several trout lily/Erythronium bulbs, and I'm so excited to see them above the soil. One -- Erythronium dens-canis -- has a flower bud.

The others all look like this. So cute!

I also planted two Erythronium tuolumnense, but only one is above ground. And it looks like something has been chewing on it.

Another native that I planted last Fall is Dicentra formosa, western bleeding heart. It's on its way!

I'm also excited to see my peas have started to show themselves at last!

Peas are worth growing in the garden, for eating fresh.  There is just no comparison between fresh peas and frozen.

I also have cute little baby lettuces. This one is called Mottistone.
And look! Brussels sprouts!

And Swiss chard!

It's so exciting to see everything waking up!


  1. I wonder if you may have pruned off the flowering branches of your ribes (flowering current) judging from the picture you show. I think they bloom from short stems that emerge from second-year wood. I don't prune mine much at all, which means it's HUGE and occasionally needs to be controlled, but I get lots of nice flowers...

  2. Hi's so exciting to see all the bloggers posting about starting seeds! Makes me want to get that veggie garden of mine started...almost ;) soon enough, but for the meantime, I'm going to be enjoying posts like yours and continue to grow in my knowledge of veggie gardening :) Cheers, Jenni

  3. Alison, you are one of the best plant Mommy's I follow! Your babies are looking so healthy, but with all the love and attention you give them, it's no wonder :) Your soil looks super, dark and rich and loamy!

    Lovely close-ups...I'm enjoying sharing your palpable excitement all these 1,000's of kilometres away!!!

    I follow another very inspiring blogger @ African Aussie. I told her about your blog today, as well. You might enjoy peeping at her latest post, as she's also very inventive and has some novel ideas (well, to me at least!) on feeding and mulching etc. She also grows all sorts of veggies from seed.

  4. I can't wait to see all the flowers from these plants, especially the plum. My ribes took a couple of years to really start blooming. One year only one branch bloomed. It might just time to mature a little. I need to go stick some peas in outside.

  5. Spring = excitement for gardeners! Such fun to see things starting to emerge from their winter's nap.

  6. Isn't it just wonderful to see LIFE in the garden once again. I hope you'll post a photo of the Erythronium when it blooms.

  7. Love to see plants re-awakening after a long slumber.

  8. I am jealous that you get spring already.

  9. I agree with you, it is exciting to see the start of spring!
    Pussy willows are one my first around here to start.
    I think you are going to have some beautiful blooms!

  10. Brussel sprouts! Yay! Spring, Yay!
    Everything looks great, a sure sign that spring is arriving there. And I look forward to being back at home in the PNW next week and enjoy those signs too!

  11. How wonderful to see green, growing things again. I'm just soaking up all your fresh sprouts. We had another snowstorm today, so it will be a long time before I see leaves!

  12. Yeah for spring and new discoveries in the gardens!


Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.