Mr. Yogato Blossoms

The promise of beauty that Iris reticulata merely hinted at has popped forth full-fledged.

I just spent a few hours sifting through hundreds of photographs that I took over the past couple days. I might have to stop carrying my camera around again! Expect lots of pretty pictures with very little text over the coming week.

The pictures I have here are from the past week and a half, since I took pictures of I. reticulata. The Mr. Yogato garden has changed a lot in just a short timespan!

In no particular chronological order, here's what the garden looked like this month.

The rhubarb and mint are coming back very nicely. I cannot wait to be able to bake things with this rhubarb!

My grape vine is slowly developing leaves. The ice and snow saved me from having to do the pruning myself. I have read that first year's growth should be pruned back 90%. I would not have been able to do that to my beloved plant...! Nature, however, did it for me, and the vine seems perfectly happy to have been chopped to bits.

The strawberries are coming back, too! Most of them are greener than this, now--the photograph was taken on 10 March, but it was such a cool shot that I didn't want to use any of the newer ones. I was worried that the plants would die (and some did) because of the multiple giant snow piles that packed on top of them, but a lot of them made it through and are growing!

This violet was one of the planty grabs from the woman who also gave me her seed collection. I used to have it on my windowsill, but it was a harbinger of spider mites, so I stuck it at Mr. Yogato. It did well, flowered, and dropped lots of seeds. It's coming back vigorously right now, and I'm wondering if all those little seedlings around it are its babies. We'll see in a bit, I guess...

To the left is some garlic that I planted last fall, and to the bottom left is a piece of ABC gum. I don't grow those, they just pop up like weeds and cigarette butts.

Let's take a little break from all the photographs to mention that I went to a perennial division demonstration at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens (where fabulous lives). Bill Johnson, Hillwood's horticultural volunteer coordinator, came to my Master Gardener class to teach about perennials the other week. He has training opportunities as part of his volunteer program, and he invited our class to come if they wanted. I did, especially after hearing something about "free plants." The instruction was informative (basically, grab a sharp axe and go to town on the plants). I took notes, but I have stacks of meeting notes and class notes in the same pile. I must go through them.

The next set of photographs are what I nabbed from Hillwood and planted at Mr. Yogato on 13 March. I don't remember what the varieties were (Bill didn't, either, for some of them, so I don't feel too bad).

So, I planted this on 13 March, but this photograph was taken today. This is gooseneck loosestrife, Lysimachia clethroides. It's less vigorous than the oh-so-hated purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), but it is aggressive. It sends out runners once in the spring; Bill says that if you don't want it to spread, chop off the runners and it's done. I planted a few of them where the Datura was last year, where the strawberries still are. We'll see how large it gets!

This Heuchera "Caramel," which will have yellowish leaves. I put it next to the grapes (which were not really placed well), because it gets a bit more shade in that location. It is not the colour I would have chosen, but hey, it's free, and will be an interesting focus in the garden. Just like the bright blue chalk to the left.

Here's an Iris. I think Bill said it was a rebloomer. That's about all I remember about it.

Those of us at the Master Gardener class got a hint that Bill had a little crush on this shasta daisy, Leucanthemum superbum "Becky." At the perennial division demonstration, we upgraded that to full-blown love. I hope Bill doesn't have anyone to cheat on, because they really ought to be jealous about the way he talks about "Becky." I have, for some reason, avoided liking daisies, but I'll try it and see.

This is a Sedum. I don't know what it'll look like, but the itty bitty form looks like a common one that is in yards all over DC. Sedum spectabile? I placed it in this location because people are apt to step on it--it was a difficult-to-grow-in spot last year. I figure, with Sedum, it doesn't matter if branches break off or leaves drop--I'll just get more plant that way!

This is a Siberian Iris, I believe. I don't really remember. But I think that's what it is.

Here is Ajuga reptans. Bill says it flowers beautifully--I'm more in love with the dark purplish foliage and the spreading action it does! I want it to be a cover for the bulb garden, which has a purple colour scheme already. Why not extend that colour into other seasons?

That's a good segue to the next section: the bulb garden!

This is how the Crocus looked on 13 March. It was gloomy, wet, cold, and generally miserable. The garden looked fantastic with droplets of water all over it, but the flowers weren't opening at all, despite having been above ground for days. My horticulturalist friend told me that's just the way Crocus flowers handle cold, wet, dreary springs; they remain closed until pretty days, when their pollinators will be out and about.

Be forewarned--I took so many pictures of these and couldn't decide which were the more beautiful. So I stuck a few select ones up instead of just one or two as I would usually do.

Here's the spread of Crocus vernus "Negro Boy" and Crocus sieberi mixed colours. The mixed ones are native to Crete, which is why I got them. I love Crete so much! Their in-your-face tourism marketing tactics, the drive-off-the-road vehicular skills, the beautiful water and mountains... The description claims shades of lilac, violet, and purple--that's not quite "mixed" in my mind. And I don't really notice much of a colour difference.

"Negro Boy," on the other hand--whoa. He's a keeper! I picked on for the manager of Mr. Yogato and put it behind her ear. It looked like she should have been on the beach in Hawaii.

No words necessary. Just pure beauty.

On 18 March, this tulip was thinking of sending up its flower. I am not sure which variety this is: "Blue Heron" fringed or mixed parrot varieties. I hope one of the mixed parrots turns out to be the "Black Parrot" tulip!

I am a bit ambivalent toward this fellow. I thought I was buying saffron crocus (Crocus sativus); instead, it turns out I purchased Bulbocodium vernum, "Spring Meadow Saffron." Not only is it not a true Crocus, but it's poisonous. Sigh. I ordered from the catalog and must have put the wrong number down? I don't even remember. It is beautiful, sure, but I wanted to eat it.

I think (I hope, I pray) that this is my Fritillaria camschatcensis "Black Lily." It's in about the right location...

My Scilla siberica had a rough go of flowering. They just poked up above the ground--and then we had a thunderstorm.

This is what the garden looked like after the flash-flood today. The Crocus are decimated, there are Scilla petals scattered everywhere, and I think someone sat on one of my tulips. Not photographed individually were the "Hello Darkness" bearded Iris, the "Wild Ruby" dwarf Iris, and the "Dominic" daylily. Those will make appearances soon, I'm sure!

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2 Responses to Mr. Yogato Blossoms

  1. I'm not a huge fan but those Crocus are gorgeous! Now I know what to plant if I get the urge to buy bulbs! You just reminded me that I wanted to relocate my grapes this year, and if you have leaves budding out I better go check on mine!!

  2. Those crocuses are gorgeous!! I checked our strawberries and nearly all the leaves are still green. We started with a small plant and now have a huge patch. I get really excited in spring when I see any signs of growth.



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