|Bicolor iris in colored pencil and watercolor, stage two.|
How time flies when it's spring! My garden has grown so much since my last posting, that the particular bearded iris I was in the process of painting from photos came into bloom once again, and is now fading. And I'm only halfway into the painting... Here is a shot of it in my garden this year.
|Bicolor iris in my garden|
It's always great to be able to work from a live subject--you see so much more detail than in a photo, even a good one. The subtle changes in color of the falls and the striation near the beard, the veining... all so beautiful! Here's a recent progress shot of my painting.
|Bicolor iris painting, stage three.|
So much has already bloomed and leafed out, where to begin? Here are some photos of the seasonal progression, arranged more or less in sequence, to show how the plantings are developing.
|Carolina Silverbell tree (Halesia caroliniana)|
|Close-up of the Silverbell flowers|
It was exciting to see the small Carolina Silverbell (Halesia caroliniana) sapling I planted four years ago bloom for the first time in early May. Such a delightful sight--I hope to illustrate this beautiful native plant soon. It's only about four feet high right now, but should eventually reach 15 to 20 feet in height.
|Front garden with iris and White Dogwood|
With every passing year there is more in my garden to admire, it's hard to decide what to feature. What follows is just a sampling.
|West garden seen from the deck|
The beds under and around the trees on west side of the garden continue to expand. Last fall I connected the small Witchazel and pink Dogwood trees to form a new triangular bed and have planted it with daylilies (just emerging). The Grape Hyacinths (Muscari) and the Spanish Hyacinths (Hyacinthoides) at the base of the Zelkova made a nice showing this year. You can see a few pink and white bells that I added the previous year, gaining ground.
|Blue, pink and white Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica)|
|Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica)|
|Front bed by the garage|
The creeping Phlox in the bed by the garage is spreading, and the purple heads of the Globemaster Alliums by the roses make for some nice color combinations. The 'Coral Charm' Peony produced more blooms this year than last, but as we got hit with a few 90-degree days, they were so short-lived, I hardly had a chance to photograph them.
|'Coral Charm' Peony|
During the past week the weather changed dramatically--very stormy, with close to six inches of rain--I've never seen my garden as soggy as this, the soil is positively boggy in places. Hopefully, the welcomed rains will bring on a great burst of bloom shortly. Here's what other parts of the garden look like at the moment.
|Irises in the Little Indians bed.|
|Japanese maples in the east garden.|
|Coreopsis with Blue Salvia and Catmint on the west side.|
The backyard island beds continue to expand. The addition of a birdbath motivated me to add some new perennials, and some annuals will be interspersed soon. The red Honeysuckle 'Major Wheeler' is climbing up the trellis and its blooms should attract some hummingbirds.
|Backyard island bed.|
|Backyard from the deck.|
|Clematis and Sweet William in island bed.|
The strange hangings on the Kousa Dogwood 'Rosy Teacups' beyond, are garden pots hung to weigh down its branches--a strange trick to re-shape the tree, I admit, but the branches need to be opened up for a better display. I'll end with this shot of the salad bowl growing on the deck.