Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring in my Iowa garden

Welcome to Beyond The Garden Gate, where I blog about gardening and my table, including food and tea.

Today I want to give you a little garden tour. Sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and take a look around my Iowa garden.

I love having lilacs in the house. They smell so good!

The lavender lilacs are from my garden; the white ones from an abandoned farmstead.

The Virginia bluebells are still blooming. On the other hand, my English bluebells sent up foliage but didn't bloom - does that mean they are "done" and should be removed? Or perhaps they need to be divided and given some extra TLC (i.e., fertilizer and compost)?

The lilies of the valley smell great too.

The strawberries are blooming.

Dwarf red buckeye


Tortie, garden supervisor, lying down on the job

I'm pleased to see buds on the lupines.

Lupines are short-lived perennials, so I plant some every year. I start most of mine from seed. If you have difficulty with lupines, know they are not fond of clay soil but adding compost to the soil makes it workable, at least in my garden. They do not like alkaline soil, and they do appreciate a little peat in the planting hole. Lupine resent being moved, so plant them where you want them, in sun to part-sun.


Primula 'Wanda'

Allium 'Gladiator'



Meadow Sage Salvia

 On my porch are plants I am not wanting to put into the ground yet due to our last frost date being May 10. That includes this double knockout rose which I wintered over in the garage in a pot. It has begun to bloom. Unfortunately, rose slugs have been eating the leaves and when hand picking and dish soap failed to alleviate the problem, I sprayed them.

Variegated Solomon's Seal rests patiently on my front porch waiting for the soil to dry in the garden before planting.

Surfinia petunia on the porch
after the rain


Where tulips are concerned, I'm a big fan. However, tulips have been short-lived in my garden. To try to alleviate that issue, last fall I planted "perennial" tulips from Breck's that are supposed to last a number of years. We'll see.

Also my blogging gardening friend Larry has reported great longevity with Darwin tulips, and with deep planting of bulbs. This fall I hope to plant large numbers of Darwin tulips. And by the way, while not as fancy as some, there are many forms and colors available. I purchase many of my bulbs from Brent and Becky's Bulbs.

"Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes." ~Unknown

Linking to Bloomin' Tuesday

Hugs and blessings,



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