Live Orioles, Dead Dogwoods, Black Tomatoes, and Other Weekend Notes
The Baltimore orioles – one of my favorite birds – have arrived! Also, for the first time, we have attracted indigo buntings to our yard. To entice them, I’ve been spreading millet on the ground for about two weeks. The buntings look like someone took a goldfinch and painted it an intense, electric blue. Unfortunately, Judy couldn’t get a good picture of one. Her good camera is still in the shop being fixed.
I got to Anton’s and Gethsemane to buy some plants Friday, then got them in the ground today. For my front yard island bed, a moist and sunny spot, I got three monarda “bluestockings,” two phlox “David,” and one obedient plant.
It’s too early for cleome, I know, but I couldn’t stop myself from buying a couple. I intend to fill in all the empty spots in the front yard flower beds with cleome and cosmos this year. No bare ground!
I also got my little front yard vegetable garden started. I installed the wooden tomato trellises I started using last year, then planted four tomato plants: Black Krim, Black Cherry, Black Prince, and Green Zebra. This will be the Year of the Black Tomato! I know it’s a little early for tomatoes, but what the hey. Also planted bush pickle cukes, dill, and parsley. Oregano and thyme lived through the winter.
The amsonia, the columbine, the starry solomon seal, and the cranberry bush viburnum have just started blooming. Plus, I have to say this has been a banner year for trumpet honeysuckle and Nepeta “kitkat” – in terms of both very early and profuse blooming.
AAARRRGH. That is my mature and thoughtful response to the fact that my new “Appalachian Blush” flowering dogwood, which I planted with such high hopes on April 1, appears to be dead. The stems are green, but all the leaf buds are clearly kaput. The April cold must have done it in. I have to decide whether I want a replacement from Forest Farm, or just buy something locally. But I REALLY wanted a flowering dogwood, and you can’t find one in garden centers around here.