Tuesday, May 24, 2011

3 Firsts for 2011

first lupine horizontal
First Lupine
There's just something about the first of everything, isn't there...the novelty and excitement of finally seeing emerging foliage again and, of course, the first of the flowers. Even though there's something new in the garden every day, I chose these 3 to share with you. First up is the first of the Lupines. This is from a mixed pack I got last spring, and while they bloomed last year, they were a little sad. This year, they are back and bigger than ever...all pushing up lovely foliage and now, their beautiful spires of blooms. Love this pink/white bicolor...looks sensational being embraced by its neighboring catmint.

allium purple sensation
First Allium,'Purple Sensation'
I grew the smaller Allium sphaerocephalon (Drumstick Allium) last year for the first time and loved them, loved how they mingled with other plants, yet were totally invisible while not blooming. Last fall, I decided I wanted more, but strangely couldn't find any...so got some 'Purple Sensation' instead. While the foliage leaves a bit to be desired (yellowing even before the blooms start) the flowers are sensational and the color combos with neighboring plants (like the Clematis recta purpurea pictured above) are lovely.

Columbine and Clematis
First Columbine, 'Tequila Sunrise'
And, of course, there are the Columbines. After 'Lime Frost' failed to return this year, 'Tequila Sunrise' is my only Columbine at the moment. It makes up for it by blooming in different colors on each plant I have! This one is definitely the red/yellow combo that they are supposed to be...but the neighboring plant is two-tone yellow. Can't say I mind, though...it ads a little fun and spontaneity to the grouping.

How about all you...do you have any exciting "firsts" in the garden this week?

UPDATE: Well, I wrote this post yesterday, this morning, when I went outside to check on the garden, someone had broken off the Lupine bloom for themselves :-( Looks like Old Man Weber has to sit on his porch with a shotgun tonight.


  1. Very nice firsts here. And yes, I have my first ever lupine bud and my first ever heuchera bloom!!!!

  2. Very pretty! It would make me very angry to have someone take a bloom like that!

  3. I also have the Purple Sensation allium and it's opening up for me now. I like the more intense color than most alliums have. I'm also a HUGE fan of the drumstick allium, I plan on just planting more and more every fall, forever.

    I posted pics on bloom day of my dark purple old ladies bonnet style columbine, now mine with the bigger star shaped flowers like yours are opening up. Mine have purple outer petals and white inner petals.

  4. I started lupine from seed this year and am a long, long way from blooms. But the seedlings seem strong and healthy, so I have hopes for next year! So sorry someone took off with your beautiful bloom!

  5. Somebody picked your Lupine? That is just mean! Get that shotgun! It was a gorgeous bloom. I guess if you want to keep something you need a fence. First for me: My first rose bloomed the other day. 'Therese Bugnet' is a soft PINK, of course. :)

  6. Darla: Woohoo...love it!

    Alison: Totally...I was in disbelief when I realized that it hadn't just blown over somehow.

    Ryan: Yeah...the drumstick allium are my fave...just awesome for their little spots of color floating in and around other things...such a great ephemeral, and yeah...I'm planning on continuously adding more wherever I can! Your purple columbine sound rad...I'm not sure what possessed me to get yellow and red ones :-)

    Ginny: I wonder how long they take to bloom from seed...maybe they'll just bloom during summer or fall this year.

    Grace: I know, right!?! I hope you post a pic of the rose...gotta love pink, right? Thank about the banner!

  7. Can't believe there are lupine rustlers where you live, truly awful. Did you ever see that Monty Python bit? "Give me all your lupines!" the robbers cried. Beautiful images, hopefully more lupines to come :)

  8. Any exciting firsts, you ask? Well - it just so happens, I do!


  9. I'm told we can't grow lupine here because of the humidity so I've never tried. It is a beautiful flower.

  10. The first blooms are always exciting and much anticipated Scott. I have my first of many right now, since I planted so many new things last fall. ;)

  11. Those are three beautiful firsts, Scott, and the pic of the allium backed by that gorgeous purple clematis foliage makes me very happy!
    Firsts this year for me are 1) two slightly different Lewisia cotyledon blooming at the same time, and 2) Sedum 'Angelina' brightening up the border - what took me so long to get that color and texture into my garden?

  12. Lupine is my gardening Achilles heel, I think growing a lotus or meconopsis (on my head) would be easier. So bravo bravo. Sorry to hear some knuckle dragging slacked jawed yokel picked it.

    My firsts this year so far, include overwintered Sweet Williams, hardy gloxinia and Gladiolus byzantinus.

  13. Stupid thieves. Who takes plants from other peoples gardens?! It sure looks like it was a beauty while it lasted though. Do they rebloom ever or was this it for the year?

  14. Hi Scott,
    I enjoyed your blooms. I have trouble growing lupines. I had one plant that did well for a couple years, then died. Other plants haven't even bloomed. I would be very upset if I had one blooming, and someone cut it.

    I have also told the neighbor kids walking by with bees in those plastic things for catching bugs in they are not to catch any bees or caterpillars from our yard.

    I'm trying to think of what is new. I have several milkweeds in bud. The meadow rue I planted last year also has buds on it. Oh, and I had forgotten that I had gotten some of my double poppy seeds planted, and a few are coming up!

  15. Oh, and the gas plant is still blooming, but soon those cool seedheads will be forming. I hope you find one.

  16. Great looking plants. Sorry about the lupine. I am hesitant to put unique plants near the sidewalk for this very reason. I have to avoid taller plants too because people let their dogs "water" them.

  17. I'm completely ignorant when it comes to names of most flowers and plants. I do know what I like though, and I like these.

    What IS it with people who feel they can just help themselves to whatever they want. Let's hope the lupine served a greater purpose and helped to raise someone's spirits from a very deep and dangerous well.

    Thank you for stopping by my place and leaving such a lovely note. You're welcome to drop by for a visit any time, especially if you say such complimentary things, you sweet talker, you. *grin*

  18. We can not grow Lupines here, it is just to hot and muggy. They are one of the few plants that give me reverse zone envy.

  19. That sucks that someone stole the Lupine! It looked so lovely with the catmint too.

    Tequila Sunrise is well-named. :)

  20. Lupine thieves--sad! At least the photo of that one beauty has been enjoyed many times via the miracle of the internet. Must have been even more beautiful in person.

    New here...maybe the Agaves getting ready to bloom, and the Clematis that is finally climbing a trellis that was bare for years.

    Gorgeous photos, especially the first one.

  21. Ohhh, I can't believe someone would pick your first lupine! Sad, sad, sad.

    I also hate the yellow allium foliage, but the big balls of gorgeous tiny purple flowers are well worth it! I do not have good luck with the larger allium returning.
    Today I noticed just three buds of about a dozen that I planted a few years ago. I have better luck with Allium sphaerocephalon.

    I hope you catch your lupine snatcher!

    Zoey (I have been unable to comment using my Google profile, so I am going to try Anonymous and see if I can get it through. Blogger has been very frustrating lately!)

  22. It worked! I am going back to the other blog now to see if it works there.

    I am now trying the google account, but not checking the "stay signed in". It looks like that will work, too.

    Have a happy gardening Sunday!

  23. Scott,
    What a great blog you have! Its such a nice surprise when I found blogs made with love and dedication.
    I see we share the love for lupines and alliums :)
    I have 40 little lupines growing in my greenhouse, waiting for the cold to calm.
    I have a question, Did you have problems moving them from pots to the ground? Ive read they have super delicate roots and Im a little scared..

    kisses from te vegetable garden!