Spring has arrived, according to both the calendar and the plants here at GardenMusingsLand, but the gardener is only reluctantly going along with the flow. I just can't seem to get into the season while the absence of rain keeps the green world subdued and the dust rises every place I touch the earth. On a positive note, I'm about 75% through all my Spring chores, including trimming back most of the roses. The roses were hit hard this year between the continuing drought and the early cold November and the Rose Rosette casualties. I'll post more detail on the latter subject at a later date.
You can see, however, from the picture above, taken yesterday, that my garden has decided to move on without me. While the winter was tough on the roses, the lilacs seem to be having a glorious year. 'Annabelle', at the lower left of this photo, is spectacular in bloom next to the beloved redbud of Mrs. ProfessorRoush and the full-bloom of the 'North Star' cherry tree in the right foreground. If you stand in front of my garage doors right now, the fragrance from the 7 lilacs behind 'Annabelle' is almost overwhelming. I don't even mind the stupid compost tumbler photobombing the picture.
Spring, and the kindness of strangers, has provided other gifts to my garden. The bulbs at the right are 'Kaveri', a new OA (Oriental Asiatic' lilium hybrid from breeder Ko Klaver and Longfield Gardens. They were provided to me just yesterday for evaluation from the Garden Media Group and I planted them shortly after arrival. OA hybrids are supposed to combine the high bud count and early bloom time of the Asiatics with the fragrance and size of an Oriental. I'll let you know how they grew here in the summer once they have bloomed.
Similarly, now that the ground has thawed and I am planting again, I finally had the chance to try out these "Honey Badger" gloves sent to me last Fall. They're a clever idea, but in full disclosure they need much finer and softer soil than I can find in this area. I found them much less useful than a stout trowel in my hard clay soil, particularly where the flint chips are mixed in. Kids, however, would absolutely love them for digging, so if you've got grandchildren or neighbor children "helping out" in your garden, they are great for a memory. The clacking sound you can make with the claws is a bit entertaining as well, but old gardeners need no help to futher their eccentric persona.