Monday, April 11, 2011

Kicking off gardening season

Saturday was my first official day of serious, play-in-the-dirt-again gardening for the year, and since more than a few elements of my garden center around tea I thought I'd give a report. First, I was delighted to find my Camellia sinensis, the tea plant that was a gift from my friend Lynn, is sprouting new growth and looking quite healthy!

The 'Sweet Tea' heucherella I planted last year survived the winter as well and is starting to look like more than the "plug" I bought through the mail last year.

These are the flowers that 'Sweet Tea' produces, and they're pretty but I still like the sweet tea-colored foliage best.

Now here's a sad story. Last year a friend warned me I should bring all my pottery in before the weather turned freezing. I didn't. So, my big green teapot planter, which had water standing in it, froze and broke in pieces. I superglued the back to the front and decided I wouldn't completely glue back the pieces of the bottom that had broken.

Instead, I used it in a barren spot in the shade garden and transplanted a fern. Doesn't look like much yet, but I have high hopes! (I am also reminded of Patsy Clairmont's old book, "God Uses Cracked Pots." Me too!)

I absolutely love ferns. When I see the signs a fern is coming back, it makes me happy. These are called "whorls" or "fiddlenecks," I've read.

Last year I bought a Home Depot Japanese Painted Fern that probably could have been a little healthier. At the end of the year I assumed it was a goner, but it came back healthy and prettier than ever.

Fancy ferns, ferns from the creek ... I love them all.

Periwinkle is considered a weed by some gardeners, but I like it and transplanted some to the shade garden last year. As an accent, I placed this teacup birdfeeder that was a Christmas gift from my friend Deberah. I didn't have a metal stake on hand, so I'm trying some dried bamboo. (We have a stand of bamboo back by our creek that would make a small army of pandas really happy!)

I also pulled out this teacup hanging birdfeeder from last year. Decorating with seasonal things that have been put away for a while is so much fun because it's kind of like shopping except you don't spend any money!

And finally, I thought I'd leave you with a photo of my little birdbath, Mr. Frog, presiding pleasantly over 'Sweet Tea' and some random ferns. I'd love to hear what's happening in your garden!


  1. Oh Angela, I love this tour of your garden! Isn't spring wonderful!?

  2. Your garden is looking good - I love all the tea theme accents.

    When I saw the fiddleheads it reminded me of the time hubby's Dad took us into the woods (in Northern Ontario) to collect them and then showed us how to cook and eat them.

  3. I enjoyed the tour of your garden. It is lovely...

  4. I love your pretty shady ferns. You have such pretty tea decorations in your garden. Too bad about the teapot, glad you were able to fix it.

  5. Your tea garden is wonderful. There is a group of artists here in Portland that call themselves the "cracked pots". They make garden art out of recycled things.

    My garden is getting little care right now. The tea plants are doing fine, but don't look quite as fresh as yours. The garden will get little care until we return from Asia in the middle of May. It will be a sad sight, I am sure.

  6. I took your advice Angela and got me some periwinkle for my shade garden!! Pretty blooms and hard to kill, i love it! I also love your birdfeeder and frog, adorable!! tammyp

  7. Gorgeous Garden, Angela! Your photos are so pretty too, I am impressed & inspired.

    Good job with the cracked pot, you can't even tell it was broken. And the frog is adorable too.
    Happy Gardening & have a great week, Joanie

  8. Your garden looks good, I hope you will give us updates now and then.

    My vegetable garden is on hold. A quail is sitting on eggs in the middle of it. Hopefully they will hatch soon. I think they should in another week or 2. My hostas are up and looking good. Hopefully my wildflowers seeds will sprout soon.

  9. Thats a shame your teapot planter broke, but you must surely be an optimist...its still loved!

  10. Your garden is looking lovely. Periwinkle is considered an invasive plant here and will not be sold any more.
    Once the fern gets bigger, no one will even notice your teapot planter is glued together.
    I missed emptying a rain barrel one year and it froze and split at the seam.

  11. Your garden looks lovely I hope one day Talya and I get to visit and have a cup of tea together.

    Have a great spring/summer year.



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