A stroll through my garden

    We're getting to the time of year where the "What's blooming now?" feature on the left column here won't be enough to show you what's happening in my flower garden. I'm a lover of flowers, particularly the flowers I've chosen to grow in my garden — antique English roses, Rocky Mountain wildflowers, irises, lavender, delphiniums and so on. Because I'm such an "olfactory" person — I have a very sensitive nose — everything must have a smell. And when it's all in bloom, the scents mix together in the sunlight and I get drunk just standing on my own porch sniffing.

    I took a quick stroll this morning and snapped some photos of what's blooming right this very second.

    Stef, the peonies above are dedicated to you. They're such a lovely rich, red color, which is a perfect contrast to their deep green foliage. They just started blooming yesterday.

    White iris is one of my very favorite scents. I could stand there all day with my nose in the blossoms, huffing like an addict. When Benjy was little he saw these from a very boyish point of view as the dust and light and fire from an explosion. (Hey, I'm not a boy. Don't ask me.) He started calling them "flak explosions" when he was about eight or nine. So that's what we still call them. LOL! Nice explosion, huh?

    Sage is sacred to Native people here, and I grow a ton of it. White sage is really what I wish I grew, because it's the preferred form of sage for smudging and praying, but I love these tiny purple blossoms. This plant is perhaps five feet across and six feet long. It stands about two feet high. And when it's in full bloom, it seems to buzz from all the bees.

    The dry climate and heat are great for growing California poppies. I love the rich orange color of these tiny flowers. They're just starting to pop, and they'll bloom all summer, though they get rather leggy by August.

    Penstemon is a Rocky Mountain wildflower. It has slowly been spreading through one part of the garden, and I'm encouraging it. You can see the park-like green of my lawn in the background. It won't stay that way. It's too hot and dry here in the summer. Also, I think you can catch just a glimpse of the first Stelle del Oro daylily to bloom this year in the background.

    Near the street I have irises of mixed colors behind a very tiny, dainty flower called Snow in Summer, which somehow defies the direct sun to bloom most of the summer. I just love it.

    The first rose to bloom this year is Blanc Double de Couvert, a lovely scented rose with a bright white double blossom. It survived this past winter, which combined unusual extremes of heat and cold and dryness, better than the other roses, which all died back to the ground. Our climbing rose, which was 12 feet tall and last year must have had a thousand white roses on it also died back to the ground. Lamentation! It's only about two feet tall and has maybe forty buds right now.

    I'm now more than two-thirds done with Naked Edge and hope to have another chapter done before I go to bed tonight. That puts me on target for finishing by mid-July and hopefully holding on to an early 2010 pub date.

    Have a lovely spring day, everyone!

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