Now blooming in a garden near you - we are now finished with spring bulbs and moving into the next phase of spring. In my garden the last of the azaleas is blooming, (a pretty pink double) and the larger rhododendrons are beginning to bloom. In some local gardens azaleas are still in full bloom; in others the rhodys are already in full bloom. I've seen some bearded iris in bloom already.
I have a large drift of Siberian iris, and they started blooming this week. Next week they should all be out and will present a lovely display. I don't have any bearded iris - they are on the list for the next phase in my sunny patch, along with some kind of peony. That's my project for next year, and I am spending a lot of time imagining what I will plant there.
Foliage partners are especially attractive now, with the heuchera/Japanese painted fern pair particularly striking. My picture does not really show the lovely purple vein down the middle of the fern leaves, so you'll have to imagine it. This pair will be set off later in the season by tall purple liatris, whose form and color will echo some large purple butterfly bushes nearby. I have a lot of liatris because the prior homeowner loved it, and because it self seeds very readily. Fortunately I like it in the garden for its bold foliage and for the tall long lasting flowers that need no staking. It makes an attractive cut flower. The heuchera will be in bloom in a week or so, but to my eye their blooms don't compete with their lovely foliage. Roxy and I are still fighting over an especially beautiful heuchera. If she does not change her ways she will find herself staked out front where she can't get to it.
I entertained the neighborhood with the riding lawn mower this week. My lack of skill coupled with the vintage cuteness of the "little red car" of a mower probably had everyone in stitches. The grass looks a bit like a bad haircut, but at least it looks like a civilized person might live here. Later this week I will regale them with my impression of an idiot with a gasoline trimmer.