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Welcome Home

June 2, 2014

back garden welcome homeIt has been a week since I was welcomed home by my Maine garden. When I last saw this garden in late April, it was mostly bare ground, with few plants having emerged from dormancy. What a difference a few weeks make! I came home to find lush green growth everywhere. I’m particularly happy to see how the Fence Border (now five years old) has filled in.

fence border foliage

There were even some flowers to welcome me home. The Serenity Garden, especially, is home to spring blooms, including bleeding hearts (Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Gold Heart’), solomon’s seal (Polygonatum odoratum variegatum), and hellebores.

serenity bleeding hearts bleeding hearts gold heart
Solomon's Seal hellebore blooms
In the holding area where I moved plants from the front of the house to wait for the development of my new front garden, moss phlox (Phlox subulata) is blooming. moss phlox


bluets carpet Many spring wildflowers are also putting out the welcome mat – including bluets (Houstonia caerulea), starflower (Trientalis borealis), and Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense). Wild strawberries (Fragaria virginiana) are happy to grow wherever they can get a foothold, and their flowers promise delicious berries to grace my breakfast cereal in a few weeks.
May wildflowers strawberry blossoms by door
back slope rhododendron On the back slope, the rhododendron that is usually in bloom when I return waited for my arrival, opening it’s first flowers two days after I got here. I love the sweet pink of its blossoms.

back slope rhododendron blooms

My garden has also welcomed me with promises of flowers to come, including buds on peonies (Paeonia lactiflora), goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus), and Amsonia hubrichtii. peony buds
goatsbeard buds amsonia buds

It’s good to be home.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2014 8:55 pm

    Jean, let me also say “welcome home”. What a wonderful summer you will have, surrounded by all those glorious flowers.

    • June 4, 2014 11:00 pm

      Diane, One of the first sunny days we had, I got my deck furniture out so that I can sit out and enjoy the back garden.

  2. June 3, 2014 12:41 am

    Everything looks lush and green – and pink! Best wishes with all you homecoming projects!

    • June 4, 2014 11:01 pm

      Kris, Everything is looking lush and green, one of the benefits of a very snowy winter and rainy spring (which I know you folks in California would love to get a taste of). I’m tackling all my projects one at a time a few hours a day. (I’m a “slow and steady wins the race” type.)

  3. Nell Jean permalink
    June 3, 2014 6:42 am

    What a beautiful welcome you had. It’s the time of year when there are new delights to discover daily, which makes the chores go faster.

    • June 4, 2014 11:02 pm

      Nell, We also have some delightful weather at this time of year. Two sunny dry days in the 70s this week were perfect for getting the first two flower beds weeded and mulched.

  4. June 3, 2014 8:57 am

    Jean what a beautiful welcome. Mine welcomed me home from hospital with some blooms and more weeds than anything else….I think it is telling me it has been too long neglected. Yours shows all your wonderful loving care.

    • June 4, 2014 11:05 pm

      Donna, It must have been frustrating to see those weeds and know that you couldn’t do anything about them. I remember my negotiations with my doctor after I had abdominal surgery in 1998 about what I could and couldn’t do. The day I asked him if I could go cross-country skiing, he laughed so hard that he had tears running down his face. (Seemed like a reasonable question to me!)

  5. June 3, 2014 10:15 am

    Your garden is full of promises and happy to see you, Jean!

    • June 4, 2014 11:06 pm

      Tatyana, It’s the time of year when each day brings new buds; in another couple of weeks, all those buds will be flowers. Early summer is one of my favorite times in the garden.

  6. June 3, 2014 11:59 am

    Loved all your beautiful spring bloom!

    • June 4, 2014 11:07 pm

      Sue, I’ve been enjoying all those spring blooms, too; and because we’ve had a cool spring, they have been lasting. New flowers open every day now.

  7. June 4, 2014 6:32 pm

    With such a verdant garden it is easy to see why you find it good to be home. Do you find the Fragaria virginiana strawberries to be good to eat? I found them to be fairly tasteless and leave them for the birds and critters.

    • June 4, 2014 11:10 pm

      Jason, I’ve had the opposite experience with the wild strawberries; their flavor is so eye-poppingly intense that it is cultivated strawberries that seem relatively bland and tasteless by comparison. When I moved into my rented townhouse in Pennsylvania, though, there were wild strawberries growing there that turned out to be tasteless. I wonder if these are not all really F. virginiana or if they differ depending on growing conditions. I am aware that I seem to have several different varieties (variations in color and shape) growing on my property in Maine.

  8. June 6, 2014 9:13 pm

    Welcome home to Maine Jean! and congratulations on your retirement. It amazes me each year how quickly we turn from winter to summer. In the space of a month the landscape goes from dead and brown to bright bright green. It’s an astounding transformation that never fails to delight.

    • June 9, 2014 9:11 pm

      Marguerite, The transition really is dramatic. When I was here at the end of April, there were still icy remains of snow banks along the sides of the driveway. Now, after a couple of days of summery temperatures, the garden is bursting into bloom. My enjoyment of the garden in late spring/early summer is all the sweeter because of the deprivations of winter. (As the Maine t-shirts say, “If you can’t stand the winter, you don’t deserve the summer” 🙂 )

  9. June 10, 2014 9:22 am

    Maine is welcoming you home! Everything is looking so lush. Isn’t it exciting to see those first blooms and know all the rest are soon to follow? It will be gorgeous! The plants you brought from your Gettysburg garden should fit in beautifully. I love your pink Rhodie; how nice it waited to bloom for you! Happy retirement!

    • June 10, 2014 11:20 am

      Deb, I love the pink rhododendron, too. My mother brought it when I first moved into the house, a little seedling that her next-door neighbor had dug up from the woods behind her house. It’s amazing how it has grown from that little seedling to dominate the slope by my back door. A number of years ago, I took a small rooted piece of this plant and planted it in another part of my garden; this year, that division finally got big enough to bloom.

  10. June 11, 2014 8:49 pm

    What a lovely garden! The flowers are beautiful.

  11. June 12, 2014 4:29 pm

    Hi Jean, I’ve been doing a lot of fence painting recently and I saw the picture of the fence border and thought, “ooh, that fence would look really nice done over with white gloss” before I could stop myself. It must be a relief knowing that this is now the one, single garden to concentrate on and you can put all your effort and energy here instead of being split and divided across two.

  12. June 15, 2014 9:45 am

    What an exciting time for you, so many plans and adventures. Good luck!

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