A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Nuthatches and Fritillarias

We have been having a long stretch of warm, dry weather. Each day is warmer than the last. Today is supposed to reach 80 degrees. I have been wearing shorts to work outside since Sunday. I think the heat is speeding things up in the gardens. I can almost see the plants grow. The tulips are beginning to bloom. They are following the "Yellow First" method with their own twist. The white ones bloomed BEFORE the yellow ones. Now that they are both finished, the rest of the colors are beginning to bloom. The bleeding hearts, both the fern-leaf and the old fashioned are budded. The violets are in full bloom. There are almost none in the lawn. When I first moved into this house, they were all over the lawn in the backyard. They have been dwindling for the last few years and I can't figure out why.

The fritillaria that was supposed to be so difficult to grow is in full bloom. I planted it in the medieval garden even though they were grown in the 17th centruy. It is shorter than I expected. Perhaps it will get taller next year. Nevertheless, it is really neat looking. The smell is pretty bad though. The entire plant smells really badly.

The newest visitors to the birdfeeder are White-breasted Nuthatches. These were another type of bird that I thought only existed in illustrations because they are so crazy looking. Nope. They are real and just as funny in person as in the pictures. They supposedly travel in pairs year round, not just during mating season. Sure enough, there was a pair. I think it was a male and female because one was trying to feed the other. Nuthatch seduction!


At 1:20 PM, Blogger Sylvana said...

Fritillarias! Those are the flowers that I think I finally didn't kill! I saw a really unusual sprout coming up the other day. I had the picture in my mind of what it was- but for the life of me could not remember what it was called. Thanks!


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