Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary

In the book The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Basil chants:

"Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And marigolds all in a row." 

I thought of this rhyme as I wandered around my yard, checking on my new plants. I've been intrigued with the idea of planting more "wicked" plants this year and creating my own version of a "poison garden."

This week I made my yearly trek to Millcreek Gardens in search of a chocolate cosmos. I was not disappointed (I planted it in my herb garden flower pot, next to the chocolate mint). I also found a black mondo grass that looks menacing and a delicate looking solomon's seal. That nursery always has a wonderful assortment of perennials to choose from. Next I visited Cactus & Tropicals where I found a fun little bonsai. Then I went to Smith's Marketplace for lupine and a jacob's ladder plant. I rounded out my tour at Glover Nursery. I was a little disappointed in the condition of a lot of their plants, however the nursery itself has had a face lift and looks nicer.

As I strolled around my yard I noticed that the forget-me-nots are in full bloom, the wild violets are just finishing their blooming, the lily of the valley is spreading, and I saw a few flower stems starting to peek out from between their leaves. My cherished monkshood (you'll have to read my book/manuscript to understand this) now has a delicate stem with promising flower buds. The blossoms of both varieties of lilacs are just barely opening up and I caught a faint fragrance. Just finishing their season, the flowering crab apple and flowering pears were very pretty this year. The spirea are covered with leaves and have just a few blossoms teasing me. A couple of weeks ago I trimmed the rose bushes with Madison's help, their leaves are coming on quickly now. The daffodils, hyacinths, and early tulips are done. The mid season tulips are starting to show color and the iris are growing their flower stems as I write. I was very tempted to buy another clematis when I saw vines with the largest flowers ever, but I somehow exercised restraint! My clematis is growing well and starting to tangle around the aspen pole ladder again. This is how MY yard is doing. How are YOUR plants doing now?

The prettiest plants in the yard right now are the forget-me-nots. I have to choose them as the plant of the week! I'm excited to see Mother Nature at work in my small Garden of Eden. We have warm weather predicted for this week and I can't wait to see what the warmth and sunshine will do for my plants.

Happy gardening!

All of these photos were taken on May 5, 2013
Plant your dreams and watch them grow!

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