A bit of warm weather and all the trees in the garden will suddenly be leafed out. But before that happens, the bare branches let us enjoy the glorious effects of late afternoon sunlight in the garden.
At the end of last week we were sitting in the teahouse with the doors and windows open, reading and drinking coffee. We enjoyed our first margaritas of the season — along with chips and two kinds of salsa — lounging on the deck and enjoying the view.
As of yesterday (Tuesday), it was so wintry I spent the afternoon making beef stew. About 4 p.m., I went out into the garden armed with black plastic plant pots, bamboo stakes, old sheets, clothespins and bricks. Starting last night and going through the rest of the week overnight temps are predicted to be dipping just below or just above freezing, so I covered Martagon lilies, Erythoniums and woodland peonies. All are well up and budded out. I think they would survive but I don't want to learn the hard way that they won't. This kind of weather is pretty typical for April in Wisconsin, yet I always find myself surprised when it happens.
When I came back indoors after spending an hour working in the cold and wind and bits of swirling snow, we opened a bottle of wine and sat in front of the fire before dinner. Looks like my week will be spent alternating between covering/uncovering plants and sitting by the fire.
Pam Penick, who hosts one of my favorite memes, Foliage Follow-up, commented on my freckled Trilliums on my FF post last week. When I saw this Trillium sessile unfurling I thought it was worth sharing in light of her remarks.
If you are unfamiliar with Trilliums I find them dramatic and recognizable no matter their size or stage of growth. Note the tiny Primula sieboldii pushing up in the spaces not colonized by the Trilliums.
This Hepatica maxima also has foliage worthy of note. The leaves can be up to four inches across and have a noticeable fuzzy and silvery edge.
Paeonia japonica has thick textured leaves that are plum colored on the reverse. All these early woodland and species peonies have beautiful foliage and every one is a bit different. Foliage is important on these particular plant because that is what you will see most of the year. They usually have great seed pods and often good fall color.