Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Science of Flowers

I love flowers in my garden but I don't pretend to understand the science behind them all the time.

Last year I was so discouraged.

My tulips didn't bloom. My Lilac bush didn't bloom. My Hydrangea bushes didn't bloom. Then we had somewhat of a drought and everything dried up and died.

This is not usual for Upstate NY. Although we don't really see the rebirth of flowers and trees and leaves until now, the end of April, once Spring starts there is a nice mix of sun and rain to fill everything out.

This year, I think some flowers are confused and others are glad to turn their faces toward the sun again!

We moved our lilac bush to the other side of the yard because it had not bloomed in about 5 years. Look at it now! Those dark purple buds are all going to be luscious smelling lilacs. I have been waiting for that sweet smell and now I will have it each time I walk out my side porch door.

I live about a half hour from Rochester, which is known worldwide for it's Lilac Festival in Highland Park in May. The weather doesn't always cooperate but the lilacs are heavenly just the same.

Last Fall I had my shovel ready to dig up the 35 red tulips I had planted several years ago. I planted them in 7 groups of 5. They bloomed once! I am so glad I didn't! Imagine my surprise to see the buds pop up last week and this week there they are in all their glory!

Spring clean up has just begun around here so you are seeing last years mulch and dead leaves. The new mulch has been bought but there won't be any planting or mulching until Memorial Day.

Even these yellow tulips, that were here when we bought the house 21 years ago, are re-blooming.

So last Fall I did decide to pull out my Hydrangea bushes. They were beautiful and full but there were no flowers for a few years and even then there were only a few. They were supposed to be purple but no matter what tricks I tried, they came out pink. The stumps are all that is left now and we are struggling to get them out.

Oh boy, was that a mistake? Considering that my long lost tulips and Lilac bush are finally blooming, maybe the Hydrangea would have too?

Too Late.

I have a plan. I bought these gorgeous Ranunculus to plant in the front of the plot of garden just outside my side porch, and I plan on putting varying heights of Zinna, one of my favorite flowers, behind them.

I am always thrilled to see the Forget Me Not's return every year.....

As well as the Grape Hyacinth....

A sure sign that Spring has arrived in my area is the blooming of the Forsythia....

This thing takes up the whole corner of our yard and you can see it from Main Street when you turn onto our street. I am just sad that the flowers do not last long.

The Fairies have little purple flowers outside their door....

And the Hostas are emerging all over my side garden....

Some flowers are confused, I think.

My Bleeding Heart does not usually bloom now....

...but it's pretty all the same..

This Brunnera does not usually bloom till early summer either.....

The winter's are pretty harsh here so to see anything come up is such a delight, let alone the flowers that haven't bloomed in years.

My birdhouse has weathered into a vintage treasure and watches over the whole side garden.

I find myself getting discouraged when our weather is still cold and I see all the beautiful flowers blooming in my Southern blogging friends posts.

But then I remember that in July and August when our weather is gorgeous and our gardens are lush and full, it is so hot in the South that the only way to survive is to be in air conditioning 24/7. Kind of like our winters and the 24/7 furnace!

I guess it is all in what you are used to.

Happy Spring! I am hoping that this coming weekend will be nice enough weather to get my garden put together. I have a basement full of garden décor!

How does your garden grow?

AnnMarie xoxo

I am sharing with these fun blog parties:

Share Your Cup
No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Share Your Style Link Party
Home Sweet Home


  1. My garden is not growing yet, but wow yours looks lovely. Those red tulips caught my eye on FB and I had to pop over! We bought a hydrangea several years ago and it never bloomed. It grew and grew and looked beautiful. But no flowers. Not a one. I got so annoyed, my husband dug it up and moved it to my sister's house literally around the block. It blooms now. Beautiful, large, colorful flowers, just like your lilacs. I guess even plants have a cozy spot! ;) Enjoy your splendid garden!

  2. Looks like your flower garden is off to a good start!! We lived in the Village of Webster, New York for four years...loved it !!

  3. I have given up trying to figure out what will work and what won't work in my garden. lol Sometimes things bloom and sometimes they don't. Just crazy.

    I love lilacs and I am so glad your are going to bloom this year. Looks like a bumper crop of flowers at your place this year! xo Diana

  4. I'm thinking your hydrangea might bloom if you haven't taken it out completely. They're pretty hardy and like a good cutting back occasionally.


  5. Your garden looks pretty! I love flowers and you would think as much as I love them I would plant more! I do have several things that I am beginning to wonder that if I moved them if they would do better. Right now I am trying to tend to my little veggie garden that is now growing good and I have seen a few blooms. And I am getting ready to get in the midst of my herbs. Have a good day. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  6. Hi AnnMarie, Your garden is beautiful and waking up so nicely after the long cold winter. Glad you have flowers you didn't see last year. I read once that sometime when flowers take a year with no blooms, it means the roots are setting themselves and growing below the ground. This happened to my hydrangea last year. The green leaves were tall and lush and not one bloom all year. This season, the green stems are shorter and I've already got 3 blooms. Just crazy!!
    Enjoy your pretty garden!! Love that birdhouse!

  7. I love your red, shabby birdhouse! I dream of the day when I have a perfect little garden with a few birdhouses here and there. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. I live in southeastern NC. We can't grow tulips or lilacs. Something about a hard frost or being too hot...who knows. We moved here from Ohio about 12 years ago, so we had tulips and lilacs in out yard. We miss them. Crape myrtles are supposed to be the southern answer to lilacs. Nope! Not for me! I would love to smell some lilacs right about now. Enjoy them for me!

  9. Everything is looking beautiful, my friend! I love flowers, but we don't always "get along." Or maybe it's because I always have my nose buried in a book or in the craft room when I have free time which means I tend to neglect my gardens.... That could definitely be the root cause {{smiles}}

    Happy day to you, lovely lady! Hugs!

  10. Hello -

    I live in Oswego County and it looks like you are 2-3 weeks ahead of me. I don't have good luck with tulips, so I just grow daffodils. Yours are lovely this year.

    I was thinking of pulling out a couple of hydrangeas also. The pink/blue ones don't do well for me because it gets too cold for them to bloom in the spring. I currently have 'Endless Summer'. Sometimes they bloom in the fall though. I love my white hydrangeas. I have great luck with those, specifically, 'Annabelle', 'Limelight' and 'Lady in Red'.

    I just wanted to let you know that the plant that you think is a hosta, is actually a Brunnera.

    Happy Gardening!

  11. Your garden is ahead of mine, for sure. My daffodils are just now starting to bloom. I never had much luck with tulips reblooming, what's your secret?

  12. AnnMarie, your plan to plant the Ranunculus in front of the zinnias is a good one. It will look gorgeous. The unexpected blooming of your tulips gives me hope that my stubborn daffodils may bloom one day. I love your birdhouse, and the little fairy "house" surrounded by the purple flowers. Are those violets? Your Forsythia is amazing. Mine only has a few little blooms at the bottom. But it was just a baby when we planted it last year. One day I hope it looks like yours. Hugs, Nancy

  13. How interesting that your tulips have decided to bloom after not doing so for so long. Nature sure is unpredictable!

    My garden is starting to bloom as well. It looks like we're on similar schedules, and you're right about July and August here in the northeast...it's all what you're used to!


  14. Hello Ann Marie, oh it is crazy the way that flowers bloom and don't bloom from year to year. I love your spring flowers. I had to replace a topiary in my yard with a new one because the old died and also my lilac tree died and I had that removed. I wish you luck with your flowers.
    Take care and enjoy you day.
    Julie xo

  15. What a fun walk through your garden! I am so hit or miss when it comes to flowers that whenever they work, it feels like a miracle!

  16. The beauty of spring is that there is always the hope of a great garden. Who can figure Mother Nature? Some years the geraniums and impatiens are gorgeous, other years pathetic. I just plant and plant, and hope for the best. I enjoyed this view of your garden. The little fairy door is darling.

  17. Ann Marie, I love that the garden is ever changing and somewhat unpredictable. My Brunnera has been through blooming for two weeks and it usually doesn't bloom till May. Peonies and Iris are ready to bloom any time. A good month ahead of schedule. It has turned off really cold lately, but next week it should warm up. So happy that your Tulips and Lilacs are greeting you with blooms this year! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  18. You put so much work into a garden, it is disappointing when you don't succeed and so wonderful when you do.

  19. I am doing a happy dance, AnnMarie that your garden is beginning to bloom beautifully. So happy for you your Lilacs are behaving themselves and that your Tulips are flowering. Your little patch of earth sounds beautiful.

  20. Your gardens are beautiful, AnnMarie! I love your red tulips and that forsythia is spectacular! I can relate to the disappointments and surprises of gardens.....every year is different and sometimes we lose favorite plants and sometimes plants surprise us. Living in the north and having 4 seasons means things are always changing, but I have lived in the desert before and those hot summer months are unbearable. Too bad about the hydrangeas. I've heard that oak-leaf hydrangeas are hardy and want to try one. Love your little fairy garden :) Hugs xo Karen

  21. Hi AnnMarie. Your garden is looking so pretty and I think it is a lot like mine. Everyone says I have a nice garden, but that has really nothing to do with me. I planted a few bulbs years ago and they continue to come back each spring and the rest of whatever blooms gets no help from me. If it doesn't come back on its own then it doesn't come back at all. I do have a beautiful lilac bush that I brought from our last home and it has thrived here in the mountains. Except, my well meaning hubby decided to trim it last year at the wrong time and I don't think it will bloom this year. Yours looks like it will be beautiful so you have planted it in the right place..Have a wonderful week..Judy

  22. Everything bloomed at once this year. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  23. I love all the blooms you already have, you are way ahead of us! I just now have some grape hyacinths that are starting to bloom, and the tulips are just about to bloom, this will be my first season with them, and I can't wait to see them. I ordered them from Holland, so I hope they live up to their reputation :) Spring has been slow this year because of all the rain we've had, but it is here, moving slowly :) Enjoyed your pictures of all your lovely blooms! I agree there is a science to flowers, and I certainly don't claim to know any of it, lol! I just keep trying different things, hoping something will work. Live and learn I guess :)

  24. My garden grows a lot like yours. The first year we lived here, there was a lilac bush that bloomed that year, and never again. My hydrangeas bloom every other year or so. My bulbs have never multiplied; my new azaleas that were planted last year look half -dead (eaten by deer, perhaps?). My bleeding hearts are in full bloom - I think it's a few weeks early. Yes, my garden is as confused as yours is!

  25. I unfortunately don't have much of a garden. I do have a few plants in the ground...hydrangeas (mine are that gorgeous blue) as well as gardenias, English dogwood, azaleas, camellias, and a magnolia tree. They all bloom at different times which is nice. I need to plant some more but we are waiting to lay sod and then I will choose some more flowers to put in the ground. Yours are all so gorgeous! Enjoy your weekend!

    Hugs, Vicky

  26. Hi AnnMarie, your garden is beautiful and really taken off nicely. The best of the season for us is most likely now as once it gets really hot the garden suffers and hard to keep it going. Some years are better then others and I just never know. Last year my hydrangea had no blooms just the green plant tall and lush. This year, it's already blooming.
    Enjoy your pretty blooms, your garden is so pretty!
    Have a great rest of the weekend. xo


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